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NCAA intensifies surveillance of airlines over near mishaps

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Capt. Muhtar Usman

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has intensified surveillance of operating airlines in the country following recent spate of near mishaps in the industry.

Specifically, the apex regulatory body has deployed more inspectors to monitor activities of the airlines, most especially at the ramp areas.

Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, recently told reporters that the extra measure was necessary to enhance safety and restore confidence in the sector.

Usman said the regulatory agency was learning from the recent major and minor incidences, adding that the lessons would be put to use to prevent major accidents.

He said, without doubt, the year 2018 had been turbulent in the global aviation industry generally with incidences and accidents already recorded, but he assured that the regulatory body in Nigeria would sustain and improve on the safety level in the past years while the safety recommendations of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) would be followed to the letters.

The Director-General said: “We are intensifying our surveillance especially the ramping aspect of it; checking, rechecking, training, re-training, inspections as much as possible to ensure that whatever happens is in the past.

“Let me say that the year 2018 started with so many incidences and even accidents worldwide. Unfortunately, even though we have some incidences here, none has resorted into any fatality or any serious injury. Of course, when you have occurrences, incidences, they are to give you an early warning probably of something more to come if you don’t do anything.

“Of course, we are all humans with our own inadequacies and that is why accidents or incidences happen, but our job here in NCAA is to prevent those accidents or incidences from happening and that we do through the safety oversight systems as defined by ICAO.”

On the recent incursion of Consumer Protection Council (CPC) into aviation activities, Usman advised the agency to focus more on its attention in other areas with less regulation.

He explained that aviation industry is one of the most regulated sectors in the globe with international annexes and documents.

“We have annexes to the convention that we have to abide by, we also have our own regulations following some of these civil aviation Acts and the international civil aviation annexes and documents.

“Aviation is international in nature and there are several treaties, bilateral air services, and other agreements, Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) and other activities especially commercial activities. So, the role of CPC should be complementary with that of NCAA. As I have said, we have to contend with other international treaties, MoUs and agreements signed by Nigeria. CPC should focus more on other areas that are not so regulated like aviation.”


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