Scaling up aeronautical surveillance

As the global civil aviation regulatory space consolidates efforts to improve air safety, some countries, including Nigeria, are scaling up measures to ensure all areas are covered.

The main goal is to help ensure that SARP’s implementation is better harmonized globally so that states have access to the significant socio-economic benefits of safe and reliable air transport.

The NCLB’s effort also promotes ICAO’s resolve of Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs) and this has brought to light ICAO’s safety oversight audits as well as other safety, security, and emissions-related objectives.

Part of the measures includes deepening its standards and operating procedures, enhanced training of air safety and airworthiness as well as technical personnel.

To achieve this, experts in the sector have called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure that loopholes in its oversight duties are rectified.

Worried over this development,  the Society of Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (SLAMEN) has called on the NCAA to use its audit to determine the financial capability of an organization that owes workers’ salaries for two months.

The body considers the inability to meet workers’ obligations in the aviation space as very serious.

The body appealed to NCAA to increase its enforcement of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs.) and carry out more surveillance on the Expatriate Quota to prevent abuse.

The body decried the employment of foreign engineers for aircraft maintenance to the detriment of local engineers, adding that this is good for the industry.

The President of SLAMEN,  Chukwuka Iloeje,  said recently in Lagos: “We request that the authority uses its economic audit to determine the continued financial capability of an organization that does not pay salaries for two months at a stretch – a serious safety issue.”

He also requested the NCAA to open a channel for anonymous reporting of violations to avoid fears of reporting or victimization of reporters, adding that appropriate controls should be in place on these issues.

Iloeje urged employers of aircraft maintenance engineers such as Airlines and Maintain Repair and Overhaul (MROs) to make it a priority to train and use them rather than giving preference to their foreign counterparts.

The president, while appreciating employers for providing AMEs the opportunity to practice their profession and also meet their societal obligations, he, however, appealed to them to continue to give due recognition to the importance of the profession as provided for in the Nig. CARs and NCAA-approved company manuals.

“Provide the required tools, spares, and equipment. Maintain good working conditions for licensed engineers to perform optimally. Pay engineers good salaries that are commensurate with the very high responsibility bestowed on us by our duty. 

 Our families need to be very comfortable for us to always be in the right frame of mind to perform safely and efficiently.”

On the profession, of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, Iloeje said it is recognized worldwide, by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to airlines and passengers as very critical to aviation.

He argued that after the manufacturers of aircraft, the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers are next on the ladder.

His words: ” We occupy the next step in the next ladder of safety.

 A pilot cannot embark on a flight without the Certificate of Release to Service being issued by an appropriately rated Licensed Engineer nor will a passenger board an aircraft if he knows that it is not well maintained and hence not airworthy. We are therefore required to be people of high integrity, reliable sense of purpose, and excellent performers of our duty.”

He advised members to perform their functions excellently, urging them to be conversant with the provisions of Nig. CARs, relevant Aircraft Maintenance Manuals, and other requirements.

“Perform our duties to give confidence to the occupants of the aircraft. Let us work hard to help our companies minimize delays and flight cancellations, improve financial standing and grow the businesses,” he added.

Source: The Nation

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