Friday, March 10, 2017 11:26 am
The Commissioner of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Akin Olateru, has promised to publish four plane crashes reports includes the Dana Air crash, two Britstow Helicopters crashes and one AOS Helicopters’ crash in a few weeks.
Olateru disclosed this at a forum organised by Aviation Round Table in Lagos on Thursday, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
He added that the four reports are on their way to the President for approval.
“By next week, we will make them official reports and before the end of this year, by the special grace of God, we will release a minimum of 10 reports,” he said.
The Commissioner explained that all pending cases would be disposed off in due course beginning with the 10 reports which were already in the process of gaining presidential approval before release.
“I took over AIB on Jan. 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 such pending accident investigations?
“Among the 37 crash cases includes a Dana Air flight which crashed at Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos on June 3, 2012, killing not less than 163 lives both on-board and on ground.
“Apart from the Dana crash report, AIB will also send reports of the last two Bristow Helicopters and one AOS Helicopters.
“The first of the two Bristow Helicopters crashes occurred on Aug. 13, 2015 at the Oworonshoki Area of the Third Mainland Bridge with six fatalities while six others sustained serious injuries.
“The second, which also crashed into the high sea was coming from an offshore platform, but without casualties.
“Also, the AOS helicopter crash occurred on July 29, 2011 between Ife and Ogbomosho. The reports of the accident would be made public by next week,” he said.
Olateru said there must be a big paradigm shift in the way the bureau was operating under his leadership.
He added that the era of keeping accident reports in the bureau’s wardrobe was over with his management team.
The AIB boss, however, lamented that the bureau had only “one and half pilots” at the moment because one was still fresh on the job.
“This situation we find ourselves has prevented efforts of the available manpower to actually investigate accident reports.
“We have more helicopter incidents than fixed wing incidents in this industry, yet, you don’t have one single helicopter pilot in AIB,” he said.
The commissioner called on the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to muster up support to restructure and strengthen the bureau.
According to him, the bureau needs an emergency response team which should be well trained to respond to emergencies promptly.
News Agency of Nigeria also quoted Olateru as saying among other things the bureau required were crane services and a unique three digits number which would be made available to the public to call in case of any emergency.
“We don’t have a control room in AIB. Once it is 4 p.m. to 5 p.m, the company shuts down and I try to remind them that accidents in 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 by providing a three digit toll-free number to the public so they can reach us in the case of accidents,” he said.