Friday, April 17, 2015

Air Controllers strike may continue Friday, full strike expected Monday

Despite the inconveniences the six hours strike by the Air Traffic Controllers at the nation’s airports caused Thursday, April 16, 2015, ITRealms reports that this may continue Friday.

Sources close the airport operations and a captain of one of the leading private airlines confided this to ITRealms midnight on Thursday, while a full blown strike expected on Monday, April 20, 2015.

According to our source, the Thursday exercise was a mild one as Friday’s own will be intense.

ITRealms recalls that the strike by Air Traffic Controllers paralyzed airport activities Thursday owing to unresolved operational welfare matters, which sources claimed have been communicated to the Federal Government but was not attended to due to the just concluded electioneering. 

As at Thursday evening when skeletal services commenced at the airports, most airlines were struggling to evacuate passengers who were stranded at the airports.

It was also gathered that airlines struggled to reschedule flights outside Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt for Friday morning, till early Friday morning, which left the airlines flying throughout all the night.

However, a statement by the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA) Thursday, stated tat the strike was to draw the attention of the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), to epileptic air navigation equipment, as well as the failure to address welfare issues raised by the association last year.

NATCA also claimed that the warning strike, was a prelude to total industrial action scheduled to begin on Monday April 20, 2015.

Although, ITRealms further gathered that the management of NAMA has concluded plans to mitigate the effects by collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force officials and deploying them as interim traffic controllers at airports nationwide.

Unconfirmed sources told ITRealms that NAMA has commenced talks with NATCA, even as its Managing Director, Mr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, was reportedly sighted at Abuja Thursday evening in effort to consult with relevant officials of Ministry of Aviation in order to resolve issues associated with claims of NATCA as soon as possible. 

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