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AIB to release 6 airline accident investigation reports in 90 days

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The Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr Akin Olateru, has said that the bureau will release additional six accident investigation reports in the next 90 days.

Olateru disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the state of the bureau’s Accident Investigation Laboratory at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Friday in Abuja.

He said the six accidents involved the Police helicopter crash in 2012, two Trainer aircraft belonging to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology and Associated Airlines crash in 2013.

Other accidents according to him are, Bristow Helicopter crash in 2015 and the West link air crash.

Olateru said that AIB had in March released four accident reports involving Dana air in 2012, AOS Helicopters in 2011, Bristow Helicopters in 2013 and PICOMSS in 2012.

He added that the expected report would bring the number to 10 reports released by the bureau in a short period.

The commissioner also disclosed that AIB had revived its laboratory to ensure that all accident investigations were carried out and result released in real time.

He explained that the laboratory, that was equipped in 2012,  had not function since 2015 due to lack of human capacity in-house to manage it inaddition to the many challenges from the manufacturer‘s end.

According to him, he has made it a priority to resuscitate the laboratory considering its importance to the discharge of AIB’s responsibilities.

He added that the work was being carried out with assistance from International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Singaporean government.

“The optimum performance of the laboratory is central to our contribution to safety in Nigeria and the sub-region.

“We are not unaware of the expectation of ICAO and the West African Sub Region from Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau.

“We are determined to meet these expectations. In doing this we are much more determined to meet the expectation of Nigerians to have early release of accident reports.

“One of my cardinal programmes since I assumed duty as the chief executive here is to ensure that all outstanding reports are released at the earliest possible time.

“This is one critical way of affecting aviation safety positively,” he said.

Olateru said that the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Transport both of the United States of America (USA) had agreed to come and train AIB investigators later in the year.

He added that the bureau had been getting good responses from several stakeholders to partner with it in human capacity development and maximization of AIB potentials.

“We shall not relent until we have taken AIB to the glorious height it deserves to be,” he said.

The ICAO representative, Mr Caj Frostel, who is also the Commissioner for Banjul Accord Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), said the body was ready to support AIB to become a centre of excellence in West, Central and Southern Africa.

He said that BAGAIA was committed to help the bureau utilized its potentials and deliver on its mandate.

Also, Mr Micheal Toft, an expert on Flight Safety Laboratory and the head of the Air Accident Investigation department of Singapore Transport Safety Board, said he came to help train AIB investigators on the use of its laboratory.

Toft said there were commonalities between AIB’s laboratory and that of the Singaporean agency,adding that the laboratory had the capacity and the capability to produce accident reports with precision.

He added that the personnel trained also showed high level of commitment and determination to use the laboratory equipment efficiently.