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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2001 11:56 am

African Airport Procedures

Mon Dec 02, 2002 11:26 am

Airports such as Luanda in Angola and Lagos in Nigeria appear to have no approach radar facilities. When aircraft are approaching/ departing do they always follow the set procedures printed in charts or is any form of vectoring offered? For example is the 'teardrop'/ standard VOR-DME approach always followed at airports such as these or is the method of approach up to the individual crew/ determined by ATC?

RE: African Airport Procedures

Mon Dec 02, 2002 3:05 pm

Dear Adam -
Lagos (or Luanda) like the majority of African airports are devoid of approach or terminal radars... same for enroute (ATC)... used to fly into Africa a lot... All approaches are flown "as published" by Jeppesen plates, or a cross between visual and instrument references depending on visibity and ceilings, and as applicable communications with other aircraft on approach and on departure as well...
South Africa, Northern Egypt (Cairo FIR) has good radar... My last time in Africa was with a 747F on cargo charter flights in 1999, I went to the following airports and do not recall any radars: Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Abuja, Accra, Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Harare, Khartoum, Dakar, N'Djamena, Douala...
These areas - still require "flying" IFR by the book...!
Sometimes nobody to talk to...
I landed at Sokoto (Nigeria), tower radio was inoperative...
Was a low pass, and look at the wind sock... with a 747...
Occasionally "fun" to fly, is it not...?
(s) Skipper (Hello to all from Manaus, Brasil)
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: African Airport Procedures

Mon Dec 02, 2002 9:46 pm

We fly into Banjul and in common with all airports with no radar (there are several in the Greek Islands too) we simply follow the published procedure for the approach we are flying, from the IAF once we are cleared to it (if it is not on the route already).

In Banjul (in The Gambia, West Africa) we join overhead, descend in a teardrop then inbound down to minima for the approach.

Of course if it's a gorgeous clear sunny day it's fine to get a bit of practice and do a visual hands-on approach. The short runways in the Greek Islands keep you good at it, and manual flying is so much fun after 3-4 hours of screen-watching! Just get a clearance to join downwind and all we are is a big Cessna. Something every pilot out there should practice every once in a while.
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
Posts: 1503
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:02 am

RE: African Airport Procedures

Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:08 am

Around most African airports there is not that much traffic necessitating the need for approach radar anyways. Also many approaches are pretty much straight in, as there aren't that many skyscrapers and the like.

Accra recently installed a terminal radar system which pretty much covers the southern area of Ghana, and it's FIR in Togo and Benin. I visited Accra Control once shortly after it was installed and witnessed four overflights in 4 hours.

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