NIGERIA: AIB To Train Accident Investigators

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria has concluded plans to commence training for aircraft accident investigators in the country.  Nigeria’s AIB Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, made this known in a statement issued  on Monday When  the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime visited the agency to ascertain their level of ICT infrastructure and cyber security architecture.

He explained that beyond partnerships with local and international institutions, the Bureau has also completed plans to begin training air accident investigators for the entire West Africa , he said the training will be conducted at the Abuja Bureau’s facility in partnership with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.

Olateru said that new air accidents reports will be released Today Tuesday, bringing the total number of final reports of air accidents to a record 27 in four years.

The Commissioner listed as part of his achievement since assuming office in 2017, that AIB had released 27 final accident reports and issued 97 safety recommendations to the public and this figure represent 64 percent of releases since the inception of AIB.

“We will be releasing an additional four reports tomorrow, which will bring the total number of final reports released to 32 and 106 safety recommendations during this current administration.The releases will make a total of 50 final reports and 187 safety recommendations since the inception of AIB” the Bereau chief said.

Olateru told the senators that AIB now release air accidents in record time unlike in the past, adding that this was made possible due to the capability it has attained in the last four years in terms of equipment and human capital.

He also said the AIB now had the capability of releasing air accident report in 18 months from the date of the accident.

Olateru appealed to the Senate for improved funding and the quick passage of its Amendment Act to enhance its operations as he revealed that the bureau is in partnership with United Kingdom Air Accident investigation Bureau (AAIB UK), Singapore Transportation, Safety Investigative Board (TSIB), Transportation Safety Board(TSB) Canada and the University of Ilorin.

The commissioner  informed the delegation  that it had acquired some drones and its staff were schedule to undergo the training to enable it get aerial shots of crash sites and proper analysis.On the handheld investigation equipment devices acquired by the bureau, The Bureau Chief said this would help its investigators to carry out on-the-spot analysis of evidences at the crash site as the equipment had the capability to download the Flight Data Recorder & Cockpit Voice Recorder through the handheld device.

Sen. Yakubu Oseni, Chairman Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber crime who led the committee, noted that the Coronavirus pandemic has exposed the need for accelerated development in ICT as fresh experiences arising from the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed rampaging threats to the digital ecosystem.He said in Nigeria, the concern was not only about cyber-security threat but also the weak systems, hence the need for the oversight.

The committee members were later taken through AIB modern accident analysing facilities and the lawmakers expressed satisfaction with the achievement of the bureau in recent years.

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