The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has unveiled the Nigeria’s State Safety Policy Statement in compliance with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 19 on Safety Management.
The Policy statement which was adopted by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) Council on the 25th of February, 2013 became effective on the 14th of November same year.
The policy statement was signed by the Accountable Executive and the Director General of the regulatory authority Capt. Muhtar Usman of which Chapter 3 of the Annex requires each contracting state to establish a State Safety Programme (SSP) for the management of safety in that state.
This shall be done in order to achieve an Acceptable Level of Safety Performance (ALoSP) in civil aviation.
The requirement for a State Safety Programme (SSP) recognises that States as well as Service Providers have safety responsibilities. The SSP therefore provide a framework within which Service Providers are required to establish a Safety Management System (SMS).
Furthermore, the ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) recognises the importance of the establishment and maintenance of fundamental safety oversight systems. These are prerequisites to the full implementation of the State Safety Programme and calls on those states with mature safety oversight systems to progress towards full implementation of SSP.
It is required that states that have achieved Effective Implementation (EI) levels of over 60 per cent should fully implement State Safety Programme (SSP) by 2017. Nigeria has achieved 72.1% implementation level during the past ICAO USOAP Audit of 2006.This is well above the required implementation level.
Towards this end, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman formally inaugurated an eleven-member State Safety Programme Implementation Unit on the 4th of August, 2015, at the Authority.
The SSP Implementation Unit is to initiate the SSP processes and develop the platform for the implementation of the SSP in Nigeria.
Chapter 3 of ICAO Annex 19 on Safety Management and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs), 2009 Parts 3, 6, 9, 12 and 14 state that as part of its SSP, each Contracting State shall require Service Providers to implement a Safety Management System (SMS).
The service providers are Approved Training Organisations (ATO) in line with Annex 1, who are exposed to safety risks related to aircraft operations during the provision of their services.
Others are Air Operators Certificate (AOC) Holders, Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMO), Air Traffic (ATC) service providers, operators of Certified Aerodromes and the General Aviation operators of large or turbojet aeroplanes.
Therefore the policy statement is expected to provide guidance to all stakeholders to ensure improvement in safety management and practices including safety reporting within the civil aviation industry.
According to the safety statement Nigeria is committed to:
1. Develop national standards, general rulemaking and specific operational policies on safety management principles in line with Standards, Recommended Practices, Procedures of International Civil Aviation Organization and also on a comprehensive analysis of Nigeria aviation systems;
2. Adopt a data-driven and performance-based approach to safety regulation and industry oversight responsibilities where appropriate;
3. Conduct performance-based and compliance-oriented oversight activities within the aviation industry, supported by analysis and identification of safety trends, adopting a risk-based approach in the prioritization of resource allocation to address areas of critical safety concern or need;
4. Monitor and measure the realistic implementation of the safety performance of Nigerian aviation system through the State’s aggregate safety indicators as well as Service Providers’ safety performance indicators;
5. Collaborate, consult and interact effectively with Service Providers in the resolution of safety concerns and continuous enhancement of aviation safety;
6. Promote good safety practices and positive organizational culture within the industry, based on sound safety management principles;
7. Establish the provisions for the protection, collection, processing, analysis and exchange of safety information amongst all relevant industry organizations and Service Providers, with the intent that such information is to be used for safety management purposes only;
8. Allocate sufficient financial and human resources for safety management and oversight;
9. Equip staff with proper skills and expertise to discharge their safety oversight and management responsibilities competently; and
10. Develop and implement enforcement policy, which will ensure that information derived from the SSP Safety Data, Information Analysis and Exchange System or Service Providers’ SMS will not be used as a basis for enforcement action, except in the case of gross negligence and wilful deviation.
This policy must be understood, implemented and observed by all involved in activities related to the Nigeria’s SSP.