…Says Senate Was Misinformed
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has faulted the Senate for condemning the agency for allegedly not releasing accident reports describing the allegation as false
Recalled that the Senate had alleged that the bureau had failed to release the accident reports of Sosoliso crash of 2005, Bellview 2005, ADC 2006 and DANA crash of 2012 to the public.
As a result of the misinformation, the upper chamber subsequently mandated its Committee on Aviation to thoroughly investigate the remote and immediate causes of the trend and report its findings to the Senate within two weeks.
But reacting to the position of the Senate, AIB stated categorically that as at the time the issue was debated on the floor of the Senate the accident reports in question were on the Bureau’s web site; aib.gov.ng and that just a click away from any interested member of the public.
The air accident investigating body stated that the body was saddened by this unjustified vilification of the Bureau on the floor of the Senate as the allegation was not mostly incorrect but that the Senate was misinformed.
AIB’s reaction is contained in an online statement signed by the Head of Public Affairs, Mr Tunji Oketunbi and made available to our correspondent.
“The attention of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has been drawn to a report that the Senate on Tuesday condemned the Accident Investigation Bureau for keeping the reports of investigation into air crashes in the country from the public. The distinguished senator that raised the matter before the Senate alluded to the reports on Sosoliso crash of 2005, Bellview crash of 2005, ADC crash of 2006 and Dana crash of 2012 as major reports that were yet to be in the public domain.” Part of the statement read.
AIB, the statement said holds the Senate and the distinguished Senators in high regard and that it would not want to join issue with the premier legislative arm
According to Oketunbi, “AIB is saddened by this unjustified vilification of the Bureau on the floor of the senate as the allegation was mostly incorrect. The Senate was misinformed. As at the time the debate was going on in the Senate the reports referred to were on the Bureau’s web site; aib.gov.ng and just a click away from any interested member of the public.”
He continued, “For record purpose, Sosoliso Accident report, which had been released since 2006 and published in the national newspapers has been on the Bureau’s website for several years now. Bellview and ADC crash reports have been published and on our website since 2012 while Dana’s preliminary report has been published since July 2012. Other outstanding accident reports are being diligently pursued.”
He posited that a little research including a check on the agency’s website or the aviation committee of the Senate would have made this debate unnecessary, adding that happily, the Senate Committee on Aviation was aware of the diligence and the passion with which AIB has been pursuing the delivery of its mandate.
The spokesman said that the committee was also not unaware of the challenges facing the Bureau, especially with funding.
He however stated that it was pertinent to let the public be aware that aircraft accident investigation, contrary to public expectation may takes a little time as it is a complex and thorough exercise, adding that the purpose of accident investigation is to determine facts relating to an accident and prevent future reoccurrence of similar occurrence by making safety recommendations.
He said this demands thoroughness and leaves no room for assumption.
The AIB image maker explained that some of the investigations conducted by AIB had led to significant safety improvements in the global aviation community.
To buttress his point, he cited two Alert Service Bulletins by Sikorsky, a helicopter manufacturer following our preliminary investigations into the recent Bristow crash in Oworonshoki, Lagos and a Mandatory Service Bulletin by Diamond Aircraft Manufacturer on a serious incident involving Diamond DA 42 with registration number 5N-BKS that occurred in Benin in July 2012.
These, he stated had contributed to preventing further accidents of similar nature and the attendant loss of lives, adding that despite the constraints and challenges, AIB is making its modest contributions to air safety improvements and accident prevention locally and globally.
Oketunbi added that it is statutory for AIB to publish accident reports and that the agency cannot keep it from the public,
He appealed to members of the public to always avail themselves of the channels of communication that AIB has provided for the purpose of dissemination or accessing information.
…Says Senate Was Misinformed