The Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu, has called for training of Nigerian pilots on the technologies adopted for airspace management in the country .
According to Akinkuotu, without sufficient training of pilots on new air navigation technology, the huge investment on spaced based technology such as Performance Based Navigation would not achieve the desired results.
Speaking at the Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative (ASRTI) last week in Lagos, he said the airspace agency would continue to invest in modern air navigation technology in line with global operational standards.
He said the agency was getting worried that many domestic carriers were yet to train their pilots on performance based navigation systems despite the huge commitment of funds into the project.
Akinkuotu said there was need for a match between provision of modern air navigation equipment and user capability.
He said the airspace agency had been grappling with epileptic power supply at airports nationwide, which has forced NAMA to spend millions of Naira on diesel for generators as secondary source of power.
Besides epileptic power supply, Akinkuotu identified porous airports without perimeter fences as part of the challenges affecting aviation infrastructure.
Also speaking, former Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Captain Samuel Caulcrick, canvassed the setting up of an Aviation Development Commission to coordinate gaps in the sector.
Such body, Caulcrick said, would serve as an intervention agency to drive the development of the sector.
He said such a body would be useful in addressing formulation of policies that will drive the growth of the industry.
Chairman of the event, Mr Nick Fadugba, canvassed the setting up of a task force to correct anomalies in the sector .
In his presentation, former Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, said the sector could move forward if government creates an enabling environment to attract private capital for infrastructure development.
To attract private investment, he said there was need for transparency and good corporate governance as well as fidelity to contractual agreements.
Demuren said government should invest in airside airport infrastructure.
Meanwhile, NAMA has put in place a mechanism to look into the lingering issue of harmonising the salaries and allowances of staff under its payroll with those of their colleagues in other agencies in the aviation sector. The Managing Director, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, who revealed this in a town hall meeting which held at the agency’s headquarters annex in Lagos, said although the issue of harmonisation is as old as the agency itself, there was the need to revisit it as a resolution would boost staff morale and also increase productivity in the long run.
As a first bold step towards achieving harmonisation, Akinkuotu said management had constituted a committee headed by the Director of
Safety Electronics and Engineering Services, Engr. Farouk Umar with “the mandate to look in-depth at the circumstance of harmonisation, cost of harmonisation, our ability to achieve harmonisation, the validity of whether we have been harmonised or not, and then make a report and present to management.”
He disclosed that the committee had already submitted the said report, assuring that management would immediately convene a meeting to “review the report in its totality and examine whether or not there is a disparity. We will also discuss if we can pay for it and if not, how do we move this forward.”
He said, however, that after considering the report, another report will be prepared and presented to government for ratification.
Akinkuotu expressed optimism that even though the harmonisation issue has lingered for over 14 years, management was determined to tackle it headlong, stressing that “if we plug all the loopholes and cut down on some of the waste and be more prudent in our expenditure, we will make a little more money and it really shouldn’t be that difficult attaining harmonization.”
The NAMA chief who urged workers tasked to be more dedicated to their duties, noted that in line with the staff-oriented disposition of his administration, various promotions have been obtained across board.