Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam has tasked Airspace Managers across Nigerian airports to embark on measures to strengthen Air Traffic Management and surveillance systems in their respective domains to ensure maximum operational safety as the nation gradually winds down to Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Engr. Abdulsalam who gave this charge at the recently concluded Airspace Managers’ Forum which held at Asaa Pyramid Hotels, Kaduna maintained 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 yuletide season. According to the NAMA boss, “we must do our level best to build upon the present gains we have achieved in maintaining safety of air navigation in the country and zero tolerance for aviation incidents. In doing this, it calls for synergy and collaboration among airspace managers and I believe this forum will provide the opportunity to compare notes and do the needed peer review which will put all operations nationwide on the same page.” Abdulsalam also noted that “recent effort by management to digitalize air traffic management services in the country by way of deployment of Digital Safe Towers across the four major airports as well as the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract/Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) are targeted at ensuring that the nation’s airspace conforms to global safety standards and also bring about efficiency in service delivery.” He therefore called on airspace managers to imbibe the culture of “collaborative engagement that would engender the needed peer review and enhanced safety.” Earlier in an address, the Chairman of the forum Port Harcourt Airspace Manager, Mr Gabriel Akpen expressed confidence that the forum would afford members the opportunity to engage one another and build strategies for collective growth, stressing that “current operating times call for renewed efforts to shore up performance and manage air traffic more efficiently than ever.” The Director of Administration, Dr Saleh Ibrahim, in his remarks enjoined airspace managers to be more security conscious just as he called for renewed vigilance around navigational aids. Also speaking, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Airport Manager in Kaduna, Mr. Garba Usman harped on the need for “collaboration and inclusiveness in service provision among aviation agencies,” adding that constructive engagement rather than inter-agency squabbles is required to take Nigerian aviation to the next level. The well attended forum attracted representatives from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), State Security Services (SSS) and Arik Airlines. In a communique at the end of the forum, the Airspace Managers inter alia, appreciated NAMA on the successful deployment of ADS-C/CPDLC in Lagos and Kano Area Control Centres (ACCs) just as they called for the review of contractual agreements and MOUs between state governments and private individuals. They also beseeched management to organize workshops and seminars that would enable Airspace managers acquire more leadership and managerial skills.