The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has decried claims by the Senate that it does not make crash reports known to the public, maintaining that all accident reports are usually published on its website, in the newspapers and/or in both channels.
The AIB said that it was saddened by this unjustified vilification on the floor of the Senate as the allegation was mostly incorrect, stating that the Senate was misinformed.
The Senate had on Tuesday last week flayed the AIB for keeping the reports of investigation into air crashes in the country from the public.
The upper chamber subsequently mandated its Committee on Aviation to thoroughly investigate the remote and immediate causes of the trend and report its findings to the Senate within two weeks.
The Senate cited reports of the Sosoliso Airline crash of 2005, Bellview Airline crash of 2005, ADC crash of 2006 and Dana Airline crash of 2012 as major reports that were yet to be in the public domain. But the AIB said that while it holds the Senate and the distinguished senators in high regard and would not want to join issue with the premier legislative arm, it is important to clarify that at the time the debate was going on in the Senate, the reports referred to were on the bureau’s website (aib.gov.ng) and just a click away from any interested member of the public.
“For record purposes, the Sosoliso Airline Accident Report, which had been released since 2006 and published in the national newspapers, has been on the bureau’s website for several years now. The Bellview and ADC airlines crash reports have been published and on our website since 2012 while the Dana Airline’s preliminary report has been published since July 2012. Other outstanding accident reports are being diligently pursued.
“A little research, including a check on our website or the Senate Committee on Aviation would have made this debate unnecessary. Happily, the Senate Committee on Aviation is aware of the diligence and the passion with which the AIB has been pursuing the delivery of its mandate,” the AIB’s head of public affairs, Tunji Oketunbi, said.
The bureau maintained that it was pertinent to let the public to be aware that aircraft accident investigations, contrary to public expectation, take a little time as it is a complex and thorough exercise.
“The purpose of accident investigation is to determine facts relating to an accident and prevent future recurrence by making safety recommendations. This demands thoroughness and leaves no room for assumption. Some of the investigations conducted by the AIB have led to significant safety improvements in the global aviation community. Examples of these are two Alert Service Bulletins by a helicopter manufacturer, Sikorsky, following our preliminary investigations into the recent Bristow Helicopters crash in Oworonshoki, Lagos, and a Mandatory Service Bulletin by Diamond Aircraft Manufacturer on a serious incident involving Diamond DA 42 with registration number 5N-BKS that occurred in Benin in July 2012. These have contributed to preventing further accidents of similar nature and the attendant loss of lives,” Oketunbi said.
The AIB further noted that despite the constraints and challenges faced, it is making its modest contributions to air safety improvements and accident prevention locally and globally, stating that it is statutory for the AIB to publish accident reports and as such cannot keep it from the public.
“We appeal to members of the public to always avail themselves of the channels of communication that the AIB has provided for the purpose of dissemination or accessing information,” he added.
Source : Leadership