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Rescue our department from extinction, NACAN appeals to Keyamo
The National Air Traffic Communicators Association of Nigeria (NACAN) has appealed to the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo and all other stakeholders in…
The National Air Traffic Communicators Association of Nigeria (NACAN) has appealed to the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo and all other stakeholders in the aviation industry to, as a matter of urgency, rescue the Air Traffic Communications Department from extinction.
The National President, NACAN, Rabiu Muhammad Sani, made the call at the 10th Annual General Meeting and Conference with the theme: “Modernizing Air Traffic Communications profession to promote safety and economical operation of air navigation services in Nigeria” held in Kano.
He said, “I wish to make a passionate appeal to the minister of Aviation and all the Aviation stakeholders to as a matter of urgency rescue the Air Traffic Communications Department from extinction due to Air Traffic Service Directorate undue interference and the office politicking being played by some few individuals within the directorate who prioritize their selfish interests above the interest of the system and above the interest of the nation.
“For instance, the same game played out few years ago when the responsibility of transmitting Air Traffic Safety Messages like flight plans, was ceded to a wrong department in the agency and that caused flight plans being missing. In fact, it generated a global catastrophe until this profession took up the matter with the Secretary General of ICAO to have a lasting solution to it.
“As I speak, the ATS Directorate is at it again. Just recently, a department which statutorily has nothing to do with transmission through Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN) as they are not trained to do so is being directed to henceforth assume that responsibility. This ugly trend is a time bomb if left unchecked and will give the Nigerian Aviation industry a negative image before ICAO as well as the international community and should be reversed with immediate effect to prevent imminent disaster.”
He pointed out that the Aeronautical Communicators undergo a rigorous 44 weeks class work at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, four weeks field attachment and after graduation, they undergo a six months logging under the supervision of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), undergo NCAA examinations before being licensed in accordance with ICAO ANNEX 1 (Personnel Licensing).
“NAMA is aware that Aeronautical communicators are trained and licensed to operate communications equipment as enshrined in ICAO ANNEX 10 Vols II & III. NACAN is at sea why the directorate chose to take sides instead of doing the right thing. 2023 NACAN AGM holding in Kano does appeal to the director, Air Traffic Services to reconsider the action taken in the interest of the flying public, the agency and the nation.”
The president further highlighted that the Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs), Aircrews, Airline operations centers, Aeronautical Meteorological information providers and a wide range of other modern day aviation stakeholders increasingly rely on critical information provided by the Aeronautical Communicators.
Further explaining, he said, “As the Nigerian Airspace experience growth and expansion resulting from increase in flight activities, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended the transition from Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN) to ATS Message Handling System (AMHS) in order to achieve improved service delivery considering the sensitivity of these services to the safety and security of the flying public.
“The AMHS installation project commenced many years ago in the four major airports; Kano, Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt but unfortunately not yet completed, a development that requires urgent attention and close monitoring as well as proper engagements by the NAMA management team and Aviation Ministry.
“It will interest you to know that, the AMHS equipment we have been struggling to install in Nigeria for over a decade has since been installed in Kenya, Niamey and in most of the Nigerian Flight Information Regions (FIRs) and ICAO Contracting states.”