ONLY 97 licensed communications personnel are grossly inadequate to man the nation’s 24 functional airports, if the words of the National Air Traffic Communicators Association of Nigeria (NACAN) are anything to go by.
The group decried the inadequate number of its personnel during the opening ceremony of NACAN 4th annual general meeting in Lagos, recently.
President, Mr Nkambo George who made this known also stressed the need for the provision of Aeronautical fixed telecommunications network, a ground to ground operation for safe, efficient, economic air navigation said, some stations like Kebbi, Bauchi and Dutse lacked the facilities.
According to the NACAN president, there was no employment into the department between 1989 and 2012 and appealed to the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA to approve the basic training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria for officers to be properly integrated into the mainstream to boost the acute manpower shortage in the department.
Nkambo, noted that NAMA as an air navigation service provider has the responsibility of rendering its task with high sense of professionalism but said it was sad that certain elements in the agency were bent to merge or integrate two operational departments saddled with distinct functions as outlined by Annexes of ICAO
He disclosed that the department was constantly threatened to the extent that all mandatory local and foreign courses ought to have attended for currency and provision of safety service to the flying public have been put on hold for more than five years even when there was budgetary allocation for such courses.
The NACAN president explained that Air Traffic Communication was important part of air traffic service in NAMA as spelt out in ICAO Annex 10 volume I I which was necessary for exchange of air traffic service messages.
Nkambo commended the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA for converting some personnel from within that applied for conversion after meeting the requisite criteria for it.