By Patrick Aigbokhan
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) say it has commenced a comprehensive competency appraisal of all Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) Officers in all airports across the country.
The agency stated that the exercise, which is targeted at testing AIS officers in areas such as Aeronautical Charts, AIS Publication and Operations, started from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and is to proceed to other airports in the country in the coming weeks.
Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, Managing Director of NAMA, pointed in a statement that, “considering the pivotal role aeronautical information plays in safety of air navigation, and in the light of ongoing migration to AIS Automation, due consideration must be given to the integrity of data being disseminated to airspace users, hence this exercise.”
Capt. Akinkuotu who said NAMA places premium on building capacity of staff noted that sustained training and retraining of personnel is being carried out by the agency to ensure they possess the competencies required to perform critical functions that impact on safety and for them keep pace with modern trends in a highly dynamic world of aviation.
Also speaking on the exercise, Mr. Kabir Gusau, General Manager, AIS, noted that the competency check which shall be periodic is in line with Annex 15 of International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is necessary “to ensure that personnel demonstrate the required competencies to handle specific critical operations,” adding that constant assessment would enable the agency to detect and correct shortfalls as they occur.
Capt. Akinkuotu has however, charged Air Traffic Controllers who recently returned from a three-week Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Course in Kenya to ensure that the training impacts positively on the overall safety procedures of the agency.
While receiving the participants in his office at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos, the NAMA boss, who promised to approve the training of another batch of Air Traffic Controllers on the same course in November, charged them to use the benefit of the course to improve on the agency’s preparedness to handle emergencies.
The Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Course which held at the East African School of Aviation, Nairobi Kenya is designed to equip participants with the capacity and skills to initiate Search and Rescue and man the Rescue Coordination Centres in a Flight Information Region (FIR).
By Patrick Aigbokhan