From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
The efforts of Nigeria air traffic controllers contributed to the global feat of an accident free year 2017 achieved in aviation, NAMA Managing Director has disclosed.
Captain Fola Akinkuotu, helmsman of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) explained that the agency was the highest contributor in team of safety, irrespective of the fact that passengers and other users hardly see the NAMA personnel that ensure the timely direction and control of aircraft in person.
Speaking as guest of the ‘Gateway Forum’ organized by the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) at the international wing of the Lagos airport, he affirmed that without the timely provision of equipment by the agency, the country’s aviation is nothing.
He said “The zero accident in 2017 was a global achievement and it touched us here in Nigeria and we should all be happy for it. There is no passenger that leaves his house and wants to travel by air and his thoughts will not be that he will land safely.
“And we must strive to maintain it because the accidents we have had in the past have helped us to look at the issues, meet the challenges and act. That does not mean we should let down our guards and be complacent.
“But without NAMA, I tell you aviation will not be what it is today. Going back maybe 20, 30 years ago, if you wanted to land at the domestic terminal may be as pilots, you must you know that as you come from Iju where the Very High Frequency VHF Omni directional radio range (VOR) is located, at seven nautical miles from the airport, close to the airport, you cross Agege Motor road, every pilot knows Agege motor road and as you cross it, there is a Catholic church on the right which has green roof, once you saw those things, you knew you were in the neighbourhood.
“We are focused and who provides that guardian system? It is NAMA. Without Air Traffic Control we would be running into each other, who provides the control? Who is responsible? NAMA. So the contributions of NAMA towards an accident-free year are enormous, not often seen, sometimes not even very much appreciated but we are doing that which is our role and I think we are doing well. We are doing well, we are making great effort to ensure that we improve on it”, he explained.