The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has said that the Flow Control, embarked upon by the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has been suspended.The Managing Director, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said the suspension is to pave way for a follow-up meeting between NAMA management, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the association, scheduled to hold later in the day.
Flight disruptions and delays had commenced in the early hours of Tuesday, November 23, across four airports (Abuja Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano) after NATCA directed Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to begin three hours ‘flow control’ for two days, causing departures to be spaced at 20 minutes interval.
The action, which commenced on Tuesday morning, was precursor to a two-week warning strike which NATCA said it would embark on if the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) does not meet its demands to improve their working conditions following the death of Mr. Aniekan Effiong in the early hours of Monday, November 22.
“Flow control’ is a traffic flow management technique used in order to regulate the rate at which aircraft enter an airport airspace to a level no greater than the resource can accept and aircraft are usually delayed at the point of departure. The decision to use ‘Flow Control’ to space departure is what has slowed down operations across the country and caused flight delays and cancellations.
In a statement signed by NATCA President, Abayomi Agoro, and General Secretary, Rev. Agbonlahor Felix, the association stated that the ATC system and operations in Nigeria has been skewed and operated with complete disregard to the well-being of ATCOs. The association also says that the managers of the system have consistently refused to act in good faith.”