By Sade Williams
Nigeria has attained another high level safety rating which places it amongst the world leaders in aviation safety.
The country climbed to Level 3 State Safety Programme (SSP) Implementation Process. Nigeria has therefore joined countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom etc in this echelon.
This categorisation is dependent on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), who tracks the SSP implementation process of member-states via its Integrated Safety Trend Analysis and Reporting System (iSTARS).
Member states in tandem therefore deploy this platform to undertake Gap Analysis, define their action plans and benchmark their progress.
According to a statatement signed by Sam Adurogboye, NCAA spokesma, only two member states-Australia and Sri Lanka- has achieved full implementation of the SSP according to ICAO records, addind that Nigeria is striving to achieve Level 4 which is 100% by the end of 2017.
The State Safety Programme (SSP) process is inaugurated in member countries in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements as contained in Annex 19 on Safety Management.
Consequently, Nigeria’s advanced level has put its SSP implementation process amongst States that have defined an action plan for all non-implemented Gap questions.
In other words, Nigeria has completed its Gap Analysis, implemented 43.6% of the required SSP tasks. In addition, the country has developed a detailed action plan for the accomplishment of the outstanding tasks with an established and approved timeline.
In pursuant to the above, Nigeria has commenced the implementation of the SSP processes and has achieved several milestones. These include the completion of the SSP Gap Analysis and the establishment of the Implementation Plan approved by the DG, NCAA.
Other completed SSP tasks are the official authorisation of the DG, NCAA as the Accountable Executive of the SSP and the designation of the NCAA as the Placeholder Organization of the SSP in Nigeria by the Honourable Minister of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika.
The approval and publication of the State Safety Policy Statement, the Enforcement Policy in an SSP-SMS environment including Nigeria’s Voluntary and Confidential Reporting System etc, are among the tasks that have been concluded.
The ICAO Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) has recognised the relevance of establishing and maintaining fundamental safety oversight systems as a prerequisite to the full implementation of an SSP.
Member – states with robust safety oversight system have been called upon to progress towards full implementation of State Safety Programme (SSP).
An SSP is an integrated set of regulations and activities aimed at improving aviation safety which will be monitored through Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) after such a state has achieved an Effective Implementation (EI) of over 60 percent.
It is required that states that have achieved EI levels of over 60 per cent should endeavour to fully implement SSP by 2019.
Nigeria achieved an EI Level of 67.36% during the immediate past ICAO USOAP Audit in March 2016 which is above world average of 63.54%.
With this achievement, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will continue to ensure that air transportation in Nigeria is seamless, safe and secure at all times.
The airline operators should take advantage of the robust regulation and adhere to all safety regulations as contained in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs).