Friday , 7 October 2022
Some executive members of NAAPE during the press briefing. From left: First Vice President Pilots,Captain Dukas Yakubu Bobai, President NAAPE, Engineer Abednego Galadima and First Vice President Engineers, Engineer Adebayo Oluyemi

Pilots, Engineers threaten to shut down airspace over Aero workers’ treatment

  • supports National carrier, airport concession

THE new executives of the National Aircraft Association of Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has risen to condemn in total the situation in troubled airline, Aero Contractors and has vowed to commence a nationwide strike to press home their displeasure at the inhuman treatment in the airline.

The aircraft association made this known in a press briefing at the weekend where it alleged that the Aero management under the guiding hand of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON) threw out the workers without paying them their redundancy benefits which has been cut down due to the airline’s abysmal financial health.

Comrade Abednego Galadima, the new NAAPE president who expressed displeasure at this most recent action stated that the association will call on a nationwide strike.

He said,” The declaration of redundancy by the management was a bitter pill to swallow…it was indeed, with much pain that the unions eventually negotiated a redundancy package on behalf of the workers. This was after we persuaded ourselves to accept this burden as a further sacrifice needed to avoid the complete crash of the airline.”

“Worse still, the airline’s poor financial health meant that redundant employees could only be offered pittance and so we were left with no choice but to accept the worst possible redundancy package for our members to demonstrate our desire to see the airline though the prevailing travails.”

“Now, however, the    Receiver Manager of Aero Contractors, under the prompting of AMCON, has crossed the line by his unguided action of unilaterally throwing the workers affected by the redundancy exercise out without paying their benefits, even as meagre as these benefits are. This is a most wicked impunity and will not be allowed to stand,” Galadima said.

He declared: “Accordingly, and in defense to the rights of workers of Aero Contractors, NAAPE has decided to declare a nationwide strike in demonstration of our abhorrence of this inhuman treatment meted to the unfortunate Aero workers.”

“This strike will commence at a soon to be announced date after we finalize consultations with other aviation unions, our friends in NUPENG, NUEE and other friendly unions.”

To forestall this, Galadima called on the Federal Government through all its apparatus to prevail on AMCON to do the needful with regards to the rights of the Aero workers so as to avert an imminent crisis.

NAAPE also expressed its support for the establishment of a privately driven national carrier and for the concession of four international airports but stated that government must settle all labour issues as far as workers of the airports are concerned.

Galadima, in his statement said,” NAAPE’s support for a national carrier is premised on the fact that only by such means can a carrier of mega status be birthed in Nigeria to offer the nation competitive edge against the onslaught of other global carriers whose present competitive advantages rob the country of the economic benefits of its natural aviation related endowments.”

“NAAPE is also in staunch support of Federal Government’s effort to concession four international airports. NAAPE believes that government is too constrained of funds, considering the numerous social demands, to be able to fund airport development to the desired level of international competitiveness, whereas such level is urgently needed to drive Nigeria’s desire to become the West African aviation hub.”

He further stated that the issue of concession is a fait accompli by virtue of the agreements entered into as part of china’s involvement in the ongoing airport building.

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  1. NIGERIA AT THE BRINK OF LOSING ITS UNITED STATES FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION ( FAA) CATEGORY ONE STATUS DUE TO POOR CONDITION OF SERVICE AND REMUNERATION FOR AVIATION SAFETY INSPECTORS AND AIR SAFTY INVESTIGATORS.

    The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) considers the current remuneration of Aviation Safety Inspectors and Air Safety Investigators of the NCAA and AIB respectively very disheartening.

    It is of grave concern that the agencies are clearly unable to attract, hire or retain qualified and experienced pilots and engineers due to the poor remuneration and Conditions of Service for the Aviation professionals, whereas “Availability of adequate qualified technical personnel is Critical Element 4 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Eight Critical Elements of a State’s Safety Oversight System”.

