Hon. Amaechi who was at the NCAA Annex Complex, MMIA Lagos in company of the Minister of State, Aviation, Hon. Hadi Sirika and other top officials of the ministry for the demonstration of the e-flight clearance module to stakeholders noted that as a Governor of Rivers State in the recent past, he personally encountered challenges trying to process manual flight clearance, the same way other pilots and airline agents did.
According to the minister, since the e-Flight Clearance can be processed online from anywhere in the world, without necessarily going to NAMA or NCAA offices, most of the delays would be removed from the system. ‘’What this software has done is that you can now manage your time better and make more money because time is money,” Amaechi said. He charged the media to be magnanimous in commending government whenever laudable milestones such as the e-clearance are attained, stressing that the development has given him and his entourage cause to be happy. He therefore congratulated the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for a job well done.
Also in his remarks, the Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman noted that the need to deploy technology in improving services necessitated innovation in the manner flight clearances are conducted, adding that the electronic clearance system apart from addressing bureaucratic problems associated with paper work will also “be able to identify all incoming flights and record them in real time using their tail numbers as well as recording the time they depart the Nigerian airspace.”
It will be recalled that the need to transit from the manual process of processing flight clearance to electronic became imperative following the myriad of challenges that dogged the old system. These included difficulty in tracing documents, unnecessary bureaucracy leading to waste of time as well as vulnerability of the system to manipulation to the detriment of national security.
It was therefore in a bid to mitigate or completely eradicate the above challenges that Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in 2014 commenced the process of developing the web-based software application as an alternative to the manual system.
According to the Deputy General Manager, NAMA Clearance Office, Mr Patrick Nebe, the e-Flight Clearance solution is a complete online real time business application which would among others ensure proper documentation of requests, eradicate violation of AOC provisions by aircraft operators, track local aerodrome movement of aircraft, track location of any aircraft in the country as well as generate local and international bills for each operation.