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Crashes: FG to make international safety audit compulsory for domestic airlines

By The Rainbow
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The Federal Government said on Monday that it will audit all indigenous airlines operating in the country as a countermeasure to recurring air mishaps.

Less than two weeks after the Associated Airline plane crashed, killing 15 passengers, another plane wpth 94 persons on board belonging IRS Airline made emergency landing in Kaduna ON Sunday.

The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, who announced this during a press briefing at the NCAA headquarters in Lagos on Monday, said that the authority would conduct the audit jointly with a foreign audit firms.

Akinkotu had called the media briefing to throw more light on the incident involving IRS Airline.

He said, 'We are going to audit all the indigenous airlines, we have a continous process of auditing airlines. As a matter of fact, we are going to do a joint audit on all the airlines working with foriegn audit firms to ensure that there is a complete validation of all the airlines.

'This is done to reassure the public of the safety of our airspace and to also continue the oversight functions of the NCAA. We intend to put in place regulations that would require all our airlines to have an International Air Transport Association Operational Safety audit. Many years ago, it was voluntary but this time we will make it compulsory. Airlines would be required to have this as a way of going forward and ensuring that their systems are tidy.'

The NCAA boss stated further , 'For the purpose of reinforcement, we wish to restate that the affected F100 aircraft operated by IRS landed safely at the Kaduna Airport, following a hydraulic alert in the cockpit while on final approach to the airport.'

He stressed that the NCAA would continue to interact with operators on what they needed to do. Akinkuotu added that the preliminary report from the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau brought to the fore some of the issues that the agency might consider.

'We have been calling on operators to abide by the laws, and we will continue to do so, because these operators also have responsibilities to fulfill to ensure that they continue to abide by the laws in ensuring total safety of passengers.'

Already, the licence of Dana Airlines had been suspended by the NCAA on October 6, 2013.

The NCAA said it took the action as a result of an operational audit which it intended to carry out on the airline.

On the issue of the workers of some airlines not being paid their salaries, Akinkuotu said the issue was currently being addressed by the authority.

'If we have any airline that we know is not paying salaries,  we will stop them,' he said.

He said that the agency would not encourage any airline that was not financially sound to operate.

The Chairman IRS, Alhaji Ishaku Rabiu, commended the Federal Government and NCAA on the regulation of the activities of airline operators to make the industry better.

He said that operators would not willingly kill people in the process of making money.

'It is important to know that we have been in this business for 12 years and have had no accident,' he said.