Quality probes into air accidents, timely release of safety reports with effective safety recommendations have contributed massively to improved air safety in the country according to the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB).
Director-General, NSIB, Engr. Akin Olateru, stated this over the weekend in Abuja during his paper presentation at the Aviation Africa Summit 2023 stating that Nigeria’s airspace, in the last 10 years, had only recorded two fatal civil air crashes, which led to the loss of nine lives within the period.
Speaking on the topic: “Nigeria Evolving Approach to Aviation Safety and Learning from Occurrence Investigation,’ boasted that Nigeria had the safest safety record in the globe, stressing that the country was now a force to reckon with in the sector.
He also pointed out that there was a downward spiral from fatal accident to accident and now serious incident in the civil occurrences currently in Nigeria, saying: “In the last four years, Nigeria had only one accident per year in terms of classification.”
He mentioned Bristow Helicopters crash of 2015 and Quorum Helicopters accident of 2019 as the only two civil occurrences in which fatalities were so far recorded within the period.
Olateru, who maintained that Nigeria witnesses more incidents than accidents in the civil air mishaps these days, added that through the enhancement of soft systems being deployed in the conduct of probes into civil aviation occurrences and timely release of reports, the number of serious incidents would reduced.
Olateru further announced the plans by the bureau, in collaboration with the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to review and measure the effectiveness of all safety recommendations that had been issued over the years.
He said the purpose of this was to monitor their implementation through the setting up of committees, stressing that this would be unveiled in 2024.
He clarified that this was not the first time NSIB would embark on such initiative, stressing that the bureau in 2020 under his leadership organised similar programme.
He also unveiled the plans by the bureau to make an arrangement through the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, NCAA and relevant stakeholders to bring both local and foreign insurance firms for deliberation in order to address the issue of insurance premium of airlines in Nigeria in 2024.
The NSIB boss further explained that the agency had generally through the development of mechanism for early reporting of occurrence, identifying and improving personnel’s technical skills, training of first responders on what to do at the occurrence sites, keeping a database for analysis to identify trends and patterns became evolving approach of the bureau that had guaranteed a safer airspace in Nigeria and beyond.
He added: “It is necessary to engage stakeholders in the industry and the public on the need to report occurrences as they happen or you become aware of them through mandatory and voluntary reporting.”
This, according to him formed part of the evolving approach of the bureau that led to a safer sky over Nigeria.