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AVI Afrique Demos Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

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By peter oluka

The recent AVI Afrique Africa Innovation Summit held at CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria once again featured as the leading aviation event in South Africa, attracting hundreds of delegates from all over the continent and beyond.

Under the theme “In Africa. For Africa. By Africa”, the summit facilitated a platform for the African aviation industry to engage around innovation and improvements in the industry and acted as an exploratory infrastructure development tool for the participation of small and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the aviation market across the continent.

“Collaboration throughout Africa, to ensure a sustainable market, is the key focus of this event,” said Thabani Mthiyane, CEO of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), hosts of the summit.

Global overview of safety

Barry Kashambo, regional director ICAO Eastern and Southern African Office, was the guest speaker on the first day.

He has been in the international civil aviation community for over 30 years and comes from a background of aircraft maintenance engineering and flight safety standards. Kashambo has worked with the Civil Aviation Authority in Uganda as an Airworthiness surveyor/Inspector and Accident Investigator for 21 years. He has also served as an aviation safety officer for the UN MONUSCO, performing oversight and accident/incident investigation for the biggest UN fleet, at that time.

His experience in the sector, coupled with the various positions held across the globe, enabled Kashambo to give a worldly view on the sector and how to ensure valuable, consistent development.

Upper airspace panel discussion

“ICAO’s ‘No Country Left Behind’ campaign: Effective implementation of Safety, Security, Infrastructure Development, Technology Innovation and Environmental Sustainability was discussed at length. The panelist looked at what can be done to harmonise the effectiveness of this objective by the States and/or Air Navigation Service Providers.

Top award for UAV

Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) sponsored the AVI Awards for 2017. At the evening awards function, Mark Van Wyk walked away with the top Innovation Award, renamed the OR Tambo Cumulus Award, for his prototype UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) that will become the first hydrogen powered aircraft, fully developed in South Africa.

Van Wyk, founder of the company FlyH2 Aerospace and his partner, OnnoHuyser, are developing a large, fixed-wing unmanned aircraft for survey and environmental research purposes. The aircraft will be powered by novel miniaturised hydrogen fuel cells designed, prototyped and trialled by TIA seed fund recipients at the University of Cape Town, HySA Catalysis.

Innovator in STEM

On day two, delegates listened to Soweto-born Mr Nthatho Moagi, a young emerging innovator who designed a Low Cost Educational Robotics Toy (LCERT) kit developed to provide learners and educators wit affordable access to educational resources in their Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) classrooms. His company, CRSP design, was established to commercialise his invention. Named as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans of 2017, Moagi is highly focused on empowering SMMEs in the innovation sector.

Black Hornet launch

As the summit ended, the world’s smallest, most capable personal reconnaissance system, the Black Hornet, was launched by Desert Wolf Consulting.

The drone, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), is an American military equipment aircraft that can fly without a pilot, relying solely on its autonomy which allows for it to be controlled by remote control or by a human operator. The Black Hornet’s small size and electric motors makes it virtually inaudible and invisible once airborne.

The system will be only available to military, police and government clients in South Africa, with local support and training. South Africa’s first female military drone instructor, trained by the manufacturer in Norway, is already training another Black Hornet pilot in South Africa.

At 18 grams, the Black Hornet is inherently safe, organic and covert. Despite its small size, the Black Hornet provides live motion video and snapshots back to the operator. The system can be delivered with both day/ lowlight and night vision cameras, covering a 24/7 operational requirement.

“There is no doubt that innovation within the aviation sector is of utmost importance, not only to ensure competitiveness across the sector, but also to enhance and advance the industry with a focus on safety and security. As the transport of people and cargo across countries, continents and time zones becomes increasingly complex, airlines, airport owners, operators and investors are challenged to adapt and provide efficient aviation solutions,” continues Mthiyane

“This event was again a resounding success and it was important that we gathered some of the greatest minds to engage on how we could work together to elevate the African aviation market and ensure the participation of African SMMEs on this journey,”concludes Mthiyane.

 

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Customs Targets N1.5 trillion Revenue in 2018

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The Nigeria Customs Service has set a revenue target of N1.5 trillion for 2018.

Hammed Ali, Comptroller-General of Customs, , disclosed this at the first management meeting for 2018 held in Abuja.

