The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who revealed this at a media briefing in Abuja said the Notice to Airmen (NOTAP) had been circulated to that effect.
According to Lai, the FG feels the pain of the Nigerians and other travelers who have endured inconveniences because of the diversion of their flights.
He added that the allegations of ineptitude against aviation officials are lies.
His words, “I will like to quickly take us through what caused the problem.
“In its commitment to passenger safety and security, the Federal Government has recently taken the decision to upgrade the navigational facilities at some major airports across the country.
“Consequently, the navigational aids at airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Asaba, etc. were all marked for an upgrade from Category II Instrument Landing System (CAT II ILS) to top-of-the-class CAT III ILS.”
Both Abuja and Lagos airports were calibrated. The CAT III ILS is working perfectly here in Abuja.
“But after calibration, some incorrect readings were noticed in the CAT III ILS at the MMA.”
“Some airlines opted to divert their flights to Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, which, by the way does not even have a CAT III ILS but where the weather was not as adverse as that in Lagos.
“Many travelers bound for Nigeria became stranded.
“Again, this is much regretted. Of course, the same flights could have been diverted to Abuja, which has a perfectly-functioning CAT III ILS and where flights to Lagos are regular. But they instead chose to fly to Accra.”
The weather phenomenon that reduced visibility at the International wing of the MMA is not unique to Nigeria.
“While some flights were being diverted from the Lagos airport, over 200 flights were either being diverted or cancelled at Heathrow in London,”
“This is because they feel that because adverse weather is only for a short period in a year, they don’t feel that the kind of huge cost that is required to acquire it is justified.
“Even the Kotoka International Airport that most flights were diverted to does not have CAT III ILS.”
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