The National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE) is alleged to be upset over what they call called’robbing Peter to pay Paul’ by the Management of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA.
Investigations revealed that the recent death of an air traffic controller at the Abuja Airport few days ago sparked off agitations from the ATCs which led to the declaration of a two day warning strike across the five international airports in the county.
But in a swift reaction, the Management of NAMA called for a meeting where peace was brokered and the controllers called off the warning strike.
NATCA, before the agreement was reached between them and NAMA management, presented their demands which they compelled NAMA management to meet in a fortnight as failure will lead to industrial action.
In a bid to save face from international embarrassment, NAMA management succumbed to one of the controllers demand of providing a vehicle for air traffic controllers in Abuja because it was learnt that at the time the late controller slumped, there was no single vehicle attached to the tower to rush the victim to the hospital.
Giving controllers operational vehicle at the tower investigation revealed was a welcome development but air traffic engineers are crying out over the manner their vehicles were ‘hijacked’.
Anonymous engineer in the system, who narrated the genesis of the alleged vehicle hijack in NAMA said it was robbing Peter to pay Paul as the vehicle in question belonged to a special engineering project being financed by the Federal Executive Council.
The source said in as much as they were in solidarity with NATCA over their demands, it was wrong by the Management of NAMA to divert a vehicle that came as a package with a project in the agency.
“It is a total package and it came with the project and can not be detached from the project and divert it to air traffic controllers.
“Mobile tower came with three vehicles and the management held them back but decided to move one to NATCA”.
It was further gathered that one of the vehicles was also diverted to procurement, a department the source said was never in need of such vehicle.
According to sources close to NAAE, nobody was against giving of vehicles to NATCA but it must serve the purpose for which it was meant.
The sources warned that should management fail to address the engineers challenges, they will embark on a mother of all strike to paralyse the agency and Airspace by switching off its equipment.
A top management staff of the Agency who pleaded anonymous, said he was not aware of the development.