The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has started a competency appraisal of Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) officers in all airports across the country.
Its Managing Director, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said this in a statement in Lagos on Monday.
Akinkuotu said that the exercise, which was targeted at testing AIS officers in areas such as Aeronautical Charts, AIS Publication and Operations, was started from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.
According to him, the exercise will be replicated in other airports in the country in the coming weeks.
“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,” he said.
Akinkuotu said that NAMA placed premium on building capacity of staff, adding that sustained training and retraining of personnel were being carried out to ensure they possessed competencies required to perform critical functions.
He said their functions impacted on safety and they needed to keep pace with modern trends in the highly dynamic world of aviation.
The General Manager, AIS, Mr Kabir Gusau, said that the periodic competency checks were in line with Annex 15 of the International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Gusau said this was also necessary to ensure that personnel demonstrated the required competencies to handle specific critical operations.
He said that constant assessment would enable the agency to detect and correct shortfalls as they occurred.
In a related development, Akinkuotu has charged Air Traffic Controllers, who recently returned from a three-week Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Course in Kenya, to ensure that the training impacted positively on the overall safety procedures of the agency.
Akinkuotu was quoted as saying this when he received the participants in his office in Lagos.
The NAMA boss promised to approve the training of another batch of ATCs for the same course in November.
He advised them to use the benefit of the course to improve on the agency’s ability to handle emergencies.
Our correspondent reports that the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Course took place at the East African School of Aviation, Nairobi, Kenya.
It is designed to equip participants with the capacity and skills to initiate Search and Rescue and man Rescue Coordination Centres in a Flight Information Region (FIR).