As the four-man team from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) begins a re-assessment of Nigeria’s Category 1 safety status today, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it has prepared for the exercise.
The spokesman for aviation agencies, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said at the weekend in Lagos that the CAT 1 certification had improved Nigeria’s aviation industry rating in the comity of nations and enabled Nigerian registered aircraft to fly directly to the United States.
He said he was certain that the country would retain the safety status adding that since 2010 when FAA certified by the aviation sector, the various parastatals in the ministry of aviation had made important milestones.
“FAAN is fully compliant with ICAO standards for firefighting 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 kits, (equipment as well as personal protective clothing) have been provided for all firemen and women. This has been done to enable firemen efficiently carry-out their duties in securing and safe-guarding the airport terminals, staff and passengers,” he said.
During the period, Dati also said NCAA recorded major achievements including the deployment of the automated flight information reporting system which, according to him, was no available in Nigeria prior to the FAA certification.
“Another important milestone is the IOSA certification and interlining which had never been done in Nigeria. Two local airlines have been successfully certified under this programme and the exercise is currently on going. With the restructuring of the NCAA, Nigeria will have an affective, proactive aviation safety regulator similar to what is found in any advanced countries of the world,” he added.
For the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Dati said the new air traffic management system deployed under the total radar coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) had greatly improved the safety of the country’s airspace.