AIB Intensifies Move To Become Multi-Modal Accident Investigation Body
… As Proposal Secures FEC Approval
…Submits Bill To Senate
…As US Stops Sponsorship Of Safe Skies For Africa
…Begins Talks With AFDB
The Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olateru has stated that the agency was working on the process of becoming a multimodal accident investigation organisation, as it had submitted a bill in the Senate .
He disclosed this at the just concluded ‘Safe Skies for Africa’ programme organised by AIB in collaboration with National Transport for Safety Board(NTSB) to further ensure safety in Africa skies.
The AIB boss stated that already the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved its proposal for the new draft bill to make AIB a multimodal accident investigation body.
Olateru explained that a bill to empower AIB to carry out multimodal accident investigation operations was in the Senate, adding that hopefully before the end of this year the bill would be approved.
He further explained that what this means is that by the passage of that bill, AIB automatically becomes the only body in the country empowered by law to investigate air, rail, marine and road transport accidents.
The AIB boss said that the trend today is for bodies such as AIB to be saddled with the responsibility of investigating accidents in marine, Air, road and rail, adding that any country that remain stagnant would left behind.
According to him, “We are currently working on the possibility and the approval by the National Assembly of AIB going multimodal in our operations. Going multimodal means we are not just going to be investigating air accidents alone but we will be investigating rail, marine and road accidents. We will be joining other nations around the world who operate the multimodal system. Hopefully, before the end of this year, this bill will be passed and that will make AIB Nigeria one of the top nations that operate multimodal system,”
Olateru contended that one of the reasons products such as Apple, Amazon and Samsung are top brands and making waves in the market today was because they invested heavily on research and development.
“If you remain stagnant the world will go pass you. For any country to survive this time, you must invest in research and development to ensure we are on top of our game,” he said.
Speaking further, Olateru disclosed that the United States through the NTSB would no longer sponsor the ‘Safe Skies for Africa’ programme, which is usually sponsored by NTSB in conjunction with AIB.
On why the US based agency decided to stop the sponsorship of the programme, Olateru said, “I cannot speak for the US why it stopped the sponsorship.”
The Chief Executive Officer said that he has approached Africa Development Bank(AFDB)to sponsor the Safe Skies for Africa project through an independent organisation such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) and that talks on the matter was still ongoing.
On the release of accident reports, the AIB boss stated that from 2017 till date, the agency had released 58 per cent of the total number of reports since the agency was established in 2002.
He explained that delaying reports of accidents and incident has never been in the agency’s character since he was appointed the Commissioner, adding that delaying reports amount a de-service to the Nigerian aviation industry in particular and the country as a whole.
Olateru added that when the reports are eventually released, the accident airline(s) may have fold up or events may overtaken the recommendations made for the airline, assuring airlines, agencies that as long as he remain in the helms of affairs at AIB, accident reports would not be kept beyond 18 months.
In his words, “If you don’t release the reports on time, you will have done a de-service to the industry and Nigeria”
Speaking on behalf of the airline, the Chairman Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON), Capt Nogie Meggison commended the AIB boss for the feat he has achieved at the agency and stepping up the agency’s game.
The AOB scribe stated that the airlines in Nigeria are fully behind the agency, adding that AON is encouraging agencies in the aviation sector to emulate AIB.
He opined that with the pace at which AIB was going , if there is accident in any part of Africa, instead of calling NTSB, it will be AIB, Nigeria.
In his words, “If there is an accident in Khartoum in Sudan for instance, instead of calling NTSB, the country should be able to call AIB; if there is an accident in Cape Verde, the first thing that should come up is AIB, Nigeria.
According to him, “We as airlines appreciate what AIB has done by moving accident investigation in Nigeria to the next level. That AIB has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with countries such as Singapore Saudi Arabia and others shows that AIB has something to offer. He has done well for AIB, airlines and Nigeria.”