In keeping with its determination to build staff capacity for effective service delivery, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has organised two separate training workshops in Lagos for some of its critical personnel in Safety Management.
Facilitated by Aviation Academy for Southern Africa (AAFSA), the trainings include a three-day workshop on Safety Management Systems (SMS) and a five-day training which focused on the Impact of Human Factor in Air Traffic Management Safety.
While the former was for members of NAMA Safety Action Group (SAG) and selected Air Traffic Controllers in the agency according to their SMS related functions in the field, the latter was targeted strictly at Air Traffic Controllers(ATCs) selected from strategic airports across the country.
The training is designed to impact basic SMS knowledge to participants and enable them understand the basic concepts, principles, theories, procedures and processes of SMS in aviation.
The training primarily focused on the provisions of the State Safety Programme (SSP) and the SMS Manuals including their interrelationships.
The Human Factor workshop on the other hand focused extensively on the crucial role of human factor in hazard identification, safety risk management and critical decision making in the process of air traffic management.
In his remarks at the commencement of the training, the Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu noted that what informed the policy of aggressive training by his administration was the need to constantly train, and retrain the human person because “only by doing so can we be at par with technology which is also being constantly updated by the passage of each day.”
He expressed delight with the quality of instruction,just as he challenged the participants to see themselves as safety champions of NAMA and “be ready to impart this knowledge to others so that it can trickle down the agency with the ultimate aim of making our processes and procedures more compliant with the International Civil Aviation Standard and Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPs).”
Akinkuotu said the concept of safety must be understood and imbibed by everybody in the system such that safety issues could be promptly reported by subordinates without fear of reprimand.
Also reacting to the training, the Chief Instructor at the workshop, Raymond Wittstock, said the urgency and responsibility of SMS including the seriousness of safety at the airport is what trainings such as this set out to emphasize and reinforce, stressing that the time has come for aviation authorities to ensure the buy-in of all workers in safety management at the airports.