Thursday July 24 2014

Uganda starts using new Air space technology


By Martin Ssebuyira

Uganda has started implementing the use of Global Navigation Satellite System that enables pilots to circumnavigate the airspace of a given country without necessarily consulting Air navigators.

The technology -satellite-based augmentation system, also provides honest information about the GPS system and gives opportunities for pilots to use more accurate positioning data for improving existing services.

“We are shifting from the old ground based system that is more expensive and divides the pilot’s attention by continuously communicating to air navigators in the control room to a satellite based system that enables a pilot to freely navigate through narrow channels,” Mr Richard Ruhesi, Civil Aviation Authority Director Air Navigation said.

Uganda has been using radars and historical navigation to help pilots navigating its air space but this will gradually be phased out because of its limitations.

“With this technology, air navigators can have accurate information about the airspace and can give standard separation of the aircrafts,” added Mr Ruhesi.

Eng Ladislaus Matidi, the Director European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System- Africa joint Program office said that the European Union is helping them set up the program, have trained human resource and capacity to oversee the subsequent implementation.

He said they want to join EGNOS Africa to the European system but with some autonomy in service provision.

“Critical infrastructure would be owned by Europe, but Africa would have specific infrastructure to be deployed for operations related to delivery of services over Africa except signal provisions,” he said.

Dr Rama Makuza, Civil Aviation Authority Managing Director said they have already committed a certain level of safety standards short of which a country can be apprehended.

He said the program can also improve navigation at sea and inland waterways.