Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) has started a campaign of openness, whereby air travelers, pilots, engineers and others involved in air transport are meant to talk about their experiences after every flight in order to nip in the bud a possible air crash or major incident.
The sensitization campaign is called Safe Sky Initiative and it is aimed at forestalling a possible air accident and the process of achieving this objective is to get the public to regularly air their air travel experiences and making them understand the importance of this action.
The body also wants to codify existing information/data on fatal as well as non-fatal air incidents in Nigeria, engage experts in the industry to discuss the accidents and proffer ways to take adequate measures towards preventing such from happening in future.
NLI will also initiate the review of aviation legislation in conjunction with legal experts to identify possible loopholes and make recommendation on possible amendments. It also plans to work with wide-ranging advocacy groups and across various media channels to communicate the urgency of aviation industry reforms.
NLI CEO, Yinka Oyilola observed that as the as economic activity has increased in Nigeria over the last two decades it has reinforced the importance of air travel as a mode of transport.
“In this period, several airlines have been established, of which only a handful of these are still fully operational. For a variety of reasons, many of these airlines have gone out of business and thus created a strain on the few surviving ones.”
According to him, this strain, along with other wide-ranging issues, has led to air crashes, which have largely gone unexplained, thus eroding the trust of actual and potential customers of safety in the aviation industry.
“Without definitive explanations, the general public have conjectured their own reasons for the painfully frequent incidents, including but not limited to corruption, insufficient regulation, lack of technical expertise of airline personnel, mismanagement in the administrative, financial and operational aspects of airlines’ business, poor maintenance record of the aircraft, use of old and second-hand aircraft and obsolete airport infrastructure,” Oyinlola said.
Spurred by the Dana Air crash in June 2012, NLI set about developing a plan to restore confidence in the aviation industry by creating an avenue through which customers could comment on their experiences on airlines, historical (as well as current) information about air incidents could be displayed, subject matter experts could present industry insight and analysis and official statements from industry regulators could be presented.
The chosen medium for this was a website with the overall aim of displaying comprehensive information that would allow customers make informed decisions on which airlines they flew and also, ultimately, spark discussions that would lead to reform the industry in the key areas of financial, technical and operational sustainability based on world-class standards.