Windfall as NAMA raises controllers allowances, implements committee’s interim report

The negotiation committee set up by the Managing Director of  Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt Fola Akinkuotu to look into the precarious situation of air traffic controllers has approved increased allowances for the workers and promoted those deserving of elevation.

The air traffic controllers had in November last year threatened to shut the airspace following a series of deaths involving two air traffic controllers that slumped and died on duty.

Their deaths infuriated the leadership of air traffic controllers, forcing them to embark on three-hour flow control for two days, beginning from November 23 to 24, 2021 to register their displeasure over the current working environment of operatives.

Flow control is a traffic flow management technique used in order to regulate the rate at which aircraft enter congested resources such as airport airspace to a level no greater than the resource can accept.

The workers, under the aegis of the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA) in a statement issued after an emergency meeting following the death of Effiong, lamented that ATCs had lost nine of their colleagues in two years following the reluctance of the NAMA to address the glaring challenges.

Concerned about the situation, Akinkuotu called for the setting up of a negotiation committee to submit an interim report on recommendations reached to allow for immediate implementation as a stop-gap measure pending the submission of their complete report.

From left, Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu and Hon. Olubukola Oyewo Member House of Committee on Aviation during the House Committee on Aviation’s oversight visit to Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

 

The committee accordingly submitted an interim report to the Managing Director on December 17, 2021.

On receipt of the report,  Capt. Akinkuotu requested two working days during which he and his management team looked into it for consideration and implementation.

The MD and his management team subsequently met on December 21st and 22nd 2021 and on the strength of the interim report, considered and approved air traffic controllers deployed from other departments to be placed on grade level (GL 12) effective from the date of their ratings with immediate effect.

Other ATCOs that recently acquired their A &B ratings are to be promoted to GL.10 with immediate effect from the date of their ratings while awaiting the release of the ATC scheme of service which will among other things secure their advancement to GL 12.

The annual aeromedical allowance for air traffic controllers has been increased from #200,000 to #500,000 with effect from January 2022.

Monthly remuneration of air traffic controllers who are on the contract has been increased from the present #400,000 to #580,000 resulting from the inclusion of the A&B rating allowance, with effect from January 2022.

Also approved is that all ATCOs are to be registered on the gold plan of the customized NAMA NHIS which is to be implemented soonest.

Management has concluded plans to engage the services of a specialist to evaluate and define the type and level of risks or hazards that controllers and other technical staff are exposed to in order to consider an appropriate allowance as well as mitigation methods. This, NAMA noted is to be done in conjunction with the NATCAs’ committee.

The management concluded plans to facilitate the expeditious approval and release of the adjusted ATC scheme of service as well as NAMA staff conditions of service without any further delay.

Operational vehicles are being immediately reassigned, most especially for Lagos, Port-Harcourt, and Abuja while management is in the process of securing more vehicles for other stations, using two proposed financing approaches.

NAMA has finally agreed to address and implement the final report as it relates to the controllers’ working environment. 

Aviation Metric learnt that the review committee is still meeting as it calls for patience with a view to addressing all other pending matters.

Wole Shadare

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