The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has appointed a safety investigator with the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr. Charles Irikefe Erhueh, as the new commissioner of the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA).
AIB said in a statement in Lagos that Erhueh was appointed after a thorough recruitment process in which applicants from within and outside the member states applied for the advertised position.
Reacting to the development, the AIB commissioner/chief executive officer, Mr. Akin Olateru, said the appointment was a testimony to the resources the aviation agency had invested in human capacity development.
“We are pleased to release Engr. Charles Irikefe Erhueh, one of our well trained safety investigators to serve at BAGAIA. At AIB Nigeria, we have been investing massively in human capacity development and it is our joy to share this with the aviation industry in Africa and the world. We are happy that he was picked out of several people that applied for the job.
“The setting up of BAGAIA is a plus for aviation safety in the West African sub region and Nigeria has been playing a frontline role to see to its smooth take off. We shall do everything within our powers to support this body with a view to ensuring that it discharges its responsibility effectively,” he said.
Born in Delta State, Erhueh, holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Minna; a certificate in Aircraft Engineering Special (AES-VII) from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) and a post-graduate certificate in Safety and Accident Investigation (Air Transport) from the Cranfield University, England, United Kingdom.
He also holds an Aircraft Maintenance Engineering licence (AMEL), a Cabin Crew Licence B737-200 and has undergone various trainings in aircraft accident investigation.
Erhueh currently works as Air Safety Investigator with AIB which he joined on November 1, 2006 as one of its pioneer staff.
He investigated several accidents and serious incidents in his over twelve years work experience in the aviation industry and has a good knowledge of Global Aviation Safety Plan.
The new BAGAIA Commissioner is a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and a member of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
The BAGAIA is coordinated by ICAO to assist its member states, comprising seven West African states of The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone, in the conduct of independent investigation of aircraft accidents and serious incidents in compliance with international standards.
With headquarters in Cape Verde, the agency also promotes the use of a common set of regulations compliant with the provisions of Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention by its member states.
This includes regulations for the protection of safety data with the purpose of accident prevention.
Nigeria has been playing a leading role in the establishment of the sub-regional body although it is the only well established and properly equipped accident investigation body in the region.