The ANGA programme, NIGCOMSAT Ltd, and Partners Accelerate SBAS Development in Aviation in Africa 


The Augmented Navigation for Africa (ANGA) programme, and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd, NIGCOMSAT, in conjunction with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %), joint efforts to accelerate SBAS development for aviation in Africa.

Following the broadcast of an SBAS (Satellite-Based Augmentation System) signal over Africa & Indian Ocean (AFI) region in September 2020, providing the first SBAS open service in this part of the world via the NIGCOMSAT-1R geostationary satellite, the partners have successfully conducted on 1st February 2023 a series of flight demos at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The goal was to show on the field the efficiency of the satellite navigation technology developed by the ANGA programme initiated by the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) and which pursues the autonomous provision over the continent of SBAS services, to augment the performances of the GPS constellation.

These tests were carried out utilising NAMA calibration aircraft (Beechcraft KingAir 350i), which has been equipped for the occasion by Pildo Labs with specific sensors and embarked VIPs and pilots in 2 rotations over Abuja airport. The experiment aimed to demonstrate the ability of the system to allow precision approach landings on the two ends of the runway without deployment of local ground infrastructure and with a performance level close to the use of Instrument Landing Systems (ILS). It demonstrates the benefits of future operational safety-of-life SBAS services, expected from 2025, in terms of flight safety, efficiency, and environmental protection.

The outcomes of the demonstrations, as a crucial step forward in the provision and use of satellite navigation services in the Africa and Indian Ocean region, will be debriefed on 2 and 3 February during an international outreach event on SBAS in aviation in Africa, gathering airlines, aircraft manufacturers and other aviation stakeholders from all over the world.

“Today, I am particularly elated that NIGCOMSAT Limited, in conjunction with Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), The Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), SatNav Africa Joint Program Office (JPO), and the Augmented Navigation for Africa (ANGA) jointly organized the 2nd SBAS flight demonstration and outreach event for stakeholders in view of SBAS adoption in Africa’s aviation sector. The synergy and collaboration displayed by these agencies, in terms of intellectual and human resources, are highly commendable. This is the first of its kind in Nigeria and indeed in Anglophone Africa.”, declared Engr. Tukur M. LAWAL, Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited.

“The SBAS demonstration flight feat is in line with the policy direction of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM for value addition and propensity not only in the Telecommunications Sector but Aviation, Maritime, Rail Transport, Precision Agriculture, Survey, Oil & Gas and Mass-Market Applications for sustainable development beyond Nigerian shores”.

The new system, when fully implemented, would enhance safety, efficiency, and turnaround time for airlines using the facility, while fuel consumption would also reduce, Says the Acting MD/CEO of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr Mathew Lawrence Pwajok. We ensured the Honorable Minister of Aviation directive was carried out to the letter. The Minister, Senator (Capt) Hadi Sirika, directed that we liaise with NIGCOMSAT Ltd in conjunction with Nigerian Airspace Management and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to conduct a real SBAS flight demonstration within Nigeria’s Airspace, and it was a success.

“Our longstanding expertise acquired with the development of EGNOS SBAS in Europe and KASS SBAS in Korea, combined with our new leading-edge satellite positioning technologies, make Thales Alenia Space the ideal partner to best support countries to implement their own SBAS efficiently. We hope these series of demos will help to accelerate SBAS adoption in aviation in Africa”, declared Benoit Broudy, Vice President, Navigation business at Thales Alenia Space in France.

“I’m proud to have demonstrated the utility and efficiency of the SBAS services in the continent. This event will bolster the deployment of the ANGA system, the navigation solution for Africa by Africa, which will enhance air navigation safety and efficiency for the benefit of the whole continent, in line with my vision for the unification of the African Sky”, stated Mohamed Moussa, Director General of ASECNA.


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. The accuracy, down to the order of a meter, 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 ANGA program is led by the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA). 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.


Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately €2.15 billion in 2021 and has around 8,000 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.


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 operating 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, 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.

About NAMA

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is an agency of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria responsible mainly for the provision of 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 conduction of flights.  Nigeria has 25 VOR/DME facilities, most of which are Doppler VORs for the safe conduction 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. Nigeria has implemented 19 RNAV routes in the airspace making it one of the airspaces, in Africa, with the most RNAV routes.


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