The Nigerian Security Investigation Bureau (NSIB) says it will step up efforts to improve aviation security in 2023.
The director general of the NSIB, Mr. Akin Olateru, made this known in Abuja on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to Olateru, one of the fundamental objectives of the bureau is to improve air safety by determining the circumstances and causes of air accidents and serious injuries.
“It will also provide safety recommendations aimed at preventing the recurrence of similar accidents. The purpose of this is not to apportion blame or responsibility,” he added.
The NSIB chief said that in order to achieve the feat, the office had planned to train and retrain its staff to maintain best practices in 2023.
He said three aviation security researchers from the office had just completed their program at the Nigerian College of Technology (NCAT), Zaria, to increase capacity.
He stated that the NSIB had partnered with the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA) to train aviation safety investigators by organizing workshops for aviation investigators and correspondents in Abuja.
Olateru explained that BAGAIA helped its members in seven West African states, including The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone, to conduct an independent investigation of air accidents and serious incidents in accordance with the international standard.
Regarding the partnership, Olateru said that the current administration has entered into collaborations and cooperation agreements with various countries and institutions to strengthen security in the aviation industry.
He said partners included the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the Republic of Benin, the US National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) and the Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB). .
“In addition, the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA- France), the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the Republic of Saudi Arabia, are among the partners. ,” he said.
He said the office has established a training institute to boost awareness of accident investigation in the African region.
He said the training school would be the first of its kind in Africa with support from Cranfield University, UK, Singapore TSB and NCAT.
“This institution will serve as a source of internally generated income for the Office with an environment conducive to study, four-star accommodation with 30 hotel rooms, training rooms and a 250-seat auditorium.
“The new accident investigation mobile site emergency mobile satellite office training school will help investigators set up a mobile office at accident sites.
“It will also help download from cockpit voice recorders (CVR) and flight data recorders (FDR) right there at the crash sites without having to delay the process,” he said.
According to him, the facility is currently in Abuja, ready to be deployed as needed to incorporate current trends and technologies in the aviation industry, especially in the area of accident investigation.
The NSIB chief said the office’s equipment and laboratories had been ranked among the best in the world.
“The Flight Safety Laboratory (FSL) is where the CVR and FDR data is downloaded. NSIB’s Flight Safety Laboratory has the ability to download data from most CVRs and FDRs available today.
“The FSL greatly contributes to our smooth investigative process with its ability to recreate simulations in animations based on data from the Flight Data Recorders (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR),” he said.
Olateru said that FSL had the ability to download from a wide range of undamaged recorder models and some damaged recorder models.
He said the office had also incorporated the use of drones, one of the techniques always involved in accident investigation, to assist in investigations.
“These can assist in crash site assessment and hazard identification, aerial photography and mapping, and serve as a guide to access difficult terrain.
“Renovation/maintenance work at AIB Wreckage Hangar in Abuja, so that all aircraft wreckage is stored for reassessment during investigation,” he said.
The Director General said the Bureau was invited by the Government of Sierra Leone to provide technical assistance for the establishment of the Sierra Leone Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation Bureau (SL-AAIIB).
Olateru said that the Office organized and hosted the first International Day for the Remembrance of Air Crash Victims and Their Families on February 20, 2022.
He indicated that financing restrictions due to inflation had affected the implementation of some projects.
According to him, NSIB has received the “Most Innovative Aviation Agency of the Year 2022 Award” from Air Transport Quarterly and the “Africa Drone for Humanity Award” at the 2nd Drone Technology Conference & Exhibition.
“The AIB Commissioner received the 2021 Aviation CEO Award at the Travelers Award,” he added.