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Safety inspectors and investigators cry over poor remuneration , says Nigeria on the brink of loosing US Category one status

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The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) is unhappy with the current remuneration of Aviation Safety Inspectors and Air Safety Investigators of the NCAA and the AIB describing it as a sad commentary and very disheartening.

This was contained in a communique by the Association.

The Association says, It is of grave concern that the agencies are clearly unable to attract, hire or retain qualified and experienced pilots and engineers due to the poor remuneration and Conditions of Service for the Aviation professionals, adding that whereas “Availability of adequate qualified technical personnel is Critical Element 4 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Eight Critical Elements of a State’s Safety Oversight System”.

Citing ICAO document 9734 on the Staffing Requirements in a State Civil Aviation System states that “To effectively fulfil its responsibilities, the State civil aviation system must be properly organized and staffed with qualified personnel capable of accomplishing the required wide range of technical duties involved in safety oversight. Furthermore, they should also enjoy conditions of service and remuneration consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience and comparable to the operator’s staff whose activities they will inspect and supervise”.

Also, ICAO document 9756 Part 1 Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation Chapter 2 section 2.4 reiterated the need for qualified, well trained and motivated personnel. The worldwide standard is for the CAA’s Inspector and Air Safety Investigator to earn more or, at the least, be at par in earning with the aviation technical staff in their States.

In tandem with the stated ICAO direction, ICAO document 8335, Part 1, Chapter 6, Paragraph 5.3 says “Furthermore, the CAA Inspectorate staff should enjoy conditions of service and remuneration consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience and comparable to the operator’s staff whose activities they will inspect and supervise.” Similarly, the NCAA Technical Guidance Material (TGM) Vol. IV Chapter 16 section 3.4 states that “Airworthiness Inspectors should have educational and technical experience qualifications that compare favourably with the maintenance personnel they will inspect or regulate. Furthermore, they should also enjoy terms and conditions of service consistent with their education, technical knowledge and experience comparable to those personnel they will inspect and supervise”.

From 21st August, 2017, the United State’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be carrying out IATA Audit of Nigeria in order to determine if the Category 1 Status of Nigerian Aviation could be retained. In the checklists that would be used by FAA for this audit, question No. 3.207 asked “ How does the CAA technical staff’s technical remuneration and conditions of service compared to that of comparable personnel in Industry? It is noteworthy and necessary to recall the fact that the State of India was unable to retain their Category One Status in 2014 due to inadequate qualified Inspectors because of poor remuneration. And NAAPE does not want NCAA and Nigeria to fall into this category.

To further highlight their pains, NAAPE list the Salary Package of some CAAs:

SALARY OF INSPECTORS
1. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) $179,700.00 per annum
2. United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) $170,500.00 per annum
3. Transport Canada $175,600.00 per annum
4. South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) $155,900.00 per annum

While below is the Salary Package of some Nigerian Operators:

S/N
NIGERIAN OPERATORS
SALARY OF ENGINEERS
1. Execujet Nigeria Limited N1,100,000.00 Per Month
2. Aero Contractors Company Of Nigeria Limited N1,500,000.00Per Month
3. Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited N1,200,000.00 Per Month
4. Caverton Helicopters N1,500,000.00Per Month
5. Nest Oil Aviation N2,000,000.00 Per Month
6. Dornier Aviation N1,600,000.00 Per Month

“From the above stated tables, if compared and contrasted with the salaries of the other CAAs and Operators, it will be seen that a very huge difference exists which makes it practically impossible for NCAA and AIB to retain its Inspectors and Investigators respectively, or to recruit qualified technical staff as Inspectors and Investigators based on such poor remuneration”.

To remedy the worrisome situation, they therefore suggest and recommend an allowances they ought to be collecting for the Minister should give kind consideration.

S/N
ALLOWANCE
ACTUAL(PERMONTH)
RECOMMENDED(PERMONTH)
1. License Allowance N20,000 per rating, N150,000 per rating
2. Enroute Allowance-10%of Basic Salary N200,000
3. Certification Allowance 10%of Basic Salary N50,000
4. Credential Allowance-N750,000
5. Difficult Terrain Allowance -N200,000

They stressed that it was pertinent to bring to the open what they been grappling with for years now as the disparity in remuneration with their colleagues in other airlines is not encouraging.

“It is important at this point to point out that Aviation Safety Inspector’s remuneration is at the same level with that of the Air Safety Investigator. In other words, this request applies equally to NCAA and AIB. Fortunately, both organisations operate the same Conditions of Service presently”.

NAAPE, therefore appealed to Minister of state aviation, the National Assembly among others to look into their plight with a view to right the wrong.

“We, therefore, prayerfully request the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Transport, Minister of State for Aviation, Head of Civil Service and other persons concerned, by directing the Managements of NCAA and AIB to conclude discussion with NAAPE urgently, with a view to reaching a favourable agreement on the issue”.

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