AIB seeks minister’s support for hi-tech equipment

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The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has said that the agency requires hi-tech equipment and other sophisticated tools, as they will help the accident investigation body to carry out its job.
The Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr. Felix Abali, said this yesterday while receiving the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Aviation Minister (state), Alhaji Hadi Sirika, during a visit to the agency at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

According to him, “We also need to have hi-tech equipment and other sophisticated tools. These two resources will help us to deliver on our mandate and fulfill our vision of being among the leading accident investigation bodies in the world.”

Abali stated that though the agency has some well trained professionals and good facilities but that the accident investigation body needed more in this direction. He explained that AIB is funded through the 3 per cent the Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) collected by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Federal Government allocations through the Federal Budget, adding that the agency can do with more funding.

The agency, the AIB boss said has challenges just as it has great potentials, hoping that their visit would help overcome some of these challenges and reposition AIB among the leading accident investigation bodies in the world.

He said that AIB was silently but diligently work behind the public glare to prevent accidents from reoccurring, adding that the purpose of accident investigation is not to apportion blame or liability but to prevent future re-occurrence.
The AIB boss posited that when the agency determines the cause of an accident, the agency would issue safety recommendations, adding that AIB use the instrument of safety recommendations to effect changes in aviation safety.

Abali added that with the recommendations made in the past, AIB has made local and international impacts that has affected aviation safety positively, adding that in doing this, however AIB require well trained, well-motivated and diligent professional investigators.

AIB, he said, became an autonomous agency and effectively started operation in 2007 with the appointment of a Commissioner as a result of the passing into law of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006, adding that prior to this time, the Bureau was a department in the Federal Ministry of Aviation as Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB) and was headed by a director.

Accident investigation is one of the two important critical legs of ensuring aviation safety, the other being regulation. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) defines accident investigation as “a process conducted for the purpose of accident prevention, which includes the gathering and analysis of information, the drawing of conclusions, including the determination of causes and, when appropriate, the making of safety recommendations.”