R-L: Comrade Segun Koiki, Chairman, LAAC, Engr Akin Olateru, Commissioner/CEO, AIB, Mr. Tunji Oketumbi, GM, Public Affairs, AIB, at LAAC’s Gateway Forum
Africa’s number one air safety investigation agency who, also ranked among the four best in the world, Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, is introducing another pleasant disruptive organ into its modus operandi with the proposed establishment of a novel faculty to expand the capacity of Africa in the art and science of air safety investigation with the view to drastically improve the continents air safety record.
Also penciled to benefit from the revolutionary approach through world class training in accident investigation and prevention are investigators from Europe, Americas and the Asian countries.
The Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Accident Investigation Bureau, Engr. Akin Olateru, made the disclosure at a parley with members of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents, LAAC, dubbed, “Gateway Forum” where distinguished personalities in commerce and industries are engaged in poignant issues that affect the national economy.
Olateru said there was need for the bureau which earns the least from the Passengers Service Charge, PSC, being rationed among the aviation agencies, to think constructively on ways and means it could beef up its revenue and still be able to discharge its mandate smartly and without an iota of distraction.
He said aviation is a very technical field and those desirous to thrive and record success in any aspect of the trade must be regularly exposed to latest developments in the technology driven industry, so as not to be left behind in the modern processes and procedures for delivering on the bureau’s mandate which is to generate fool proof safety report with clinical safety recommendations.
The czar among the leaderships of Nigeria’s aviation agencies, Akin Olateru, said the need to be abreast of the global standards and procedures of carrying out its mandate made it imperative to regularly train and retrain the crop of investigators engaged by the bureau.
Engr. Olateru said all the 36 investigators with the bureau had been exposed to world class standards through international trainings and can hold their grounds in any aspect of air safety examinations, as none of them lagged behind in exposure to modern methods of plying their respective tasks.
He said the compelling need for training took toll on the lean budgetary allocation of the agency hence the urge to begin to explore ways and means revenue could be generated without diametrically contradicting the term of reference of the bureau.
The leading light who ostensibly has brought lots of energy and style to the erstwhile drab agency said he was being driven by the zeal to be eternally at alert by being ahead of potential challenges even before they rear their heads. And as soon as the challenge arises he said, it automatically would be a walkover, reason the sizeable bureau has become the primus inter pares, not in size or budgetary allocation or volume of revenue, but on its impact to the industry for which it was established to serve.
On the rationale for the acquisition of expertise to deploy unmanned aerial vehicle, otherwise known as drone, he said the bureau was getting equipped with modern methods which would aid it in collecting accurate data and improve on its processes and procedures.
Akin Olateru disclosed that the drone could not be dispatched in the last fatal accident involving Quorum Aviation helicopter at Opebi, Ikeja in Lagos State, because the regulatory agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, had not issued necessary license to its personnel and the bureau for that purpose.
The Commissioner who reiterated that the bureau was not a first responder during accidents or serious incidents said because of this fact, it had entered into numerous collaboration with various agencies of both the states and the federal government.
He said AIB had signed Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with organizations such as the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Air force, and had offered custom built training programs to most organizations the bureau had signed an MoU with. Olateru added that such trainings helped equipped collaborating organizations with the knowledge to help secure crash sites and critical evidences among other things that could help in the bureau’s investigation.
AIB helmsman expressed satisfaction with the high level of professionalism in emergency management deployed by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, during the last helicopter crash at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos.
He disclosed that the bureau will very soon reach LASEMA for collaboration, which would be formalized with a Memoradum of Understanding, MoU, and would duly be followed with relevant training for LASEMA personnel in the area of managing and the preservation of accident sites and all evidences at crash site.
Engr. Olateru however lamented the uncooperative attitude of some agencies especially an agency of the federal government concerned with emergencies but had yet to give consideration to the formal request for collaboration by AIB.
He said pockets of such retrogressive stance had been a torn in the flesh of the bureau because as many as organizations that are involved in law enforcement, emergency management and the likes, that entered into working relationship with the bureau, the better it will be in the discharge of the bureau’s mandate.Share