The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) has frown at the un-serviceability of navigational aids and landing facilities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, which led to the diversion of British Airways and Air France flights to Accra and Cotonou.
This is just as NATCA also decried the degraded state of navigational and landing facilities at the airport due to what it called lack of calibration.
The diversion is coming despite the fact that after the Nigeria through the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika acquired a calibration aircraft for $8.5 million a little over (N3billion) in last year.
The association stated this in an online statement signed by the President of NATCA, Abayomi Agoro .
According to him, “The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) notes with displeasure the unwholesome event unfolding at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport amongst which was the diversion of British Airways and Air France flights to Accra and Cotonou respectively. “
Agoro in the statement noted that though the association appreciates the huge investment the Federal Government has invested in the upgrade of aviation infrastructure in the sector, but that it was not comfortable with perpetual state of degradation of the essential facilities.
“The sad event was occasioned by poor visibility and haze but more worryingly accentuated by the degraded state of navigational and landing facilities due to lack of calibration.We are equally concerned with the untold hardship the situation has visited on our members working in Lagos Terminal Approach position whose statutory responsibility is to ensure a round the clock safety in taking off and landing,” Agoro said.
In view of this, the NATCA President called on the authorities concerned to urgently ensure that navigational aids and landing facilities are serviceable to put an end to what he described as uncalled for hitches.
“In as much as we sincerely appreciate government’s huge investment in the upgrade of aviation infrastructure in the sector, NATCA is nevertheless concerned about the perennial state of degradation of the essential facilities and working tools with attendant increased stress and workload which in practical terms translate to serious safety implications for the flying public.
“NATCA therefore urges the relevant authorities to take immediate steps to restore the full serviceability of the navigational and landing aids to ensure an effective end to the uncalled for hitches recently experienced and prevent the re-occurrence of same.”
British Airways yesterday diverted its flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to Accra, Ghana, as a result of the absence of serviceable Instrument Landing System (ILS).