Air safety: Nigeria needs 600 air traffic controllers

Air safety: Nigeria needs 600 air traffic controllers

Nigeria requires at least 600 air traffic controllers to ensure safety in its air space, an official said.

Mr Dangyang Davou, the Vice President, Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday, that the nation, however, currently had only half of that figure.

He said “currently, Nigeria has only 300 air traffic controllers, which is grossly inadequate especially in view of the magnitude of work involved in securing its vast air space.”

Davou also called for more training for the air traffic controllers, stressing that “air traffic control is a technical and dynamic area; the personnel must consistently be trained on modern trends if they are to cope and be efficient.”

He then advised experts to always come up with strategies toward safer air spaces “especially with the rising number of aircraft in the sky.”

He, however, cautioned the Federal Government against privatisting the services of air controllers, saying “I am sure that government will not privatise air control; that will be very dangerous for national security.

“We must keep our airspace from intruders and outsiders and the only way to ensure that is to control our own airspace and never contract
it out`.”

The NATCA boss said there were services that could be contracted in the aviation sector, and identified thermal services as one of them.

He explained that “if you get to many airports, you meet power failure. The toilets are dirty and the air conditioners are not working

“Such situation is largely due to the fact that the services are handled by government. So, such services could be contracted out to
private hands for improved management.”

He announced that NATCA would hold its Annual General Meeting in Jos from Oct. 20 to Oct. 21, during which it would brainstrom on communication equipment, training and retraining of officers, as well as navigational aids.

He said “there are many issues affecting us and our services. We shall use the AGM to tackle them all.”



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