The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is to engage additional 100 Air Traffic Controller Officers (ATCOs) to address the acute shortage of air controllers in the country.
The Acting Managing Director, NAMA, Mr. Lawrence Pwajok, who disclosed this at the just concluded 51th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) in Ibadan, Oyo State, said, already no fewer than 40 ATCO cadets were undergoing training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
“Management is also aware of the pressure that shortage has been exerting and may further exerting on your members. Let me assure you that we are already working to ensure that the situation does not become an emergency.
“Presently, a Basic ATC Course is running in NCAT Zaria for 40 Cadets and very soon, another set will resume as soon as Zaria has space. This is besides efforts at obtaining approval to recruit additional 100 Air Traffic Controllers for strategic replacement of ATCOS that will retire from service up to 2028.”
He stated that, the management had envisaged a gap in the number of ATCOs and had put in place plan to recruit at least 100 personnel between 2022 and 2028.
According to him, the ongoing training of 40 cadets was apart from the 100 personnel planned for the agency by 2028 as many of the current controllers would retire from the system that same year.
The NAMA boss said, in addition the agency have absorbed six ATCOS trained by Niger Delta Development Commission to address the expected shortage.
Other training done he listed to include, in the Phase Two of the Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) in Paris, France of 16 ATCOs and additional 20 is slated for training in Cairo in the next two months.
While 12 ATCOS were set to undergo Search and Rescue Mission Coordinators’ Training course in Nairobi, Kenya before the end of the year.
“To enhance ATCOS capacity to handle data generated at their own work stations, 15 ATCOS are to be trained in ATC Data and Statistical Management”.