COMMISSIONER, Accident investigation Bureau (AIB), Engineer Akin Olateru has said that the Bureau plans to release the final reports of three major crashes that occurred between 2011 and 2016, stating that it would be submitted to the presidency for approval before being released to the public.
This is just as he decried that the Bureau has no technical staff and giving the spate of helicopter accidents, he was saddened that there was not a single helicopter pilot in the AIB.
Olateru who was a guest at a forum organized by the Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos on Thursday disclosed that the crashes involved a OAS Helicopter crash in July, 2011 two Bristow Helicopter accidents one in the Oworonshoki area of the Third Mainland Bridge with six fatalities while six others sustained serious injuries and the Dana Air crash in 2012.
According to him, the reports of the accident will be made public by next week.
He also noted that on taking over at the AIB there were 37 pending accidents investigations and vowed that at least 10 would be released to the public before the end of year.
“When I took over at the AIB on January 13, 2017, there were 37 pending accident investigations and the first question I asked was how many accidents do we have in a year that we have 37 pending accident investigations? Today, I’m proud to tell you, four reports are on their way to the president including Dana, and two Bristow and AOS Helicopters reports. And by next week, we will make them official reports,” the commissioner said.
“Before the end of this year, by the special grace of God, we will release a minimum of 10 reports. There must be a big paradigm shift in the way we do things,” he added.
On the shortage of technical manpower, Olateru also said that the AIB lacks adequate technical manpower to speedily conduct investigations, explaining that “are only one and half pilots in AIB,” but decried specifically that neither specializes in helicopter accident investigation despite the frequencies of rotary wing crashes in Nigeria.
He added further that the AIB lacked an emergency code number that the public could contact in case of an accident, promising to implement a simple three-digit emergency contact number.
“We don’t even have an emergency response team in AIB. Who do you call even when you need a crane? We don’t know. Most of our management team does not know the number to call in case of an accident. There is no way anyone will remember the 11-digit number. Rather, we need a unique three-digit number.
“We don’t have a control room in AIB. Once it is 4 to 5pm, the company shuts down and I try to remind them that accidents in most times occur in the evening and on weekends. So, we must have a functional control room, radio, and monitor things that are going on. Reporting accidents is another issue. We have to make it seamless.
“These are the issues I’m taking up with the honorable minister and he’s willing to support. We need to strengthen the system and we can’t just fold our hands,” he concluded.
Point of correction, please the Dana crash was in ‘2012’ and not in ‘2013’ as stated in the 3rd paragraph of your story on AIB.
Nice job, keep it up.