Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) which earlier threatened to shut down the country’s airspace on today Monday January19, 2015 due to what the association termed the insensitivity of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) towards professional and welfare matters affecting air traffic controllers (ATCs) in the country has suspended the action.
NATCA had complained that the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), which was installed by Thales of France at the cost of 66,500,870 million Euros has collapsed.
NATCA in a statement at the weekend stated that Nigerian ATCs are among the most efficient professionals the Nigerian aviation industry can boast of but they are maltreated by the agency.
They listed their grouse to include inadequate and belated statutory training for more than two years, inconclusive training spanning four years since commencement, excessive workload due to inadequate manpower, incessant equipment failure and exposure to various health hazards, poor remuneration and inadequate work tools.
They also said that the delay and cancellation of flights across the country were not only due to reduction in visibility, but also due to non-serviceability of navigational aids such as instrument landing systems (ILS) and very omni-directional range (VOR) at destination aerodromes.
Oriental New Nigeria learnt that the decision not to embark on the industrial action followed an agreement reached between their union-Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (ATSSSAN) and the management of the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency (NAMA).
Also the acting General Manager, Public Affairs of NAMA, Mrs Olajumoke Adetona confirmed suspension of the action.
She noted that in the communique endorsed by all the parties on 18th January,2015 at the end of series of negotiations, management of NAMA agreed to address most of the issues which bordered on review of ATC rating allowances and general welfare.
Also the Special Assistant to the Managing Director, Mr Pwajok Lawrence confirmed to Oriental News on phone that an agreement has been reached on most of their demands and the management is working hard to meet up with their request.