An aviation union, the Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers’ Association, has urged the Federal Government to restructure the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to enable to it live up to its statutory functions.
The President of NATCA, Victor Eyaru, made the call on Tuesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Eyaru said the restructuring of NAMA would reduce duplication of directorates and enable the agency to focus on its core responsibilities.
He said: “If you look at NAMA for example, the Act establishing the agency provides for three directorates but what they are operating now is more than seven.
“So, that means funds are being wasted and the agency is operating an illegality because the act establishing it does not support the creation of those directorates.
“If the government wants to make any reform, they should first of all revert NAMA to the three statutory directorates.
“By doing this, a lot of money will be saved for the agency to undertake other critical projects and manpower training.”
Eyaru said paucity of funds in the agency was hindering timely renewal of facilities and training of core aviation professionals in statutory areas to ensure proficiency in air safety.
According to him, air traffic controllers constituted only 12 per cent of the total staff strength of NAMA as against 45 and 70 per cent for other sister organisations outside the country.
He described the recently constituted Runway Safety Teams at airports by NAMA as a laudable initiative that would enhance safety of air navigation in the country.
However, the NATCA president noted that pilots and air traffic controllers, who are the main users of the runway, should be properly carried along for the programme to succeed.
Eyaru said: “The runway itself is what the pilot and air traffic controllers use every time.
“So, as far as the runway is concerned, these two are the most crucial stakeholders.
“So, I feel that as the main users of the runway, it will be fair for them to be carried along so that decisions reached at the workshop can be properly implemented.”