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Interview: “we will consolidate and Improve on our successes, expect safe, secured and efficient……DG NCAA

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DG NCAA capt. Mukhtar Usman

Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Muktar Usman speaks on the successes recorded in the Nigeria Aviation Industry in 2017 as well as what all stakeholders should expect in the year 2018 in this interview.

Last year 2017 was a very safe year in aviation especially in Nigeria, we recorded no commercial schedule accidents, same in 2016 and in 2018, we want to consolidate on that, it was through a lot of hard work, training and surveillance, inspections and we want to do more on that this year. Last year also, we were able to work very hard in the retention of the Category One Federal Aviation certification for Nigeria, it is one thing to attain, it is another to sustain, our pledge this year is that we would continue to sustain whatever certification we have and also to build on the successes we recorded last year.

Though we had free accident last year and things went smoothly, are there areas you feel there are gaps you actually need to focus attention on this 2018?

Certainly in life, there is always challenges and we are working on those challenges.
I didn’t mention some of the successes we recorded last year included the certification of airports which we commenced, it never happened before, we certified two airports and we are planning to certify two more this year 2018. Off course you know the implementing agency is the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN but we work hand in hand to ensure that standards are meant.
We have also reviewed the weather minima for our aircraft to be able to take off and land under certain atmospheric conditions and that has increased the efficiency and capacity of some of the airlines and we will continue to publish such approaches in the areas of Performance Based Navigation approaches using satellite so that they don’t have to wholly depend on the ground based landing equipments.

Last year, the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB released 10 accident investigation reports and there were several safety recommendations that NCAA should implement, these recommendations, do you actually implement them to the latter to ensure there is no repeat of such accidents in the industry?

Certainly we had zero accident it is as a result of hard work and such hard work included the implementation of safety recommendations arising from previous accident reports, in fact, that’s the essence of even the investigation that we can prevent accidents from happening, we have been implementing along with the operators and even in some cases it involves the Civil Aviation Authority where certain requirements were opt because we found that there was need to review the regulations to prevent accidents from happening, Yes, we are working with the Accident Investigation Bureau that made the report, we meet at least quaterly to review progress and implementation of such reports and we ensure where operators are expected to implement certain things they are implemented and on the part of the regulator also where we are required to make necessary amendments or whatever we have done.

Let’s also look at the airlines, having no fatal accident last year does not mean we should relax that things will remain like last year, what measures are you putting in place to ensure that the airlines are actually complying with the regulations to ensure safety?

Well, we do that in several ways, certification and re- certification, we do inspection and we also carry out audit, we also mount surveillance to ensure that whatever is provided for in the regulation that needs to be enforced are adequately enforced, as I mentioned earlier, it is easy to attain success but to manage it is difficult, so we have attained certain level of safety in aviation and we are working to ensure that we continue to sustain and even improve on that level that we have attained.

What should air travellers, airport users, stakeholders look forward to this year from the regulator?

I would tell them that they should expect safe, secured and efficient air transportation system in Nigeria.

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