NACAN Decries Inadequate Manpower in Aviation Sector

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Chinedu Eze

Members of the National Air Traffic Communicators Association of Nigeria (NACAN) have decried the inadequate number of its personnel to man the country’s 24 functional airports.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of NACAN 4th annual general meeting in Lagos, the President, Mr. Nkambo George said there were only 97 trained and licensed communication personnel nationwide, saying it was grossly inadequate to cover operations across the airports in the country.

Nkambo stressed the need for the provision of aeronautical fixed telecommunications network, which is a ground-to-ground operation for safe, efficient, economic air navigation, adding that some stations like Kebbi, Bauchi and Dutse lacked the facilities.

According to the NACAN president, there was no employment into the department between 1989 and 2012 and appealed to the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to approve the basic training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria for officers to be properly integrated into the mainstream to boost the acute manpower shortage in the department.

Nkambo noted that NAMA, as an air navigation service provider, has the responsibility of rendering its task with high sense of professionalism but said it was sad that certain elements in the agency were hell bent to merge or integrate two operational departments saddled with distinct functions as outlined by Annexes of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

He disclosed that the department was constantly threatened to the extent that all mandatory local and foreign courses ought to have attended for currency and provision of safety service to the flying public have been put on hold for more than five years even when there was budgetary allocation for such courses.

The NACAN president explained that Air Traffic Communication was important part of air traffic service in NAMA as spelt out in ICAO Annex 10 volume 11, which was necessary for exchange of air traffic service messages.

Nkambo, however, commended the management of the NAMA for converting some personnel from within that applied for conversion after meeting the requisite criteria for it.