By Chinedu Eze
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has inaugurated the ICAO Aviation Security Training Centre (ASTC) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport MMIA), Lagos.
The centre would be under the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN), which received a Certificate of Recognition at a brief ceremony to mark the event at the weekend.
The centre is located at the FAAN training school, which has been rated by ICAO as meeting the international aviation training institution, hence its qualification to host the centre.
To further reinforce the importance of the training centre, the British Government also signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on aviation security with FAAN for the development of manpower, especially Aviation Security Personnel (AVSEC) in the sector.
ICAO said the training centre would cater for aviation institutions in West and Central Africa sub-regions.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, said the objective of the centre was to contribute to the development of manpower, adding that it was also expected to meet the training needs of the West Africa region and even beyond.
“It will provide opportunity to handle all aviation security training in West and Central Africa,” he said.
Also speaking, Director general, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman, said the endorsement of the school by ICAO, showed that FAAN was ready to contribute to the ICAO global aviation security training programme and that the agency has been meeting the expectation of the international aviation body, which is known for its stringent standards on aviation safety, security and other standard practices.
“The request for the designation of FAAN AVSEC Training school as n ICAO Aviation Security Training Centre was made on June 8, 2017 after which an evaluation by ICAO was conducted in May 2018 by the Regional Security Officer for Western and Central African Office (WACAF) and under 24 months, the request was granted.”
While thanking ICAO for the privilege, Usman said the reason for the request for an ASTC was purely for the provision of AVSEC training courses to cater for the English speaking states in the West Africa Sub-region.
“In furtherance of our position on this request, I wish to inform ICAO that presently in Nigeria, there are five certified ICAO AVSEC Instructors and over 60 qualified national AVSEC instructors that can be of service at the ASTC.
“It is hoped that the designation of the FAAN training school as an ICAO ASTC will attract patronage from the airport communities of the West Africa sub-region and its environs thereby contributing to the development and improvement of aviation security training in the region and elsewhere,” he said.
Also speaking, ICAO Regional Director, Mr. Mam Sait Jallow, said one of the main pillars of ICAO’s aviation training policy was the recognition for training organisations, adding that during assessment of the orgnisation, ICAO validates entities to provide competency-based training and to manage it in a manner that effectively suppers the training of aviation professionals with the appropriate skills.
He added that, “With the recognition of the ASTC of Nigeria, the network of aviation security training centres (ASTC) now includes 35 centres wisely distributed in all ICAO regions, to provide aviation security training at the international (ICAO ), regional and national levels to all categories of personnel involved or responsible for implementation of security measures, policies and procedures in accordance with its strategic objectives to improve the level of implementation of Annex 17 Standards.
He added further that, “the certificate of recognition issued by ICAO to the ASTC of Nigeria means that it has been duly demonstrated that the Centre meets the general and specific requirements in this respect, and that is able to continue to meet such requirement during the period of validity of the certificate of recognition.
“Marinating the certificate therefore requires all stakeholders to redouble their efforts through the implementation of a coherent and comprehensive monitoring programme.”