By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu, Sept. 29, 2020 Mr Akin Olateru, Chief Executive Officer, Accident Investigation Bureau, says Nigeria operates one of the safest aviation industries in the world.
Olateru made this known on Tuesday in Enugu, at a regional enlightenment symposium organised for stakeholders in the aviation industry.
The chief executive officer was represented at the event by Mr Tunji Oketunbi, General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB.
He said for Aug. 28, 2020 Bell 206 Helicopter crash in Lagos, the aviation industry in the country had been without any form of crashes for five years.
Olateru said in spite of the little setback, the aviation industry was not daunted in its commitment to achieving zero accident in the industry.
He assured air travellers that the bureau would not relent in its quest to add values that would up the aviation safety in Nigeria and Africa.
According to him, aim of the symposium is to engage stakeholders with a view to deliberating on how to further grow the air transport system and promote safety culture.
“Our duty, as accident investigators of civil aviation, is one thing, but understanding one’s needs is very critical to the success of any institution.
“The Bureau under the current administration is focussed on engendering relationships.
“This is aimed at facilitating excellence and ensuring world class standards in the investigation and prevention of air accidents in Nigeria,” he said.
Olateru said that the AIB, as an unbiased and professional body, had deliberately built the needed trust within the industry.
“This has prompted some institutions that want to partner with AIB. France, on their own, wrote to us, asking for collaboration, and we have signed an MoU with them,” he said.
The AIB chief executive officer said that the agency also received correspondences from Saudi Arabia “and if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, we would have gone there to sign an MoU.
“Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), a regional body, has also reached out, because they really want to use AIB Nigeria to support the entire West Africa,” he said.
Olateru said that AIB had a world class Flight Safety Laboratory in Abuja “and they want us to showcase the laboratory.
“There is going to be a training for all accident investigators in the region, to showcase our laboratory before the end of this year,” he said.
Olateru said that AIB recently signed an MoU with the Nigerian Air Force on collaboration on mutual benefits.
“This collaboration will save the Air Force some money, in terms of fund it allocates to downloading its Flight Data Recorders, following an air crash.
“The collaboration will benefit us in terms of accessing remote crash sites faster and easily, since the Air Force has helicopters that can transport our investigators.
“AIB’s success story has really impressed not only agencies in the country but other nations,” he said.
According to CEO, the goal of AIB is to expand its scope by ensuring that it has investigators across the geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
“That is why we have established regional offices across the country.
“In case of any occurrence within the South-East, our investigators will be swiftly dispatched to the site of occurrence after being duly notified,” Olateru said.
Naija247news reports that AIB is an autonomous aviation agency, established under the Civil Aviation Act 2006, with the responsibility of investigating civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within Nigeria.