Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has disclosed that a N4.5 billion firefighting simulator currently being installed at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) was nearing completion.
He said once operational, the facility would save the Federal Government millions of naira spent annually on training fire officers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Cameroon and other countries.
Sirika, who spoke recently in Abuja also disclosed that a B737 full motion flight simulator was being installed at the college. According to him, the fire and flight simulators will complement government’s efforts in addressing the infrastructure gaps in the industry.
He added that it was heartwarming to see NCAT Zaria become designated as the ICAO regional training centre of excellence for Africa and IATA authorised training centre.
He said, “on May 11, 2016 and April 12, 2017, ICAO awarded the college Highest number of training instructors course conducted and Highest number of ICAO courses conducted.
The Minister further revealed that ICAO has designated the FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC) training centre in Lagos as the regional Aviation Security Training Centre of excellence for West and Central African region.
“Calibration aircraft has been procured and will be delivered in February 2019. Our Meteorological Agency NIMET has been awarded ISO 9001 2015 version by World Maritime Organisation, making Nigeria the only country to achieve this feat in Africa. We installed a Low Level Windshare Alert System (LLWAS) in several airports in the country.
“We retained the Federal Aviation Administration Cat 1 status, without recourse to foreign consultants. We scored 96.45 per cent in safety audit conducted by ICAO. The contribution to GDP has risen from 0.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent. This growth is best seen when Q1, Q2 2017 is compared to Q1, Q2 2018 where domestic operations grew by 33 per cent and international by 13.5 per cent.
“The new Civil Aviation Act and that of our agencies has been passed by FEC and is now before the National Assembly,” he said, adding that the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) app has been launched and was now available on google and apple stores to ease reporting of accidents and incidents.
“Safety bulletin has been published for the first time in the history of AIB and as many as 39 final reports have been released” he added.