7 March 2018

Nigeria: Aviation Minister, Regulators Meet Over Near-Mishap Incidences

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and senior officials of various regulatory agencies on Monday, till the wee hours of yesterday in Lagos, had an emergency meeting over one too many incidences in the air travel sector.

The minister, in company of about 12 top officials of the aviation ministry in Abuja, visited various headquarters of the agencies to engage the heads and directors on issues bothering on safety.

In a related development, Nigeria has retained the United States Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Category One rating after a successful routine safety audit. By the rating, designated Nigerian airlines can make direct flight to U.S. and American Airlines can continue to fly to Nigeria.

They first inspected airports in Enugu and Benin before arriving in Lagos, to meet with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

Sources at the meeting told The Guardian that it was not unconnected with recent happenings in the sector, bothering on safety and public outcry.

Meanwhile, the senate yesterday frowned at the component failures of most of the aircrafts operating within the country's airspace and summoned Sirika.

It also urged the ministry to direct all relevant agencies in the industry to conduct a maintenance and airworthiness audit on all commercial aircraft and training of personnel operating within the country's airspace.

Other stakeholders in the aviation industry who were also invited are heads of NCAA, FAAN, and AIB.

These resolutions were sequel to an adopted motion sponsored by senator Gbenga Ashafa representing Lagos east and co-sponsored by eight other senators.

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