By Isaac Tersoo Agber
Forty Africans have been trained as Aerodrome Safety Oversight Inspectors by the Singapore Aviation Academy, a course that was recently hosted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in Lagos, Nigeria.
It was a maiden pilot edition of the course as it was hitherto offered in Singapore Civil Aviation Academy strictly. The first offshore location for the course away from Singapore was at the NCAA Conference Facility at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
In cognizance of importance of the course to global aviation safety, 40 participants from 15 African countries were in attendance for this maiden edition.
In a statement, the NCAA announced that Nigeria provided the highest number of participants. There were 13 from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and three from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
In addition, 14 from other countries were similarly in attendance. They were Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Niger Republic, Congo, Mali, Cote De Voire, Togo, Senegal, Chad, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Gambia and Sierra Leone.
The five-day Course was organized by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).The training has as its focus vital areas of Aerodrome Oversight functions.
Some of which includes overview of the states’ Safety Oversight Obligations, Critical Elements of Safety System, Safety Management System(SMS), Airport Emergency Planning, Operational Services and Maintenance Practices, physical characteristics(runways, taxiways, clearways, stop ways and holding bays).
Others are, visual aids for navigation, indicators and signaling devices, markings, lights, signs and markers, Aerodrome operational service, equipment and installations, rescue and fire-fighting, training programme (review, records and documentation), training of apron drivers, runway incursion prevention, wildlife and foreign object damage management inter alia.
During the closing ceremony, the Director General, NCAA Capt.Muhtar Usman informed the Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) that the essence of the course was to enhance their Safety oversight management capacity of aerodromes through a comprehensive system approach.
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The DG also posited that this opportunity given to the African Continent by delivering the course in Nigeria will enhance better understanding of roles and responsibilities of aerodrome inspectors. It is expected that their knowledge of aerodrome certification and surveillance will impact on safety and security of airline operations in Africa.
In the areas of training and partnership, he said that NCAA has been a progressive partner with CAAS and AFCAC in different areas, specifically on Human Capital Development. Inspectors of the Authority have participated in several courses organized by these bodies; the most recent was the Dangerous Goods training in Niger Republic.
Capt.Usman therefore commended the management of CAAS and AFCAC for granting NCAA the honor and privilege of hosting the course.
He expressed optimism that the partnership will continue for the mutual benefit of all parties.
In conclusion, the DG thanked the facilitators led by Peter Ray (Lead Instructor), Bernard Yap (Assistant Instructor, CAAS) and Johnnie Lim (Coordinator, CAAS) for success of the training and their expertise in the course delivery.
Other members of the team included Papa Fall (Director of Safety, AFAC) and Racky So Mbacky (Public Relations Officer, AFCAC).He also appreciated the Interpreters for a wonderful job in ensuring that language did not constitute any barrier to acquisition of knowledge.