NAF restates commitments to maintain safety standards for successful air operations
By Matthew Atungwu
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), with an emphasis on its operational and engineering units in particular, is dedicated to improving the Safety Management Systems throughout all of its units.
The Chief of Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, revealed this during the opening of the NAF Safety Review Board (SRB) meeting for the year 2023 on Thursday at NAF Headquarters in Abuja.
This was contained in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.
Air Marshal Abubakar continued by saying that given the technical and intricate nature of the duties allocated to the Service, safety management is a top priority and fundamental component of the NAF.
According to him, “The NAF is fully committed to developing, implementing, and reviewing policies to ensure that NAF operations and other activities are conducted in a safe environment.”
He also stated that his resolve to, ‘Transform the NAF into an agile and resilient force that effectively meets the airpower demands of national security in all operational environments’ can best be achieved with safety as the bedrock.
Speaking further, the CAS reaffirmed his commitment to making sure that safety standards are continuously improved through planned initiatives meant to improve domestic and flight safety in the NAF.
He also used the occasion to express gratitude for the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s dedication to providing the NAF with cutting-edge platforms to support their fight against terrorism, insurgency, and other criminal activity around the nation.
He continued by saying that some of the platforms the federal government had purchased had already arrived in the nation and would soon assist the NAF in increasing its operating tempo and improving its fighting capabilities, which is why safety vigilance was necessary.
According to him, “We are aware that an increase in operational tempo will lead to an increase in hazards associated with our operations in line with ICAO’s postulation that hazards are the by-products of production or operational activities.”
He then called for a proactive management of safety in all units and commands and specifically directed operational units where newly acquired NAF aircraft would be domiciled to commence the process of aggressively identifying hazards associated with the arrival and operations of the new platforms and finding ways to manage the risks involved.
Prior to this, Air Vice Marshal Michael Onyebashi, the NAF Chief of Standards and Evaluation, stated that the SRB’s purpose is to study and discuss matters pertaining to safety rules and regulations and to allot funds for improved safety standards within the NAF.
Additionally, he disclosed that the NAF’s positive safety culture would be firmly established by the Board’s provision of suitable instructions and rules.
Highlights of the conference included briefings from several Air Officers Commanding, a review of the NAF Safety Outlook, and a paper presentation on Safety Management System and Human Factors by Air Vice Marshal Gabriel Odesola (Rtd).