Tuesday, 15 March 2011 00:00 By Wole Shadare Business Services - Business News
NCAA seeks new regulations to enhance aviation safety
TOP officials of the United States (U.S.) Transportation Security Administration (TSA), at the weekend, arrived in the country to carry out a special security and safety audit of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The development is coming on the heels of moves to enhance the legal profile of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure improved safety at the nation’s airports.
Also, officials of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are being expected in the country in May, to audit the nation’s aviation facilities.
TSA is the department responsible for the safety and security of the travelling public in the United States.
Sources told The Guardian yesterday that the team, which began the audit of the MMIA Lagos on Saturday, would continue with the process today.
According to the sources, the team will fly to Abuja today, to begin the audit of the airport at the federal capital city and this is expected to continue till Friday.
A top official of NCAA, who pleaded anonymity, said the team would be examining the adequacy of fire tenders at the airports.
According to the source, they will also be looking at the perimeter fencing adequacy of the airports, or the available alternative means of compliance, where not sufficient.
They are expected to examine the three airlines operating direct flights between Nigeria and the US. These are Delta Airlines, Arik Air and United Airlines.
It was learnt that the airport security experts will also be looking at the level of compliance of the airports and the airlines to safety regulations as contained in NCAA regulations and the International Civil Aviation Organisations’ standards.
ICAO is the United Nation’s agency, which regulates the aviation industry globally. The team will also be looking at various safety manuals of aviation agencies and airlines, according to the sources.
TSA was established in 2001 to safeguard US transportation systems and insure safe air travel following the September 11 terror attacks. It was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the World Bank had supplied 35 fire trucks to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to cover all the airports in Nigeria.
Consequently, it was gathered that the Director-General, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, had a marathon meeting with top officials of all the agencies in his office on Friday.
The Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Richard Aisuebeogun, was also in attendance.
Demuren had said that he would not certify any of the 22 airports in the country unless they had adequate fire cover.
Nigeria is scheduled to face ICAO Universal Security and Safety Audit in May. One of the issues the ICAO team is expected to look at is the adequacy of fire tenders in Nigerian airports..... Read more...