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NATCA 50th AGM: NAMA , ATCs hold diverse views on ATC Scheme of service

NIGERIAN Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said it is doing its utmost to increase technical personnel including Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) across the country by converting non-technical staff in the system to technical staff and engaging many retired ATCs to boost their capacity.

This is just as the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is kicking that its efforts deployed to boost technical personnel  almost yielded the required result but was scuttled as some of the agreements were wrongly captured in the document released to NAMA as ATC Scheme of Service. NATCA cites internal politics; accuses HR as reason Nigeria lacks competent ATCs

The managing director of NAMA, Capt Fola Akinkoutu, who spoke at the 50th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in Abuja  with theme:  ‘Air Traffic Management, Safety and Emerging National Security Challenges’ expressed worry over high mortality rates recorded among ATCs in the last few years .

He said that the agency is tackling the dearth of technical personnel including Air Traffic Controllers by converting non technical staff in the system to technical staff while most of the retired ATCs were also engaged after their retirement.

However, in his welcome address, the president of NATCA, Abayomi Agoro called for the review of the ATC scheme of service as the ATC Scheme of Service was an issue that has lingered for too long adding that it will not be a bad idea if the issue was revisited with a view  to drawing the attention of the relevant authorities to have it resolved once and for all.

“NATCA Executive Council took it up head-on and we sincerely cannot shy away from admitting that identified solution to the problem required several journey and special interventions” NATCA charge government to employ 100 ATCs annually to adequately man airspace

“The numerous efforts deployed to the issue almost yielded the required result when a draft was agreed by all parties at a final meeting. However, in a twist of situation some of the agreements were wrongly captured in the document released to NAMA as ATC Scheme of Service. This came to us as a rude shock, and we have reacted to it accordingly in a letter to the Ministry of Aviation and other relevant agencies of government”

Agoro also expressed concern over the seemingly stalled NAMA Condition of Service (CoS) stressing that a major stakeholder in NAMA, NATCA drew the attention of the appropriate authorities to vital issues that challenges professionalism and threatens industrial harmony within the Agency in the negotiated draft of the staff Condition of Service (CoS).

“We raised these concerns purely in the interest of justice, equity and fairness. The roles of every professional in NAMA and the nature of licenses held by them are clearly stated in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) Part 11. We therefore urge NAMA management and all the relevant unions to urgently address this issue”

NAMA MD while speaking earlier said a lot has been done by the present management of NAMA adding that in a bid to address the issue of shortage of ATCs, while commending members of NATCA for their selfless service and sued for dialogue always to address all pending NATCA issues amicably

He also revealed that government has provided funds for the upgrade of safe towers in the country  and has said that aeronautical allowances of workers  is to be enhanced to reflect the current economic situation in the country.

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