Posted by Sade Williams
Commissioner Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency ( BAGAIA), Engineer Charles Irikefe Erhueh has hinted on the importance of partnering with the right stakeholders and communities in crash sites so everyone knows their role when incidents and accidents occurs.
Engineer Erhueh made this known today at the Workshop on the Role of the Accident/Incident Investigation in the State Safety Programme (SSP) and Flight Recorder Workshop -“Recorders and Beyond” held at Immaculate Diamond Hotels and Apartments Abuja, Nigeria holding from 14th-18th November 2022.
According to him, partnering with the right stakeholders: airport authorities, military, police, national civil defense, construction companies, emergency management agencies, and even how to relate with communities where the crash happened so as to inform them of their role, which by the way is most critical if we are to get good results.
He said the dual workshops will deepen investigators knowledge further in understanding safety as well as the investigative processes, and enhance the understanding of stakeholders’ role during the investigation in terms of the State Safety Programme.
He said,”Also, this will let us have the understanding the benefits of the use of drones in accident investigations while looking beyond the flight recorders.
“Note that once an accident happened and the scene becomes contaminated by people who should not be there, their actions more often than not, derail the investigative process.Sometimes you see a massive crowd looting and carting away things from the scene all in the guise ‘to help’.” Erhueh said.
Retired Managing Director of the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB), Dennis Jones who lectured on emerging risks and high risk categories dissected a few inimical to air safety in his presentation Overview of Accidents/Incidents (Globally/Africa/Region) looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s associated consequences on safety
The renowned NTSB investigator identified unruly passengers, mental health of operational staff,increased number of mistakes by operational staff as well as manpower shortage as some high risk factors to air safety.
Explaining, he said, “Unruly passenger incidents are increasing — Complex health rules, flight cancellations and rescheduling, and changing
quarantine and entry requirements are some of the contributing factors.
“Mental wellbeing of operational personnel — Long inactivity periods, furloughed personnel returning to work, extensive quarantine periods (some crew members are reported to have
experienced 200 days of quarantine over a 12 month period), and uncertainty about the future are factors contributing to the emerging risk.
“Increased numbers of basic mistakes by operational personnel — The lack of practical
experience of personnel returning to work after long periods out of work, slow responses during routine tasks, and a lack of situational awareness are some of the contributing factors.
“Staff undertrained or not trained — Border closures and long quarantine periods continue to limit the access of regional operators to simulators and training centers.
“Operational personnel shortage — Pilot and ground staff shortages may eventually impact industry growth and recovery in the region, particularly in States where there is a dependence on expatriate workers. In many cases, experienced staff have retired early and are unlikely to return.”
Mr. Jones promised to share more information during the week of the workshop to delegates stressing that he has worked so much in Africa that his heart belongs in the continent
The event is organised by the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Bureau ( BAGAIA) , hosted by the Government of Nigeria and sponsored by the African Union (AU) in partnership with the European Union (EU) under the EU-Aviation Safety for Africa (EU-ASA) project.