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Crashes: Ex-ICAO director seeks overhaul of aviation sector


Moved by the frequent crashes plaguing Nigeria's aviation sec­tor in recent times, Folasade Odutola, former director, air transport bureau of Interna­tional Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO),on Wednesday called for total overhaul of the sector in order to prioritise safety.

Odutola, who said sys­temic failure in the sector had led to series of trag­edies that could have been averted, noted that recent air crashes in the country showed that something was wrong somewhere.

Speaking at the Murtala Muhammed Airport during the launch of a book, "The Big Conspiracy, the Travails of a Progressive Safety Regulator in a not so Progressive Aviation Industry", Odutola said safety remained the key word in the air transport industry, regretting that the Flight Safety Foundation report of 2013 labeled the Dana crash as the worst fatal accident of the year.

She said it was bad for the reputation of the coun­try with Africa also being branded as the least safe region in 2012.

According to the former director of airworthiness and operations standards in NCAA, the events and developments is a signal that the country was not doing things right in the sector.

"We have to take a look at the things that we are not doing, where we got it wrong and where we have to get it right and ensure safety in the industry. Safety is para­mount in the industry and if you cannot maintain safety, let's forget about the industry, both the regulator and the regulated in the sector must be firm, objective, thorough and avoid hypocrisy to en­sure that there was compli­ance in the system", she said

She advised that the job of the regulators should be devoid of undue interfer­ence from many interests.

Odutola explained that the book was written based on her bad experience in the aviation industry and the politics surrounding her removal from the sector.

"The way I was sent out of NCAA was a conspiracy, some of my staff colluded with people in the ministry and operators telling lies and ganging up to say a lot of things and pass around false information just to get me. out of office. I couldn't be faulted in my work and everything and they had to resort to lies"

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