Stakeholders warn NCAA: Don’t approve B737-Max in Nigeria
Following the suspension of the use of Boeing 737-Max by some countries, experts have asked the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to prevent the aircraft from operating in the country until concerns about it are addressed.
Aviation Analyst, Mr Olumide Ohunayo, told our correspondent on Tuesday that other regulatory agencies globally had taken decisions on the aircraft and the NCAA should do same.
“I will advise the NCAA not to allow the B737-Max to come into Nigeria until the issues around it are cleared. The statement by Boeing that it is upgrading the safety of the aircraft has triggered other regulatory bodies around the world to take action,” he said.
While describing the incident as unfortunate, considering Ethiopian Airlines’ safety record, Ohunayo said the reaction of the world should encourage the Nigerian aviation stakeholders to pay more attention to the industry.
He said, “With the quality of passengers onboard the flight and their diverse nationality, the world is reacting. The lesson for us as a nation is that we need to begin to propel our airline to that strength whereby organisations will be able to stand for us. We must be able to build that same business confidence in the international community.
“If what had happened had been a Nigerian carrier, we may not get the reaction from the global aviation community; they would probably be looking at our regulations and the personnel of the airline, trying to hang the fault on the airline.
“But on the other way round, the world is rallying around Ethiopia Airlines believing that it is the equipment, not the airline because of its safety records with the biggest fleet and operations in Africa.”
The President, Aviation Roundtable Initiative, Mr Gbenga Olowo, said the crash of the aircraft, being the second within five months and coming on the heels of the crash in Indonesia of the same type of aircraft, the safety of the equipment had come under scrutiny.
He said, “These series of fatal accidents call to question the safety in the design of the Max 8 series by the manufacturer and its certification to fly by the US Federal Aviation Administration, the safety regulatory authority in the country of manufacturing. Curiously, there had been no reported case of such fatal accidents of the aircraft in the US since the aircraft came into operations.
“While we condole with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate accidents, we call on Boeing, the US FAA and International Civil Aviation Organisation to jointly consider these recurring fatal accidents on the B737-Max that have collectively claimed about 350 lives of air travellers within five months as a calamity to the global travelling community.”
He stated that the aviation regulatory bodies should demand that the aircraft be temporarily grounded from commercial operations.
“We noted that some countries including China, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Mexico, among others, have grounded the B737-Max fleet pending the determination of the cause of the incessant crashes. ART is very hopeful that these global aviation bodies would respond promptly to the demand that the Boeing 737-Max 8 New Generation be suspended from commercial operations,” he said.
Aviation analyst, Mr Chris Aligbe, however, stated that no decision could be taken now until the analysis of the black box had been concluded.
“There is no reason for us as a country to worry now until we know the cause of the accident. It is Boeing that should be more concerned about the recent incidences,” he said”