International ATC Day: NATCA Restates Commitment To Duty

International ATC Day: NATCA Restates Commitment To Duty

“We will continue to strive to ensure optimum output in the discharge of our duties as Air Traffic Controllers.”

This declaration is contained in a goodwill message from the Office of the President of The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA). Mr. Abayomi Agoro on the occasion of the 2022 International Day of Air Traffic Controller.

The message further reads: “On the global calendar, the 20th of October is set aside as  International Day of Air Traffic Controller to celebrate Air traffic controllers across the world, we therefore have every reason to celebrate ourselves individually and collectively for the critical role played by air traffic controllers to achieve a higher SAFETY index which we all know is a critical component of air traffic system.

Safety is not just our watchword as Air Traffic Controllers but also the basic prerequisite for increasing flight efficiency – as exemplified by pilots, literally putting their own lives and the lives of their passengers in the hands of air traffic controllers.  Such a heavy reliance on the voices of the air traffic control system manned by the air traffic controllers make us quite unique as professionals in the chain of duties in the aviation sector.

The idea of a day to celebrate Air Traffic Controllers which was first muted in 1956 by Mr. Jacob Watchel, first chairman of the Israel Air Traffic Controllers’ Association, became a reality on the 20th of October, 1961 with the support of representatives from 12 different countries. As the we celebrate the 61st edition of the International Air Traffic controller Day, we have cause to look back with pride at our contributions to the aviation industry and the numerous achievements as a body of professionals saddled with the responsibility of directing air traffic on the ground at airport runways and taxiways; issuing landing and takeoff orders to pilots as well as monitoring the movement of planes through airspace.

At this period every year – 20th of October, on the occasion of the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller we deserve all the accolades for working  hard to ensure  safety in our air space.

In Nigeria today, an updated statistics indicate that Air Traffic Controllers work on schedule at  32 airports located   in  various  parts of the country 9 of which are  international airports; guiding about   100,000 flights and an  upsurge in passenger traffic, with no fewer than 18 million passengers now travelling the Nigerian airspace in a year.

There is never a time when the skies are not monitored by air traffic controllers. We work day and night, including weekends and holidays, to keep pilots and their passengers safe. We also direct planes during inclement weather and a variety of emergency situations.

On National Air Traffic Controller Day, we recognize these dedicated professionals for the ingenuity and skill they use to safeguard the country’s reputation for aviation excellence.

As we continue to discharge our safety duties, the International Air Traffic Controller Day, we should applaud ourselves for keeping Nigeria’s air travel system open, safe, and efficient. The dutiful and diligent efforts members NATCA has consistently help to bolster the aviation industry and by extension the nation’s economy.”

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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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