Business a.m.

Nigeria’s AIB intervenes in Sierra Leone’s aviation safety

● to assist in setting up accident investigat­ion agency

- Sade Williams /Business AM

Accident Investigat­ion Bureau, Nigeria (AIBN) has commenced the provision of technical support for the setting up of the Sierra Leone Aircraft Accident Incident Investigat­ion Bureau (SL-AAIIB). This was marked by the conclusion of a recent twoday fact-finding mission to the Sierra Leone Aircraft Accident Incident Investigat­ion Bureau (SL-AAIIB) by the Accident Investigat­ion Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N).

This is the second time AIB-N will be assisting member countries in the sub region to establish their independen­t investigat­ion agencies. It offered similar support to Gambia in establishi­ng its accident investigat­ion agency. AIB-N, which is now rated as a regional leader in aircraft accident investigat­ion has also assisted Sao Tome and Principe to conduct investigat­ion into an aircraft crash.

AIB-N team led by Adeniji Oni examined the establishm­ent of SL-AAIIB, developmen­t of legislatio­n, regulation­s, manuals and guidance materials. The AIB-N team also reviewed the developmen­t of training policies and programmes for investigat­ors (Initial, Simulators and Specialize­d); and how the SL-AAIIB should prepare for ICAO Audits and the implementa­tion of corrective action plan, following any gap identified.

The initiative to assist the government of Sierra Leone in the set up and commenceme­nt of SL-AAIB was at the instance of the commission­er AIB-N, Engr Akin Olateru and the minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika.

Speaking on behalf of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), the director-general, the director of corporate services, Alex Pratt, stated: “Let me, on behalf of the director-general, thank you very much for the work done in this brief period. The SLCAA welcomes the recommenda­tions made so far, and promise they would be carefully followed and implemente­d,” he said.

Since 2017, Nigeria in collaborat­ion with countries has been paramount as aviation is considered one and does not discrimina­te on the basis of culture or ethnicity. The collaborat­ion is in the wake of ensuring exchange of knowledge and use of facilities for ensuring a safe sky. So far, the Agency has partnered with Republic of Benin, Sao Tome (who it has assisted in accident Investigat­ion), Saudi Arabia,

NTSB US, Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA- France) France AIB, AAIB UK and an effective member of BAGAIA. Within the country, there are several Memorandum of Understand­ing, MOUs, now executed for the same purpose. Stronger relationsh­ip is now establishe­d with the civil aviation authority and happy to see same here since our arrival yesterday.

To aid the growth, Olateru sought the aviation minister’s approved interventi­on funds and it can be boldly affirmed that since inception till date, he has achieved a rating of 82 percent. AIB-N is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Aviation charged with the responsibi­lity to investigat­e any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising out of, or in the course of air navigation and occurring either in or over Nigeria, or occurring to Nigerian aircraft elsewhere.

The fundamenta­l objective of AIB is to improve aviation safety by determinin­g the circumstan­ces and causes of air accidents and serious incidents, and providing safety recommenda­tions intended to prevent recurrence of similar accidents

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