Managing Chaos In Nigeria’s Aviation Sector

Managing Chaos In Nigeria’s Aviation Sector
Murtala Muhammed International Airport

This year, the nation’s aviation industry witnessed some high profile aircraft incidents involving major domestic airlines as well as international airlines prompting industry watchers to call on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to conduct an audit of the airlines to determine their airworthiness.

The audit would also boost the confidence of air travelers which took a bashing as the industry continues to record one incident after the another, thus causing many to question the zero aircraft accident recorded in 2017, with some saying it might be due to luck and God’s infinite mercy and not necessarily due to the industry doing the right things to enable safety by the regulator, other service providers as well as airlines.

One of such individuals that called for the audit of airlines include, Engineer Sheri Kyria, Chief Executive officer and founder of Centre for Aviation Safety and Research (CAS- R). He said the incidences as recorded in the industry should help to awaken us (those in authority) to the need for more safety consciousness by the airlines and the regulator as well as other industry service providers.

It is worthy to  note  that the regulatory authority has woken up to its responsibilities as it has commenced the auditing of the airlines in line with its statutory function to ascertain the air worthiness of the aircraft they operate  as well as ensure the safety of air passengers.

Gone are the days when Nigerian registered aircraft are referred to as flying coffins. This is because the in the global aviation industry, being safe is the accurate thing to do, and it is the law, too.

Consequently, any Federal Aviation Agency, that regulates the airlines, must adopt safety as its mission, “to provide the safest, most efficient air space system in the world and to improve the safety and efficiency of aviation, while being responsive to customers and accountable to the public”.

Sam Adurogboye, spokesman of the regulatory authority speaking on the audit said “The audit of airlines is an ongoing thing and as we speak, all the airlines are being looked into. The whole idea is to ensure that everybody (airlines) is doing the right thing to prevent anything untoward. The fact is that there is no way you will be operating a machine and there will be no occurrence.

“There are bound to be incidents and that is why there are technical logs located inside each aircraft where the flight crew is expected to log whatever occurrences they had.

“When our inspectors come around, these are one of the things they check. We analyse these reports and whatever direction it leads us to, we are able to take an informed decision. It is informed decisions that prevent accidents, not decisions based on emotions”, he added.

NCAA, has often maintained that the motive behind any audit was not to ground any airline, but to ensure strict compliance with the standard rules and prevent compromise amidst economic and technical challenges.

In the past the NCAA conducted audits to determine the financial health of airlines especially when it became obvious that some airlines owe their staff several months in salary arrears as well as their alleged inability to meet some financial obligations to suppliers.

This time around, this audit which most industry watchers have said was based on the technical issues as was evidenced on the various incidences recorded this year might focused on some airlines which had the highest ratio of such happenings.

However, this fear was dispelled by an airline operator who happens to be the chairman of the Airline Operators of Nigeria,(AON), Nogie Meggison, who stressed that the exercise was not targeted to any particular airline.

Be this as it may, analysts have urged the regulatory body to be proactive and take its major functions seriously and not wait until there is an issue before it wakes up from its slumber. This is because a disaster can occur when those responsible become complaisant with their responsibilities.


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