    ICAO document 9734 on the Staffing Requirements in a State Civil Aviation System states that “To effectively fulfil its responsibilities, the State civil aviation system must be properly organized and staffed with qualified personnel capable of accomplishing the required wide range of technical duties involved in safety oversight. Furthermore, they should also enjoy conditions of service and remuneration consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience and comparable to the operator’s staff whose activities they will inspect and supervise”. Also, ICAO document 9756 Part 1 Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation Chapter 2 section 2.4 reiterated the need for qualified, well trained and motivated personnel. The worldwide standard is for the CAA’s Inspector and Air Safety Investigator to earn more or, at the least, be at par in earning with the aviation technical staff in their States.

    In tandem with the stated ICAO direction, ICAO document 8335, Part 1, Chapter 6, Paragraph 5.3 says “Furthermore, the CAA Inspectorate staff should enjoy conditions of service and remuneration consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience and comparable to the operator’s staff whose activities they will inspect and supervise.” Similarly, the NCAA Technical Guidance Material (TGM) Vol. IV Chapter 16 section 3.4 states that “Airworthiness Inspectors should have educational and technical experience qualifications that compare favourably with the maintenance personnel they will inspect or regulate. Furthermore, they should also enjoy terms and conditions of service consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience comparable to those personnel they will inspect and supervise”.

    From 21st August, 2017, the United State’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be carrying out IATA Audit of Nigeria in order to determine if the Category 1 Status of Nigerian Aviation could be retained. In the checklists that would be used by FAA for this audit, question No. 3.207 asked “ How does the CAA technical staff’s technical remuneration and conditions of service compared to that of comparable personnel in Industry? It is noteworthy and necessary to recall the fact that the State of India was unable to retain their Category One Status in 2014 due to inadequate qualified Inspectors because of poor remuneration. And NAAPE does not want NCAA and Nigeria to fall into this category.

    Please find below the Salary Package of some CAAs:

    S/N CAA’S SALARY OF INSPECTORS
    1 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) $179,700.00 per annum
    2 United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) $170,500.00 per annum
    3 Transport Canada $175,600.00 per annum
    4 South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) $155,900.00 per annum

    Also find below the Salary Package of some Nigerian Operators:

    S/N NIGERIAN OPERATORS SALARY OF ENGINEERS
    1 Execujet Nigeria Limited N1,100,000.00 Per Month
    2 Aero Contractors Company Of Nigeria Limited N1,500,000.00Per Month
    3 Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited N1,200,000.00 Per Month
    4 Caverton Helicopters N1,500,000.00Per Month
    5 Nest Oil Aviation N2,000,000.00 Per Month
    6 Dornier Aviation N1,600,000.00 Per Month

    From the above stated tables, if compared and contrasted with the salaries of the other CAAs and Operators, it will be seen that a very huge difference exists which makes it practically impossible for NCAA and AIB to retain its Inspectors and Investigators respectively, or to recruit qualified technical staff as Inspectors and Investigators based on such poor remuneration.

    In view of the above, and in order to remedy the worrisome situation, the following recommendation is hereby presented for the Honourable Minister’s kind consideration.

    S/N ALLOWANCE ACTUAL(PERMONTH) RECOMMENDED(PERMONTH)
    1 License Allowance N20,000 per rating N150,000 per rating
    2 Enroute Allowance 10%of Basic Salary N200,000
    3 Certification Allowance 10%of Basic Salary N50,000
    4 Credential Allowance – N750,000
    5 Difficult Terrain Allowance – N200,000

    It is important at this point to point out that Aviation Safety Inspector’s remuneration is at the same level with that of the Air Safety Investigator. In other words, this request applies equally to NCAA and AIB. Fortunately, both organisations operate the same Conditions of Service presently.

    We, therefore, prayerfully request the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Transport, Minister of State for Aviation, Head of Civil Service and other persons concerned, by directing the Managements of NCAA and AIB to conclude discussion with NAAPE urgently, with a view to reaching a favourable agreement on the issue.

    With the highest regard,

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