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NAMA to enhance aeronautical allowances of workers

.. as govt approves funds for safetowers

Aeronautical allowances of workers of the Nigerian Airspace and management agency NAMA is to be enhanced to reflect the economic situation in the country.

The managing director of NAMA, Fola Akinkoutu, who disclosed this in his remark at the 50th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in Abuja said, NAMA was was worried over the death rate recorded among ATCs in the last few years in the country saying that the Management was alive to its responsibility in areas of workers welfare.

Akinkoutu explained that a lot has been done by the present management of NAMA adding that in a bid to address the issue of shortage of ATCs, NAMA converted non technical staff in the system to technical staff while most of the retired ATCs were also engaged after their retirement.

He also disclosed that government has provided funds for the upgrade of safe towers in the country adding that NAMA was unrelenting to achieve its goals

The NAMA boss while commending members of NATCA for their selfless service and sued for dialogue always to address all pending NATCA issues amicably.

Hamisu Yadudu, the managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in his goodwill message, acknowledged the contributions and the role of ATCs and urged stakeholders to celebrate them.

Yadudu, noted that the hallmark of Aviation is safety stressing that no safety, no aviation industry.

The FAAN boss also highlighted the need for effective communication and between the cockpit and aircraft.

In his welcome address, the president of NATCA, Abayomi Agoro, said they now have a sigh of relief, seeing that the aviation industry was gradually coming back on track from the scare of the Covid pandemic.

Agoro called on the government to reciprocate the good gestures and sacrifices made by the service providers and safety personnel in the aviation industry as appropriate, by looking into the various challenges in the industry with a view to finding lasting solutions to them.

He reiterated their MAYDAY call for the review of the ATC scheme of service as the ATC Scheme of Service was an issue that has lingered for too long adding that it will not be a bad idea if the issue was revisited with a view to drawing the attention of the relevant authorities to have it resolved once and for all.

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“The NATCA Executive Council took it up head-on and we sincerely cannot shy away from admitting that the identified solution to the problem required several journeys and special interventions”

“The numerous efforts deployed to the issue almost yielded the required result when a draft was agreed by all parties at a final meeting. However, in a twist of situation some of the agreements were wrongly captured in the document released to NAMA as ATC Scheme of Service.

This came to us as a rude shock, and we have reacted to it accordingly in a letter to the Ministry of Aviation and other relevant agencies of government”

Agoro, however expressed concern over the seemingly stalled NAMA Condition of Service (CoS) stressing that a major stakeholder in NAMA, NATCA drew the attention of the appropriate authorities to vital issues that challenges professionalism and threatens industrial harmony within the Agency in the negotiated draft of the staff Condition of Service (CoS).

“We raised these concerns purely in the interest of justice, equity and fairness. The roles of every professional in NAMA and the nature of licenses held by them are clearly stated in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) Part 11. We therefore urge NAMA management and all the relevant unions to urgently address this issue”

He urged the management of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria to create the enabling environment to iron out the welfare issues raised by NATCA raised with the former rector.

Agoro stressed the need for the improvements on the state of CNS facilities in NAMA and the need to review ATCOs retirement age/ length of service.

“Going by the recommendation of a committee set up by NCAA as captured in the communiqué released at the last AGM, NATCA in conjunction with the Directorate has formally requested an upward review of the age validity for ATC license holder from sixty (60) to sixty-five (65) years. This has been granted by the DG and we sincerely thank the Authority for it.”

Agoro said there was the need to match the length of service with age to mitigate the acute shortage of Air Traffic Controllers, especially with the emerging airports and airlines.

He noted that scheduled training for 2020 was hindered by the Covid but said NATCA has engaged the Directorate of Operations to resume trainings for both local and international.

“We note with satisfaction the recently graduated Radar course at NCAT. The Area Airways Procedural (ACC-39) as well as AC-72 and 73 are ongoing. Basic PANS Ops is also ongoing in Cairo and CPDLC has been approved. We commend the Management for this feat and wish it continues in that manner”

The theme of the 50th AGM is ‘Air Traffic Management, Safety and Emerging National Security Challenges’.

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