Controllers raise fear over airspace safety, workforce
Canvass better funding of NAMA
Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) yesterday bemoaned the perennial challenges in the Nigerian airspace and its management, maintaining that very little had changed in terms of safety concerns, inadequate and untrained workforce, among other issues facing the aviation sector.
On the occasion of the International Day for ATCs across the world yesterday, the controllers stated that the Federal Government and the Ministry of Aviation had a lot do in terms of their routine training and upgrade of facilities to enhance safety of flights and travellers.
Specifically, they requested for proper funding of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in proportion to the prevailing realities.
The Guardian reported recently that despite efforts at improving navigation infrastructure nationwide, the country’s airspace was waning in safety standards.
User pilots had complained about the challenge of untrained workforce as well as poor communication among the cockpits, navigational aids and the control towers, with higher likelihood of near misses and air collision between two or more operating aircraft in the sky.
The national president of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Abayomi Agoro, yesterday said the problems remain same – ranging from poor radio communications to surveillance systems, training and retraining.
He, however, pointed out that that the issues were not daunting, but added that with more commitment of his members to safety and support from the relevant authorities, the narrative could change in no time.
Agoro said the system was not that bad, but needed more funds from government to compliment NAMA in training the technical professionals in the industry.