This is as the Federal Government has been called upon to give the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, true autonomy, warning that without this, the industry will witness more tragedies.
Speaking at a seminar organised by the Aeroconsult Ltd at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, the Managing Director, Brtistow Helicopters, Capt. Akin Oni, said that the sector also ensures 90 per cent of export earnings for the Federal Government. Oni said that there are also over 83 helicopters being operated by only six operators with AOCs, which range from light to medium to large wings.
He explained further that the helicopter industry safety record is not as good as airplanes, saying that helicopter accidents are about five times more than airplanes. He however noted that there has been marked improvement due to newer generation and technology helicopters like the Sikorsky S-92 and AW139 among others.
He also urged politicians to give NCAA the true autonomy it deserves, maintaining that Nigerians are afraid of flying today due to several interferences in the activities of the agency by politicians. He warned that without true autonomy, the country’s aviation industry would witness more crisis, but warned stakeholders and professionals in the sector from attempting to rundown the agency, saying that it had improved over the years.
He said, “Everyone is afraid of flying today in Nigeria because collectively we have unknowingly contributed to the level we are today. We should be careful of what we say and stop accusations ongoing in the sector.
Information from National Mirror was used in this report.