Review Of 2006 Accidents, Incidents Regulations Will Enhance AIB’s Investigation—-Sirika
…Says Aviation Safety Is Not Negotiable
… It Empowers Agency To Deliver On Mandate—–Abali
Minister of State, Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika has said that the ongoing review of the Civil Aviation Investigation of Accidents and Incidents Regulations 2006 will further enhance the process of investigation in the aviation industry.
He said this at a stakeholders meeting on the Draft Amendment To The Civil Aviation Investigation of Accidents and Incidents Regulations 2006 organised by the Accident Investigation Bureau(AIB) in Lagos.
The minister stated that the amendment process has been duly followed as stipulated in the subsisting regulation, 2006 with the participation of the observer to the Bureau’s Regulation Committee reporting back to the Federal Ministry of Aviation on the amendments.
Sirika, who was represented by Special Assistant (Technical) Capt. Musa Nurudeen, added that he believes all the relevant amendments are in conformity with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13 on Accident Investigation, which has been included in this draft amendment before the stakeholders before today.
He urged stakeholders to make their contributions to the draft amendment to improve accidents and incidents investigation in the industry, believing that stakeholders’ inputs would be added to the final regulations of 2016.
“I implore you to do justice and make your valuable contribution to the draft amendment to further improve the sector in the aviation industry. It is my belief that your input will be considered and included in the final Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2016 for Honourable Minister of State Aviation assent.” he said
Sirika stated that he looked forward to having updated regulations for AIB, which according to him would ultimately enhance aviation safety in Nigeria, reminding stakeholders that aviation like security was not negotiable.
On his part, the Commissioner of AIB, Dr Felix Abali stated that regulation was an important tool for carrying out the functions of accident investigation, as it sets out the framework for the day-to-day operations of the bureau and that the bureau’s enabling law, which also was domesticated in ICAO’s Annex 13, forms the bedrock of the regulations.
He however said that there were several Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) that Nigeria’s Air accidents and incidents investigation regulations needed to conform with.
Accident investigation, Abali said is a global exercise, which AIB must align if the body must be on top of its job and contribute meaningfully to global aviation safety.
He added that the proposed amended regulations will enhance AIB’s efficiency and further empower it to deliver on its mandate.
According to him, “Accident investigation is a strong pillar of aviation safety as it seeks to prevent accidents and incidents even as it enhances air safety. According to ICAO definition of accident investigation, it is a process conducted for the purpose of accident prevention, which includes the gathering and analysis of information, the drawing of conclusions, including the determination of causes and, when appropriate, the making of safety recommendations.”
He continued, “According to ICAO Annex 13, the sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability. This may, however run against the expectation of many members of the public and the press, which may be understandable due to the emotion laden atmosphere that usually, accompanies air mishaps.”
Abali posited that besides the accident site investigation that is usually open to the public, accident investigation entails gathering information from diverse sources.
He listed the sources to include documentations such as maintenance and personnel records, regulatory authority records, flight planning documents and operator’s manuals.
Other sources according to Abali are recordings such as flight recorders, interviews, direct observations of actions performed by operating or maintenance personnel in their work environment, simulations, specialist advice and safety databases among others.
The AIB boss commended the diligence and commitment of members of the committee that worked on the draft document, adding that their tireless efforts have produced the product before stakeholders today.