Way out of aviation challenges, by experts

SOME experts have called for a united front in combating aviation challenges in the wake of last week’s crash of an Associated Airlines plane in Lagos.

They said plane crashes could not be stopped by the clamour for the removal of Aviation Minister Stella Oduah.

According to Captain Balarabe Usman, former director of aviation security at the Lagos airport and Sheri Kyari, Executive Director, Centre of Aviation Safety and Research, stakeholders should come together to resolve the problem.

Usman said: “I know that some people are not happy with the minister because of the radical things she did when she came in as minister. I know that some people are unhappy with her jolting the status quo, but to be sincere those changes she made are necessary for the sector to move forward. Any minister that wants to develop any sector in this country must jolt the status quo in order to move forward. And of course, you must have a lot of opposition; those who were benefitting from the old system you want to change”.

Usman said there were more air crashes in the United States (US) than any other part of the world; yet the country is said to have the highest safety record globally because it has strict regulation system, which Nigeria is building now.

Kyari said the standard worldwide is for airlines to take charge of safety issues, which should be priority.

He said: “The responsibility of the direct safety of an aircraft is that of the airline. So people blaming the Minister I can’t really understand. Then secondly, you cannot blame the accident on the Federal Government because it does not have any responsibility at that level and you cannot also say it is the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) because the direct responsibility for safety of an aircraft lies with the airline.

“NCAA is to oversight and just in case they are not doing the oversight then it is unfortunate. But definitely if that aircraft was on ground, I should be confident to say that NCAA was in the know; that the aircraft was on ground; it was not flying. And if the aircraft was to be put into operation, what did NCAA do the time it was on ground and when it went back to service? But whatever happened in that interim, the airline has certified engineers and pilots to effectively manage the safety of the aircraft.”

Source: The Nation

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