To enhance security and safety in the country’s aviation sector, the agencies in the sector are set to sign a civil/military memorandum of cooperation with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
The Director-General, Civil Aviation, Captain Musa Nuhu, in his submission to the media, said that the memorandum of cooperation would formalise, deepen and strengthen the existing relationship between the two organisations.
Nuhu, who led the other Chief Executive Officers of aviation agencies to the headquarters of NAF in Abuja on Monday, said the collaboration between civil and the military would also lead to the enhancement of airspace security and safety.
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Other CEOs who visited the force headquarters with Nuhu included Mr Tayib Odunowo, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr Mohammed Kabir, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), directors and top management staff of the three agencies.
Speaking at the courtesy visit, Nuhu said before now, there had been series of collaborations between civil aviation and the military in the country and appealed to Air Marshall Hassan Abubakar, the Chief of the Air Staff, to continue in that trajectory.
He said, “We are here today in preparatory to signing of the civil/military memorandum of cooperation with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). It is pertinent for us to work together for the growth of the aviation industry in Nigeria.
“The continuous safety and security of the industry and the country’s airspace is very pertinent for the economic growth of Nigeria. Also, it will enable the country to retain its category one status. We need to keep working together as one.”
In his response, Air Marshall Hassan Abubakar, who welcomed the CEOs to the force headquarters, promised that his office would continue to work with civil aviation authorities in the country.
Earlier, the regulatory agency, in its determination to bring Nigeria to full compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had deployed national aviation safety reporting system for both mandatory and voluntary reports.
The deployment was announced in an All Operators Letter (AOL) referenced NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/341 dated August 25, signed by the Director-General of the regulatory body, Captain Musa Nuru and addressed to all aviation stakeholders and the general public.
The development came on the back of NCAA establishing a Safety Data Collection and Reporting System (SDCPS) called SMS Pro that would bring Nigeria to full compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
The SMS pro system is a web-based software, which is user-friendly and mirrors the SSP&SMS ICAO-recommended framework comprising safety policy, safety risk management safety assurance and safety promotion. It allows for full integration of the whole aviation industry such that each service provider has customised handles issued by the authority, to submit reports into the system.
It will be recalled that Annex 19 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and the Civil Aviation Act 2022 mandates the implementation of Aviation State Safety Programme.
According to NCAA, specifically, Annex 19 SARPs (Standards and Recommended Practices) mandates as follows: 5.1.1 States shall establish Safety Data Collection and Processing Systems (SDCPS) to capture, store, aggregate and enable the analysis of safety data and safety information, 5.1.2 States shall establish a mandatory safety reporting system that includes the reporting of incidents.
The SARPS also stipulates that: 5.1.3 States shall establish a voluntary safety reporting system to collect safety data and safety information not captured by mandatory safety reporting systems while 5.1.4 declared that: State authorities responsible for the implementation of the SSP should have access to the SDCPS as referenced in 5.1.1 to support their safety responsibilities, in accordance with the principles in Appendix 3.
In addition, Section 62 (1) of Civil Aviation Act 2022 states that, “The authority shall establish a State Safety Programme (SSP) in order to achieve an acceptable level of safety in civil aviation” and Section 46 (5) mandates the authority to “implement mandatory and voluntary non-punitive incident and accident reporting system.”
In view of the above, it is required that all service providers certificated by the NCAA must provide details (email and phone numbers) of their respective focal points for submission of mandatory reports to the authority.
“As soon as access to the reporting system is granted, all service providers are required to start using the system immediately. Though mandatory reports in paper may be still be accepted, submission of mandatory reports through the system is mandatory as from September 1, 2023.
“Focal persons are mandated to immediately create awareness across their respective organisations and provide documented evidence that awareness campaign has been done to the authority not later than October 1, 2023.
“Such evidence shall be submitted through the safety reporting handle and as soon as customised handles for submission of mandatory reports is provided, the focal persons are authorised to share the link with other key personnel (flight crew, engineers, ATC, cabin) within their various organisations to enable them submit reports which will be automatically classified under the applicable service provider in the reporting system.
“It is pertinent to note that both the NCAA and the NSIB have access to all submitted reports and are enabled to receive prompt email alerts as soon as any report is submitted into the system, including direct reports by the enabled public. And upon receipt of safety reports, both will do a preliminary risk assessment of each report to decide on which of the two agencies will handle the report.”
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