By Okuneye Moyosola
Engr. Nnamdi Udoh is a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). In this Interview with MMS Plus, he appraises the credibility of accidents reports and recommendations can be evaluated. Enjoy it:
What necessary steps can be taken to foster cooperation between AIB and NCAA?
Everybody should stay on his lane. There are laws establishing these organizations and it’s clearly delineated. The point of interaction is also clearly defined. It is when people are not well informed, educated and exposed to the rudiments of the organizations, they either think somebody is entering or they think if you enter another person’s place, they have done well.
For example, if an accident happens, NCAA will involve the AIB in going through the processes of what led to the accident but NCAA will not be involved in the findings. When the report is written, NCAA is notified and no final report will be published until they make their input, that’s the rule. This is the same with the manufacturer. It is also the same with the stakeholder like the airline or air traffic management organization as the case may be. If that is done, of course, the synergy continues.
Both agencies should share safety trainings together. They should share safety management system trainings together and everybody would enjoy a culture of just by escalating any safety issues that arises, it doesn’t matter what the organization.
Despite series of training, some accident investigators do not have the mindset to ensure that the truth is published. How can we ensure that the reports released by the accident investigators are factual?
Accident investigation is not only in Nigeria. There are international standards. There are also bench marks that you can use to evaluate when an accident report has been written. That will enable you know who has done his job and who hasn’t. we have those things built into the system. We have to evaluate a worker who is like a driver. The criteria for evaluation include speed limit, attitude to traffic and knowing the routs. For accident investigation, there are also established rules to enable the accident investigator to show whether he knows his job or not.
A stakeholder in the industry while speaking in an interview disclosed that NCAA are overburdened with responsibilities and that is why they are not functioning effectively. What is your perspective on this sir?
For me, I see nothing wrong in NCAA functioning the way it is functioning now. What we need to find out is if the unbundling is applicable in other countries. What are the ICAO standards? The man who is monitoring can be in the same room with you. Because you are regulating and you are monitoring what is happening doesn’t mean that you cannot have checks and balances. There are workers in an office. You are a manager doesn’t mean that the officer working under you will not be told when he does something wrong. Will you cater for another organization to monitor? No. Don’t forget there is a ministry which provides administrative oversight on all the agencies.
How can Nigeria continue to uphold these safety standards in the aviation industry?
The rules of safety sustainability are clearly defined. That is why we involve everybody to have what we call safety management system. If it’s a system, it is a loop. Safety is not a destination, it is a process and its continuous.