Anambra govt. intervenes, prevents airport shutdown


But for the quick intervention of the Anambra state government, the Anambra International Airport would have remained shut following plans by air traffic controllers and other essential service providers to down tools following the ejection of the workers from their hotels.

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) workers had already refused to go to work; an action that would have disrupted flight operations to Anambra State.

Scared of a backlash, Aviation Metric learnt that the state government quickly reached out to the management of NAMA to forestall actions that would cut off air travel to the state and attendant hiccups to passengers who would have suffered the untold hardship of flight disruptions.

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President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). Abayomi Agoro confirmed that the state government had reached an agreement with the workers to continue to provide accommodation for them in the discharge of their duties.

A radio message by controllers made available to our correspondent stated that any station/DATCO sending flight to Anambra Airport today should first confirm whether the TWR is operational”.

Newly built Anambra cargo airport

“The reason is that all Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) staff working at the airport were suddenly vacated from their accommodation yesterday without prior information”.

“Even those on duty are being asked to pay for their accommodation for last night”.

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At the time of filing this report, the NAMA staffs were all in the hotel packing their belongings to leave.

Agoro earlier told our correspondent that the State Government failed to honour its agreement on accommodation and other incentives to NAMA.

Since the airport is state-owned, the Federal Government is not responsible for the airport, a situation that makes the Anambra Government responsible 100 percent for the operation of the aerodrome.

Every other service to make the airport functional is paid for by the state government which built the airport.

Agoro however said he was trying to reach the workers to ascertain the new development on the ware fare of the workers, adding that it would be practically impossible for flights to operate to and out of the airport if the accommodation matter of the workers were not sorted out.

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Wole Shadare