FAA to Re-validate Nigeria’s Aviation Safety Status

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Chindu Eze
The United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will this month carry out an audit on Nigeria’s aviation industry to revalidate the Category One safety status given to the country about six years ago.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which made this known yesterday, said a four-man team representing FAA would audit the regulatory body to ensure that the industry aligns with the given standard, which Nigeria met in 2011 when it was awarded the certification for the first time.

The spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said in a press conference held in Lagos that the visit was to re-validate the Category One safety rating on Nigeria.
According to him, the team would comprise operations specialists, airworthiness specialists and an attorney.

The leader of the FAA delegation would be Louis Alvarez.
Other members of the team are – Benjamin Garrido and Jeffrey Klang.
Adurogboye said the last time the FAA visited Nigeria for similar exercise was in 2014, noting that the objective of the audit would include assessment of Nigeria’s level of compliance with international regulations on general aviation policy and procedure, aircraft maintenance organisation and flight operations.
He said the team would utilise the checklist approved for International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) already sent to NCAA.

Adurogboye said the checklist contains questions which the NCAA was expected to provide answers.
The template for the checklist include critical elements  on aviation legislation, regulation, organisation, technical staff, quality and training. Others are technical guidance tools, licensing certification, approval, continuous surveillance and resolution of safety concerns.

NCAA said the FAA team would use Medview Airlines as reference operator, disclosing that it has already activated its audit team under the Flight Standard Group to facilitate the exercise.
“The mission of FAA is to assess the states ‘ aviation law, regulations and oversight capability in accordance with the eight critical elements as defined in ICAO document 9734. The NCAA is expected to complete the latest IASA checklist and return completed form to FAA before the team’s arrival.

“The FAA team will visit the maintenance organisation of Medview Airlines and any other necessary airline operator. The director general has therefore activated the standing audit team and they have swung into action. Meetings are being held in readiness for the exercise to ensure a successful outing. The director general has assured Nigerians that NCAA would acquit itself successfully as usual. There will be a de-briefing at the end of the exercise and a written report will be sent from the FAA headquarter to the NCAA thereafter,” Adurogboye said.