NAMA, committed to welfare of air traffic controllers – MD

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, says is committed to increasing the medical allowances of members of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA).

NAMA also said that it recently implemented the health insurance scheme for workers.

The Acting Managing Director, Mr Matthew Lawrence Pwajok said the medical allowance and health insurance were part of management’s response to the unacceptable increase in mortality rate among Air Traffic Controllers and as a measure to arrest incidences of fatal health issues among controllers.

Pwajok stated this in his welcome address at the association’s 51st annual general meeting/conference which held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, last week.

Represented by the Acting Director of Operations, Mr Haske Jibrin, Pwajok revealed that despite the challenging fiscal environment, management had conducted more professional, operational and specialized trainings for controllers lately.

He recalled that 16 Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) were trained in Basic Procedure Design and Airspace Planning in Cairo in the first quarter of 2022, just as 12 ATCOs were also trained in Nairobi, Kenya in Search and Rescue Mission Operation at about the same time, and another 8 ATCOs who were in Czech Republic for the Multilateration (MLAT) operational training much earlier in the year (2022).

The NAMA boss said all these trainings were part of the requirements for the development of capacity for the production of maps and charts including Visual Flight Rules (VFR) charts, in an effort to achieve a seamless conduct of the ICAO Universal Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).

The Acting MD also noted that as part of the agency’s strategic plan to ensure total voice and data communication coverage for the oceanic and remote continental parts of the Nigerian airspace, as well as sequential management of arrival and departure of air traffic at terminal phase of flight, NAMA had trained 16 ATCOs in the Phase II of Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) in Paris, France while an additional 12  are to undergo Search and Rescue Mission Coordinators’ Training course in Nairobi, Kenya.

Meanwhile, a total of 9 newly rated and licensed Air Traffic Controllers have been inducted by NATCA as full-fledged members of the association. They include 5 NAMA staff, 3 Army officers (to provide air traffic services at the air wing of the Nigerian Army) and 1 Air Force officer. The induction was sequel to the Basic Aerodrome and Approach training as well as flying experience at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT) Zaria. They also underwent on-the-job (OJT) for 6 months at major airports after which they sat for Aerodrome and Approach rating examination conducted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and were all successful.

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