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‘Capacity building to sustain zero-accident record in air travel’


Newly acquired fire simulator training equipment at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State, awaiting commissioning

Apparently, to close the knowledge gaps in the industry, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) have urged aviation stakeholders to take advantage of training and retraining programmes to improve the safety record of the sector.

The two bodies, at the opening of a training workshop for aviation reporters and communication officers of various parastatals recently in Zaria, Kaduna State, said the current zero-accident was sustainable with more capacity building for practitioners.

Recall that the industry in 2019 recorded the fourth year on the bounce without a fatal accident in commercial aviation. This is despite the minor to severe incidences recorded during the period.

The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, said the industry continued to achieve zero-accident in the commercial category amid consistent successes in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recertification, various International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Audits and the Transport Security Administration (TSA) approvals.

Nuhu, who was represented by the Kaduna Regional Manager of the NCAA, Mohammed Sani, added that the record was an industry feat, not just for the NCAA, but with other agencies similarly deserving commendation for their roles in the zero-accident run.He said the Airline Operators in Nigeria had taken self-regulation of their operations a notch higher, and much more seriously.

“This is due to increased awareness, quality staff and additional investment in training. It is clear that there is no utopian situation in any human endeavour. The NCAA, the agencies and the airline operators will definitely continue to improve on noticeable grey areas in the industry,” Nuhu said.

The NCAT Rector, Capt. Abdulsalami Mohammed, added that the Federal Government had substantially invested in NCAT to meet the capacity development needs of the industry and further deepen the safety records.Mohammed, however, said it was still not unusual for airlines and government agencies to spend a lot of money in developing infrastructure but the personnel who make use of them are left untrained.

“It was mentioned to me recently in London that we have what is called non-physical infrastructure now, and that refers to human capital, and the training of personnel. They are part of the infrastructure. If you don’t have a well-trained structure, then whatever you spend on that physical infrastructure will not function efficiently. So, we encourage organisations to take the issue of training seriously,” he said.

The rector attributed the zero-accident rate in commercial aviation in the past years to training and retraining of personnel.He added that certain equipment had been acquired by the Federal Government for the College and training of its students. Some of these equipment are in the process of installation, factory acceptance test carried out, and in the process of being shipped to the country.

These equipment include the fire simulator, which is already installed and awaiting commissioning by the President Muhammadu Buhari. Others are the Boeing 737 aircraft simulator and the six Diamond aircraft for pilot training.“We were in Canada last month for the factory acceptance of the Boeing 737 simulator. It is
now awaiting certification by the FAA before it is dismantled and shipped to Zaria.

If you will recall, the delivery of the project has been delayed by the building that is supposed to house this simulator. The building is almost completed. So, we are ready to accept the simulator once it is shipped.”

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