Stories by Lawani Mikairu

The Nigeria Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, has commenced the process of revolutionising air accident and incidents reporting and investigation in Nigeria with the recent launch of its Mobile App. The launch of the mobile application would enable the public to immediately report aircraft incident and accident to it directly, rather than through a third party or any other social media.

The launch of the App, which took place late last year when the Bureau released final   four accident reports, has been widely applauded by aviation stakeholders. Speaking during the   launch of the mobile app, Engineer Akin Olateru, Commissioner, AIB,   said: “The launch of the AIB Mobile Application today is one of many processes to ease communication as we continue to work towards providing a safer sky for the flying public. The application will enable anybody who has downloaded it to report any air crash or air incident to AIB for prompt investigation.”

Olateru explained that the downloading of the pictures and videos to the application would greatly assist AIB in carrying out its investigations, stressing that it was a faster and easier alternative to web browsing.

On the installation of the mobile application, the Commissioner said that   a user of iphone could install the application through App Store, which contains a white “A” inside a circle.

He added: “Then, you will tap search at the bottom of the screen and type AIB NIGERIA to download. When you see the name or an image of an app you’d like to add to your iPhone, tap to select it.

“When the app is installed, AIB NIGERIA icon will be added to your home screen and the install button will be replaced with a button, which says ‘OPEN.’ Tapping it launches the app you have just downloaded.

“The application gives us a new and more convenient way to receive aircraft accident report in real time, thereby increasing promotional opportunities with push notifications and more, which depicts its core objectives of accident and incidence investigation reports.

“This app would improve engagement with Nigerians by providing easy and open access to the Bureau and its activities. The Application is now available for free download on the Apple, Android and Google play stores.

He insisted that the development of a mobile application was essential to the bureau’s processes as it extends its relationship with users by providing better access to news and updates, convenience, live reporting by eye witnesses in the event of accidents or incidents.

He maintained that the AIB Mobile app, consumes less data when compared to others in its category, adding that it could also be used offline while it offers instant updates and notifications.

The launch of the mobile application by the Bureau has attracted commendations from stakeholders. Speaking about  the Application, Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd), the former Commandant at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMIA), Lagos, said that the launch of the mobile application would further make the job of AIB easier while the public would have better access to the Bureau.

Ojikutu also said that there is a provision in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) regulation Act, which allows even aircraft crew to make a report to the authority without the knowledge of airline management, stressing that the launch of the application had made AIB to be in tune with happenings in the global aviation industry.

He said: “I agree with AIB on this. There is a provision for that even in NCAA regulation. The regulation says that even the crew themselves without the knowledge of the operator, can make a report to NCAA. Sometimes, we discover that if a crew reports something, the operator might not be happy. What NCAA requires is just the particulars of the aircraft, the occurrence, time and where.

“I’m 100 per cent with AIB on this because we have been keeping a lot of things away from the Bureau. There are lots of things that we have seen during investigations, which we expected that NCAA should act, but didn’t. However, since AIB is doing that, I think it is a step in the right direction and the management should be commended for coming out with the idea.”

Also commenting on the Mobile App , Engr. Sheri Kyari, Coordinator, Centre for Aviation Safety and Research (CAS-R), said that technology applications like that would always make AIB to improve   in discharging its duties.

He noted that if AIB had quick access to information, it would prevent recurrence of serious incident or accident in the sector, stressing that the current management had done a lot to ensure improvement in the sector.

He added: “This will make their work easier in the course of gathering information in case of serious incident or accident. So, if they are able to get information on time, they can make use of it to make sure that accidents are prevented.”

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