Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, has expressed optimism that the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s, ICAO, Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme, USOAP, would be successful.
Speaking at the commencement of the ICAO USOAP audit at the headquarters of the NCAA, Capt. Usman stated that periodic audits and certification are not unfamiliar to the Nigerian aviation industry.
Successive audits have been concluded with success and to all intent and purposes this prevalent exercise would be similarly successful.
He restated Nigeria’s readiness for the ICAO USOAP audit, stressing that the authority has left no stone unturned as all hands are on deck to ensure adequate preparation.
He noted that there has been a very encouraging cooperation and working relationship between relevant parastatals and the regulatory authority towards a successful outing and observed that the growth and development of aviation in Nigeria is undergoing a periodic examination by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO.
Usman further disclosed that ICAO USOAP was initially launched in January,1999 in response to widespread concerns about the adequacy of aviation safety oversight around the world.
He said the ultimate goal is to promote global aviation safety through regular audit of safety oversight systems in all ICAO member states.
“USOAP audits are usually focussed on a state’s capability to provide a robust safety oversight system. ICAO does this by assessing whether the state has effectively and consistently implemented the critical elements of a safety oversight system.
‘‘In addition, it is aimed at determining the state’s level of implementation of ICAO’s safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices, SARPs, with associated procedures and guidance material.
‘‘The programme was expanded in 2005 to the USOAP Comprehensive Systems Approach, CSA, to include safety-related provisions contained in all safety annexes to the Chicago Convention,” Usman explained.
He explained that the USOAP CSA cycle which ended in December 2010 entailed about 40 safety oversight audits annually, with each ICAO member state hosting an audit at least once during the cycle.
According to the NCAA boss, in September, 2007, the 36th Session of the Assembly adopted Resolution A36-4 directing the council to examine different options for the continuation of USOAP beyond 2010. It looked at the feasibility of applying a new approach based on the concept of continuous monitoring and incorporating the analysis of safety risk factors.