By Kenneth Ehigiator
Senate and Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, of Ministry of Aviation, Monday disagreed over late release of final accident reports of Bellview, Sosoliso and ADC Airlines’ crashes which occurred at Lisa, Ogun State, Port Harcourt and Abuja in 2005 and 2006.
Although the preliminary reports of the three accidents, which claimed over 300 lives had been released by the AIB, the Senate argued that five years were more than enough to have the final reports released so that lessons could be drawn from them to avert future occurrences.
However, AIB said it was merely adhering to regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, to effect final release of the reports to the public.
Both institutions made their positions known at the 2-day AIB International Air Safety Conference, entitled, Human Factors in Aviation Safety, organised by AIB in Lagos.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Anyim Udeh, who spoke for the Senate, expressed concern that five years after the accidents involving the three airlines, Nigerians were yet to be availed of detailed reports of investigations into them.
Udeh said: “There is absence of published reports of previous accidents in Nigeria. Where is the investigation report of Bellview Airlines? Where are the investigation reports of Sosoliso and ADC Airlines’ accidents? Probably, they are still in the shelf.”
According to him, Nigerians reserve the rights to know what caused those crashes to guard against future accidents.
“It is unacceptable that for five years, reports of previous accidents in the country have not been released. How long does it take to de-classify them?”
He noted that in other climes, the final reports of such accidents would be in public domain within two to three years.
Senator Udeh said it was imperative for the AIB to release the reports as soon as possible, if more accidents were to be avoided in Nigeria.
However, AIB Commissioner, Engr. Sam Oduselu, said the full reports of the three accidents were ready, adding that the agency was merely following international regulatory procedures before releasing them.
He said the agency does not want to run foul of ICAO Annex 13 which stipulates conditions under which the reports would be released to the public.