Federal Government has pledged to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the aviation industry in a bid to ensure the continuous safety and seamlessness of air navigation in the country.
Hadi Sirika, minister of state, aviation, who made this remark Monday while declaring open the 29th International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association (IFATCA) Africa and Middle East Regional Meeting in Abuja, said government was prepared to partner the international body of air traffic controllers in a bid to ensure safe skies both in Nigeria and globally “given that the job of an air traffic controller is both crucial and critical to the overall safety of air travel.”
Sirika noted that in its determination to ensure that air traffic controllers are proficient in their job, there has been a deliberate and aggressive effort by government in the area of operational manpower training and retraining stressing that a total number of 86 air traffic controllers have been trained and employed under his watch while 46 are currently undergoing training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, even as another set of 40 air traffic controllers trained by the Kano State government have been absorbed into the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
The aviation minister also said as part of effort to make the job of air traffic controllers more efficient and less cumbersome, government had earlier deployed ADS-C/CPDLC (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract/ Controller Pilot Data Link Communication) both in Kano and Lagos Area Control Centres (ACCs).
Earlier in his welcome address, Victor Eyaru, president of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), said the gathering would “focus mainly on intensifying efforts to achieving unbroken air safety within our region and beyond and this requires the collaborative effort across the borders to ensure seamless, safe and efficient air navigation.”