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Flight delays loom as air traffic controllers embark on strike

by OtownGist

Domestic flights may experience some hiccups in their routine operations as the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association embarked on a two-day industrial action beginning from today.

A statement from NATCA on Tuesday disclosed that air traffic controllers would slow down traffic flow and departure time by 20 minutes on domestic flights at the four major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, and Kano.

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The statement said, “It will be recalled that an Air Traffic Controller, Anniekan Effiong slumped and died early hours on Monday while on duty at Abuja tower. This informed an emergency meeting of the executive council of NATCA yesterday.

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“The Executive Council of our noble profession met yesterday and discuss extensively the state of ATC operations vis-a-vis our collective survival within the system.”

NATCA complained as part of its resolutions from the meeting that the ATC system and its operations operated in disregard of the welfare of ATCOs. According to them, the managers of the system had failed to make adjustments which had “resulted in one death too many.”

They said, “Commencing from 6 am Nigerian time today, 23rd November 2021 all ATC units nationwide should operate flow control. All departures should be spaced at 20 minutes intervals. All international flights are exempted.

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“That all ATCOs should endeavour to be on high alert and should there be a need to escalate this exercise beyond flow control, we are ready to further such actions. That this exercise will be for two days and will be strictly executed at the four major airports with strict coordination from adjacent aerodromes before any startup is issued.”

NATCA solicited the support of its members to ensure its message was sent out to appropriate authorities.

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