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AIB to use drones for accident investigations, to release 4 new final reports today

Akin Olateru, AIB Commissioner
ACCIDENT Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria  is set to train staff to master new equipment including some drones and other handheld investigative devices acquired to make the Bureau’s task of gathering and analyzing data from crash sites less cumbersome.

This is just as the Bureau says it has said that it will be releasing four (4) new air accidents reports today, Tuesday bringing the total number of final reports of air accidents to a record 26 in four years.

Disclosing these on Monday in Abuja was the Commissioner/CEO of AIB Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olateru when the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime visited the agency to ascertain their level of ICT infrastructure and cyber security architecture where he told them that the Bureau has concluded plans to commence training for aircraft accident investigators in the West African sub-region.

Speaking on some of its new technology acquired, the AIB Commissioner noted that “the bureau has acquired some drones and our staff are schedule to undergo the training to enable us get aerial shots of crash sites and proper analysis.”

He also said handheld investigation equipment devices they also acquired will help its investigators to carry out on-the-spot analysis of evidences at the crash site and also download of the Flight Data Recorder & Cockpit Voice Recorder through the handheld device.

On investigation reports set to be released, AIB commissioner said the Bureau now has the capacity to carry out and release air accident report in 18 months from the date of the accident.

He said: “We will be releasing an additional four reports tomorrow, which will bring the total number of final reports released to 31 and 106 safety recommendations during this current administration.”

He said the releases will make a total of 49 final reports and 187 safety recommendations since the inception of AIB.

He also told the senators that AIB now releases air accidents in record time unlike in the past, saying that this was made possible due to the capability it has attained in the last four years in terms of equipment and human capital.

Olateru said since he assumed office in 2017, AIB has released 26 final accident reports and issued 97 safety recommendations to the public.

This, he said represented 64 percent of releases since the inception of AIB.

AIB has partnerships with United Kingdom Air Accident investigation Bureau (AAIB UK), Singapore Transportation, Safety Investigative Board (TSIB), Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB Canada) and the University of Ilorin among others.

Olateru also appealed to the Senate for improved funding and the quick passage of its Amendment Act to enhance its operations

Speaking on training in the sub-region, the Commissioner revealed that beyond partnerships with local and international institutions, it has also completed plans to begin training air accident investigators for the entire West Africa at its Abuja facility in partnership with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria.

In his earlier remark, the Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime Sen. Yakubu Oseni who led the committee noted that fresh experiences arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed rampaging threats to the digital ecosystem and have further exposed the need for accelerated development in ICT.

He also said in Nigeria, the concern is not only about cyber-security threat, but also weak systems hence the need for the oversight.

The committee members were later taken through AIB modern accident analysing facilities and the lawmakers expressed satisfaction with the achievement of the bureau in recent years.

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