Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) have urged newly licensed members to brace up for the complex, stressful and demanding environment, if they must make positive impacts in service delivery.
The President of Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA), Agoro Omotayo, at the induction of the newly licensed ATCs, said the new members would be exposed to the structure and responsibilities of the civil aviation, none of which they must be found wanting “as the shepherd of the skies”.
Agoro assured them of his support and partnership in activities geared towards improving the general well-being of the profession.
The induction held recently in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after the completion of series of trainings, including aerodrome control, approach control and private pilot licence training, at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State.
The controllers will proceed to the on-field training and licensing expected to take four years.
The Director of Operations at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mathew Pwajok, in his speech expressed happiness on the new trend of inducting newly rated controllers by the NATCA executives.
Pwajok advised the inductees to remain focused and disciplined in the practice of what they learnt through the period of their studies.
He pledged that NAMA management was ready to make available necessary tools for the practice of their profession, while also assuring them that proper attention shall be given to their welfare.
Head of the Medical Unit, Kupa Aero Medicals, Dr. Andrew Enumah, warned that stress posed a lot of danger to an Air Traffic Controllers, especially if not properly managed.
Enumah encouraged ATCs to identify their stress level at any point in time and give proper attention to it before it poses significant effect on the individual thereby affecting the safety of traffic management.
NATCA Vice President, Ahmad Abba, admonished the inductees to always recognise the importance of the office, and be professional. Abba, however, warned that the association would deal with any member found wanting.
Public Relations Officer of NATCA, James Otanjah, said licenses could only make a controller a full- fledged ATC, but does not give power for solo control at the tower saying an ATC must complete a six month post-license supervision under a controller, after which the ATC will be allowed to function. He said the ATC remained one of the highly trained, regulated and monitored profession, as their job is that of ensuring safety while working in highly technically regulated industry with same operational safety documents across the globe.