Minister Of State For Aviation Restates Commitment To Strengthening Air Safety

SIRIKA Hadi, Minister of State for Aviation has said that as part of efforts to check air mishaps in the country, the aviation sector had heightened oversight on Dana and other airlines to ensure proficiency and competence in air operations.
Hadi made the assertion on Thursday when he inspected the accident site of Dana airplane 5N-SRl which crashed landed off Port Harcourt International Airport runway on the eve of Tuesday.
He said that though the accident recorded no casualty, the aircraft had been badly damaged.
The minister explained that because the aviation sector deals with lives, air transportation is a very sensitive business that was well regulated in terms of recommended standards and practices.
He said the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), the statutory body for investigations according to the provisions of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had swung into action and would soon come up with findings that would further strengthen the aviation sector.
“This accident is regretted and the trauma it has caused the public is equally regretted.
“We reassure the public that we have increased our own oversight that is the oversight of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on all airlines operating in the country with particular attention to Dana.
“Dana having been in the news for bad reasons lately, and many times too, about three to four times, it has become imperative that we treat their matter seriously.
Since the first accident, NCAA has been on a matter concerning Dana and other airlines and all findings will be communicated according to law to the public.
Hadi, however, applauded the AIB under the present administration for its timely and result-oriented response to accident reports.
“More than 50 per cent of accident reports that had been in the executive shelves have now been published.
“This means that these reports will be used to avert future air disasters and we will continue to release more reports since they can be seen as a post-mortem to check recurrence,” he said.
The minister revealed that Nigeria had performed well in the aviation sector, scoring above globally accepted average on air safety.
“Recently Nigeria scored high in air security when the country’s audit was done, for the first in our history, Nigeria became the only African country that has certified two  airports (Lagos and Abuja) at the same time,” he said.
Hadi also explained that Nigeria had scored above average in the global air safety rating having scored 67 per cent as against 60 per cent global average.
He assured Nigerians of the commitment of the present administration to build more on achievement in the sector.

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