Outreach Event on SBAS in Aviation in Africa

Harnessing its efforts to increase awareness of the benefits of implementing the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) in Africa, SatNav Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO) in collaboration with the ANGA (Augmented Navigation for Africa) programme, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) and NAMA organised the 2nd Regional Outreach Event on Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) in aviation in Africa. 

Held in hybrid mode from the 2nd to 3rd of February, 2023, in Abuja (Nigeria), the event was hosted under the High Patronage of the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami); FCIIS, FNCS, FBCS and Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator (Captain) Hadi Sirika ably represented by Dr Emmanuel Meribole; the Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Aviation. The event also welcomed the EU Global Action on Space initiative of the European Commission.

President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) to collaborate with the aviation sector in the 54 African countries towards successfully implementing the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) in Africa, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy declares during the opening ceremony of the 2-days SBAS outreach.

On the side-line were ANGA and NIGCOMSAT SBAS/LPV field demonstrations using NAMA’s Beechcraft King Air 350i held on the 1st of February 2023 in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The Abuja outreach event, gathering airlines, aircraft/avionics manufacturers, SBAS providers and institutional stakeholders, aims to continue this dialogue initiated in January 2021 in Lomé (Togo).

The industry’s key players, regional institutions, and African organisations participated in the various sessions. They contributed to providing a unique knowledge-sharing platform around several topics related to SBAS adoption in Aviation in Africa. The extended dialogue through this collaborative platform will enable value-chain actors to exchange subjects of vital interest on SBAS, which also support stakeholders’ decision-making in creating synergies and allow the collective reaping of benefits provided by SBAS in the region, including safety, efficiency and environmental protection benefits. 

Outreach activities are a cornerstone of worldwide strategies for developing and using GNSS/SBAS systems and applications in all African economic sectors. This specific event was dedicated to the Aviation User Communities and gathered more than 345 online participants across the World.

Closing the ceremony in the presence of DG Asecna, EC DG-DEFIS, Representatives of AON, AFON, SatNAv Africa JPO, the Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; Dr William Alo ably represented by Acting Director, Spectrum Management and Board Member of NIGCOMSAT Ltd; Engr. Anagonye Joseph expressed full support for Satellite Navigation implementation in the Region, highlighting its versatile uses and great impact on the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) implementation goal realisation.

He highlighted the fact that the global aviation industry at all levels (States, airlines, manufacturers and air navigation service providers) is currently at an advanced stage in adopting and integrating SBAS technology to take advantage of the significant benefits in terms of flight safety and efficiency, and of environmental protection. Therefore Africa should be included in this journey.

He appreciated and congratulated the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isah Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the board, management and staff of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) for making the feat possible in conjunction with NAMA and partners.

He also used the opportunity to appreciate the Federal Ministry of Aviation, ably led by Senator (Captain) Hadi Sirika, who approved on 31st August 2021 directing NIGCOMSAT Ltd to liaise with Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to conduct SBAS flight demonstration within Nigerian Airspace. 

Our special thanks to the executive management and staff of NAMA ably led by Acting MD/CE of NAMA, Mr Mathew Lawrence Pwajok, for graciously and wholeheartedly making the SBAS Demo Event possible at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja using NAMA’s calibration aircraft; Beechcraft KingAir 350i including immense support to the 2-days SBAS outreach event at Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton. 

To all our International Partners; SatNav Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO); ASECNA, The Augmented Navigation for Africa (ANGA); Thales Alenia Space; Pildo Consulting etc.; We thank you.

We rededicate ourselves today more than ever to collaborate and partner within and outside our shores to ensure SBAS technology is fully implemented for both Aviation and Non-Aviation Sectors, says Dr Willaims Alo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Representative of the Transport and Mobility Division with the Infrastructure and Energy Department of the African Union Commission (AUC), Eric Ntagengerwa and AFCAC, highlighted that the African Union, through its continental perspective approach toward the implementation of SBAS, recalled the successful completion of the Cost-Benefit Analysis of the implementation of SBAS in Africa conducted by the AUC whose results were presented to a wide range of stakeholders at a workshop held in Kigali end of May 2022. 

