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ICAO rates Nigeria high on aviation safety

Nigeria, Tuesday, got high rating by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on its commitment to aviation safety.

The country was particularly praised for ensuring the successful implementation of Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM), which kicked off in Africa in September 2008.

ICAO’s Deputy Regional Director for Western and Central Africa, Mr. Mam Sait Jallow, who assessed the country’s adherence to aviation safety at Nigerian Airspace Safety Stakeholders Forum yesterday, noted that Nigeria had taken positive steps to drive safety in compliance to ICAO’s standard practices in the last few years.

According to him, Nigeria is about to, for the first time among African countries, become host to the newly established regional aviation safety oversight organisation for the Banjul Accord group.

Banjul Accord among African states preaches a single airspace for Africa, meaning African states should not require the permission of others to enter their airspace.

Jallow added: “It would be recalled that on September 25, 2008, Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) was successfully implemented in the AFI (African and Indian Ocean) airspace.  A year has almost passed without any difficulties or serious incidents being reported.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate all stakeholders, including Nigeria, that have contributed to this success, and draw attention to the need to continue supporting and providing data for RVSM post-implementation monitoring and Tactical Action Group activities.”

He noted that Nigeria and the continent had also made some progress in the implementation of performance-based navigation, stressing that had given rise to improved aviation safety.

“I want to acknowledge steps taken by Nigeria , firstly in hosting the first PBN seminar for the AFI region early in 2008 and more recently, for appointing a relevant focal point as required of states,” Jallow said.

He, however, noted that Nigeria and other countries in Africa still needed some work to do, especially with regards to the elimination of deficiencies as well as development of national PBN implementation plans.

To eradicate identified deficiencies, Jallow stressed the need for a regional approach in exercising safety oversight as well as involvement of all stakeholders, including regulators, operators, ANSPs and industry in partnership.

Others, according to him, include the need to build, retain and rely on local competences and human resources capacity for sustainable progress and exhibition of full ownership/participation by states and state entities in the implementation of national and regional programmes and projects.


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