Air Navigation Services Directorate

The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority's Air Navigation Services Directorate has gone through difficult and at times turbulent situations to manage to attain its present status of performance in the communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management fields.

ICAO Eastern and Southern African Regional office today acknowledges the Air Navigation Services of Ethiopia as one of the best in terms of implementing the Regional Air Navigation Plan and so does the International Air Transport Association,IATA, although there are still some minor shortcomings to deal with.

Presently, more than 97% of the Ethiopian Airspace is covered by means of reliable Extended VHF radio communication system, linked to the Control center (by means of a VSAT satellite network and UHF Link. The Exchange of Data Messages is carried out by means of a fully automated system. Addis Ababa has been one of the ten main Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN) stations in the ICAO Africa and Indian Ocean Region and as such fulfilling its international obligations. . Therefore, to improve the service and to catch up with the ICAO plan that is extended to the future the implementation of the Extended ATS Message Handling system has replaced the existed AFTN system recently.

In terms of navigation aids, it deserves mention of the reliable ground based NAV facilities that provide service at the existing International and domestic airports in the country. There are five VOR/DMEs, a DVOR/DME, three Instrument Landing Systems - ILS and a number of NDBs in perfect operational status providing navigation services to the airports and for the en route phases of flights.

The service also has flight inspection and calibration of NAV AIDS and other landing aid system with own specialists and Automatic Flight Inspection system (AFIS).

The department has taken early advantage of GNSS by implementing same for en-route and terminal navigation. Non-precision RNAV instrument approach procedures based on GPS have been designed, validated and put into service since December 2002. No serious issues in terms of track deviation or satellite outage and RAIM warning have been reported to date.

To upgrade the service from procedural control to visual control the surveillance system has been implemented by installing the Primary and Secondary surveillance Radar at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport for terminal (approach) service. In addition, to provide the en route surveillance service covering the entire country air space six Automatic Dependent surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) systems are installed at the stations where the existing Extended VHF radio communication system are located and interlinked to Control center by VSAT satellite communication link.

To make the service efficient and reliable the Directorate implemented the redundant power supply by installing diesel generators and solar power supplies besides the commercial Hydroelectric power supply which is provided by EEPCO.

The Air Navigation Service Directorate accomplishes it duties with the support of five specialized process Directorates :

1. Air Traffic Services Directorate.

The key functions of this Directorate is to manage the airspace over the territory of Ethiopia, which includes:

  • To grant over flight and landing authorization for civilian flights,
  • Facilitate safe economical and unorderly follow of air traffic with in Addis Flight Information Region
  • Administer air traffic services facilities;
  • Over see air traffic control services in Ethiopia;
  • Lead investigation of Air Traffic Services occurrences and take such actions as to avoid future recurrences and establish a safety management system for ATS in Ethiopia.

2. Communication Navigation & Survilance Directorate

The function of the CNS Engineering Directorate is to ensure the reliability and availability of all CNS facilities at airports and in the Ethiopian air space.

  • Prepare project profiles and technical specifications for all CNS required facilities and prepare Aviation System Upgrade Block (ASBU) as per ICAO requirement.
  • Install, test and commission newly purchased CNS facilities.
  • To study operational aspects of all CNS Equipment and determine the mean time between failures (MTBF) as well as mean time to repair (MTTR).
  • Inspect, monitor and control the reliability and availability of CNS facilities.
  • Ensuring availability of spare parts for all CNS equipment to improve availability and efficiency of CNS facilities.
  • Provide technical trainings for CNS maintenance personnel on Communication and Navigation facilities.
  • Conduct routine and preventive maintenance of all CNS Equipment.
  • Maintenance of all ATS Communication, Navigation and surveillance Systems.
  • Flight check and calibrate all NAV Aids, PAPI and Approach lights.
  • Provide flight calibration service to Ethiopian airports enterprise and neighboring countries’ airports when requested.
  • Ensures all the services for the compliance with the standards and recommended practices (SARPS) of ICAO annex. 10.

3. Aeronautical Information Services( AIS) Directorate

  • Issuing NOTAMs, Circulars, AIP Supplement Monthly NOTAM summaries and check lists.
  • Publications of Aeronautical Information of a permanent character in the form an AIP and periodic amendment of same.
  • Receiving information from other sources and disseminate them to offices appropriately
  • Preparation of pre-flight information bulletins for pilot briefings.
  • Keeping AIPs of other countries current by processing their amendments duly.
  • Maintain a condusive environment to facilitate the navigation planning of pilots. (Plotting table, wall chart etc.)
  • Receiving flight plans, checking their proper entries and forwarding to Com. Operations and ATS on time.
  • Plan so as to fully automate the service locally and in accordance with the regional requirements

4. Search and Rescue Services Directorate

  • Responsible for the conduct and coordination of aircraft search and rescue operation within the Ethiopian SAR region.
  • In conjuction with Rescue Coordination Center (RCC), locate the distressed air craft/ship in which its postion is not known
  • Provide first aid, water and food for persons in distress until the operator takes over responsibility of them.

5. Air Space Management Directorate

  • Preparation of STAR, SID and ATS route charts based on the available air navigatin facilities.
  • Design of Instrument Approach, Departure and Arrival Procedures.
  • Assessment of obstacles within the vicinity of an airport within the airspace and give the approprate decisions.
  • Giving the necessary profesional support in the event of selection of a new site for airport/air strip
  • Preparation of air traffic control services procedures based on the ICAO rules and regulations