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US re-assesses local aviation sector

31 March 2014, 09:46Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is scheduled to commence the re-certification of the Nigerian Aviation industry on Monday.

The country was awarded the Category One safety status in 2010 after a similar exercise where FAA said it was satisfied with the country’s level of compliance with the International Aviation Safety Assessment standards.

The category one safety status allows Nigerian registered aircraft to fly directly to the USA.

Spokesman of the aviation agencies, Yakubu Dati, said he was confident that Nigeria would retain its category one safety status after the exercise by the FAA team.

“We are optimistic about the audit because within the space of three years after the first certification, the various parastatals under the ministry of aviation have attained significant milestones.”

Dati said the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had between the years2010 and 2014, reached a new height as the organisation was committed to making a conscious effort in keeping both passengers and the Nigerian public safe and secure at the airports.

“FAAN is fully compliant with ICAO standards for fire fighting and rescue operations. Before July 2011, there were only 20 fire tenders available, but now, FAAN has 46 fire tenders. In addition, 450 brand new key equipment as well as personal protective clothing have been provided to all firemen and women.

"This was done to enable firemen efficiently carry-out their duties in securing and safe-guarding the airport terminals, staff and passengers,” he added.

Dati also noted that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), through the new Air Traffic Management system, deployed under the Total Radar Project (TRACON), had improved the safety of the Nigerian airspace exponentially.

“The TRACON project has been completed with approach radar control in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port-Harcourt. Area Radar commenced in Lagos and Kano ACCs. This has significantly increased airspace capacity for the Nigerian aviation industry,” he said.

FAA would assess a number of critical elements such as primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulations, state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions and technical personnel qualification and training.

Other critical elements on the audit would include technical guidance and tools, licensing and certification obligations, surveillance obligations and resolution of safety issues.

The FAA team will also visit Arik Air and its facilities as the airline currently operates directly into and out of the USA.

– CAJ News

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