The Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, has advocated an enhanced synergy among Flight Information Regions (FIRs) within the African and Indian Ocean Region (AFI Region).
Akinkuotu made the call while declaring open a five-day Air Traffic System Investigator Workshop hosted by the agency in Lagos on Wednesday, saying that it would further improve the safety profile of the region.
He noted that NAMA on its part would strive towards building regional bridges in order to keep pace with latest trends, especially in air traffic management in a dynamic aviation industry.
According to him, the regional cooperation becomes more compelling with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) goal of entrenching harmony and seamlessness in every facet of International Civil Aviation.
Akinkuotu commended ICAO for availing Nigeria the opportunity to host the workshop, adding that the benefits of the meeting were enormous to the country.
He noted that the workshop would provide participants with knowledge and skills of Air Traffic System (ATS) incident reporting and investigation, especially for operational personnel of Air Navigation Service Providers such as NAMA.
Speaking further, Akinkuotu said the quality of air navigation services, particularly air traffic services, had been subjected to integrity tests going by the streams of Air Safety Reports received from our airspace users.
“However, the quality of incidents investigation on the other hand should impact positively on the corrective action plan that will minimize future re-occurrence, in a just culture environment, which is the essence of this workshop.”
Also speaking, the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman, stated that global economic and demographic statistics indicate that Africa would experience significant increase in population and expansion in economic activities.
Usman, who was represented by the NCAA’s Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, Mr Mohammed Odunowo, added that this would also increase demand for air transport services in the near future.
“However, the above trend indicates great potentials and opportunities for the African economy, as well as its aviation sector.
“It also places immense responsibility on relevant aviation authorities towards the enhancement of Air Traffic Management capacity, efficiency and safety performance,’’ he said.
Our correspondent reports that the ATS Incident Investigation Workshop is provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, under the United States Department of Transportation (Safe Skies for Africa Programme).
This is in collaboration with ICAO and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), which is being conducted with the objective of assisting African States to develop capacity in the investigation, analysis, reporting and mitigation of air safety incidents.