Monday , 3 October 2022

Aftermath strike: Flights disrupted, passengers groan as NAMA announces restoration of normalcy

  • Air Peace, Dana, Green Africa others’ schedules affected

SEQUEL to the two weeks ultimatum issued and the commencement of a warning strike by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) which in three hours affected traffic and left thousands stranded, a truce has been brokered to halt the action and normalcy restored.


A statement signed by Managing Director NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu stated that the flow control embarked upon by NATCA members has been suspended to open a path for dialogue between the agency, the staff and the regulator.


NAMA’s statement Normal Flight Operations Resume at all Airports read,”The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) hereby wishes to inform the general public that following the intervention of NAMA management, normalcy has been restored, as the Flow Control, earlier embarked upon by members of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association today, the 23rd of November, 2021 has been suspended.


“The above suspension is to pave way for a follow-up meeting between NAMA management, Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the association, scheduled to hold later today.


Meanwhile, the agency reassured airspace users and the general public that the Nigerian airspace remains safe for seamless and economic air travel while also regret any inconveniences caused earlier today.


Already,the flow control by the ATCs which commenced from 0600UTC to 0900UTC today to register their displeasure at the current working environment of Controllers affected airlines  who put out statements to alert the public on their predicament.


Air peace in a statement told passengers that due to the ATC strike  all its domestic flights would experience delays while some will be cancelled due to sunset limitations, which was beyond the airline’s control.


It stressed that the industrial action is slowing down traffic flow as departure is paced by 20 minutes on the domestic flight.


Dana on its part, said it would do its best to alleviate the delays and it understands the negative impact the unannounced strike might have caused its passenger’s schedule while apologizing for the havoc it has wreaked


Green Africa Airways flight scheduled to depart Lagos for Akure at 1.34 pm was first cancelled, then rescheduled to 4.45 pm and then another notice of delay was sent to customers.


“Flight 318 from QOW to AKR scheduled for 23 Nov 2021 04:45:00 has been cancelled. This is due to an ongoing industrial action by Air Traffic Controllers. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you.”, the message to passengers read.


“Please be notified that your flight 307 from AKR to LOS will be delayed due to an industrial action by Air Traffic Controllers at some major Airports in the country today.”, another message reads.


The ATCs grouse rose from the reluctance of NAMA to fix their working conditions stressing that despite all entreaties from them, no action seems to be initiated to resolve any of the issues and this was heightened with the demise of Aniekan Inuk Effiong, an Assistant General Manager, Operations with NAMA.


The ATCs are also using the opportunity to reiterate several issues seen as anomalies  over the years  nudging  NAMA to correct them


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