The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have formed a partnership to further increase air safety in the country’s aviation sector.
The two agencies in Abuja on Wednesday jointly inaugurated an 11-man committee that would review the NCAA’s response to safety recommendations issued by AIB on accidents, serious incidents and continuous operation of the State Safety Programmes (SSP) and ensure that the agency’s recommendations are implemented.
A statement by Mr Tunji Oketunbi, the General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, quoted the Commissioner of the bureau, Mr Akin Olateru as saying that the committee would also consider any other areas of cooperation that would improve the safety of aircraft operations in Nigeria.
He emphasised that the committee would also coordinate activities with regards to aviation occurrences, respect for the mandate and responsibilities of each organisation, effective and efficient exchange of information and data amongst others.
Olateru explained that both government agencies nominated five representatives each to the committee, while one representative was nominated by the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
The AIB helmsman stated that the two agencies had worked together to ensure effective discharge of their duties in establishing and promoting higher levels of safety.
He said: “These 11 Joint Committee members will collaborate in the review of NCAA’s responses to safety recommendations issued by AIB on accidents and serious incidents.
“The committee will see the implementation and continuous operation of the State Safety Programmes in Nigeria and any other areas of cooperation that will enhance the safety of aircraft operations in Nigeria.”
The AIB Chief emphasised that NCAA was in charge of regulating the industry, while AIB focused on investigating serious incidents and accidents to promote the safety of the sector.
Olateru reiterated the readiness of AIB to cooperate and collaborate with other agencies and organisations, both in Nigeria and abroad, in ways that would ensure continuous safe skies in Nigeria, West Africa and the world.
Also commenting, Director-General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu said the primary objective of establishing the committee was to ensure the enhancement of thorough coordination, collaboration and cooperation processes and public safety in the aviation industry.
According to him, such coordination had been taking place between the authority and the bureau, although inconsistently and informally.
He described the inauguration as a giant stride towards performing the two agencies performing their functions in the areas of safety oversight and investigation of accidents and serious incidents with a view to determining probable causes, implement safety recommendations in order to prevent re-occurrence.
Nuhu emphasised that it was expected that safety and accident investigation experts would have the opportunity to sit down together to review safety recommendations that have been proposed by the bureau and the responses provided by the authority.
While stating that the two authorities were vested with the responsibility of the implementation of the SSP, Nuhu pointed out that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs) Part 20 on Safety Management required that both authorities have access to appropriate information in the incident reporting system Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) and the Non-Punitive Reporting System to support the safety responsibilities.
“Pursuant to the above, both authorities are striving towards establishing compatible software to enable the sharing of safety data and this also is part of the mandate of this committee.
“It is also important that this committee continuously reviews the requirements of the Nig. CARs and the implementation of responsibilities it assigns to the Civil Aviation Regulations (Investigations of Air Accidents and Serious Incidents),” he said.
He urged the committee to continuously engage in ensuring the establishment of conclusions devoid of ambiguous interpretations that would ensure the frictionless and seamless description of lines of responsibilities.
“The committee will have to determine the detailed modality and methodology of implementation to ensure that there will be no compromise.
“This is necessary, as we are supposed to have a global perspective to the final reports being issued by the bureau, as they do not constitute AIB reports per se, but Nigerian report and are ultimately available in the public space,” he said.