Air mishaps: Senate directs minister to conduct airworthiness audit

The Senate has directed the Minister of State for Transportation (Aviation), Mr. Hadi Sirika, to conduct an airworthiness audit for all airlines operating in Nigeria.
The lawmakers unanimously urged the Minister “to immediately direct all relevant agencies in the aviation industry to immediately conduct a maintenance and airworthiness audit on all commercial aircraft operating within the Nigerian airspace as well as the training of personnel operating within the industry.”

Senator Gbenga Ashafa of Lagos-East, who insisted that Sirika should address the chamber and not appear before a committee, said, “The Senate observes that on the 20th of February, 2018, the story of a near fatal incident involving Dana Airline with Number 9J0363 hit the news waves. It was reported that the aircraft overshot the runway upon landing at the Port Harcourt airport on a flight from Abuja. This incident was attributed to the wet surface of the runway.

“The Senate recalls that just a few weeks before the afore-stated event, there was also panic on Wednesday, 7th of February, 2018, when the emergency door of an aircraft conveying passengers to Abuja fell off upon landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

“The Senate is concerned that these recent occurrences might be a sign of a sequence of human errors, caused by the failure of officials and staff of the agencies saddled with the responsibility of guaranteeing safety to carry out their due diligence before issuing clearance for aircraft to operate within the Nigerian airspace,” the country’s highest legislative body said.