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Air traffic controllers protest delay domestic flight

Air traffic controllers are citing a lack of manpower and substandard working conditions, which they allege have resulted in health concerns.

This followed the death of Mr Aniekan Effiong Inuk on active duty at Abuja airport.

They are holding a 2-day protest beginning today, Tuesday, resulting in delays of all domestic flights.

President and general secretary, National Association of Air Traffic Controllers, NATCA, Abayomi Agoro and Felix Agbonlahor, said in a statement that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, was given a two-week deadline to address the issues.

They said the protest was being held to express their dissatisfaction with what they termed NAMA’s nonchalant approach toward their difficulties, despite multiple letters, communique, and meetings on the subject.

“Air Traffic Controllers are conducting a 3-hour flow control for 2 days, November 23rd and 24th, 2021, from 6:00 am to 9:00 am, to express our dissatisfaction and to draw the attention of relevant authorities and the public to our concerns immediately.”

They want Air Traffic Control to be furnished with operating vehicles, chairs and headsets in operations rooms, and ATC communication facilities and equipment, including VHF radios and SATCOM communications.

The death of Mr Inuk on active duty at Abuja airport whose sad event is not unconnected with the unavailability of an operational vehicle to move him to a hospital in record time amongst others is one too many.”

To approve and implement a 500% increase in the annual ATC medical allowance, staff promotion and recruitment, the statement added.

Reporting by Aituamen Nosa. Editing by Saadatu Albashir