The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr Muhktar Usman, has said that aviation practice in Nigeria is in conformity with global standard.
Usman stated this during a presentation on the June 3, 2012, Dana Airline plane crash at the 3rd anniversary of the crash in Abuja, recently.
He said that aviation practice all over the world was the same, adding that it might differ only in size and complexity.
The NCAA boss added that Nigeria, as one of the contracting states of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), derived guidance on all its aviation activities from the 1994 Chicago Convention.
He explained that the country was signatory to the convention which contained the International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and the ICAO documents where the guidance materials were published.
According to Usman, Nigeria has integrated its national regulations and practices, ensured timely implementation and enforcement in order to achieve safety and regularity of aircraft operations.
He said that NCAA was discharging its safety oversight obligations through the establishment and implementation of critical elements such as safety defence tools and associated procedures.
Usman said the question of why and how the Dana plane crash happened was the sole responsibility of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) which investigates accidents and incidents within the Nigerian airspace.
According to him, the NCAA is statutorily required to review the safety recommendations issued by the AIB and determine their applicability and implementation.
“The NCAA is also mandatorily required to enforce and oversight the implementation of applicable safety recommendations by the operation,’’ he said.
The NCAA boss said that the agency had implemented most of the recommendations by the AIB on the report of the Dana crash.
He explained that the agency had heightened its surveillance activities on all operators through the use of audits, inspections, surveys, spot checks and en-route inspection.
According to him, Dana Air is currently undergoing International Air Transport Association (IATA), Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification in order to comply with the Abuja Safety Target Requirements by November 2015.
Meanwhile, Mr Emeka Ibeh, a family member of one of the crash victims, accused the regulatory agencies of incompetence for granting Dana Air the certification to fly six months after the crash.
Ibeh said that if NCAA was observing international standard of aviation practice as claimed, it would have ensured that all the victims were fully compensated before allowing Dana to resume operation.
He also accused the agency of not being fair to the victims for failing to sanction the official that certified the said flight worthy to fly on that particular day.
Ibeh said that his family was only interested in justice, adding that the only compensation his family desired was justice by bringing whoever contributed to the crash to pay for his or her negligence.
“That is why we are asking that who is the officer that certified that Dana is airworthy to come into Nigeria; who is the officer that certified that the plane could fly that day?
“We need to know these people and get them punished so that other people whose job it is to certify aircraft will do their jobs properly,’’ he said.