" /> //pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js
Published On: Sun, Feb 25th, 2018

Danger signals in the aviation sector

Recent reports from the aviation industry are foreboding enough to raise red flags to those managing the sector. Several ugly and untoward events have happened in the sector since this year that urgent action may be required to preempt what may ultimately lead to catastrophe and collective grief.

Last week a Dana aircraft over shot the runaway in Port Harcourt, although all the 64 passengers and crew escaped unharmed.  The reason for this near mishap was bad weather and strong storm, yet the flight was cleared to land. Under what compelling mitigation was the authorization to land granted air traffic staff? Would it not have been better and safer to divert the flight to a neighbouring airport to avert a disaster that could have happened? It would not be a surprise that a ‘big man’ may have been on board.

A week before this a Peace Airline plane could not land on schedule at the Akure airport as a result of runway invasion by herd of cattle and had to hover in the air for some time to allow frantic effort by authorities to clear the runway. Although action was taken by suspending the manager and querying others, this could amount to medicine after death had the worst happen.

One can only imagine the psychological trauma the people on board went through because of this after being told of preparation for landing. Again, imagine what could have been the potential hazard and danger if the plane did not have sufficient fuel to accommodate the extra time spent waiting to land.

READ  Seeking elusive truce in NASS, Presidency cold war

We recall another incident of cattle invasion of the runway in 2005 in Port Harcourt which caused an international flight operated by Air France plane to over-run the runway.

Shortly before the Akure misadventure, another Dana aircraft came close to tragedy when its door yanked off on taxiing for take-off, which was blamed on error by maintenance engineers. Fair enough, but could that explanation have saved or replaced the lives of the endangered passengers and crew? Imagine the danger if the plane had taken off!

In the midst of these, a Delta flight was aborted after take-off and had to return for what official described as routine check. This is not only insulting to the sensibilities of Nigerians but a clear dereliction of duty and ridiculing of the nation by the agencies concerned. These are warnings too many and government should take immediate action to overhaul the regulatory agencies and ensure proper attention to duty.

The Nigerian air space has been relatively quiet and safe in recent time but that is not sufficient reason to drop the guard and lose sight of the worst scenarios. There are several regulatory agencies in the sector such as FAAN, NCAA, NAMA and their combined effort should be enough to keep the industry safe.

Obviously, accidents do occur but some are avoidable and should be avoided. Unfortunately, all that comes out of these agencies is about money and debt. The sad truth is that operators will not be inclined to pay regulatory charges if there is no commensurate performance or contribution by the agencies to their operations. Of course the frequent changes in the leadership of these agencies also make them lose confidence and independence required to do their job as they are constantly looking over their shoulders for government next action.

READ  Cover Business Hallmark Monday, March 19, 2018.

Basically, the problem of the industry is underfunding and poor infrastructure. Virtually all the domestic airlines are in one form of distress or the other and this is hardly acceptable in the industry where safety is of utmost importance. Nigeria must hold the record of the highest airline mortality rate in the world with none existing beyond a decade. Expertise comes from practice and experience and with such high turnover, such know-how is lacking.

Moreover, the cost of maintenance has become prohibitive give the high exchange rate as the country does not have international standard hangar for routine checks. Also, air fares do not respond to the demands of operations because of government regulation, while aviation fuel is often unavailable.

The canker worm of corruption which has become the bane of our nation should not be allow to jeopardize the lives of the flying public by ensuring that agencies and officers responsible for safety in the sector are held accountable for lapses that may lead to accidents.

This newspaper therefore believes there may be need for consolidation in the sector for economy of scale and also special forex window for them to procure spare parts and undergo routine checks.



Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Banks search for lending opportunities

    …explore FOREX, trade finance and other businesses By FELIX OLOYEDE The thinning out of yields in Nigeria’s fixed income market has spurred banks to look for new sources of revenue in 2018. A large number of banks in 2017 took advantage of the federal government’s aggressive borrowing by way of domestic bonds to earn risk […]

  • Profitability: GTB, Zenith raise the bar as bumper returns set new industry pace

    By FELIX OLOYEDE As the results of firms in different sectors of the economy tumble on to the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), GT and Zenith bank are setting the pace in the financial services sector as their gross revenues and post-tax profits for 2017 pierce new heights.  Both banks that rank as […]

  • Analysts caution over MTN’s bumper offering

    By TESLIM SHITTA-BEY Telecoms giant MTN, Africa’s largest telecommunications group, may be facing one off its tough times yet in recent years as it prepares to declare a full year 2017 headline earnings per share (EPS) of between R1.70 and R1.90 and a basic EPS of between R2.35 and R2.55. The weakening performance of the […]

