It has been disclosed that about 56 % of major accidents in the Nigerian aviation industry, in the last five years, took place on the runway. Also, in the global aviation industry, runway incidents and accidents were responsible for 50 per cent of the total disasters in the sector.
Statistics released on Monday by the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muktar Usman – at the commencement of a three-day Runway Safety Go Team; Runway Incursion, Excursion and Confusion by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), in collaboration with other parastatals in the sector – indicated that no fewer than 27 air incidents and accidents were recorded in the country during the period under review.
Usman, who was represented on the occasion by the Director of Operations, NCAA, Capt. Abdullahi Sidi, said that there was a need for all the agencies in the sector to collaborate, so as to enhance safety in all ramifications of aviation, especially at the airside.
He frowned upon the rating of Africa as the continent with the highest number of accidents in the world, maintaining that if incursions, excursion and confusion on the runways were reduced, it would also reduce the accident rates in Africa.
Usman explained that there was a need to improve safety at the airsides especially at the four major airports in the country –Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano, by removing all the impediments on the runways, and stressed that the NCAA would ensure that improvements were recorded in all spheres of the sector.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director, NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, said that the workshop became necessary as it had been observed that runway was responsible for 50 per cent of global aviation fatal accidents.
He said that, in order to curb this, the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), via its resolution A37-6, mandated states to ensure the effective establishment of Runway Safety Teams at all international airports, positing that the primary objective of establishing the Runway Safety Teams was to enhance collaborative decision-making amongst various stakeholders involved in runway operations, as necessary for safety, efficiency and economy of flight operations within terminal areas.
He noted that the Abuja Declaration that emanated from the resolutions of the Ministerial Conference of African Ministers of Transportation in July 2012, recommended the implementation of appropriate measures to reduce the rate of fatal accidents within the African continent by not less than 50 per cent, in order to bring it down to the global rate.
Runway Safety consists of three key elements namely: runway incursion, runway excursion and runway confusion. Runway Incursion is the unauthorised presence of an aircraft, vehicle, person, animal or object on a runway or associated runway strip that constitute a hazard to aircraft landing, taking off or taxiing within the movement area of an aerodrome.
Also, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma, said that the priority of the agency was to ensure safety and standards within the airside.
Dunoma was represented at the event by the Director of Operations, Capt. Henry Omeogwu.
Dunoma noted that Foreign Object Damage (FOD), wildlife, vegetation and bird control, search and rescue vehicles, as well as various other stakeholders operating therein had been posing serious concerns to FAAN, which, he said, were being addressed by ICAO, International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Source: Daily times