A Communique issued at the end of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) 2nd 2019 Quarterly Business Breeakfast Meeting held at GolfView Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Thursday, June 27, 2019.
Theme: Safety Challenges in Air Navigation & Air Traffic Service Delivery in Nigeria
At the end of the four-hour discussion, the following resolutions were reached:
- To address the embarrassing gap in Air Traffic Services, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) should sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with various universities in Nigeria to collaboratively train some students ab initio, after which they proceed to have On-The-Job Training (OJT).
- Since it is only a few local airlines that have GPS equipped aircraft, NAMA should develop two different charts; one for GPS equipped aircraft operators and the other for non-GPS equipped aircraft to ensure that safety assurance in Nigerian airspace is enhanced.
- Efforts should be made by NAMA to minimize the use of half-baked Air Traffic Controllers for the operation of aircraft that carry many passengers on board, as this is very unsafe
- There is a desperate need for NAMA to accelerate efforts towards ensuring that pilots flying within the Nigerian airspace do not fly blind spots as this is very unsafe.
- ASRTI should oversee the signing of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between airlines and NAMA and between airlines and various government-owned service providers to ensure that expected Service Level Standards (SLSs) are met and this will help to enhance aviation safety.
- There is a need for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to be proactive and innovative towards airspace regulation, as weakness or failure of a regulatory body leads to many incidents while it is an accumulation of incidents that ultimately leads to air accidents.
- Airlines should inform both NCAA and AIB promptly about their records of incidents and serious incidents as part of efforts to prevent actual accidents.
- There is a need to restructure the Nigerian airspace management strategy in a way that complies with the capacity of available information and communication facilities.
- NCAA should implement all the Safety Recommendations issued by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to advance the safety of Nigerian airspace.
- The NCAA must live up to its constitutional mandate and responsibilities as regards oversight and regulatory activities related to Nigeria’s airspace management.
- Considering the volume of navigational facilities and services that NAMA is expected to manage and provide, there is a need to create a fund for aviation development, out of which NAMA’s needs can be met.
- To ensure regular availability of electric power without which airspace management cannot be effective, NAMA should include private sector initiative and collaboration such as IPP in its proposals to government.
- The Federal Ministry of Aviation should be scrapped while the various aviation agencies should report directly to the Ministry of Transportation as obtained in advanced climes to avoid political interference in professional aviation activities. This will enable professionals in the industry do their jobs effectively while enhancing the safety of the Nigerian airspace.
- A 10-Year Marshal Plan for the development of Nigeria’s aviation industry, featuring enhancement of safety and safety infrastructure should be produced by stakeholders.
Dr. Gabriel O. Olowo, FNIM, FITP