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FAAN reviews emergency procedures as US FAA calls for more training for ARFFS

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Officials of ARFFS, MD NAMA capt. Fola Akinkuotu, director operations,FAAN Rabiu Yadudu, US FAA guest speaker, Mark Tonnacliff at the ARFFS aviation stakeholders strategic aircraft emergency conference in Lagos

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN is currently reviewing its emergency procedures across airports in the country to promote safe flight operations.
Speaking at a one- day aviation Strategic stakeholders Conference on Aircraft Emergency in Lagos, Managing Director, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma said this is the time to do so as the authority was currently in the process of certifying all the five major airports in the country.
He noted that the current procedures needed to be improved upon in line with international best practices for the the Aerodrome rescue and fire fighting services to effectively carry out their responsibilities.
Mr. Dunoma who was represented by the Director Operations in the agency, Mr. Rabiu Yadudu promised to continuously strive to meet regulatory requirement and work in synergy with all relevant stakeholders to ensure safety of airport operations.
He noted that,” this is one of the best times for FAAN in General to hold this conference of this importance. A conference that addresses the challenges usually experienced in handling and management of aircraft emergencies, this is because we are currently in the process of certifying all the five major airports in the country”.

Chairman of the event and Managing Director, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency,NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu called on the participants to come up with a workable blueprint at the end of the conference that would entrench stakeholders collaboration in all facets of civil aviation management, particularly, the aspect of Aerodrome fire fighting capacity improvement.

“This workshop and theme could not have come at a better time than now, when the international civil aviation organization emphasizes airport collaboration decision making (A-CDMA), as the most effective strategy in achieving an inclusive development of customer centric airport and air navigation services development plan, in the interest of international civil aviation”.

In his goodwill message, the Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman described the conference as a step in the right direction as it would promote collaboration between the aerodrome operator, internal and external assisting agencies on aircraft emergency response management.

According to him,”in order to achieve robust and effective aircraft emergency management at the airport level, inter-agency collaboration, meetings seminars/conferences and regular exercises is absolutely indispensable”.

Guest lecturer and an official of the United States Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, Mr. Mack Tonnacliff harped on the need for the training and retraining of officers of the airport fire and rescue department to have the requisite skills in discharging their duties.
He also noted that fire fighting, rescue and communication equipment must be provided if emergencies are to be handled successfully.
He said,”all emergencies, regardless of severity requires a comprehensive list of resources, heavy equipment, portable shelter, portable address system”.
Mack Tonnacliff also stressed the need of training together with other agencies and regular simulations to identify areas to be addressed.
” emergencies could be accidents/incidents, bomb incidents, structural fire, fire at fuel farms or fuel storage areasm natural disasters, hazardous materials/dangerous goods incidents, sabotage, hijack incidents and other unlawful interference with operations”.

Former Acting GM Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting services and Manager of Ibadan Airport Mr. Akinlabi Akinselure, Airport harped on the need to adequately educate emergency responders about their roles in the event of an emergency

Mr. Akindelure who is also the conference visioneer explained how important it was to get emergency numbers for responders as against the practice of using individual numbers which become unreliable.

General manager ARFFS, Mr. John Ekpe called on the NCAA to look into reviewing the time for training and reevaluation as the time for those is quite short.

The objective of the conference is to promote the collaboration between internal agencies and external assisting agencies in aircraft emergency response management as well as improve awareness, readiness and compliance with the best emergency management procedures in the industry.

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