From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
Nigeria aviation gets a fresh beat yesterday as the country retained the prestigious United States of America, USA, Federal Aviation Administration Category One Status.
A certificate to the federal government that certified that Nigeria aviation meets international standard was issued to the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka in the US.
Chidoka recently promised to reform and strengthens the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB in line with the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, for greater efficiency and service delivery.
At a meeting with officials of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO in Montreal, Canada, he urged the global body to commence exchange programmes in air navigation, to deepen knowledge and promote best practice.
Chidoka 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 term visited the country in April.
The US FAA had carried out intensive internal aviation safety assessment of the sector earlier in the year amid concerns that the industry has gone through teething period since earning the CAT 1 status in September 2010.
A statement signed by the minister stated that the America FAA informed him 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 added that the NTSB team also provided some insights on the operations and activities of the board and advised the visiting team on some best practices to institutionalise to achieve the desired outcomes.
He further enjoined 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 statement said “On the final leg of the official trip, Chidoka met with the US Transport Security Administration, TSA, to explore opportunities for capacity building and strengthening of aviation security systems and infrastructure.
“The minister requested for hands-on training and exchange programs between the two agencies that will result in direct and more meaningful transfer of expert knowledge in different aspects of airport security. The TSA promised to support the efforts of the present administration to enhance airport security and improve the operational performance and intelligence of security agents working in the air transport sector.
His team also inspected the Transportation Security Operations Center (TSOC) in the state of Virginia.