By Kenneth Ehigiator
The management of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, said Tuesday that it would not be intimidated by domestic airlinesâ€™ threat to ground flights over Terminal Navigational Charges,TNCs.
The agency said in a statement signed by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Supo Atobatele, that it needed the charges to provide navigational facilities at the nationâ€™s 22 airports.
According to the agency, only international airlines operating in the country have been paying the charges since June 2008, despite the fact that domestic airlines were also present at the meeting where the decision to introduce the charges was taken.
The agency wondered why the airlines had refused to pay the charges globally approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, saiying without the TNC, it would be difficult to provide new and maintain existing navigational equipment.
NAMA stated: â€œThe issue of Terminal Navigation Charges, TNCs, started in 2008 and at separate meetings, both domestic and international airlines were met and given detailed information about the operations of the Agency and what informed the introduction of TNC.
â€œWhile the foreign airlines commenced payment since 6 June 2008, domestic airlines which take the lion share of NAMA services bluntly refused to pay the charges and this informed the accumulated debtÂ of more than N2 billion, apart from the en-route charge bill which is being contested now at the Supreme Court.â€