A statement by Joseph Attah, Customs PRO yesterday, said that in 2017, the Service generated N1.37 trillion, surpassing the year’s target of N770.57 billion.

According it, promotion of officers, which would soon be approved by the board and the review of salaries, payment of bonus to Customs officials, were discussed.

It added that in the meantime, 577 officers were retired according to a circular titled CIRCULAR NO/HRD/2017/003-LIST OF OFFICERS/MEN FOR STATUTORY RETIREMENT IN YEAR 2018 and signed by Sulaiman M.S.J, Comptroller Establishments.

“The officers included a Deputy Comptroller General, an Assistant Comptroller General, 11 Comptrollers, 27 Deputy Comptrollers, 27 Assistant Comptrollers and 23 Chief Superintendents of Customs.

“Similarly, the Service carried out promotion and redeployment of some officers as contained in a statement issued some weeks ago by the Service National Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah.

“Among those promoted in acting capacity were Isa Talatu Mairo to Deputy Comptroller-General Tariff and Trade; Amajam Bukar, Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone C, elevated to the rank of Assistant Comptroller-General, Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection and David Elisha Chikan as ACG (Human Resources and Development),’’ it said.

It said that the CGC charged the affected officers to see their appointments and as opportunities to contribute their best towards consolidating the gains of the ongoing reforms in the service,” it said.

Other rank and file listed on the retirement notice include five Chief Inspectors of Customs Terminal (CIC T); 21 Chief Inspector of Customs (CIC); 21 Superintendents of Customs (SC) and 36 Deputy Chief Inspectors of Customs (DCIC)

Others are 23 Deputy Comptrollers (DCs); 121 Assistant Chief Inspectors of Customs (ACIC); four ACIC1; 131 Deputy Inspectors of Customs (DIC) and one Assistant Superintendent of Customs 11.

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Arik Assures Nigerians of Better Operations in 2018

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By peter oluka

The management of Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest carrier has sent messages, thanking Nigerians and all travellers for their support in 2017, and assures customers of a brighter and better 2018, while wishing them a great and prosperous new year.

In his New Year message, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, the chief executive officer of Arik Air, said: “We owe Nigerians a heartfelt gratitude for their support in 2017. They believed in the airline, stood by us and that unflinching support was the tonic that propelled us to regain our leadership position in the industry”.

In the New Year, the airline has pledged to redouble its efforts in order to surpass the expectations of its valued customers in 2018.

The CEO elaborated: “For us, time is money and we will continue to ensure an on-time service delivery which enables customers get to their destinations punctually. Arik is known for safe operations and we will not compromise the safety of our customers at any time.”

The airline is also promising a value added service that makes the customer King in 2018 while route integration will be vigorously pursued.

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Eko Disco Tenders Apology to Residents Over Power Outage

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Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has apologised to its consumers over the irregular power supply currently being experienced.

 

Mr Godwin Idemudia , General Manager, Corporate Communications, explained that the epileptic supply was due to a system collapse from the national grid affecting the entire country.

 

Idemudia, said the system collapsed which occurred recently had resulted in nationwide blackout had really affected the EKEDC consumers.

 

According to the General Manager, since five days now, power supply to customers under our network has been on and off.

 

“Until Generation goes up, there is nothing we can do now because National Grid (NG) is the only source of our supply.

 

“We feel your pains.

 

“We are, therefore, appealing to customers to bear with us, as supply will be restored as soon as these repairs are concluded.

 

“EKEDC highly regrets any inconveniences caused by this irregular supply,” he said.

 

Nigeria was on Jan.2 thrown into a nationwide blackout as the country suffered total collapse of its power system grid.

 

The collapse followed a fire incident on Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Ltd (NGPTC’s) Escravos Lagos Pipeline System and a shutdown of pipeline supplying gas to 3,182 Mega Watt (MW) plants.

 

These plants include Egbin 1,320MW; Olorunsogo National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP) 676MW; Olorunsogo 338MW; Omotosho NIPP 450MW; Omotosho 338 MW and Paras 60MW power stations.

 

The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, which confirmed the collapse and the shutdown of gas supply to the 3,182 MW plants, described the incident as a setback to the power sector.

 

 

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