Air Force Resumes Aerial Patrol of Abuja-Kaduna Railway


Tasks personnel on flight safety

By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja  and Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has resumed the aerial patrol of the strategic corridors of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), especially on the Abuja-Kaduna axis.

The Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, in a statement yesterday, said the extended aerial patrol and surveillance of the Abuja-Kaduna highway to include the railway line was part of the ongoing effort to protect lives and safeguard critical national assets within the affected areas.

Famuyiwa said the latest patrol and surveillance efforts cover both railway terminus in Abuja and Kaduna and environs using NAF helicopters.

He noted that given the security situation in the North-west region of the country and the usual trend of crime increase towards the end of the year, the NAF in August 2016 commenced extensive aerial patrol of Abuja-Kaduna highway.

The affected areas include Abuja metropolis, Kaduna-Birnin Gwari road, Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, Falgore Forest as well as Minna and environs to checkmate criminal activities such as armed robbery, cattle rustling and kidnapping.

Meanwhile, in a bid to ensure flight safety, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has charged its personnel to be safety conscious and avoid habits that could impede operations for aircrafts.

This charge was given by the

Air Officer Commanding  (AOC) Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Sani Ahmed, weekend, at the launch of the NAF’s Flight Line Safety Campaign.

The campaign saw air personnel picking foreign object debris across the flight line at 401 Aircraft Maintenance Depot, Lagos, after which they were taken through some first aid drills by an official of the Nigerian Red Cross, Bright Charles.

The personnel were also lectured on safety in hanger and flight line environment, as well as engineering practices and procedures in the Air Force.

According to Ahmed, the two-day safety campaign was aimed at reawakening safety habits on the flight line.

He said: “NAF operates sensitive equipment and we don’t want anything to happen to them. Therefore, there’s need to identify differences between safe habit and unsafe act. 

“Flying is a risky business and so, we want to ensure we maintain high level safety in the flight line. By now, personnel should be able to differentiate between hazard, risk and danger.

“We introduced them to flight line walk not just to keep the flight line clean, but so that they would know that certain objects pose serious dangers to our operations.

“ Somebody might see a small metal and ignore it but that metal can cause serious risk if it pierces the tyre. It would also cost money to repair or replace that tyre.

“This campaign is usually done yearly because we have sophisticated equipment at hanger and so, personnel need to be reminded on what to do to avoid disaster.

“Safety is a continuous business and must be done regularly so that it becomes part and parcel of personnel. 

“We are looking to make it quarterly because it is a continuous thing. It is the thinking of the headquarters that personnel should be able to differentiate between safe habit and unsafe act.”

At the exercise were the Commander, 435 Base Service Group, Air Commodore Paul Masiyer; Command’s Evaluation Officer, Air Commodore Edward Adedokun; Commander, 401 Aircraft Maintenance Depot, Air Commodore Emmanuel Wonah and Commander, 65 Forward Operation Base, Badagry, Air Commodore CU Umolu, amongst several others.