This Day (Lagos)

21 September 2012

Nigeria: Experts Proffer Solutions to Air Accidents in Nigeria

Professionals in the aviation sector met recently to brainstorm and proffer solutions to the recurring air accidents in the country which have claimed so many lives and destroyed property worth millions of naira.

Though they agreed that zero accident level cannot be guaranteed in the aviation sector, however, they said if all the necessary check lists are carried out on passenger airplanes that accidents in the aviation sector would be avoided.At a conference organised in Lagos by the International Friendship League (IFL) Ikeja chapter , a non-denominational group of air transport professionals traced the frequent accidents in aviation to myriads of problems in the sector.

General Manager in charge of Safety Management and Systems (SMS), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. John Onyegiri, who was the keynote speaker, attributed the cause of air disasters in Nigeria to what he described as the "national culture", which he said made it impossible for new changes to be introduced into the aviation sector.

Onyegiri, who declared that the future of aviation business depended on the safety of passengers, said to checkmate air accidents in the country "the hazards should first of all be identified."

According to him, identification of hazards would help in mitigating air accidents, adding that everything right must be done to ensure safety of passengers.

He also lamented that safety management in Nigeria was still at traditional level; a reactive process, which he said was not good for aviation business.

According to him, "When you don't address why accident happened, it will happen again."

The aviation expert also advocated the establishment of consolidated funds for the day-to-day running of the aviation industry, noting that government's bureaucracy made it difficult for certain projects to be carried out when they were needed.

He emphasised that air accidents would drastically reduce with the rigorous application of technology, training and regulation (TTR).

Onyegiri said Nigerians should not give up on safety considering the constraints and challenges in the aviation sector.

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