Mr Dennis Jones, the Managing Director, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), U.S, on Thursday lauded the robust programme of the Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
Jones made the commendation while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of a one-week training programme on accident/incident investigations organised in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) in Lagos.
“I have been in over 30 countries in Africa doing accident investigation and I can tell you that AIB has a very robust programme.
“We have even invited personnel from the AIB to come and teach others during our training exercises in other African countries,’’ he said.
The participants were drawn from AIB, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), domestic airlines and members of the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA).
Jones said that the programme had enabled AIB to become a major player in West African sub-region in the areas of accident and incident investigations.
He said that accident rate in Africa had lowered very significantly according to recent statistics released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Jones said that this was due to conscious efforts being put in place by African countries including Nigeria toward ensuring the safety of the airspace, unlike what was obtainable in the past.
According to him, the training, which is aimed at boosting the capacity of the participants, is in continuation of what NTSB has been doing in the African region.
Also, the AIB Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, said on assumption of office, he discovered that 18 accident investigators, recruited since 2013, had never been trained due to paucity of funds.
He said that the participants were taken through various aspects of accident investigation, including Annex 13 guidance materials; investigating organisational factors and human performance.
“Other areas were records investigation, investigating rotorcraft accidents and incidents, on-site investigation and flight recorders.
“The training also covered fire investigation, managing large scale accident and incident investigation, emergency response and record investigation among others,” he said.