Transport employee writes petition against Nigerian Airspace Management Agency
By Oyise Oghene
In Nigeria National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has written a petition against the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and submitted to the Minister of Aviation, Princes Stella Oduah on the poor state of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON).
Disclosing this development in the petition written on the 18th July, 2012 and signed by the President, NUATE, Comrade Mohammed Safiyanu he said that the safety of the airspace was in a parlous state due the facility has deteriorated over the years.
According to him, the current situation as noted in the petition has affected the smooth communication between the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) in the control tower and pilots in the air.
The petition with reference number NUATE/NP/001/28/05/2KI2 and made available to Vanguard over the weekend was received by Oduah on the 20th July, 2012.
NUATE in the petition further advocated for the provision of Controller-Pilot-Data-Link Communication which it said would have been a remedy to the situation pointing out that countries like Ghana have such facilities which has further made their airspace more valuable and safer.
According to him, the absence of CPDLC in Nigeria has made over flyers to abdicate the country’s airspace for other countries despite their longer distance to their final destinations.
Enumerating some of the over flyers, Comrade Safiyanu said those of them avoiding the country’s airspace include Air France 889 from Kinshasa to Paris, Air France 995 from Johannesburg to Paris, Air France 900 from Yaoundé to Paris, Air France 928 from Luanda to Paris, Air France 896 from Brazzzaville to Paris.
Others are South African Airways 237 from London to Johannesburg, SAA 260 from Johannesburg to Frankfurt, SAA 261 from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, SAA 264 from Johannesburg to Munich and SAA 265 from Munich to Johannesburg.
Comrade Safiyanu however warned that if proper care was not taken to correct the situation that over-flyers would continue to avoid the country and that might lead to another avoidable accident in the sector.