In a groundbreaking celebration of World Air Traffic Controllers Day, Nigeria made history by deploying an all-female Air Traffic Control (ATC) Crew to manage all control units nationwide, including Area, Approach, and Terminal Control.
This unprecedented initiative, led by senior female Controllers, was championed by Mrs. Hauwa Danboyi, the first female Controller in Nigeria.
Mrs. Kate Nnanna-Ibemgbo, DGM, Air Traffic Management (ATM) at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), served as the Planning Committee Chairman. Alongside her dedicated committee members, they turned the vision into reality, aiming to promote inclusion and diversity within the ATC profession and celebrate the remarkable women working in this field.
The event was conceived to showcase the strength of unity among female ATC professionals and emphasize the importance of inclusion and diversity in the industry. Mrs. Nnanna-Ibemgbo stated, “We thought of a situation where we could come together and pool our individual strengths to have a collective strength and do what we know would project the core values of ATC in Nigeria.”
The all-female crew across the nation simultaneously demonstrated the unity and synergy between male and female counterparts in the profession. The milestone event was a testament to the trajectory of progress happening in other parts of the world.
Mrs. Ekeada Doris, DGM, Technical Evaluation and Manpower Development at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), expressed pride in the significant increase in the number of women in ATC since she joined in 1998. She emphasized that women can excel in the male-dominated profession despite the challenges and stress it entails. “For the upcoming generation, my message to them is that the sky is just the beginning. There is nothing you cannot accomplish. ATC is a proud and great profession,” she added.
First Officer Mrs. Atinuke Stanley-Kafu from Air Peace highlighted the inspiring nature of this milestone, signaling a positive shift in the industry. She encouraged women entering the aviation sector to be inspired and expressed her excitement for the opportunity to witness such a historic day.
The celebrations concluded on a high note, with the women in ATC encouraging each other to prepare for bigger responsibilities. They committed to continuing to inspire the next generation of women and girls, not only in aviation but across all professions. As Nigerian women in ATC pave the way, the sky truly becomes the beginning for aspiring female professionals.