The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, has disclosed that about 70 per cent of aviation accidents are attributable to human factors.
Mr Nuhu made the disclosure on Sunday while delivering a keynote address on the prevention of human factors in air accidents at a conference organised by the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, in partnership with the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents, LAAC, in Lagos.
“It is common knowledge that, at least, 70 per cent of aviation accidents are attributable to human factors,’’ he said.
Quoting from the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, Safety Report of 2020, Mr Nuhu said there were 114 aviation accidents in 2019, six of which were serious and with 239 fatalities.
“This 2019 global accident rate of 2.9 accidents per million departures is the highest in the previous five years and represents an increase of 12 per cent from the year 2018 figure.
The NCAA director-general restated the authority’s resolve to do everything possible to prevent air accidents occurrences being associated with human factors in the industry.
According to him, the primary responsibility of any air regulator is public safety and by ensuring safety and shared responsibilities with the certified entities and licensed personnel.
The DG remarked that the authority would unravel the contributory factors and develop appropriate safety recommendations, based on safety risk assessments and considerable cost-effectiveness.
According to him, the regulatory authorities will also enforce implementation by certified entities and licensed personnel to prevent reoccurrence and improve safety records.
He said that every aviation accident was a global tragedy and the industry, through the accident investigative authorities, must be determined to unravel the probable causes.
Also speaking, the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Akin Olateru said that to achieve substantial progress in air transportation safety, it is necessary to focus on the most frequently occurring air accidents.
Mr Olateru, represented by the bureau’s Director of Operation, Dayyabu Danrara, listed frequent air accidents to be focused to include the runway excursions, overruns and loss of control of the aircraft.
He said it was also important to focus on the phases of flight, especially at its beginning (takeoff) and end (landing).
Mr Olateru said aircraft accidents were dominated by human failure.
He said in spite of a positive development in the trend of accidents recording since the beginning of the 21st century, the number of air accidents was still rising.
“Consequently, it is important to do everything possible to substantially reduce the human failure in air transportation.
“A system of models appears to be an important tool for overall understanding of the complexity of human factors, serving as starting-points to an analytical and classification research of the human factor.
“At the same time, these models enable qualified investigation and assessment of the causes of air accidents and incidents, thereby preventing them from repeated occurrence,’’ the commissioner said.
The LAAC Chairman, Olusegun Koiki, explained that like majority of air accidents, aviation disasters could have been prevented if the necessary precautionary measures were put in place to prevent the accidents from happening.
Mr Koiki said that the country could not continue to waste lives unnecessarily as aircraft were designed by manufacturers for all situations that the flight crew could possibly encounter.
“Continuous focus on human factors cannot be over-emphasised,’’ he said.
Mr Koiki urged speedy passage of the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau, NSIB, bill currently before the National Assembly.
“The approval of this bill will reinforce safety in all modes of transportation in Nigeria through distinctive, efficient and effective investigations of accidents,’’ he said.