The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is set to review its existing regulations and reporting procedure to accommodate innovations in the global aviation industry and enhance its accident investigation activities.
The commissioner and chief executive officer of AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru who stated this in Lagos after a week-long per review exercise carried out with its European partners in Lagos also said the agency had already circulated the information about the review to the concerned stakeholders in the sector.
He also said the exercise would be completed before the end of the year.
He said some of the existing regulations had since become outdated and needed changes, which he said could not be accommodated with the current regulations in use.
The commissioner also pointed out that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recently reviewed its Annex 18 to accommodate new developments in the industry.
“AIB came to bear in 2007 via the Civil Aviation Act 2006; our regulation was designed to guide how you do things. That regulation is outdated, it has to be reviewed. Regulation basically is to guide the stakeholders and to let everybody know this is how reporting system is done.
“If you look at Annex 18, it has just been reviewed by ICAO. We need to bring our regulations to speed to capture those new areas because you have to constantly review how you do things for you to stay relevant, if not, you will become outdated. It is easier to review regulations than to review the Act. Act is forever.
“More so, the need to review our regulations was part of ICAO findings the last time it audited us. ICAO observed that there were lots of gaps in the current regulations, which had called for this review.
“As a responsible organisation, you have to constantly put your regulations, processes, systems and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to test to make sure there is still life and they are still going to work in accordance to your objectives. And, if you find any gaps, you need to review and make it alive,” he said.
To remain relevant, Olateru maintained that an agency like AIB would need to consistently look at its regulations.
On the peer review carried out by two consultants—the former commissioner of Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), Mr. Caj Frostell and the chief air safety investigator, Safety Investigation Authority, Finland, Mr. Ismo Aaltonen– on behalf of the bureau, Olateru said the exercise was necessary in order to plug the existing gaps in the system.
He explained that the peer review included equipment, infrastructure, technical personnel, system, processes and procedures, regulations and the entire organization while also bench marking it with European standards.
The commissioner also said the experts checked AIB’s books to determine its conformity with best standards.
He said the agency would continue to invest in infrastructure and human capital
In his remarks, Frostell said the agency’s equipment and technical personnel could compete with the best in the world.
He described AIB’s flight safety laboratory in Abuja as “state-of-the-art” saying it would further make the agency to retain its number one position in the sub-region.
However, Frostell said AIB needed to close some noticed gaps in the existing system stressing that there was no perfect system anywhere in the world.
“This kind of review has been conducted in most European countries and this is international effort to basically do the same thing in using the same materials. There has been tremendous development AIB,” he said.
In his comments, Aaltonen said the agency can handle all forms of accident investigations with its current equipment and personnel.
However, he called for more training and re-training of technical personnel in order to remain current on the job.