ATCs Ask For Government, Agencies’ Synergy

ATCs Ask For Government, Agencies’ Synergy

The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers ’Association (NATCA) says “Synergy is needed between Federal/State Governments and various Aviation Parastatals in the area of projects and plans in order to have a goal oriented development in the aviation industry overall.”
This was part of the communiqué signed by NATCA President Abayomi Agoro and General Secretary, Rev. Agbonlahor Felix and issued after NATCA’s 50th Annual General Meeting/Conference held at the NAF Conference Hall and Suites, FCT, Abuja on from October 20th to 21st, 2021 with the theme: “Air Traffic Management, Safety and Emerging National Security Challenges”
The communiqué equally states that “the meeting acknowledged the giant and positive strides of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Aviation under the able leadership of Senator Hadi Sirika toward modernization of Nigeria’s Air Traffic Management system through provision of manpower, equipment and trainings.”
It further reads: “The dearth of ATC manpower, as a result of retirements and the increase in number of aerodromes in the country, including the proposed two new Area Control Centres (ACC) and 5 Approach Control units, exert immense pressure on the already overstretched ATCOs”
“ That in view of the recent upsurge of insecurity in the country, ATCOs have become vulnerable and susceptible to attacks and with the deterioration of health of ATCOs, in circumstances of which cannot be unrelated with job overload and the lack of comprehensive medical care at their disposal”
“The Provision of CNS/ATM Systems is heavily skewed towards Navigational equipment than Communication and Surveillance equipment. The huge investment in procurement and installation of ILS and DVORs across the country is NOT replicated in the improvement of Communications and Surveillance Infrastructure”
“ The welfare of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers in terms of medical allowances, remuneration and overall working condition such as ATC work environment, ATCOs Scheme of Service, the NAMA Conditions of Service and other issues relating to welfare of ATCOs in the services of NCAT has lingered for far too long without requisite action”
“ The current civil service rule on retirement at 60years of age or 35years of Service has a negative effect on the ATC manpower need of NAMA as most retiring ATCOs leave the system with valuable and needed experience and expertise while the system suffers acute shortage”
“That there is a pool of ATCOs with the required aerodrome and approach ratings converted into ATC from other departments of NAMA whose promotions/advancements are yet to be regularized. The meeting therefore resolved as follows:
1. There is need for the synergy between Governments (Federal and States) and the respective leadership of all Nigeria’s aviation agencies and other relevant agencies be maintained and improved through Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) to provide the requisite ATC manpower and infrastructures designed to suit ATC work environment as expounded by ICAO as more airports are being developed
2. That in addition to government’s spending on aviation infrastructures, aviation agencies (especially NAMA) should be allowed to plough back the revenues generated into improvement of critical infrastructure with emphasis on Communication, Surveillance and other safety critical areas
3. That the renaming and restructuring of the present Directorate of Operations in NAMA to Directorate of Air Traffic Management to reflect its real functions and in line with global best practices
4. That Air Traffic Controllers employed in all aviation agencies be immediately enrolled in an enhanced medical health and life insurance schemes that will meet their health needs
5. That urgent recruitment of at least 200 Air Traffic Controllers within the next two years is required to mitigate the acute shortage arising from attrition rate, increasing number of new aerodromes and expansion of Air Traffic Management System in the country
6. That the Federal Ministry of Aviation should take necessary steps to adjust the retirement age for Air Traffic Controllers in Nigeria to 40 years in service or 65 years of age (whichever is earlier) to mitigate the perennial acute shortage of ATC manpower in the country
7. That NAMA should, as a matter of urgency, liaise with the Federal Ministry of Aviation and relevant government bodies to correct the anomalies observed in the recently approved ATC Scheme of Service to allow for implementation in a bid to eliminate the stagnation of Air Traffic Controllers
8. That an immediate proper placement of ATCOs converted from other departments in NAMA should be facilitated with immediate effect in the spirit of equity and fairness
9. Federal Government to ensure continuous training and retraining of ATCOs to equip them with the right competency demanded by emerging technological advancement deployed in CNS/ATM for enhanced air safety

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Albinus Chiedu

Albinus Chiedu is a journalist, aviation media consultant, events management professional, and author. He has practiced journalism since 2000.

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