- Seeks tourism, air transport synergy
The Nigerian aviation sector contributed at least $1.7 billion and created 341,000 direct jobs to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the advent of Covid-19 pandemic, which crippled the world’s economy, Akin Olateru, Commissioner, Accident Investigation Buerau (AIB) has said.
The AIB helmsman also called for effective collaboration between air transport and tourism industry, saying the two sectors needed each other to thrive and developed the nation’s economy.
Presenting a paper: ‘Best Practices in Civil Aircraft Accident Prevention and Investigation for Sustainable Development of the Transportation and Tourism Industry,’ at the 2020 National Tourism and Transportation Summit and Expo 2020, held in Abuja on Monday, Olateru noted that the pandemic setback the country’s aviation industry.
Spokesman for AIB, Tunji Oketunbi said that Olateru was represented at the occasion by Capt Dayyabu Danraka, Director of Operations.
According to him, the $1.7 billion and 241,000 figures were presented by the International Air Transport Association IATA), recently.
Olateru, further described air accident and serious incident investigation and timely release of safety reports as catalyst for sustainable development in the air transportation and tourism industry in the country.
Olateru insisted that air transport was part of a broader travel and tourism sector, widely recognised as world largest industry.
He emphasised that the industry, according to the World Bank Group, was an important enabler to achieving economic growth and development.
Olateru added that air transport in addition to facilitate integration into global economy and provide vital connectivity on a national, regional and international scale, also help to generate trade, promote tourism and create job opportunities.
He stated that air transport and tourism complement each other, pointing out that tourism depends on transportation to facilitate the movement of visitors, while transportation industry depends on tourism to generate revenues for its services.
The AIB boss observed that, no matter what transport mode is, accident always erode the public’s confidence in the safety of the transport system, explaining that accident could lead to injury or death and could cause environmental and economic disaster.
He insisted that independent investigations into causes of accidents and major incidents helped to prevent tragedies and accident recurrence, thereby playing an important role in improving transport safety and bringing back the public confidence in transportation, leading towards sustainable development of transportation and tourism industries.
He noted that that the Civil Aviation Act 2006 and the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations of 2016 are the instruments that formed the legal framework upon which civil aviation accidents and incidents investigations are conducted in Nigeria.
He explained that AIB had consistently carried out its duties in of accident and serious incident investigation in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13, but informed that a Draft bill to establish a multimodal transportation safety investigation system had passed the second reading at the National Assembly.
He said the bill seeks to expand the scope of accidents and serious incidents investigation to cover the air, maritime and rail transportation, occurrences, stressing that the experience garnered over the years in air accident investigation would be applied to the other two modes of transportation investigation occurrences.