Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau [AIB], Commissioner, Akin Olateru, has made proposal for major aviation safety initiative to help boost Aviation Safety in Africa which he observed has continued to struggle on the world scale.
Olateru, who stated this at the international aviation safety meeting in Ottawa, Canada, said it is high time the narrative  was changed.
Presenting his vision to significantly enhance aviation safety in Nigeria at the recently concluded Plane Sciences/AIRINC international users conference in Ottawa, Canada, the AIB chief disclosed that the Nigerian AIB already has a state-of-the-art flight recorder playback and analysis laboratory in Abuja, which was built by Plane Sciences subject-matter-experts (SME’s) and is ranked by the International Society of Air Safety Investigators as among the best in the world.
Historically, majority of work by investigation authorities is in reaction to an aviation accident or serious incident, but Olateru presented a plan to change all that by championing the development of a proactive Aviation Safety Center to service not only Nigeria, but neighboring countries in the region .
According to the Commissioner, it is critical that Nigeria takes advantage of existing flight data related technologies that are historically fragmented across the industry serving various stakeholders.
According to him, We need to consolidate them into a single integrated aviation safety center (ASC) and take advantage of the economies of scale that come with that effort.  He believes an ASC will provide a direct benefit to the AIB to enable AIB to conduct proactive safety studies, further helping to deepen accident investigations by performing retrospective analysis on massive amounts of routinely collected flight data’.
‘The ASC concept was well received by the aviation safety experts at the users conference, and was regarded as an excellent opportunity for Nigeria to set a new standard for aviation safety in Africa’.
He reiterated that the ASC would require design, development and implementation of software, equipment, and training, using internationally recognized subject-matter-experts (SME’s) working closely with local Nigerian companies.
He said that it is timely to build onto AIB’s existing flight recorder laboratory and expand it to enable the AIB to be more effective by proactively utilizing flight data instead of only reacting to accidents.
The effort he further stated would include a significant investment to bring the flight data user community to new levels.
‘The ASC project will make a concerted effort to integrate the latest in flight data technologies.  He further explained this is not just a ground based system, but as part of the R&D, the project team will be installing prototype flight recorders on candidate aircraft that are able to telemeter the ‘black box’ data off the aircraft in flight for real time tracking as well as, in various scenarios, sending the entire flight data stream’.
‘Plane Sciences SME’s stated at the users meeting that they planned to use the latest BBITS (Black Box in the Sky) concept under development by Honeywell, one of the largest flight recorder manufacturers in the world, who presented BBITS at the conference’.
He added that with BBITS technology integrated with Plane Sciences flight animation technology Plane Sciences SME’s pioneered as far back as 1986, the AIB will be able to perform real-time flight animation when the recorder is triggered into full streaming mode.
This he said would be a first in the world with many safety implications.  The project will involve a significant technology transfer from North American to Nigeria to generate technical economic growth in the aviation sector in Nigeria.

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