The need for urgent license Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) to further enhance safety in the country and the region has become topmost on the agenda of the Ministry of Aviation.
Permanent Secretary, ministry of transportation Sabiu Zakari made this known at the opening ceremony of the 9th Africa Regional Meeting of the International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Association (IFATSEA), in Abuja with theme: Aviation Safety And Licensing of ATSEP
Zakari who was represented by a director in the ministry, Mrs Nkeiru Ejiofor said he was aware that plans were on by member states to finalise the licensing of ATSEP personnel in the region stating that the globalisation of ATSEP has become very indispensable and is expected to enhance the link between air traffic controllers and pilots as practiced in developed countries.
The Permanent Secretary while urging engineers across the region to seek solutions to challenges facing their profession urged them to continue to sustain the spirit of hard work.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Capt Fola Akinkuotu called for the recognition and licensing of ATSEP personnel without further delay.
According to Akinkuotu, the recognition of ATSEP personnel will further strengthen safety in the region adding that engineers were saddled with the responsibility of maintaining equipment but were hardly seen as they guaranteed safety.
Akinkuotu revealed that licensing ATSEP will make them to be more committed and have sense of belonging more to their duties.
“The need to license them must be brought to the front burner, the licence does not do the job but give them more commitment”
Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria (NCAT), Capt Abdulsalam Mohammed who was at the event said the college introduced the ATSEP training in the college to broaden their knowledge.
Abdulsalam said NCAT has been able to develop programmes that were aimed at improving the knowledge of aviation personnel both within and outside the country and urged those in the region to take advantage of NCAT training to broaden their knowledge in the industry.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the president of Nigeria Air Traffic Engineers NAAE, Engr Ishaya Dung regretted that they were not recognised in the ICAO Annex 1 irrespective of their being licensed and certified in a member of countries.
According to Dung, the non recognition has had a psychological effect on all ATSEPs worldwide making it a potential safety concern.
NAAE president urged all stakeholders to back ATSEP in the plan to re present the ‘safety case’ for their inclusion in Annex 1 at the forthcoming ICAO General Assembly in September.