Air Navigation Services

The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority > Air Navigation Services

The Department of Air Navigations Services (DANS), being one of the three (3) pillars of the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), is responsible for the delivery of air navigation services within the Gambian airspace as per ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) set out in the aviation industry.  It ensures the provision of Air Traffic Services, Communication and Navigation Services, Meteorological Services for air navigation and Aeronautical Information Services within the Banjul control zone or airspace as well as Search and Rescue Services to ensure that assistance is rendered to aircraft or persons in distress.

The Department of Air Navigation Services comprises of the following office / units.

  • Office of the Director of Air Navigation – Office of DANS
  • Aeronautical Search and Rescue Services – SAR
  • Air Traffic Services – ATS
  • Aeronautical Information Services – AIS
  • Aeronautical Communication – Aero-Comms
  • Aviation Meteorological Coordination Services – Av-MET Coordination

The Office of DANS is responsible for the management, coordination and general operations of all five (5) units within DANS as it delivers safe and efficient air navigation services in accordance with ICAO standards and recommended practices. Charged with managing the affairs of the department, DANS office is responsible for coming up with an effective short-, medium- and long-term plan to help meet the changing dynamics of the aviation industry, spearhead policies and procedures that will address these changes, including mitigation measures that addresses consequential effects of those new changes within the industry.

The ATS unit is charged with the responsibility of providing Air Traffic Control services to aircraft, with the aim of preventing collision between aircraft in the air and on the ground including obstructions as well as expediting and maintaining an orderly flow of air traffic both on the ground and in the air. These services are provided within the Banjul airspace, extending horizontally to 20 Nautical Miles (NM) radius from the aerodrome reference point and vertically from ground level up to 5,500 feet or Flight Level 60.

The AIS Unit is responsible for ensuring the timely flow of Aeronautical Information necessary for the Safety, Regularity and Efficiency of National / International Air Navigation. The unit collects, collates, assembles, edits, formats, originates, publishes and distributes Aeronautical Information necessary for Safety, Regularity and Efficiency of Air Navigation within the Gambian airspace. These Aeronautical Information Services provided by the unit are in the form of packages consisting of elements such as AIPs including amended AIP Supplements, NOTAMs including list of valid NOTAMs, PIB and AIC checklists. The unit is also responsible for the filing of Flight plans and briefing of pilot and Airline Operator.

The Aero-Comms Unit is responsible for managing the transmission and reception of aeronautical telecommunication messages necessary for safety and efficiency of international air navigation. Aeronautical telecommunication service is a system of aeronautical fixed circuits provided for the exchange of messages and/or digital data between aeronautical fixed stations having the same or compatible communication characteristics. The Aero-Comms unit therefore ensures that communication relating to the safety and regularity of flights along national and international civil air routes are readily transmitted and received at all times.

The Av-MET Coordination Unit is charged with the facilitation of timely and accurate delivery of Aviation Meteorological (MET) products for international Air Navigation within the Gambia.

Under the ICAO convention, each contracting state is responsible for establishing Aerodrome MET Office to help meet the operational needs of those involved in international air navigation. These established MET offices shall be responsible for maintaining a continuous watch on the weather conditions affecting flight operations within their area of responsibility.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the state provider of MET Services within the Gambia. The DWR MET products are delivered to national and international flights by GCAA through the Department of Air Navigation Services. Hence the Av-MET Coordination unit, as the supervisory as well as the liaison between the state provider and the air navigation department of GCAA, is a key component in the Av-MET service delivery within the Gambian airspace.

The SAR Unit is responsible for the coordination of Aeronautical Search and Rescue services to persons in distress for the purpose of prevention, saving and reduction of loss of lives and property (where saving of lives and property is indivisible) in accordance with ICAO and IMO protocols and recommendations.

As a signatory and party to the ICAO convention, The Gambia accepted its responsibility of rendering assistance to persons, aircraft or its occupants that are or appears to be in a state of emergency within and around its territorial boundaries.

Hence, being a key stakeholder within the state’s aviation search and rescue operations, the SAR unit maintains close collaboration with other national and international institutions such as Gambia Maritime Administration (GMA), Gambia Navy, Gambia Fire and Rescue Services (GFRS), Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and Spanish Mission Control Center (SPMCC) for effective resource utilization and response coordination in the event of aircraft emergency within and around its boundaries.