Air traffic and navigation services (ATNS) South Africa is an active participant in the African Indian-Ocean (AFI) planning and implementation regional group eighteenth meeting (APIRG/18) to be held in Kampala, Uganda, from 27-30 March 2012.

On the 27 March 2012, as part of this conference, ATNS will be inaugurating the much-awaited NAFISAT maintenance management centre (MMC) master back-up terminal, at a special gala dinner near the Entebbe International airport, Uganda.

Air navigation services providers (ANSPs) and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) in Africa, aviation industry experts, delegates from the international air transport association (IATA) and the international civil aviation organization, have confirmed their attendance.

The terminal entails a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) able to provide monitoring and timing functions for the NAFISAT and SADC/2 VSAT networks in the unlikely event that the master terminal in Johannesburg should fail. The NAFISAT MMC master back-up terminal is located at Entebbe, Uganda.

Installation of the terminal was completed on 4 October 2011. On-site training during installation for the CAAU (civil aviation authority of Uganda) engineers/engineering technicians was also completed successfully.

This terminal also prevents sun interference from interrupting the SADC/2 and NAFISAT network services, which occurs twice annually and lasts for 4 – 6 minutes. It further acts as a monitoring terminal for the networks, should a problem be experienced in Johannesburg.

The VSAT Manager and his team of technicians, located at OR Tambo International Airport, are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the terminal. It uses the latest VSAT technology in compliance with the best practices as well as the requirements stipulated by ICAO. It is rated similarly to the latest and best VSAT technology used globally.