Home Uncategorized Human factor: Pilots, ATC harped on fixing communication systems to reduce risks

Human factor: Pilots, ATC harped on fixing communication systems to reduce risks


The communication systems in Nigeria are quite weak, this has been a recurring problem for the last 10- 15 years and this is one of the things that degenerate to incident or accident.

This was declared openly by the cockpit and the air traffic control at the just concluded Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB and League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents LAAC, Conference held in Lagos Friday 18, 2021.

Speaking on the probable causes of human factor in air accident occurrence, panelists at the conference identified Poor communication between cockpit and the control, loss of situational awareness and lack of training, poor facilities, fatigue, flight crew judgment and maintenance personnel, adding that these must be addressed to minimize on the accident and incident rate in air travel.

Speaking on poor communication between cockpit and control tower, President of National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Mr. Abayomi Agoro said, training and retraining of personal on new facilities were needed to improve the situation in the airspace.

He explained that airlines were not yet compliant with some of the new technologies introduced and even staff had not been taken through these new technologies by way of training.

Agoro said, “The issue of communication has been something we have been calling on government and NAMA as service provider to do more on it. The poor communication is not only from the ground equipment at times also it is from the air stations but most of the time these are some things that can degenerate to incidents or accidents”.

“Even now that we have data exchange which has to do with the CPDLC not all the airlines are compliant with that and not all the controllers have gone through the training so definitely, it’s one of the areas we have to look critically into to prevent human factors we are talking about”.

Buttressing his point on poor communication, Representative of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Akin George said communication system in Nigeria is best described as weak.

He said,” The communication system in Nigeria is quite weak; this has been a recurring problem for the last 10-15 years. Solutions have been put in, we take one step forward and within a month or two we are back to the norm”.

“We have been talking on human factors today and we know one of the critical elements is communication, if you cannot communicate with your controller; then who is controlling who? As of today the communication between aircraft and the services coming out of Kano to Lagos is extremely weak. If you happen to be operating from the eastern side of the country, coming out of Calabar or Uyo, Port get Harcourt and you’re heading towards Kano, it’s extremely weak, in most cases you have to get another aircraft to rely your information”.

“Now whilst all this is going on the aircraft does not stay in one place and so you have a dynamic situation which for me, remains high risk and that is one of the areas we need to tackle as soon as possible in order to reduce the risk”.

Commissioner AIB, Engr. Akin Olateru in his opening remarks, stated that aircraft accidents are dominated by the failure of human factor failure explaining that it was vital to understand the complexity of human factors within a system with the intent of reducing it to the barest.

He said,” Despite of a positive development in the trend of accidents recorded since the beginning of the 21st century, the number of air accidents is still unsatisfactory. Consequently, it is of paramount importance to do everything that would contribute to substantial reduction of the human factor failure in air transportation”.

“A system of models appears to be an important tool for overall understanding of the complexity of human factors, serving as starting-points to an analytical and classification research of the human factor. At the same time, these models enable qualified investigation and assessment of the causes of air accidents and incidents, thereby preventing them from repeated occurrence.”