• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria retains US Category One status, tasks ICAO on capacity building

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Nigeria has retained the United States of America (USA) Federal Aviation Administration Category One status with the issuance of the certificate to the country through the minister of aviation, Osita Chidoka, in America.

The retention is coming on the heels of the minister’s promise to reform and strengthen the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in line with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for greater efficiency and service delivery.

Chidoka, who was issued the certification after the Nigerian aviation industry propelled by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other major agencies in the sector, closed all the identified open items when the FAA team visited the country in April, also urged the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to commence exchange programmes in air navigation, to deepen knowledge and promote best practice.

FAA had carried out intensive internal aviation safety assessment of the sector earlier in the year and there were fears that the country may not retain the status it earned in September 2010.

However, in a statement obtained by BusinessDay, Chidoka said he was informed by the America FAA that Nigeria had continued to meet the safety oversight requirements under the international aviation standards.

Chidoka noted that the retention of Category One status was hard earned and promised that the government would continue to ensure that the country retains the status and other future safety certification in a seamless way.

He also revealed that plans were underway to reform the AIB and make it in tandem with other international bodies for efficiency delivery.

According to him, it has also become imperative for the US Department of Transportation (DoT) to extend its assistance to the Nigerian aviation industry in a bid to improve safety and security components.

The minister during the visit also held technical sessions with the World Bank Transport Group where the previous World Bank supported-programmes and the status of implementation were reviewed.