By Sade Williams
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has assured airlines and stakeholders on the provision of seamless and uninterrupted air navigation services throughout the festive season as the nation gradually winds down to Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu who made this known in a statement said all the country’s navigational facilities are working at optimal levels, with precision approach landing aids at the five international airports where traffic is high also in top form.
Akinkuotu noted that the agency recognizes that apart from the adverse weather associated with this time of the year, there is also a huge demand for air traffic services and has taken steps to strengthen its technical and operational capacity.
He said as part of these measures, new VHF communication radios have been installed across the country to reduce congestion while the installation of Instrument Landing System/Distance Measuring Equipment (ILS/DME) is ongoing in Lagos and Kano airports.
Capt. Akinkuotu disclosed that air traffic controllers and other critical staff have been deployed to busy airports to ensure that there is no fatigue arising from pressure of work.
The NAMA boss also noted in the statement that Airspace Managers in all Nigerian airports have consequently been directed to embark on measures to strengthen Air Traffic Management and surveillance systems in their respective domains to ensure maximum operational safety during the yuletide, saying that the need for extra vigilance at this time became inevitable because of the usual upsurge in traffic and the increased tempo of airport activities that come with the season. According to Akinkuotu “if we must build upon our present gains in maintaining safety of air navigation in the country, it calls for synergy and collaboration among airspace managers as well as stakeholders in the industry.”
Meanwhile, Akinkuotu has tasked workers in the agency to come up with procedures, processes and innovations that would correct all the existing imperfections in the revenue collection system of the agency in order to boost its revenue base.
Akinkuotu who gave this charge in his opening remarks at the 2017 Commercial Department Officers’ Retreat which held in Lagos said as a department saddled with the responsibility of actualizing the economic objective of the agency, it behoves the staff to operate a transparent platform whereby all the agency’s earnings are clearly harvested through proper issuance of invoices for settlement of charges, stressing that the realization of the budget estimates by the agency can only be actualized through diligent processing of returns by personnel of Commercial Department.
Earlier in her welcome address, the General Manager, Commercial, Mrs Joy Umeh said the retreat was to create a forum for learning where all staff would be equipped with latest trends in handling complex issues relating to revenue collection.
Umeh also expressed optimism that grey areas relating to the job will be resolved as participants used the platform to share their experiences, compare notes and come up with more efficient ways of harnessing the agency’s resources. With participants drawn from 26 stations across the country, the three-day Annual Commercial Department Officers’ Retreat with the theme: Revenue Generation-A Veritable Tool for Financing Air Navigation Services featured power-point presentations, lectures and a report on the progress made so far by NAMA in the implementation of Federal Government Executive Orders.