By LAWANI MIKAIRU & DANIEL ETEGHE
Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Engineer Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, has debunked the claim by Air Traffic Controllers that the Nigeria Airspace is unsafe for pilots flying within the country.
Speaking at the agency headquarters in Lagos, Engineer Udoh reassured Nigerians, all the airspace users, pilots and other stakeholders that the Nigeria airspace is safe for flight operations. He said “for record purposes, NAMA wants to use this opportunity and this platform to reassure Nigerians and all our airspace users, pilots and other stakeholders that the airspace is safe and will always be safe”
Earlier, there was a media report,not Vanguard, that the Nigerian airspace is gradually becoming a nightmare for pilots flying within the country as indications shows that the radio communications on some routes may have collapsed.
Engineer Udoh further said that if the claim that the country’s airspace was unsafe was from any of the Air Traffic Controllers, then it means that such Air Traffic Controller had not been working in the last three months, stressing that he wonders how aeroplanes could have been flying in the last three months yet they say, the airspace was unsafe.
“If they are quoting Air Traffic Controller, it means that, the Air Traffic Controllers has done no work in the last three months and he is not supposed to be paid and how do aeroplanes fly in the last three months” he asked.
Engineer Udoh however pointed out that the only challenge that was confronting the agency at the moment was its long range frequency of communication that it has just introduced affirming that there was no control tower that has a single challenge in the country at the moment.
“Now the simple explanation is this, you will not say that you have total DHF today, what were you doing before, we talk to Lagos, we talk to Benin, we talk to Asaba, we talk to Port-Harcourt or Enugu. We called it point to point communication now in Lagos with one frequency you can communicate until you are transferred to Port-Harcourt that is just the meaning of that but because of congestion you have to separate East and West of that sector.