The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have inaugurated a joint committee to enforce safety recommendations in order to reduce air mishaps.

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The joint committee is an inter-agency mix of professionals who would review safety recommendations issued on accidents, serious incidents and continuous operation of the State Safety Programmes (SSP) and ensure that the recommendations are implemented.

Both agencies inaugurated the committee in Abuja on Wednesday as the 11-man team was tasked to collaborate, corporate, coordinate and enforce regulations that would enhance aviation safety.

A statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi quoted Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner of the bureau as saying that the committee would also consider any other areas of cooperation that would improve safety of aircraft operations in Nigeria.

The Commissioner/CEO of AIB Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olateru
The Commissioner/CEO of AIB Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olateru

He said, “Both agencies have nominated five representatives each to the floor of the committee, while one representative has been nominated by the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

“The 11-man joint committee members will collaborate on the review of NCAA responses on safety recommendations issued by the AIB on accidents and serious incidents, implementation and continuous cooperation of safety programmes.”

Olateru explained that after the AIB had investigated accidents and serious incidents to prevent future reoccurrence, the NCAA, being the regulator of the industry, would ensure that AIB’s recommendations were complied with by operators.

“This is the whole essence of this committee; they are to look through the safety recommendations, implementation levels and guide us both on what to do to make it effectively implemented,” he said.

The Director-General, NCAA, Musa Nuhu, said both agencies were working to establish compatible software to enable the sharing of safety data, which was also part of the mandate of the committee.

The Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Nuhu Musa
The Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Nuhu Musa

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Nuhu also pointed out that airlines that fail to report accidents or serious incidents to the authority or AIB could lose their Air Operator Certificates.

He said, “Another area for the committee to address is the establishment of procedures for timely transfer of occurrences either way.

“This is to ensure that valid and valuable evidence are not completely lost before the transferee authority commences investigation.”

NCAA and AIB are key agencies in the aviation sector. The NCAA regulates the industry, while the AIB investigates serious incidents and accidents.

Officials of both agencies said they had been collaborating over the years on aviation safety, but noted that the partnership that they entered on Wednesday was to deepen and make their collaboration formal.