Stakeholders in the aviation sector have called for the licensing of air traffic safety electronics personnel to enhance air safety in Nigeria.
HSE Nations reports that the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, and heads of aviation agencies said there was an urgent need for licensing of air traffic safety electronics personnel to enhance safety in the country and the region in general.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 9th Africa Regional Meeting of the International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Association, in Abuja, Zakari, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Mrs Nkeiru Ejiofor, said there were plans by member states to finalise the licensing of ATSEP personnel in the region.
He said licensed safety electronic personnel were indispensable as they were expected to improve the link between air traffic controllers and pilots as practised in other countries.
The permanent secretary while urging the engineers across the region to seek solutions to challenges facing their profession, urged them to continue to sustain the spirit of hard work. According to him, Nigeria remains the flagship of safety and must continue to play its role in the enhancement of safety at all times.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Capt Fola Akinkuotu, called for the recognition and licensing of ATSEP personnel without further delay, adding that the recognition of ATSEP personnel would strengthen safety in the region.
He said engineers were saddled with the responsibility of maintaining equipment but were hardly seen as they guaranteed safety. Akinkuotu said licensing ATSEP would make them to be more committed and have sense of belonging in their duties.
“The need to license them must be brought to the front burner; the licence does not do the job but gives them more commitment,” he said.
The Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria, Capt. Abdulsalam Mohammed, said the college introduced the ATSEP training in the college to broaden their knowledge.
He said NCAT had been able to develop programmes aimed at improving the knowledge of aviation personnel both within and outside the country and urged those in the region to take advantage of NCAT training to broaden their knowledge in the industry.
The President, National Association of Air Traffic Engineers, Ishaya Dung, said they were not recognised in the International Civil Aviation Organisation Annex 1 irrespective of their being licensed and certified in a number of countries.