Breaking News

Experts canvass for risks managers in airlines

By Patience Saghana
Airlines operators within Nigeria and around the world may begin to consider the need to employ Chief Risks Officers in their companies in order to guide against impending dangers such as the April 10, 2010 plane crash which  snuffed the lives out of  Poland’s president and other eminent personalities.

Since the incident, industry analysts have been clamouring for the employment or incorporation of risks managers in airlines that will put in place risk management strategies to  prevent or fore-warn airliners of looming disasters and also prompt them to review their procedures for protecting passengers and their employees.

Poland president, Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others perished in April 10 when the state-owned Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft crashed while attempting to land in heavy fog at an airport in Smolensk, Russia. The group was on its way to a ceremony commemorating the 1940 Soviet massacre of Polish military officers and civilians.

There has been cases  where airliners treat with levity risks management mechainism in exchange for income. Even in Nigeria, there were series of  disasters place crash which could have been prevented or avoided.

Observers are of the view that if airliners have risks managers in their companies , the riks officers would have been able to lend their expertise that could save the lives of airliners’ passengers.

For instance, in May 4, 2002, a Nigerian EAS Airlines’ BAC 1-11-500 with 105 people on board crashed into the northern Nigerian city of Kano. At least 148 people are killed.

In October 22, 2005, Bellview Airlines Boeing 737 with 116 on board crashes shortly after take-off from Lagos. Nigerian air carrier with 104 passengers on Sunday, 29 October 2005 owned by Aviation Development Company crashed and burned after takes off in a storm from Abuja. Six passengers are said to have survived. This follows several other fatal crashes of Nigerian airliners; all involving poorly maintained Douglass DC-9’s, Boeing 727’s and 737’s.

Many of these aircraft were purchased from storage for under $1.0 million and flown with only superficial maintenance to Africa where they never again receive major inspections and are often flown by pilots who haven’t seen the inside of a training simulator for years.

Africa, as a whole, accounts for 4 percent of the air travel worldwide but has 25 percent of the accidents. The exceptions to the rule are those air carriers in South Africa where aviation safety is taken very seriously, even exceeding in many cases the stringent regulations of the US FAA and the JAR’s in Europe. In Nigeria, by the way, Virgin Nigeria and Aero Contractors, both operated by highly experienced aviation professionals, offer highly safe transport to most destinations in country.

But the April 10, 2010 accident which highlights a stark difference in how many governments manage the risk of losing key leaders and the way businesses approach that exposure.Chief risk Officers would have advised against having a large number of executives from the same sector, state of country to aboard the same aircraft.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.