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Govt moves to meet U.S. aviation rating

Posted by By Wole Shadare on 2007/04/11 | Views: 566 |

Govt moves to meet U.S. aviation rating

TO maximise the benefits of its "Open Skies" agreement with the United States (U.S.), Nigeria has embarked on personnel training, and upgrade of aviation equipment.

TO maximise the benefits of its "Open Skies" agreement with the United States (U.S.), Nigeria has embarked on personnel training, and upgrade of aviation equipment.

The initiative is at the instance of U.S. Aviation experts, who recently visited the country to assess the state of infrastructure and operations of government's agencies in the sector.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, who spoke on the development explained that the country was working assiduously to attain the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One Status.

Attaining the Category One status will enable Nigeria's carriers fly direct to the U.S. and also enjoy the full benefits of the "Open Skies" agreement between the two nations.

Demuren stated this at the weekend when a five-man delegation from the U.S. visited aviation agencies in Lagos to assess the state of the industry.

The visiting U.S experts include, Denis Jones, an accredited representative of National Transport Service Board (NTSB), Kelvin Sample, Directorate of Transportation (DOT) Senior Advisor, Moira Keane, FAA representative for Sub-Saharan Africa, Edward Jones, FAA Division Manager, Western Pacific Region and Maneola Borges, U.S., Consulate Economic Officer.

They were said to have expressed satisfaction on the on-going efforts by the government to reform the air transport sector, adding that such reforms would restore public confidence in air travel.

The experts equally stressed the need for frequent training of key aviation personnel like pilots and air traffic controllers to further enhance safety.

They reiterated that training of industry personnel would be necessary to meet the challenges of frequent technological advancement in the global aviation industry of which Nigeria is a key player. They also pledged to assist in exposing Nigerian aviation professionals to American aviation institutions.

In his address, the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Ado Sanusi, noted that the agency was being repositioned for greater efficiency, explaining that resuscitation of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) was an important aspect of the Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) programme to catch up with the global trends in air traffic management.

Sanusi, who said efforts were on to replace ageing navigational aids, declared that "we are trying to do all that we can to have an efficient agency without redundancies by introducing key performance indicators to assess our safety management system."

He said that 14 area radar controllers being trained in U.S., were due back in the country soon, just as he hinted that about 200 controllers were to be trained for about 15 months to handle the new radar system while plans are underway to recruit young controllers and engineers.

In recent years, the FAA has allowed foreign aviation experts to assess the Nigeria's compliance with the minimum safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the supervision and regulation of civil air operations.

The FAA uses a double rating system: Category One, which means full compliance and Category Two, which means there are lapses.

In consequence, the FAA will discontinue (freeze) the existing operations to the U.S. by foreign air carriers of the subject country pending improvement.

Nigerian carriers have been greatly hampered by this safety standard, as most of them recently designated to the U.S., are yet to begin operation.

But Arik Air last month announced plans to commence both London and American routes in May and July.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown