From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
To ensure effective and efficient control and management of the Nigerian Airspace, plans have reached advanced stage to increase the manpower capacity of Air Traffic Controllers in the country, NAMA disclosed yesterday in Kano.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA, Capt Fola Akinkuotu said the addition of such more hands is aimed at reducing the stress being encountered by ATCs in the discharge of their duties.
Akinkuotu was speaking at the 48th Annual General meeting of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association in Kano explained that the agency was working tirelessly to improve the welfare of workers and upgrade of facilities for optimal performance.
Represented by NAMA Director rector of operations Mr Patrick Lawrence Pwajok, he disclosed that the agency was in the process of commencing multilateration in the Gulf of Guinea in order to capture low level aircraft in that region.
Also, he reiterated that the emergence of drones has remained a challenge in the industry and urged aviators to rise up to the challenges posed by its emergence
Akinkuotu explained that the Lagos area was sectorized in order to enhance safety, adding that the agency was hoping to conclude the AIS automaton before the end of the year
He congratulated the ATCs on their 48th AGM and saying that the management was working hard to improve on their welfare
Akinkuotu commended the minister for the successes recorded globally and thanked the President Buhari for the approval of N10b for the Enugu Airport rehabilitation saying that navigational facilities have been improved upon.
In his welcome address, the president of Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association NATCA, Mr Abayomi Agoro has called on the Federal government to tackle a series of problems facing members of the association and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA
Agoro enumerated problems faced to include acute shortage of critical manpower, acquisition of new surveillance system and upgrade of present TRACON system to serve as back up and to address the dearth of special fund for ATC training
Others problems according to NATCA include the epileptic and unreliable communication equipment and the belated lingering approval of ATC new scheme of service to address the perpetual misunderstanding and unnecessary frictions capable of jeopardising the work between ATCs and others.
He said NATCA being mindful of the enormous responsibilities placed on its shoulders including the invaluable contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria’s air navigation system through the provision of qualitative and unparallel air traffic control services,there was a need to consolidate the much needed synergy between Pilots and ATCs in order to further improve the safety of the flying public.
He appreciated the contributions and efforts of the Minister of Aviation in changing the face of aviation in the country and management of NAMA for carrying the workers along.