A 10-man committee has been specially constituted on the effectiveness of the safety recommendations made by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) from inception.

Members of the committee drawn from AIB, NCAA and Ministry of Transport are the Director of Operations (AIB), Eng.,Charles Irikefe, First Officer Sadik Abubakar,Eng., Roland Nwaohiri and from NCAA are Eng.,Iteke Ifeanyi, Capt J.O.Vincent, Mr S.Among, Eng., J.Adegboye and Mr Taiwo Olugbenga while Eng.,Awogbami Clement represent the Ministry of Transport.

The committee Chaired by the AIB Commissioner has 30 days within which to turn in its initial report.

These developments were made known yesterday by the Commissioner of AIB, Engineer Akin Olateru in Lagos at the announcement of the constitution of the committee as approved by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

According to Olateru: ” This becomes necessary in order to consolidate the remarkable efforts being made by this management since assumption of office to extend the frontiers of aviation safety, not only in Nigeria but globally.”

“We inherited 27 outstanding accident reports out of which we have published 10 as at the end of 2017. These reports generated 35 safety recommendations. We hope to release another set of six accident reports before the end of May, 2018.”

He explained that: “For accident investigation to be relevant and effective, it must be thorough, impartial and timely. Timeliness is of essence. You would recall that we recently released three prelimnary reports of two serious incidents and an accident shortly after they occurred.”

Engineer Olateru further explained: “Safety recommendations are as critical as the investigation itself as it is the lever used to effect safety changes and improvements in the aviation industry.”

ICAO also describes Accident Investigation as ‘a process conducted for the purpose of accident prevention, which includes the gathering and analysis of information, the drawing of conclusions, including the determination of causes and, when appropriate, the making of safety recommendations.’

The purpose of accident investigation, which is to improve aviation safety cannot be achieved if AIB recommendations are not found to be effective by the stakeholders. The recommendations guide the regulators, operators, the Ministry and other stakeholders in the industry.

Olateru noted:” It is noteworthy that the Bureau’s accident investigation and safety recommendations have recorded positive impacts in the national and global aviation arena.

He added:” Our investigations into the Bristow Helicopter crash, which occurred in Lagos on August 12, 2015 led to the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Sikorsky, the aircraft manufacturer taking global safety actions.

He went on: “Diamond Aircraft Manufacturer also took safety action following our investigations into the serious incident involving Diamond DA 42 with registration number 5N-BKS, which occurred in Benin in July 2012.”

AIB during investigations, identifies a lot of hazards that sometimes may not be related to the particular occurrence under investigation but work with the operators to resolve them. It is noteworthy to state that safety recommendations/ safety alerts can be made at any stage of the accident investigation and AIB do not have to wait until final report is released.

The AIB boss said:”While we appreciate that our safety recommendations have recorded positive impacts locally and globally, we found it imperative to holistically review the effectiveness of all the recommendations with a view to enhancing aviation safety to the benefits of all air travellers.

“It is with this background that AIB decided to review our recommendations from inception totaling 120 and measure the level of their effectiveness. Members of this committee are drawn from AIB, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Ministry of Transportation and the industry.

“To ensure a balance and objectivity, the Honourable Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has approved the appointment of experienced industry experts as consultants to the committee. They are Capt Kiddie Dare and Engr. Gbolahan Abatan.

The committee will engage the affected stakeholders on the effectiveness of the safety recommendations addressed to them and submit their report to AIB management, which will work on it for the benefits of the industry.

The responsibility for enforcing safety recommendations lies with NCAA and this may explain why there are four nominees on this committee from the agency. This exercise is therefore to complement their efforts and enhance the industry’s capacity to improve safety.

Nigerian Aviation News