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Aviation experts chart path to improved safety, survival

By Wole Oyebade
20 November 2020   |   2:55 am
Local airline and allied organisations have been urged to tap into opportunities offered by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other financial institutions on the continent

Aviation. Photo; tashlineinstituteofaviation

Local airline and allied organisations have been urged to tap into opportunities offered by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other financial institutions on the continent to be viable.

The operators were also advised to align their business plans with the Safety Management System (SMS) for sustainability.

Besides, stakeholders have canvassed for crowd control at accident sites, as they observed that untrained first responders often pose a serious threat to rescue and gathering of data for accident investigation.

These and more were the consensus issued at the Nigerian Aviation Workshop Symposium (NAWS) 2020,” organised by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), recently in Abuja.

Participants at the one-day symposium said the lack of low-interest supports and SMS in most aviation organisations, especially the airlines, led to their early death. They urged the operators to look beyond the double-digit interest rates offered by the banks, and start exploring regional and international financing opportunities.

Participants also canvassed for the creation of an aviation information portal, which would help in tracking and ensuring accountability of airport personnel and their locations.

According to them, regular training for the emergency personnel in various organisations and consistent public awareness in partnership with local governments and communities would also go a long way in ensuring the sustenance of safety in the system.

Stakeholders charged airline operators, service providers, and others to encourage a culture of the voluntary or confidential reporting system in their organisations, in order to boost confidence in the sector.

“They should model their organisations after a generative type, having a just culture, which promotes self-reporting by personnel. They should avoid being a pathological organisation, which would invariably discourage reporting.

“Every agency has a role to play in aviation emergency. Each role must be delineated to avoid duplication and undue overlap. The need for training, therefore, cannot be over emphasised. As such, each agency should assess courses and detail its personnel to undertake such courses. Ultimately, this would also promote harmonious working relationship between agencies,” the communiqué read in part.

Earlier, the Commissioner of AIB, Akin Olateru, in his opening remarks noted that the objective of safety management in the aviation industry was to prevent human injury or loss of life, to avoid damage to the environment and property.

Olateru declared that safety in the aviation industry could not be over-emphasised; noting that AIB’s mandate was to investigate aircraft accidents, serious incidents that occur within the Nigerian airspace or anywhere else the country’s interest was affected.

He noted that investigating accidents in order to forestall future reoccurrence was very important in promoting safety, adding that having systems in place to mitigate risks and promote safety was equally vital.

“The primary aim of NAWS 2020 today is to provide the Nigerian aviation industry workforce and stakeholders with a systematic approach compliant with the aviation regulations and laws of the state of Nigeria while responding to aviation accidents and incidents as well as disaster recovery.”