July 21, 2017

AIB commences investigation of 30 air incidents

AIB commences investigation of 30 air incidents

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Aviation Investigation Bureau, AIB, has commenced the process to carry out a total of 30 air incidents across the country. The Commissioner of AIB, Engr. Akinola Olateru while briefing newsmen at the agency’s office in Abuja last weekend, said the 30 incidents would require funds to complete.

Olateru stated that the Bureau was not permitted by law to charge for any air crash investigation amidst the agency’s paucity of funds. “We have 30 aircraft occurrence investigations in process for which funds are required,” he said.

The Commissioner said the Bureau would put in its best to release report of air incident without undue delay. On the challenge of funds, he noted that money was essential in carrying  out thorough investigation of air incidents as  it has to freight the engine of an aircraft to its manufacturer abroad.

“These lofty goals of taking an air crash engine to the manufacturers abroad and sending at least two of our staff abroad to update the Bureau cannot be achieved without adequate funding.”

“The current financial situation of the Bureau calls for urgent attention by the government considering the fact that accident Investigation is a social responsibility of the government worldwide ,”he added.

Olateru also revealed that the final report of six accidents underway involved the Police helicopter crash in 2012; two trainer aircrafts of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT);  A Helicopter of the Joint Task Force (JTF) crashes in Kabong, Jos, on March 14, 2012 killing in passengers on board; Akure bound Associated Aviation Flight 361 operated by an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia crashed on take off from Lagos; Bristow Helicopter crash in 2015 and the WestLink air crash.

The Commissioner said : “One of my cardinal programmes since I resumed as the chief executive here is to ensure that all outstanding reports are released at the earliest possible time. We are determined to meet these expectations. In doing this we are much more determined to meet the expectation of Nigerians to have early release of accident reports.”

He explained that the laboratory, that was equipped in 2012, had not function since 2015 due to lack of human capacity in-house to manage it in addition to the many challenges from the manufacturer‘s end.

He stated that he made it a priority to resuscitate the laboratory considering its importance to the discharge of AIB’s responsibilities.