Members of the International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) recently held a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya where issues relating to their profession were discussed. In this piece, ANTHONY AWUNOR writes on the outcome of the conference.

Communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) are the main functions that form the infrastructure for air traffic management and ensure that air traffic is safe and efficient.The CNS has three main functions. Which include:

Communication, that is aviation communication, refers to radio communication between two or more aircraft, or the exchange of data or verbal information between aircraft and air traffic control. For continental airspace, VHF (civil) and UHF (military) systems are used whereas for oceanic areas, high frequency systems and SATCOMs are used.

Navigation: Navigation, that is air navigation, refers to the process of planning, recording, and controlling the movement of an aircraft from one place to another by providing accurate, reliable and seamless position determination capability.

Surveillance: Surveillance systems are used by air traffic control to determine the position of aircraft. There are two types of surveillance systems. To improve their services in this regard, members of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) recently met in Nairobi Kenya.

Outcome of the meeting was the resolution for states to do more in training of professionals in their various fields. They therefore, urged Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs), and all Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in Africa to embark on relevant training that would boost their services.

The body stated that CAAs and ANSPs should as a matter of urgency, make use of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) doc 10057 and 1007 for ATSEPs and CNS inspectors respectively to invest and build their capacity through effective relevant training to the highest standard of their profession as a way of improving their competencies and service delivery to maintain safety and security.

The advice was part of the decisions reached at the recent 8th International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) Region Africa Meeting hosted by Kenyan Air Traffic Systems Engineering Association (KATSEA) and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) In Nairobi, Kenya.

In an official document containing highlights of the 3-day meeting signed by the president, National Association Of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE), Engr. Ishaya Chuwang Dung, the body stated that they recognised that some CAAs/ANSPs were already implementing ATSEP licensing to assure proof of competence, safety and security of the ATM/CNS systems, operations, monitoring and maintenance in accordance with 1.5 of ATSEP ICAO doc 10057.

They however, added that there still remained a number of ATSEPs in some ANSPs/CAAs yet to legitimise ICAO doc 10057 and article 32 of the Chicago Convention. According to them, they want such ANSPs/CAAs to give meaning to these important documents by implementing ATSEP licencing schemes in order for the safety regulator to effectively audit and regulate the ATSEP ATM/ CNS job activities.

IFATSEA further pointed out that, the omission of ATSEP license in ICAO Annex1 did not veto states/ CAAs/ANSPs from establishing standards and requirement in their regulations to include ATSEP licensing and filing the differences with ICAO.

The body also listed safety, security, proof of competency for both ANSP and regulator, on-going and continuing automation of the ATC functions, technology and emerging trends, direct support and decision-making data to the aircraft/pilots, cross border activities or state –to-state technical systems intervention as some of the reasons why it encourages states/CAAs/ANSPs to implement ATSEP licence.

They further advised that “States should adopt best practices and liaise with IFATSEA to assist states/CAAs/ANSPs with ATSEP licensing implementation templates and promote safety and security within the aviation industry.”

Air traffic safety electronics personnel (ATSEP) is an ICAO term for the technical staff involved with the creation and support of the ground-based electronic .

The theme for the conference was “Aviation Safety and Security – ATSEPs Contributions” and it was aimed at bringing together ATSEPs in Africa and the aviation industry professionals to assess ATSEPs contributions to aviation safety and security and discuss relevant topics necessary to enhancing ATSEPs and industry professional ethics in upholding safety and security at all levels.

The meeting had in attendance, the director-general of the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Capt. Gilbert Kibe, the deputy director general (technical) of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ing Charles Ebo Kraikue, the interim IFATSEA president, Mr Thorsten Wehe, the IFATSEA Region Africa director, Ing Frank Kofi Apeagyei, and the president of the Kenyan Air Traffic Systems Engineering Association (KATSEA) Eng. Robert Jere Omusonga.

The conference was officially declared open by the minister of transport for Kenya, James W. Macharia after which the director of the Air Navigation Services of Kenya, Ms Charity Musila delivered an address. Mr Thorsten Wehe, the IFATSEA interim president had the onerous duty of delivering the keynote address.

The meeting also witnessed an attendance of one hundred and twenty-eight (128) members. The affiliate countries present were Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Mali (FACATEM), and Ethiopia.

High-level presentations on various topics were presented which was followed by an orderly panel discussions and exhaustive interactions with the participants.

Nigerians Beginning To Buy Into National Carrier Project- Usman

The director- general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muktar Usman, has stated that talks surrounding the proposed national carrier project died down because most Nigerian people were beginning to understand and buy into the project.

In a chat with journalists in Lagos recently, Usman, who assured that the project was still ongoing stated that the government was working round the clock for a successful take-off.

Usman said that the Nigeria Air project arrangements would continue until it was delivered to the Nigerian people, stressing that even though people were now quiet about it, it did not mean that the project has stopped at all.

On the role of transaction advisers so far, Usman said , “It is a process, the process is ongoing and it is transparent as people can see, it is to get the best for Nigeria. Nigerians has been yearning for the gaps created by the lack of having strong and viable carrier that would mean the demands and potentials of both the domestic market, the regional market and the International market.”

Assuring that the December take-off date was very feasible, the NCAA DG said , “We still have more than 90 days to the end of the year, so, it is still feasible, all things being equal, am just talking from the regulatory point of view.”

Usman said in July this year, the federal government, through the minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, revealed the branding and launch for a new national flag carrier, Nigeria Air, due to be launched in December.

During the launch at the Farnborough Air Show in London, United Kingdom, Sirika pledged that “We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year.”

Nigerian Staff Clinches Emirates Leadership Award In Dubai

Emirates Airlines has rewarded its top performers in the Leadership Award ceremony including a Nigerian, Mr. Samuel Babatunde Adekanmbi, who emerged as one of three finalists for the internal recognition.

The Leadership Award which was hosted in Dubai was established in 2016, with a target towards employees in the retail and contact sales under the customer sales and service team leaders division, across all regions after evaluating their performance for the year 2017 – 2018.

Commenting on the award, Adekanmbi said, “I am thrilled to be one of this year’s Leadership Award winners after receiving the accolade. To be recognised for my contribution and team work by an organisation like Emirates is extremely gratifying and humbling. I am proud to be a part of an organisation that values its employees the way Emirates does.”

Other finalists of the Leadership Award included employees from India, UK, UAE and Singapore. Emirates operates in about 161 destinations across 86 countries. The airline flies from Lagos to Dubai 14 times, that is, two times daily in a week; and from Abuja to Dubai, it flies four times in a week.