The workshop’s outcome showcased that SBAS is gaining popularity and acknowledgement among African stakeholders whose application will enhance and benefit African citizens beyond aviation. 

The outreach event in Abuja, Nigeria, shed light on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology, aviation applications benefits, including Performance Based Navigation plans, the status of different regional SBAS programmes and initiatives, including a review of outcomes of the SBAS/LPV field demonstrations held by ANGA and Nigcomsat, and which confirmed the performance of SBAS in Africa.

The Outreach event came to a close with confidence that Africa as a Continent can and will now move towards full operationalisation of SBAS to support the implementation of the Space Policy of the African Union. 

Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)

The Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) is a wide-area differential Global Navigation Satellite Signal (GNSS) augmentation system that uses several geostationary satellites to broadcast primary GNSS data that has been provided with ranging, integrity, and correction information by a network of SBAS ground stations covering vast areas which improves precision and lowers position errors to less than 1 metre.

The Satellite Navigation in Africa Support Programme III, a continuation of the ‘European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) in Africa Support Programme and a partnership between Africa and the EU, contributes to the development of satellite navigation in key sectors in Africa, with aviation being the entry point of the Programme. It aims at supporting the development of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) and the increased use and adoption of GNSS services.

About ANGA programme

The ANGA (Augmented Navigation for Africa) programme aims to provide Satellite Based Augmentation Services (SBAS) throughout the Africa and Indian Ocean (AFI) region. These services increase the positioning performance of the GPS constellation. As a result, the accuracy, down to the order of a metre, integrity, availability, and continuity of positioning services are improved and guaranteed for the most advanced satellite navigation applications, especially those critical in terms of safety.

ANGA services will strengthen air navigation operations, improving flight safety and efficiency. They will also allow the development of applications in other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, maritime, road and rail transport, or cartography, to name a few. The Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) leads the ANGA programme. It is recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is a key enabler in implementing the African Union Space Policy. It strengthens Africa’s positioning as a supplier of high-value-added services, with a key position in the global satellite navigation infrastructure value chain. ANGA is a safe and efficient navigation solution for Africa.

About NIGCOMSAT

Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT) is a company and agency under the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy whose mission is to be the leading satellite operator and service provider in Africa. NIGCOMSAT Ltd owns and operates the Nigerian Communications Satellite. The company provides innovative and cutting-edge satellite communications solutions by using and managing a geostationary communication satellite-NigComSat–1R, built to provide domestic and international satellite services via a 2-way satellite communications services across West, Central, and South East Africa, Europe and Asia. The satellite is a hybrid Communication Satellite with a payload for navigation overlay services (NOS) system similar to EGNOS.

NIGCOMSAT Ltd Press Contacts:

Dr Lasisi Salami LAWAL (Nigerian SBAS Project Manager) lasisi@nigcomsat.gov.ng

About NAMA

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria responsible mainly for providing air navigation services within the Kano Flight Information Region (FIR). Its vision is to be a leading ANSP with a mission of providing safe, efficient and economical air navigation service.

NAMA has, over the years, made tremendous investments in terrestrial navigation and landing facilities for the efficient conduct of flights. Nigeria has 25 VOR/DME facilities, most of which are Doppler VORs for the safe conduct of flights. 

With the advent of satellite technology and its deployment in air navigation, NAMA has, since 2004, developed and implemented GNSS procedures for RNAV approaches at most of the aerodromes. As a result, Nigeria has implemented 19 RNAV routes in the airspace making it one of the airspaces, in Africa, with the most RNAV routes.

NAMA’s Press Contacts:

Mr Mathew Lawrence Pwajok (Acting MD/CEO) mpwajok@nama.gov.ng.