The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) has urged the Minster of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to accelerate the confirmation of Mr. Matthew Lawrence Pwajok, who is in acting capacity as Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), as substantive MD and Chief executive of the agency.
Speaking during his welcome address at the association’s 51st annual general meeting/conference held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital recently, the President of NATCA, Abayomi Agoro, said his association was impressed by the performance of the new management team in NAMA led by Pwajok and requested on behalf of the association to confirm Pwajok’s appointment.
“We speak for majority of our members in soliciting that the Hon. Minister of Aviation graciously extend his usual midas touch in seeking the confirmation of Mr. Matthew Lawrence Pwajok as the substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive of NAMA,” Agoro said.
Agoro who commended the new management team under Pwajok for the progress being made in the upgrade of navigational infrastructure across the country, noted that the Air Traffic Controller remained the centerpiece in the changes and improvements being made in NAMA with the introduction of new procedures and even the deployment of newer solutions.
Earlier in his remarks, the Acting Managing Director, Mr. Pwajok said as part of management’s response to the unacceptable increase in mortality rate among Air Traffic Controllers and as a measure to arrest incidences of fatal health issues among controllers, the agency recently implemented the health insurance scheme for workers just as it was committed to increasing the medical allowances of NATCA members.
Pwajok who was represented by the Acting Director of Operations, Mr. Haske Jibrin, revealed that despite the challenging fiscal environment, management had conducted more professional, operational and specialized trainings for controllers lately.
He recalled that 16 Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) were trained in Basic Procedure Design and Airspace Planning in Cairo in the first quarter of 2022, just as 12 ATCOs were also trained in Nairobi, Kenya in Search and Rescue Mission Operation at about the same time, and another 8 ATCOs who were in Czech Republic for the Multilateration (MLAT) operational training much earlier in the year (2022). The NAMA boss said all these trainings were part of the requirements for the development of capacity for the production of maps and charts including Visual Flight Rules (VFR) charts, in an effort to achieve a seamless conduct of the ICAO Universal Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).