The Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers Association, NATCA has appealed to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fast track the implementation of the regulatory framework guiding the operations of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems within the Nigerian airspace in line with international best practices.
The Association’s President, Mr. Victor Eyaru who made the appeal at its AGM/Conference with the theme: “Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Air Traffic Management” in Uyo the Akwa Ibom state capital, also called on the Federal Ministry of Transportation should, as a matter of urgency, see to the re-construction of the burnt Maiduguri Control Tower and the completion of the abandoned Kaduna control tower project to ensure the provision of Air Traffic Control services without compromising safety and standards.
While commending the ongoing efforts of the Honorable Minister of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika to upgrade critical Aviation facilities to encourage improved service delivery and air safety, Mr. Eyaru said members of the Association were disappointed and frustrated that the Federal Government had abandoned the taxiway-B and the runway 18L/36R lighting system at MMIA which had negatively impacted on the airport’s air traffic capacity and increased workload on the controllers.
He noted the NATCA, “Association is concerned with the absence of National Health Insurance Scheme for Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers. We call on all agencies concerned to implement this health insurance scheme without further delay”.
“NATCA supports the ongoing efforts of the NAMA management in the harmonization of NAMA staff salary with those of sister agencies due to the importance of the agency in the aviation industry, he added.
“NAMA Conditions of Service must be review without any further delay. No lip service approach will be accepted in this regards. For us as Air Traffic Controllers, we shall not hesitate to join other staff on this matter if and when our umbrella union, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) beckons on us”.
“The Association encourages the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to speed up the ongoing upgrade of the VHF Radios and other associated communication/surveillance facilities to meet with the required standards for sustenance of air safety;
“The frameworks, as a matter of urgency, should be established and implemented for adequate Air Traffic Control staffing by all employers of controllers, particularly NAMA and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT). Subsequently, NAMA should endeavor to recruit a minimum of 40 Air Traffic Controllers annually to bridge the existing manpower deficiencies”.
NATCA called on the Federal Government to expedite the needed processes towards to establishment of a befitting National Carrier for the country.
“NATCA supports this idea of a National Carrier. However, while the Federal Government is working to ensure that the new National Carrier becomes a reality, the issue of the payment of defunct Nigeria Airways’ workers should be completed without further delay. We are not unaware of but appreciate the recent approval of the Federal Government for the release of about N45 Billion to settle the defunct Nigeria Airways’ workers. Payment delayed further could be termed as payment denied”.