The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA) Africa and Middle East Regional 29thmeeting has been declared opened in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, by the Honourable Minister of State, Aviation, Hon. Hadi Sirika.
The Minister who stressed the importance of air traffic control in the aviation sector, noted that the ministry recently employed some 86 air traffic controllers, and 46 others are currently being trained at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna state.
In his opening remarks, the National President of Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA), Mr. Eyaru Victor, noted that NATCA, “being a member of IFATCA over the years has afforded members of NATCA to benefit immensely socially, professional networking and skill development”.
The number one Air Traffic Controller added that “it is interesting to note that all Traffic Controllers in Nigeria (retired, serving and in the military) are members of NATCA”.
According to him, “this year’s theme “Seamless Friendly Sky” will focus mainly on intensifying efforts to achieving unbroken air safety within our region and beyond. It requires collaborative efforts across the borders to ensure seamless safe and efficient air navigation.”
He explained that the region “has a lot of yet to be developed potentials in the areas of air transportation, paying loyal interests to the development of the sector is desirable.
“This region has more than 15% of the global population but contributes very little to global air travel and technological development of the aviation industry. The clarion call is now to rise up and be counted.”
In his presentation, the President of IFATCA, Mr. Patrik Peters, explained the importance of the harmonisation of Air Traffic Controllers and the attendant benefits, while the Executive Vice President of IFATCA, Africa and Middle East, Mr. Fateh Bekhti, noted that NATCA is a prominent member of the region.
The meeting is scheduled to hold from November 5 -9, with over 200 participants, and it will also feature a Think Safety Workshop, just as some professional aviation bodies like ICAO among others are scheduled to make presentations.
Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA), is registered under the Company and Allied Matters act 1990 with a common seal, having the status of a non-Governmental Organization (Professional).
Membership is drawn from Professional Traffic Controllers who possess relevant Air Traffic Controllers Licenses and Ratings. This comprises those engaged in Professional, Administrative, Regulatory and Human Resource Development duties.
The Major employers of Air Traffic Controllers are the Government Agencies namely, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT). There are also some corporate and Associate Members engage in the Airline and Aviation Support Services. There are a total of Three Hundred and Fifty Professional Members and over Fifty Associate Members.
The Association’s day to day activities are conducted by a body of elected National Executive Members, headed by a President. The Association is affiliated to the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA).
Aims and Objectives
To promote the provision of Air Traffic Services in Nigeria for the Safety, Regularity, Efficiency and Economic conduct of Flights.
To advance and monitor the practice of Air Traffic Control Services in Nigeria generally.
To partner with Government, International Agencies, and Industry Stakeholders in Matters relating to Air Transport Safety, through constructive engagements, technical assistance programmes, and collaborative endeavours aimed at protecting the efficient practice and provision of Air Traffic Control services in Nigeria.
To assist Members engaged in the practice of ATC Services to secure a just and fair terms and conditions of employment from their respective employers, particularly in the areas of works environment, tools, remuneration, medical and Health enhancement etc.