The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has urged the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to consider as a matter of urgency, the inclusion of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) licensing in its Annex1 to the Chicago Convention.
Speaking at the just concluded ninth International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) hosted by the National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE) in Abuja, the Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said although the demand for the licensing of ATSEPs had been a recurring issue in the ICAO General Assembly yearly due to efforts of IFATSEA to give it a “loud voice,” stakeholders in the industry have the onerous duty to ensure that this message resonates globally given the safety-critical role ATSEPs play in the aviation sector.
Akinkuotu, said as an agency with the largest concentration of ATSEPs in Nigeria, NAMA would continue to support the advocacy for the inclusion of ATSEP licensing in ICAO Annex 1 as this would give them a sense of accountability and commitment to duty.
“Licensing of critical personnel in the aviation industry is fundamental to safety. We are demanding for license so that we can hold people responsible for their actions. The fact that a license unlike a university degree can be withdrawn makes the holder extremely responsible and careful in taking safety-critical decisions,” he said.
The NAMA boss said in recognition of the immense contribution of ATSEPs to safety in the nation’s aviation sector, Nigeria has an operating ATSEP licensing and rating programme included in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) which NAMA is vigorously implementing as required, stressing that the programme had gone a long way in increasing the competency of ATSEPS in the country.