By Yunus Yusuf
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria has concluded plans to commence training for aircraft accident investigators in the West African sub-region.
AIB Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday.
Olateru said this when the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime visited the agency to ascertain their level of ICT infrastructure and cyber security architecture.
He explained that beyond partnerships with local and international institutions, it has also completed plans to begin training air accident investigators for the entire West Africa.
According to him, the training will be conducted at the Abuja Bureau’s facility in partnership with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
The commissioner also disclosed that the agency would be releasing new air accidents reports on Tuesday.
Olateru said that would bring the total number of final reports of air accidents to a record 27 in four years.
He said since he assumed office in 2017, AIB had released 27 final accident reports and issued 97 safety recommendations to the public.
The commissioner said the figure represent 64 percent of releases since the inception of AIB.
He said: “We will be releasing an additional four reports tomorrow, which will bring the total number of final reports released to 32 and 106 safety recommendations during this current administration.
“The releases will make a total of 50 final reports and 187 safety recommendations since the inception of AIB.
Olateru told the senators that AIB now release air accidents in record time unlike in the past, adding that this was made possible due to the capability it has attained in the last four years in terms of equipment and human capital.
He also said the AIB now had the capability of releasing air accident report in 18 months from the date of the accident.
The commissioner said it had partnerships with United Kingdom Air Accident investigation Bureau (AAIB UK), Singapore Transportation, Safety Investigative Board (TSIB).
According to him, others are Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB Canada) and the University of Ilorin, among others.
Olateru appealed to the Senate for improved funding and the quick passage of its Amendment Act to enhance its operations.
The commissioner noted that it had acquired some drones and its staff were schedule to undergo the training to enable it get aerial shots of crash sites and proper analysis.
He said handheld investigation equipment devices they also acquired would help its investigators to carry out on-the-spot analysis of evidences at the crash site.
Olateru noted that the equipment had the capability to download the Flight Data Recorder & Cockpit Voice Recorder through the handheld device.
In his earlier remark, the Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime Sen. Yakubu Oseni, who led the committee, noted that fresh experiences arising from the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed rampaging threats to the digital ecosystem.
Oseni added that it had further exposed the need for accelerated development in ICT.
He said in Nigeria, the concern was not only about cyber-security threat but also the weak systems, hence the need for the oversight.
The committee members were later taken through AIB modern accident analysing facilities and the lawmakers expressed satisfaction with the achievement of the bureau in recent years.