NACAN Frowns At Politicking In NAMA, Says It Is A Time Bomb
The President of the National Air Traffic Communicators Association of Nigeria (NACAN) has condemned what he calls undue politicking going on in some directorates in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) saying it is a time bomb and appealing to the Minister of Aviation & Aerospace and all the aviation stakeholders to as a matter of urgency, rescue the Air Traffic Communications Department from extinction due to Air Traffic Service Directorate’s undue interference
The President of NACAN, Alhaji Rabiu Mohammed Sani, who made this appeal in Kano while delivering his welcome address at the 10th NACAN AGM, revealed that politics was being played by some few individuals within the directorate who prioritize their selfish interests above the interest of the system and above the interest of the nation.
Sani noted that the same game played out few years ago when the responsibility of transmitting Air Traffic Safety Messages like flight plans, was ceded to a wrong department in the agency and that caused cases of flight plans getting missing.
“In fact, it generated a global catastrophe until this profession took up the matter with the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to have a lasting solution to it. As I speak, the ATS Directorate is at it again”
He revealed further that recently, a department which statutorily has nothing to do with transmission through Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN) as they were not trained to do so, was being directed to henceforth assume that responsibility.
According to him, the ugly trend remains a time bomb, if left unchecked and will give Nigeria’s aviation industry a negative image before ICAO as well as the international community and should be reversed with immediate effect to avert imminent disaster.
“Aeronautical Communicators undergo a rigorous 44 weeks class work at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, 4 weeks field attachment and after graduation, they undergo a 6 months logging under the supervision of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), undergo NCAA examinations before being licensed in accordance with ICAO ANNEX 1 (Personnel Licensing)”
He accused the directorate of choosing to take sides instead of doing the right thing by calling those involved to order, disregarding the trainings of Aeronautical Communicators and those licensed to operate Communications Equipment as enshrined in ICAO Annex 10 Vols II & III.
Sani further appealed to the Director, Air Traffic Services to reconsider the action taken in the interest of the flying public, the agency and the nation.
He decried non completion of the ATS Message Handling System (AMHS) installations project which commenced many years ago in the four major airports of Kano, Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
According to him it is a development that requires urgent attention and close monitoring as well as proper engagements by the NAMA management team and aviation ministry.
“It will interest you to know that the AMHS equipment we are struggling to install in Nigeria for over a decade has since been installed in Kenya, Niamey and in most of the Nigerian Flight Information Regions (FIRs) and ICAO Contracting states.”
Sani explained that as the Nigerian airspace experienced growth and expansion resulting from increase in flight activities, ICAO recommended the transition from Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN) to ATS Message Handling System (AMHS) in order to achieve improved service delivery considering the sensitivity of these services to the safety and security of the flying public.
He appreciated the contributions of Kano State Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf for his unwavering support, and as the first Governor in Nigeria that earmarked over 30% of Kano budgetary allocation for Education alone.
Sani also appreciated Mai Mala Buni, the Executive Governor of Yobe state whose administration sponsored her candidates to read Aeronautical Communications at the Nigerian College of Aviation, Zaria and today, they are on the payroll of NAMA.