The commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr. Akin Olateru has said that the final reports of four aircraft accident investigations had been compiled and submitted to the federal government.
The reports include those of Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012, two Bristow Helicopters accidents of August 12, 2015 and February 3, 2016, and OAS Helicopters crash of July 29, 2011.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting organized in Lagos by Aviation Round Table (ART) the commissioner also said 10 accident investigation reports will be ready by the end of the year.
Olateru further said there were 37 accident reports pending at the bureau as of the time he assumed duty in January.
“When I took over AIB on January 13, 2017, there were 37 pending accident investigations and the first question I asked was: How many accidents do we have in a year that we have 37 pending accident investigations?
“Today, I’m proud to tell you, four reports are on their way to the president including Dana, two Bristow and OAS Helicopters reports. And by next week, we will make them official reports.
He said the era of keeping accident reports in the bureau’s wardrobe had come to an end.
Thereafter, he said the agency was deficient in key technical personnel like fixed and rotary wing pilots adding there are only “one and a half pilots.”
“At the moment, we don’t have a single helicopter pilot or engineer. There are more helicopter crashes than fixed wing accidents. The only fixed wing pilot at AIB is a fresher from school.
“I said one and a half because we have a fresh one who is just joining us. Is that the kind of manpower that can actually investigate accident reports?
“These are the issues I am taking up with the minister and he is willing to support. We need to strength the system and we can’t just fold our hands,” he said.
The commissioner added that there was no emergency response team and a control room in the agency adding that a chunk of the management staff does not know the number to call in the event of an accident.
“We don’t even have an emergency response team in AIB. Who do you call even when you need a crane? We don’t know. Most of our management team does not know the number to call in case of an accident. There is nowhere anyone will remember the 11 digit number. Rather, we need a unique three digit number.
“We don’t have a control room in AIB. Once it is 4 to 5pm, the company shuts down and I try to remind them that accidents, most times occur in the evening and on weekends. So, we must have a functional control room, radio, and monitor things that are going on.
“Reporting accident is another issue. We have to make it seamless. The police do not know what to do at an accident crash site,” he said.