3 months to go…Aviation security personnel set to carry arms

…Sirika outlines achievements on safety, security

Posted by Sade Williams


In the next three months, officers of Aviation Security (AVSEC) under the employ  of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), would begin to carry arms as part of their duty to protect passengers and other airport users.


Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika made this revelation at the 5th Aviation stakeholders’ forum  held in Abuja on Thursday.


He said the Ministry of Aviation has got the approval of the Federal government to empower the officers to carry arms in view of recent security challenges.


He said the officers would now embark on training  on how to use the arms and other gadgets that would go along with weapons.

“We got the approval to train AVSEC officers to bear arms in the next three months like the Transport Security Administration (TSA) in the United States of America. They will get new uniforms, Sniper dogs and wear new looks, safety and security is the primary concern of this administration, therefore, we are not leaving any stone unturned”, he said.


Speaking on the achievement of the administration on safety and security, he listed the Certification of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos in April, 2017 and Nnamdi Azikiwe  International Airport, Abuja in November, 2017, adding that the certification of Kano and Port Harcourt airports are at advanced stages.

He also mentioned the promulgation a new Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation which took effect in July 2016.


He said Nigeria achieved an effective implementation level of 67.36% during the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme carried out in March, 2016 which is above global average of 63.54% apart from recording 96.45% in ICAO Universal Security Audit.


In the areas of State Safety Programmes, Sirik reveals Nigeria has attained Level 3 out of 4 levels, thereby moving from red to green on the ICAO Dashboard.


He added that in line with ICAO and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards, in July 2017 the Nigerian Meteorological Agency acquired ISO 9001 2015 certificate, which qualifies it to offer Aeronautical Meteorological services. The Agency became the 1st in Africa to be so certified in that category.


He mentioned that installation of Very High Frequency (VHF) radios for aerodrome and approach air-ground communication in 18 airports nation wide. (Maiduguri, Enugu, Jos, Calabar, Yola, Ilorin, Sokoto, Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Zaria, Katsina, Owerri, Yola, Calabar, Kaduna).


The installation of high power Very High Frequency (VHF) stand-alone radios in Lagos and Kano Area Control Centres (ACC) as backup for air – ground upper airways voice communication and the deployment of Controller-Pilot-Data Link Communication (CPDLC) in Lagos and Kano to enhance communication in the oceanic region and the remote areas of the north.


He outlined the commencement of Aeronautical Information Management Automation Project which comprises a network of 26 VSAT facilities at all Nigerian airports as well as Search and Rescue, with coordination domiciled in Lagos, adding that it will enable Nigeria to comply with the mandatory transition from Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) to Aeronautical Information Management (AIM).


“We have developed and published Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Procedures  for 18 airports, introduced Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) and Standard Arrival Routes(STARs) at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt as an improvement on the procedures”, he said.


Sirika also referred to the publication of 10 Final Reports on serious incidents out of 28 rports released since the creation of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in 2007, attaining 36% of total reports released.


The AIB, he said issued 39 Safety Recommendations out of a total of 121 issued by the Agency (32% of total Safety Recommendations) and published the first Safety Bulletin in AIB’s history .


He said it launched the AIB Nigeria mobile app in November 2017 to ease the process of reporting air accidents and serious incidents, and to enhance access by the public apart from rehabilitating the Emergency Operating Centre and furnishing of the Resuscitation Centres at Abuja and Lagos Airports.

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