  • Nestle Nigeria excites investors with high investment yield

    …but traders complain of market illiquidity By OKEY ONYENWEAKU With a dividend payout of N42.50 per share for the year ended 2017, shareholders would ordinarily have had broad smiles plastered on their faces as they pick up their dividend slips (or more recently received credit notices on their phones). The payment of N42.00 as dividend […]

  • Economy: CBN policies will double growth in 2018 –Dr Boniface Chizea

    With the Nigerian economy beating analysts’ 2017 projections for growth by about 20 basis points or 2% over the 1.7 % consensus forecast earlier in the year, private sector economists are growing in confidence that the 2018 growth rate would settle somewhere between 2.6 and 2.9 %.  This would mean that gross domestic product (GDP) […]

  • Food Security: Sustainable cassava seed systems critical – IITA

    Scientists and experts in agriculture have converged on the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan to concretize efforts on ways to develop sustainable cassava seed systems in Nigeria. This according to them, would enable them to solve problems of low productivity and improve the livelihood of farmers while ensuring food security. Coordinator, Dr Hemant […]

  • Measles campaign in Oyo: Govt deploys over 8,000 officials

    The Oyo State Government has deployed over 8,000 officials for the 2018 Measles Immunisation across the state. The officials, numbering 8,351, will serve as House to House mobilisers, facilitators and town announcers. They will carry out the campaign from March 15 to March 27. The Commissioner for Health in the state, Azeez Adeduntan, while monitoring […]

  • Falana slams NNPC for failing to reveal financial information

    Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has criticised the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for rejecting a Freedom of Information request he made concerning the operations and finances of the corporation. Falana said the submission that the NNPC is not a public institution is embarrassing in that NNPC’s Counsel did not advert her mind to section […]

  • Exercise Cat Race: Troops nab 12 herdsmen in Benue

    The Nigerian Army on Sunday said 12 herdsmen have been arrested in Benue State. Channels TV reports that the suspects were arrested by troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade presently taking part in the Exercise Cat Race called Ayem Akpatuma in the state. They were arrested for alleged involvement in the destruction of farmlands in […]

  • Veto of Electoral Act: Saraki, Dogara vow appropriate response to Buhari’s amendment

    The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, have vowed to jointly give an appropriate response after President Muhammadu Buhari withheld his assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. Spokespersons for the Senate President and Speaker, Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, revealed this in a statement on Saturday. […]

  • North East: 3.8m benefit from WHO free healthcare

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it provided health interventions to 3.8 million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast in the past one year. WHO said in its 2017 annual report that it coordinated health sector partners and reached 3.8 million people with health services. The agency said that it worked closely […]

  • Saraki mourns as Sen. Ali Wakili dies at 58

    The President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki has expressed sadness over the death of Sen. Ali Wakili who was the chairman of the Senate committee on Poverty Alleviation. Wakili died at the age of 58 and his death has been confirmed by Saraki in a series of tweets to mourn his deceased colleague. Our […]

  • Pound recovers as World supports Britain in spy case

    The British pound recovered Friday from weakness prompted by a Russian decision to expel British diplomats, as the world rallied in support for London in a crisis sparked by the poisoning of a double agent, analysts said. World stocks, meanwhile, rose slightly at the end of a volatile week as fears lingered of a global […]

  • Akintoye: Killer herdsmen more dangerous than Boko Haram

    Historian, Professor Banji Akintoye, has supported the proposition that the Federal Government should declare killer herdsmen across the country as terrorists. According to him, they appear to be more dangerous than Boko Haram terrorists and therefore, must be stopped before their activities get out of hand. He addressed the issue when he appeared as a […]

  • Delta community lament poor health care system

    Residents of Bomadi and Ughelli North Local Government Areas of Delta state have raised serious concerns over what they’ve described as poor healthcare systems in their community. According to them, the Bomadi General Hospital is the only hospital that serves communities in the entire local government and its environs and for many months now, the […]

  • Niger Delta oil spills: Amnesty Int’l accuses Shell, Eni of negligence

    Rights group, Amnesty International, has faulted reports of oil spills in the Niger Delta by Shell and Eni, and is asking the Federal Government re-open investigations into 89 oil spills in the region. According to the group, the oil giants under-reported the number of spills in the last seven years and also attributed the causes […]