Friday 12 October 2012

Aviation Minister lauds Air Traffic Controllers.

By Lateef Lawal.

The Minister of Aviation Princess, Stella Adaeze Oduah has charged Air Traffic Controllers to continue to remain dedicated to the service of nation by discharging their duties effectively.

In her address at the 41st Annual General Meeting and conference held in Makurdi, Benue State, Princess Oduah noted that the controllers have a great role to play in achieving the envisaged airport growth.
According to Princess Oduah who was represented by her technical adviser, Victor Elias Oche said, the controllers played a very vital role in the last DANA crash in Lagos with directions in search and rescue during the exercise. 
The management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency [NAMA] also at the same event said that the welfare of the Air Traffic Controllers remained paramount in the establishment.
Speaking the occasion, the Managing Director of NAMA, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh explained that their plights regarding workload were being taking very seriously to ensure that all their working tools were provided.
Mazi Udoh represented by the director of Air Traffic Safety Electronic Services, Engr. Ifeanyi Nwankwo said the role of the controllers cannot be ignored adding that the agency was on course by training ATC inspite of the huge financial commitment and ensuring that the AIS automation will be completed by the end of this year.
Delivering his opening address, the chairman of the occasion, Hon Bala Na Allah a former deputy chairman house committee on Aviation, said the aviation industry remained the most industry for economic development.
Hon Na Allah stressed the need for all parastatal chiefs to attend aviation conference organized by associations in the sector to brain storm on issues affecting the sector.
He stressed the need for government to always look into the condition of service for Air Traffic Controllers describing them as hardworking and tireless people adding that the country’s airspace has continued to be dependable and safe.
In his welcome address, the outgoing president of NATCA, Haske Jibrin called on the management of NAMA to upgrade and renew its communication, navigation and surveillance infrastructures and the urgent need to improve the funding of such equipment.
Jibrin who also called for the implementation of enhanced professional allowances for controllers in NAMA, NCAA and NCAT noted that since 2011 when NATCA demanded for the upward review existing allowances nothing has come out from the management adding that the agreement provided a periodical review.
He commended the government for the intervention in the funding of TRACON project, Total VHF coverage project and the Aeronautical Information management and called for their completion before the end of the year.
The NATCA boss called on all airlines operating in the country to support safe and efficient air traffic services in the country by timely paying all applicable charges.
Jibrin noted that NATCA in the past five years has agitated for more manpower and expressed delight over the engagement of new hands for the ATC in the last three years adding that three sets of ATCO cadets have passed out of NCAT and were under taking on the job training in various stations across the country.
“While these steps will assist in meeting the vital and critical challenge of developing adequate human capacity in ATC, we call on NAMA management to change the practice of sponsoring ATC cadets on training at NCAT instead of direct recruitment.”
While calling on controllers to rededicate themselves to the cause of professionalism and strict adherence to the stipulated rules and procedures of air traffic control at all time urged aviators to keep to only the standards and recommended practices in discharging their assigned duties and responsibilities as it will greatly enhance safety and reduce unnecessary human errors and incidents.
Theme of this year’s conference was ‘Air Traffic Control in Aviation Safety Metrics: the Measurable and the Unmeasurable’. 
In his goodwill message the presidents of ATSSSAN and NACAN Comrade Benjamin Okewu and Philip Aderesoye described the ATC as the backbone of the airspace management in the country adding that their welfare should not be toy with in the interest of the nation.
According to the union leaders, the ATC remained the eye of the industry and challenged them to do more in terms of cohesion 
The occasion was attended by prominent aviation union leaders and representative of chief executives. 

Courtesy: Nigerian Aviation News.


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