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In a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, signed by Mr Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, the ICAO Council President and the Secretary-General, Mr Raymond Benjamin, ICAO offered its support saying: “Please know that ICAO stands ready to assist you in any way as you investigate these accidents and have every confidence that you will personally implement any recommendations emanating from the investigations.”
Gonzalez, however, reinforced his confidence in the president’s ‘’strong leadership and commitment to aviation safety in Nigeria, and indeed in Africa as a continent.”
Following the Dana crash in which over 163 persons died, precisely on June 3, 2012, the Federal Government enlisted the help of Boeing (along with ICAO) in the evaluation of the airworthiness of airline fleets in the country.
IATA, the umbrella body for 240 airlines, said the regrettable accident must not be allowed to derail the reforms instituted in the industry since 2006.
In a letter to President Jonathan, IATA Secretary-General. Mr Antony Tyler, said: “We at the IATA stand ready to support you and your government during this difficult period. While aviation remains the safest form of travel in the world, accidents unfortunately still do happen.
‘’Nigeria should be proud that the commitment of your government to the safety and security of your air transport system has resulted in an impressive overall safety record. While we can and must learn from these tragedies, it is important that we also not allow these exceptional events to lead us to lose perspective on the overall safety of the system.” he added.
Tyler offered IATA’s support, saying, “the global airline body remains committed to working with Nigeria’s civil aviation authorities and authorities around the world to continue to improve the safety of this already safe industry.”
He noted that as part of its safety initiative, the association had encouraged governments to mandate airlines to meet the requirements of its Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control system of an airline.
In 2011, accident rate for IOSA carriers was 52 per cent better than non-IOSA ones. Two Nigerian airlines – Air Nigeria and recently Arik Air – are on the IOSA registry.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF), the leading advocacy group for global air safety and the US Department of Transportation (DoT) also added their voices to the growing community of support for the Nigerian government, but hastened to warn that the unfortunate Dana crash must not be allowed to roll back the gains of the reforms.
In a statement, Mr William R. Voss, the Foundation’s President and CEO said: “The Flight Safety Foundation stands in support of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority during this time of tragedy. As we mourn the loss of life, it is critical that Nigerian officials do not compound this tragedy by derailing the outstanding efforts that have been led by the courageous efforts of Harold Demuren, Director- General of Civil Aviation, and Goodluck Jonathan, the President of Nigeria.”Share