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In 10 air crashes in 48 years, pilot errors cost 1,312 lives in Nigeria—Aviation expert

Leading aviation expert and President, Sabre Network, Mr. Gbenga Olowo, has revealed that whereas about 80 per cent of all aviation accidents in Nigeria is linked to pilot errors, the recorded 10 crashes in the last 48 years has spilled the bloods of 1,312 passengers.

In his presentation at the ongoing 13th Akwaaba African Travel Market, a tourism fair in Lagos, he noted that other remaining 20 per cent can be to maintenance and weather conditions.

The expert, who doubles as the current president of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), was however, quick to concur that there has been serious improvements on the side of pilots and implementation of safety management system even as more funds had been set aside for maintenance with dedicated accounts in several airlines.

According to him, this can be observed from the fact that Nigeria has not recorded any accident in commercial aviation since 2016 because airlines have become more responsible for safety and human capital development.

Continuing, Olowo disclosed that “In the past five years, the International Air Transport Association, through its Operational Safety Audit, has made its members to be principally responsible for safety and not necessarily the regulators”.

“Member airlines strive for safety and also go the extra mile for audit by other jurisdictions outside their own registration; for example, the European Aviation Safety Agency certification in addition to that of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.

“Operators are also successfully moving to newer and younger fleets with lower operational and maintenance costs, and making available funds at low costs through financial institutions.”

The expert further observed that due to growing managerial capacities of airlines, there is now, a growing progress in economic lease and lesser purchase conditions from aircraft suppliers and improvement in aviation infrastructure.