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Agency poised to boost aviation experts on accident investigation

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By Gabriel Agbeja
Banju Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA) on Monday in Abuja held a workshop aimed at advancing aviation experts` knowledge on accident investigation.

BAGAIA Commissioner, Charles Erhueh said that the workshop was to further deepen participants’ knowledge in understanding safety and the investigative processes.

“It will further expand stakeholders’ role during the investigation in terms of the State Safety Programme.

“Also, this will let us understand the benefits of the use of drones in accident investigations, while looking beyond the flight recorders.

“Note that once an accident happens and the scene becomes contaminated by people who should not be there, their actions more often than not, derail the investigative process, “he said.

Erhueh said that the massive crowd were seen many times at the place of accident looting and carting away things from the scene all in the guise to help.

According to him, invited speakers will talk about partnering with the right stakeholders such as airport authority, military, police, national civil defense, construction companies, and emergency management agencies.

“Also, how to relate with communities where the crash happened so as to inform them of their role, which by the way is most critical if we are to get good results.

“These topics and many more are going to be key to what we do and I hope we will take time to assimilate all and imbibe whatever we have learned professionally in carrying out our functions.

“BAGAIA as a body, when invited to carry out any investigation also needs the cooperation of the state of occurrence for such things as regards the crash or incident site as sometimes channels of communications are slow.

He said the slow communication sometimes affected the speed at which the investigation would commence.

Mr Akin  Olateru, the Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria said the theme of the workshop was “Role of the Accidedent/Incident Investigation in the State Safety  Programme (SSP) and Flight Recorder workshop.“

Olateru, who was represented by the AIB Director of Engineering, Mr Muhammed Hashim  said that the contents of the workshop would improve safety aspect of the aviation industry.

He said Nigeria’s air space had been one of the safest in the world for the past six years.

According to him, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) does the regulation, while AIB-N does the investigation.

“ When you talk of the flight recorders, Nigeria has one of the best laboratories in the world. We just recently helped Cameroon to retrieve information from the damaged recorder, which has never been done in Africa.

“Though, Nigeria was not the country of occurrence of the accident, but Cameroon; the download and analysis were done in Nigeria and they came to Nigeria because of our expertise,“ he said.

Olateru said AIB-N did not collect any money for the assistance in compliance with the rules and regulations of AIB globally.

NAN reports that BAGAIA member states are Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Guinea, Gambia, Liberia and Senegal. (NAN)

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