Stakeholders advocate single accident reporting system as AIB-N sets to commence digitised method

Engr. Akin Olateru, Commissioner, AIB-N


Posted by Sade Williams 

Stakeholders in the Nigerian aviation industry have advocated for single accident reporting system to further enhance safety in the industry.

This is as the Accident Investigation Bureau-Nigeria (AIB-N) is set to change the face of serious incidents and accidents reporting by introducing digitalised reporting to further take safety recommendations nearer and easier to the public.

Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner and the Chief Executive Officer of the AIB-N disclosed the epoch making initiative at the ongoing ‘Industry Engagement on the review of Accident Reports’ at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.

“The fact is the world standard, which is ICAO, has a format of reporting the final reports that is hundred pages presented to the world and on website. What we are trying to do is to challenge the status quo, to actually find a better way of getting this to the public. Today, how many people are reading reports (accidents and incidents)? You have this report about 300 pages of what happened, safety recommendations and so on. What we are trying to do is to digitalise in a graphic way with a data base of the same reports,” Olateru said while explaining the motive and relevance of the new initiative.

“We are going to be doing that very soon, to make it easier for the airlines to read, for anybody of interest to go to a particular section rather than flipping through pages of documents. If it is on human factors, you just click on the graphic and it will tell you everything on human factors. If it is about engine, same thing applies. The whole essence is about simplifying the way we communicate with the rest of the world in terms of our by-product and it has been discussed at the highest level at ICAO and it’s being accepted. By the time we are done, Nigeria will be the first in the world that would come up with this format. That is what I mean by Nigeria will lead the world very soon in terms of accident investigation reporting system.”

Looking at it critically, for any institution to progress and remain relevant, you need to invest in Research and Development, you need to have a feedback system to evaluate, re-evaluate how you do things; check your process and procedures and come up with a better way of doing things or a simplified way of doing things to enhance productivity and that is what we are doing in AIB.

On when the project will kick-off, Olateru said AIB is presently at the procurement stage and that it will be up before the end of 2021. “We are going through our procurement stage, we should be ready before the end of the year that would come up stage.”

On legal issue, especially trademarking of the new initiative, Olateru said: “When we are done, because we are making a lot of investment on this, Saudi Arabia has shown interest and partnering with us on this project because it is a great project that would change the world in terms of Annex 13 of Accident investigation.

‘We will have a platform whereby airlines, stakeholders will subscribe; you have access to it to train your pilots, engineers and stakeholders in the industry. The press too can have access to it to update their information or satisfy their enquiries. There would be a norminal fee. In a way, AIB want to use this as an opportunity to drive internally generated revenue.

Participants at the two-day Industry Engagement on the Review of Accident Reports organized by AIB-N in Abuja on Wednesday observed that many of the operators were in the habit of hiding the serious incidents to their machines from AIB-N, warning that this would not move the sector forward.

Engr. Godwin Balang, a management staff from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said that it was necessary to have a single reporting system, which should be made mandatory and accessible to all players in the Nigerian aviation industry.

According to him the single reporting system should include NCAA, AIB-N and airline operators, stressing that this would prevent inconsistent or inappropriate reporting system.

He also canvassed for the use of checklists by all operators to ensure accuracy in the system.

Besides, Capt. Taiwo Fatugase, a top management staff in AIB-N, explained that AIB-N has changed the face of serious incident and accident reporting in the industry and has been able to improve safety in Nigeria.

Also, Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner, AIB-N disclosed that the bureau was set to change the face of serious incident and accident reporting system in Nigeria by improving on the Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Oranisation, which deals with Accident Investigation.

According to him, AIB-N before the end of the year would introduce digital reporting system, which would be web-based, graphics and animated style, saying that this would further ease safety recommendation reports.

Olateru emphasised that when this comes onboard, Nigeria would be the first country in the world to adopt the system, stressing that the bureau had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia on this, while the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was also being carried along.

He said: ‘AIB-N will very soon be in the world news. We are going the extra miles to come up with different reporting style from the Annex 13, which gives us the right to investigate serious incidents and accidents in the sector.

‘We need to move to the 21st century of accident reporting. With the new style we are coming up with, AIB-N will be the first organization in the world to improve on the Annex 13. We are already discussing with ICAO and we are at the procurement stage at the moment. However, we hope to start the new system before the end of the year.

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