By Yahaya Isah, Abuja.
The Safety Review Board (SRB) of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the review of NAF’s safety rules, in line with international best practices.
A statement by the Director Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the board began its meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.
The meeting will appraise the progress made so far in furtherance of efforts to enhance safety practices in the service.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, who is also the Chairman of the SRB, said that safety was at the core of NAF’s daily routines.
The CAS said that the service remained committed to developing, implementing and reviewing its policies to ensure that NAF activities were conducted in an optimally safe environment.
He reiterated that the SRB was to guide the service in appropriately allocating resources to support all safety systems and build organisational culture that fosters safe practices.
Amao added that the meeting was expected to examine prevalent and evolving safety challenges to enable the NAF adopt safety processes in all its activities.
The CAS added that the meeting would proffer realistic and lasting solutions to NAF safety issues in operations, maintenance, health and environmental practices.
“Beyond the discussions dwelling on safety in air operations, the year 2022 safety meeting must also deliberate on health and environmental safety measures and strategies.
“Bearing in mind the consequences of neglecting the working and living environments as well as poor personal health management,” he said.
Amao, therefore, directed the Chief of Standards and Evaluation to ensure that all NAF units had at least one officer trained in safety issues, so as to mitigate the dangers associated with poor safety management and procedures.
Amao also said NAF pilots and aircrew should continuously be updated with evolving safety measures, while they were kept abreast with new safety innovations, in line with international best practices.
While acknowledging that safety in NAF remained a shared responsibility which required synergy among all personnel, the CAS underscored the need to understand that safety demanded constant vigilance, which NAF was determined to enforce.
The CAS assured that the service would continue to improve its safety culture and education through the NAF Institute of Safety (NAFIS).
He said that the institute had been re-invigorated to conduct broad-based training and ensure that skilled personnel implemented NAF safety strategies and processes.
According to him, training programmes at NAFIS have recently been reviewed and tailored to meet the needs of various trade specialties.
“I am delighted that NAF pilots and instructor pilots have received flight safety training overseas and at NAFIS, which has contributed to enhancing their training profiles,” he said.
Amao enjoined members of the board to accord safety the highest priority in their deliberations.
The SRB meeting is coming barely a month after NAF’s Operations Seminar held in Uyo.
The CAS, at that seminar, emphasised the need for NAF pilots to take extra safety precautions and measures to avoid accidental air strikes on civilians.
The board meeting is expected to dovetail into a two-day Safety Seminar from Nov. 24 to Nov. 25.
Papers on how to reposition and entrench NAF safety management systems as well as safety culture in NAF will be presented by erudite safety specialists to stimulate discussions.