Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) has called on government to restructure agencies and parastatals in aviation with a view to eradicate duplication of departments and directorates as against the originally designed structures.
Speaking at the 44th annual general meeting and conference of NATCA held in Akure, Ondo State the president of NATCA Mr. Victor Eyaru also called on the federal government to reduce corruption and wastages in the system by extending the current probe in the oil industry to the aviation sector. According to Eyaru, air traffic controllers formed only 12 percent of the total staff strength of NAMA as against 45 and 70 percent for other sister organisation outside the country, saying it was the reason for paucity of fund in the agency slowing down timely renewal of facilities and training of core aviation professionals in Statutory areas to ensure proficiency in air safety. NATCA urged the federal government to extend most of the airports aprons, complete abandoned terminal buildings and create more jobs in view of the coming of a new national carrier. They decried the abandonment of Lagos airports taxiway for more than six years adding that it has reduced the capacity of the airport and prevented aircraft from accessing vital areas of the country’s business airport. According to NATCA president, ”It is ripe here to call on the Federal government to urgently address issues bothering on the construction of a new control tower for Kaduna airport to replace the one that got burnt on 20th April 2014” Eyaru explained that the fire watch room where ATCS was provided for at the airport was unsafe since there was no proper view of the manoeuvring areas as required by ICAO. He warned that unnecessarily delay in completing the Aeronautical Information Services Automation project may have undermined its usefulness to the system as most of technologies in the industry will become obsolete soon. NATCA frowned over the ways trainings of their members in NAMA has been handled over the past three years saying it was scary that their training has been toiled with under the complaint of lack of funds. They noted that within the past three years that no single ATC has been trained in Radar Control despite the commitment of NAMA to the provision of 24 hours Radar Control Services by August 2015. “Only 40 out of 300 have been trained in Performance Base Navigation thereby hampering its scheduled provision with effect from December 2012 with the airspace, more trained in Aeronautical search and rescue for more than 5 years”