The International Civil Aviation Organisation has said that the revitalised air safety laboratory of Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau will be of benefit to seven countries in the West African sub-region.
It said Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone, as well as Nigeria will benefit from the $5.8m laboratory that was revived last week by the management of the AIB.
A representative of the ICAO, who doubles as the Commissioner for the Banjul Accord Accident Investigation Agency, Mr. Caj Frostel, said the laboratory would go a long way in boosting air safety in the sub-region and in Africa.
Frostel outlined some of the BAGAIA member states that would make use of the facility as The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone.
He told reporters in Lagos on Sunday, “Much of what we did during the week was that we needed to establish that the pieces of equipment (in the laboratory) work.
“We have a BAGAIA interest that the AIB facility in Abuja becomes the centre of excellence in reading out flight recorders for all the seven countries. With the BAGAIA, we have ambition to expand to cover the Economic Community of West African States’ member countries and even central and southern Africa.”
According to him, there is no other flight recorder that can read out facility as the one in Abuja, adding that countries that will use the facility are potential international customers.
The Commissioner, AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru, told journalists in Abuja last week that the ICAO and the Singaporean government were supporting the agency in reviving the laboratory, which had not been in use for some years.
A flight safety laboratory expert and head of the Air Accident Investigation Department of Singapore’s Transport Safety Board, Mr. Michael Toft, said the equipment installed in the laboratory was now in shape to download and analyse information from black boxes in case of an accident.