AVIATORS have been charged to take cognizance of the changing environment and gear up to tackle the challenge that drones and other unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) bring to the table.
This call was made by Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA, Capt Fola Akinkuotu at the 48th Annual General meeting of NATCA in Kano where he said the emergence of drones has remained a challenge in the industry and charged aviators to look at ways to cohabit through stringent regulations.
Capt Akinkuotu who was represented by the director of operations Mr Patrick Lawrence Pwajok also says the agency has concluded plans to employ more ATCs to reduce the stress encountered in the discharge of their duties.
Akinkuotu also explained that NAMA was in the process of commencing multi-lateration in the Gulf of Guinea in order to capture low level aircraft in that region.
Akinkuotu explained that the Lagos area was sectorized in order to enhance safety adding that the agency was hoping to conclude the AIS automaton before the end of the year
He congratulated the ATCs on their 48th AGM and saying that the management was working hard to improve on their welfare
Akinkuotu commended the minister for the successes recorded globally and thanked the President Buhari for the approval of N10b for the Enugu Airport rehabilitation saying that navigational facilities have been improved upon.
In his welcome address, the president of Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association NATCA, Mr Abayomi Agoro has called on the Federal government to tackle series of problems facing members of the association and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA
Agoro enumerated problems faced to include acute shortage of critical manpower, acquisition of new surveillance system and upgrade of present TRACON system to serve as back up and to address the dearth of special fund for ATC training.
Others problems according to NATCA include the epileptic and unreliable communication equipment and the belated lingering approval of ATC new scheme of service to address the perpetual misunderstanding and unnecessary frictions capable of jeopardizing the work between ATCs and others.
He said NATCA being mindful of the enormous responsibilities placed on its shoulders including the invaluable contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria’s air navigation system through the provision of qualitative and unparalleled air traffic control services, there was need to consolidate the much needed synergy between Pilots and ATCs in order to further improve safety of the flying public.
He appreciated the contributions and efforts of the minister of Aviation in changing the face of aviation in the country and management of NAMA for carrying the workers along.