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Air traffic engineers decry lack of spare parts for navigational, communication equipment at airports


Lagos airportMembers of the National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE) have decried the absence of spare parts for equipment across the nation’s airports. Speaking at the occasion marking the 33rd NAAE annual celebration in Lagos, the national president of NAAE Ebenezer Makanjuola, an engineer, explained that the lack of spare parts has negatively affected the performance of equipment at the airports in the country.

“Our greatest challenge today is spare parts, spare parts for our navigational equipment, communications equipment and we are facing this today because of the lacuna in the system, government is aware of it and it is not doing anything about it” Acknowledging the ageing equipment, Makanjuola said there can never be a perfect system, adding that there are bound to be failure in every system hence there are professionals to attend to them in times of need.

He appealed to the government as a matter of urgency to expedite action for the clearance of Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) equipment still at Lagos seaports, so the AIS automation project can take off. 
“AIS automation ought to have started long ago but due to bureaucracy in the system. We are appealing to Government to expedite action on the AIS project.” Makanjuola revealed that there have never been any accident traceable to air traffic engineers as a result of negligence in the past 25 years.

The NAAE president noted that over 20 engineers will be retiring this year from NAMA but added that there was no cause for alarm as management has been training and retraining people to take over from the ageing professionals.

“The gap will not be too much felt and there will be no deficiency in the system as regards manpower development,” he stated. He assured the flying public that the Nigerian airspace is safe, secured and reliable and that people should ignore any negative statement about the airspace, adding that only the user will tell when equipment is not functioning.

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