Accident Investigative Bureau (AIB) Nigeria said, it is working so hard to engender seamless relationships among security and emergency agencies across the country. This is to ensure that the Bureau get a vast array of partners that can automatically step in case of an accident and help secure crash sites.
AIB made this known yesterday in Enugu at the Nike Lake Hotel and Resorts where it hosted aviation stakeholders from the airports in the South East and South South geo-political regions of the country sensitizing the stakeholders on the activities of the Bureau and secure their buy-in into the agency’s safety advocacy in the aviation sector.
Engineer Akin Olateru, AIB Commissioner, maintained that under the current administration, the Bureau is focused on engendering relationships, which would facilitate excellence and enduring world-class standards in the investigation and prevention of air accidents in Nigeria.
He also schooled the various participants on the AIB legislation and functions, management structure and locations, synergy with other agencies, notification and occurrences and accident investigation process.
Mr Tunji Oketunbi, General Manager, Public Affairs, who represented the commissioner said safety is a collective responsibility and accident investigation process cannot be done alone; the airlines, regulatory bodies, aircraft manufacturers, Air Traffic Controllers, the Police, Federal Safety Corps (FRSC), Civil Defense, everyone who is a stakeholder in the industry needs to work hand in hand with the Bureau in order to ensure thorough investigations are conducted and the reports timely published.
He said,” We are currently seeking collaboration with security and emergency agencies across the country in terms of security of evidences at crash sites.
“We also 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, commonly known as Black boxes abroad following an air crash. For AIB, 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.
“We have a strong collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps and we have trained their personnel and security personnel from the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps on air disaster management. This is aimed at ensuring that evidences at crash sites are not tampered with.
The Bureau has also engaged in international collaborations and cooperation agreements with several countries and institutions such as Republic of Benin, US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB), Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA- France) and UK AAIB.
Oketunbi also explained that the AIB is continuously looking for ways to improve its system and deployment processes and this is another viable platform for all stakeholders to meet and deliberate on how to further promote safety culture to meet global best practices.
“Expanding our scope and ensuring that we have investigators across the Geo-political zones in Nigeria in order to have a go-team that will be dispatched timely to crash sites in any zone is very important to aircraft accident investigation and air safety in Nigeria.
“That is why we have established regional offices across the country. In case of any occurrences within this region (Southern-Eastern), our competent investigators will be swiftly dispatched to the site of occurrence after being duly notified.”
Participants were drawn from the agencies including FAAN, NCAA, NAMA and NIMET, operators and other organizations within the airports as well as military and para military outfits such as the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Air Force, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Civil Defense Corp, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service and Federal Fire Service.