By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA- House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committees on Aviation and Commerce to investigate as well as carry out critical audit of all registered aircrafts flying the Nigerian airspace.
The Committee would also evaluate the operational environment of the aviation sub-sector with a view to enhancing improved operational standards and convenience of users.
The investigation is to principally ascertain the air-worthiness of the airplanes and compliance with applicable operational methods, set safety standards and procedures.
The resolution was sequel to a motion titled: “Need to Establish the Technical and Operational Status of Nigerian Registered Commercial/Private Aircrafts to Boost the Safety, Protection and Confidence of Passengers Flying the Nigerian Airspace”, sponsored by Hon. Abubakar Amuda-Kannike from Kwara State and considered by the members of the House.
Moving the motion, Hon. Kannike said that there is an existence of a high degree of complicity between airline operators in Nigeria and the regulatory bodies charged with the safety of our airspace and passengers.
According to him, the unhealthy development had compromised the system which needed to be investigated.
He said: “The House notes that compliance with safety standards in the Aviation sub-sector is sacrosanct, given its sensitivity as well as extremely low tolerance for margins of error;
“Aware that Aviation Safety measures are rather proactive measures to mitigate against air mishaps as well as to enhance smooth operations and comfort of passengers;
“Also aware that recently incidents in the aviation sub-sector are indicative that a holistic review and assessment of the level of compliance and adherence to safety standards are pertinent;
“Also notes that ideally there must be periodic aircraft maintenance which includes overhaul, repair, inspection, or modification of an aircraft or aircraft component and maintenance which incorporates such tasks as ensuring compliance with airworthiness directives;
“Again aware of the National regulations which are coordinated under international standards maintained by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO);
“Disturbed that there exists a high degree of complicity between airline operators in Nigeria and the regulatory bodies charged with the safety of our airspace and passengers; particularly, the Directorate of Quality Assurance of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority as well as the Accident Investigation Bureau; which has compromised the safety standards of our aviation sector;
“Worried that non-compliance with applicable air-worthiness requirements exposes consumers and equipment to high level risks, potential dangers and discomfort, which can easily be averted by carrying out appropriate due diligence periodically”.
Adopting the motion, the House did not however give a timeline for the investigation.