It was a national embarrassment as passengers in their hundreds were yesterday stranded at the nation’s airports as a result of the warning strike embarked upon by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, NATCA over welfare packages.
The airline passengers were at the receiving end in most airports across the country as the airlines could not fly as a result of the strike.
At the General Aviation Terminal, GAT and the Murtala Muhammed Domestic Terminal 2 (MMA2) in Lagos, hundreds of stranded passengers were seen loitering around the airport terminals waiting for the warning strike to be called off .
Some of the passengers on Air Peace flying to Abuja and that of Arik Air said some of the airline officials have advised them to be calm as the situation would soon be resolved and passenger will be airlifted later.
One of the passengers, Okechukwu Nwankwo expressed his displeasure over the whole development.
Nwankwo lamented that he has missed a very crucial meeting in Abuja which was a must for him to attend.
According to Nwankwo, “we pay for services rendered to us, why must we be involved again in the laxity of agencies in sorting out their differences with their staff.”
Sources within NATCA said the controllers went on a six-hour warning strike to inform the management of NAMA that their position and demands over welfare packages which had been dragging on for some time now still stands.
Speaking in an interview on the development, the national president of Air Traffic Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu stated that the action of NATCA is temporary withdrawal of services.
Comrade Okewu who said the association is an affiliate of ATSSAN explained that the group gave adequate notice to the government that it was going to embark on strike, adding that the strike would be called off by 1:00pm.
Comrade Okewu said that since the group will call off the industrial action by 1:00pm, it would not affect international flights operations.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in their reaction has stated that the relevant authorities have been in consultation with Air Traffic Controllers on their agitation for enhanced welfare.
A statement signed by the general manager Public Affairs of NAMA Olajumoke Adetona noted that, “the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), hereby wishes to inform the general public that the relevant authorities have been in consultation with Air Traffic Controllers on their agitation for enhanced welfare.”
According to her, “the situation is gradually returning to normal as flight operations have resumed at the various airports across the nation. We therefore regret any inconveniences caused the travelling public as a result of these flight delays.”

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