2nd July, 2019
The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, advised relevant agencies in the aviation industry to step up effort in enforcing all safety standards as prescribed in the aviation industry guidelines.
The resolution followed a motion by Rep. Chris Aazubogu (PDP-Anambra) at a plenary presided over by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in Abuja.
Moving the motion, Aazubogu, who recalled that several airplane mishaps had occurred in previous years and at different times and locations, said the move became necessary in order to forestall future crashes.
The lawmaker expressed concern that recently, the country would have witnessed another plane crash due to poor weather condition.
”The House notes the recent near mishap of Air Peace Airline, Boeing 737-500 on Saturday, June 22, 2019 while about to land.
”It also notes that the Air-Peace Flight No P47291 which had about 94 passengers on board was said to have taken off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to the Port-Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State.
”We are informed that the aircraft on landing, skidded off the tarmac, causing it to overshoot the runway, as a result, destabilised all on board and instigated panic on its passengers and other airport officials, even though it was gathered that no one sustained injury and no life was lost.
”Also, the House is informed that the overshooting of runway was as a result of flood in the airport runway intermittently caused by heavy downpour of rain on Saturday, June 22,” he said.
”The House further notes that on same date, June 22, an Air-Peace aircraft, from Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, attempted landing, twice, but recorded no success, due to poor weather condition,” he said.
He said it is disheartening that bad weather, pilots’ refusal to acknowledge prevailing weather condition and dysfunctional runway lighting had been attributed to most crashes in the past.
Aazubogu, who said the Federal Government was obligated to make aviation industry work better for the citizenry, believed that air crashes and mishaps could rarely occur if all stakeholders and other concerned authorities would adopt relevant apparatus to tackling the irregularities in the industry.
Other lawmakers who contributed also backed the motion.
The House, therefore, advised the Ministry of Aviation, to liaise with the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Accident Investigative Bureau (AIB) and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) to enforce all safety standards in the industry.
It advised the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure that all aircraft in Nigeria are adequately maintained and certified airworthy before commencing operation in order to prevent further ordeals.
It also called on the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to prevail on aircraft owners to keep strict adherence with the rules of weather condition while flying.
The House then pledged to mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance when constituted to ensure compliance.
When Gbajabiamila put the motion on a voice vote, the lawmakers unanimously adopted it.
The speaker thereafter referred the motion to the Committee on Aviation when it is constituted for further legislative action, urging the committee to take cognisance of human error and negligence in air mishaps.