The Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Fola Akinkuotu, has assured that the controversial condition of service for the agency’s workers will be reviewed, adding that the Federal Government has completed modalities for the exercise.
NAMA workers had for several months since 2015 threatened to down tools over alleged poor welfare package. Most of the workers are Air Traffic Controllers (ATC).
The agreement was in respect of the vested additional emoluments for the critical job they do as controllers.
NAMA said it had forwarded the demand of NATCA to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Aviation and that members of the association would be carried along during the process.
This is coming as economic activities in the ancient city of Benin, the Edo state capital, has received a boost, following the commissioning of Category II Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Benin airport recently installed by NAMA.
Speaking, Akinkuotu said this was in line with an earlier pledge by the agency to upgrade navigational infrastructure in strategic airports across the country in a bid to boost socio-economic activities in such areas.
He also hinted that in the same vein, installation of CAT II ILS would commence at Maiduguri, Jos and Minna airports in the northern parts of the country.
Akinkuotu informed staff that in line with management’s objective to maintain a healthy and productive workforce, the agency had concluded plans to enrol NAMA into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the next two months.
The NAMA boss expressed gratitude to management and staff of the agency for the support and cooperation accorded him over the past two years of his ascendancy as managing director, saying that whatever successes his administration has recorded could not have been without the individual and collective effort of NAMA workers.
While cautioning staff to desist from frivolous expenses, he enjoined them to “put in more effort to move NAMA to the next level,” stressing that the agency would recognise hard work by giving special awards to deserving members of staff.
The agency recently said it had in the last 18 months embarked on the upgrade of navigational infrastructure in strategic airports in the country, such as the Category II Instrument Landing Systems/Distance Measuring Equipment installed in Kaduna, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt airports.
In the same vein, installation of Doppler Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range is ongoing at Maiduguri airport while that of ILS/DME is also in progress at Benin airport. Upgrade of facilities in other airports is to follow soon, the agency said.
Meanwhile, work has reached an advanced stage on the installation of Cat III ILS in Lagos and Abuja. Already, a team of NAMA engineers are currently undergoing factory acceptance test of the CAT III equipment in the United States of America in preparation for its take-off by January 2019.
CAT 3 ILS can guide airplanes on instrument flight to take off and land at the lowest visibility. Lots of scheduled flights were cancelled during the last harmattan season by the airport authority.
With the navigational aids, harmattan haze would not obstruct flights in these airports during the peak Yuletide seasons like in the previous years.
The agency said it had also installed back up radio in Kano and Lagos, remarking that vigorous trainings for air traffic controllers and engineers were being carried out in order to be abreast with current developments in airspace technology.