The Commissioner, Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA) Engr. Charles Irikefe Erhueh has stated that the Regional Accident Investigation Organisation (RAIO) was established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) not as a revenue generating agency but a safety inclined organisation.
This is just as he reiterated that the challenge of remitting funds from yearly subscription by member states hinders some of its planned projects outlined for execution.
Irikefe does not in any way charge money for investigating accidents, as it is against the statutes of its formation but rather it is called on to probe as it is against the statutes of its formation.
He made this clarification at the International Accident Investigation Forum which was held at the Singapore Aviation Academy from May 18-20, 2022 while responding to Director, Transport Safety Investigation Bureau ( TSIB) Singapore, Mr. Chong Chow Wah .
He stressed that the agency was set up by the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO) not as a revenue generating agency but a safety inclined organisation
He however explained that a mere cost of logistics would be borne by the state of occurrence should they invite the RAIO to conduct investigations on any accident.
“No, this is a public service. BAGAIA is not formed to charge countries it help investigate accidents. For example, the accident involving Cavok Airlines CVK 7087 AN-74TK-100 Aircraft registered Ur-CKC, which occurred at Sao Tome International Airport in 2017 and delegated to BAGAIA even though it was not a member, but BAGAIA responded to that investigation in collaboration with the Nigeria AIB without any payment from Sao Tome and the investigation has been concluded and released,” he said
Speaking on whose responsibility it is to release a final accident report of any investigation delegated to BAGAIA, citing Sao Tome, Irikefe said that the report was released in the country of occurrence that delegated the investigation.
He however stated that after the release of the report, Sao Tome has no independent agency responsible for investigation and AIB-Nigeria later published the report on its website as BAGAIA at that time had no website either.
“But currently BAGAIA has its own website and kudos to AIB-Nigeria that design and funded the development of the BAGAIA website that is currently operational,” he said.,
Speaking further during his presentation, the BAGAIA Commissioner stressed the importance of training, stating that in collaboration with partners like Instituto de Prevencao a Investigação de Acidentes Aeronauticos e Maritimos ( IPIAAM) it has trained no fewer than 26 participants in a bid to groom a generation that will take over from the experienced but aging workforce.
He also said a safety workshop was organised with the cooperation of IPIAAM, African Union( AU) and the European Union( EU) under the EU – Aviation Safety for Africa ( EU-ASA) where 65 participants were trained from various regions.
Also at the session was Prof. Graham Braithwaite, the Director of Transport Systems.
Professor of Safety & Accident Investigation from Cranfield University, who spoke on new aerospace technology challenges for investigators.
He said,” There is a lot of change coming and I want to talk about what some of us see from a research and development point of view.”
Prof. Brathwaite listed and explained some major change drivers to include the society itself, technology, environment, economy and politics, stressing that some of these things will influence the perspectives from global population growth driven by Africa and Asia to shifting ethnic, political and religious identity.
He alluded to global income inequality, price of oil as well as level of integration and stressed also bribery and corruption, geo-political instability, strength of government as well as government ownership of airspace among some of the things that will drive change.