October 21, 2021

Nigeria Transport Hub

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AIB STEPS UP ITS GAME: acquires expertise to deploy disruptive tech in preventing accidents

4 min read

Front row 3rd Left: Mr. Dami Adelana, Head, UFO Aerials, Prof, Adebayo Otitoloju, MD, Unilag Consult, Engr. Akin Olateru, Commissioner/CEO, AIB, Capt. Sunny Adegbuyi and Engr, Rasheed Mosuro, both of UFO Aerials with the graduands

Management of the petite but highly dynamic agency, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, has resolved to be ahead of its game in the investigation of accidents and serious incidents with the view to preventing re-occurrence of accidents and incidents. Hence, the bureau rolled back its frontiers by assembling ten young and vibrant officers to pioneer in the entire continent of Africa, the use of small unmanned systems, otherwise known as drone, in the course of investigating air accidents.

Thus the current leadership of AIB had acquired another first in the history of the bureau by getting its personnel ready for licensing by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, on the use of drone to maintain the sanctity of data[ obtained when, the Remote Aircraft Pilot System, RAPS, drone, is deployed to accident sites.

Speaking at a modest occasion for the passing out ceremony for the trained officers, on building, and deployment of Small Unmanned Systems, at the University of Lagos, the agency’s Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer/CEO, Engr. Akin Olateru, said as fire fighters that know their onions would not wait for fire before they’re equipped and be prepared, similarly AIB management will continue to explore disruptive technology to improve on its systems and processes and be all ears on safety matters.

He said the training was just one of the expected numerous outcomes from the formal collaboration of AIB and University of Lagos as contained in the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed with the university two years ago, in 2018.

Engr. Olateru said the use of drone had been found as a very reliable means in some critical aspects of accident investigation. He noted that Europe and USA, had flagged off its usage and AIB will not despise technology that had been tested and find impeccable.  

He noted that since AIB leadership is constantly abreast of global trend in the use of drone for accident investigation hence, its management deemed it imperative to build local capacity in accordance to the extant laws by the regulatory body, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

Training in session. Hands on the RAPS

The bureau’s helmsman highlighted how drone technology is critical to aviation safety and ultimately add value to the outcomes from the task of investigating accidents. He said its deployment shall generate accurate pictures of high resolution with right angles. Determine the accident site. Aid Site marking, hazards identification. It shall also generate relevant video footage of the crash site, Olateru said.

He noted that numerous preliminary data from a responsible, Remote Aircraft Pilot System, RAPS, shall guide investigators in determining types of materials, equipment and possible, Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, to take along to the crash site.

Engr Olateru commended the leadership of Unilag Consult for the logistics of the training and also lauded the course faculty, UFO Aeriels, for the very high professional manner of impacting the students.

He however reiterated that AIB will continue to place high premium on exposure of its personnel to global best practices through acquisition of trainings anywhere in the world such relevant knowledge could be acquired, with the view to impact positively on the bureau’s service delivery.

The highly excited Managing Director, Unilag Consult, Prof. Adebayo Otitoloju, said the consult is at all times ready to collaborate in improving various organizations human capital capacity.

The lead faculty member for the training, Mr. Dami Adelana of UFO Aerials, said the quality of training though offered locally, was second to none anywhere in the world.

He said the training was in consonance with the new International Civil Aviation Organization’s, ICAO, syllabus as domesticated and approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

Adelana said the training offered was a certificate course and NCAA would soon begin to conduct test and start issuing license to qualified personnel.   

UFO Aerials helms man and the lead faculty for the training explained that, the rich content availed the students was the depth in academics on unmanned small systems tailored to ICAO syllabus.

He added that the UFO Aerials and Unilag Consult offered the concise set of knowledge-exposure on the operations of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System, RPAS, so that whenever NCAA commences personnel certification, the set of students tutored by UFO Aerials and Unilag Consult, shall simply acquire their licenses without hassles.

It is an incontrovertible fact that a thoroughly investigated accident or incident by a well-trained, and well equipped investigators, often produces a timely report which if accompanied with a fool proof recommendation, more often than not, impact positively on air safety.

The current safety record in Nigeria bear eloquent testimony to this self-evident truth, as no one can deny the fervent contributions of AIB to about five years’ unbroken safety record Nigeria can presently boast of.

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