A member of the Aviation Round Table ART, Group Captain John Ojikutu, Rtd has blamed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA for failure to implement accidents and incidents report recommendations in the aviation industry.
Speaking at the recent stakeholders’ forum in Lagos organized by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Ojikutu questioned why NCAA did not share such safety recommendations with other airline operators.
He wondered why such sensitive information should be swept under the carpet while accidents and incidents keep happening at our airports.
Ojikutu said such recommendations supposed to be a guide to airline operators so as to forestall future occurrence.
Speaking on issues in Nigerian Flight Safety Environment, an aviation consultant and former general manager with the Nigerian Air space Management Agency, NAMA, Sam Akerele explained that Nigeria was put in ICAO category 2 and was given 5N and 50 as Nationality marks, but after 55 years, the country has not being able to exhaust 5N and proceed to 50 due to mismanagement of resources, policy somersault and corruption.
According to him,” in my younger days, Nigerian Pound is equal to British Pound, today it is N300 or more, one US Dollar is equal to N220. The intervention of the military in our political life has brought us to this level with the conspiracy to stop Nigerian from becoming an African power after various interventions in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Congo and Tanzania directly or indirectly.
However, the fact remains that out skilled personnel, infrastructure development and technology could not match the change immediately. Nine years after (2015) we have passed ICAO Audits and attained FAA category one status severally but growth of the industry is minimal in terms of economically viable domestic flag carriers operations, National or Flag Carriers on International Routes, Modern 21st Century Airports, Aviation Training Organisations with 21st century Requirements and Technology, Government policies that enhance developments and protect local investors, Airlines Hub and Aviation Fuel Supply Chain.”
He listed the ICAO eight Critical Elements for Safety to include, Legislation, Regulation, .Organization, Technical Staff (Quality/Training), Technical Guidance and Tools, Licensing, Certification, Approval, Continuous Safety Surveillance and Resolution of Safety Concerns
Today the ICAO President Dr. O. B. Aliu is a Nigerian, we need to see his impact on our industry in terms of training, workshops of safety and low interest financing of Airlines to expand this important sector safety environment, Akerele said.
He lamented the inability of NCAA to apply full sanction Aviation Parastatal for failure to adhere to NCAR because they all serve under the Minister of Aviation, including the inability of NCAA to ground aircraft licensed for private use which were turned to commercial purposes.
Akerele alo raised the issue of ferrying currencies in dollars to foreign countries and unmanned Airstrips used for smuggling across the borders.
While lamenting the insecurity of Airports/Aircraft in the North –East and South-South axis of the country due to terrorist acts, Akerele also identified inadequate Aviation Security, AVSEC personnel to man all Airports on 24 hours basis as another limitation.
He also listed some issues in the flight safety environment pending for resolutions to include, Airports Non- Certification by NCAA, Provision of Security fences at Airports (Not Perimeter Fence), shortages of ATC Personnel’s to man our facilities, unemployment of Nigeria Pilots on wide bodied aircraft like B787 series, Access Roads at Airports used by the public for commercial reasons, inability of NCAA to apply full sanctions on Aviation Parastatal for failure to adhere to NCAR because they all serve under the Minister of Aviation, inability of NCAA to ground aircraft licensed for private use which were turned to commercial purposes including ferrying currencies in dollars to foreign countries.
Others include ATC Radar Services not covering Kano FIR 24/7 which is due for upgrading with modern technology, lack of airline Hubs in Nigeria, importation of JetA1 Aviation fuel and use of Bowser for distribution and supply to aircraft, allowing several foreign Airlines to land in Airports as entry points into Nigeria which has denied local operators of passengers to distribute within Nigeria and Multiple entries/dual designation has virtually killed domestic operations

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