Aviation:Nigeria Retains FAA Category 1 Safety Status

The federal government was yesterday confirmed to have retained the United States of America Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One Safety Status with the issuance of certification to the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, in the US.
This will put to an end the anxieties and worries in the industry about the fear that Nigeria would lose the certification due to possible infraction on the given safety standard with the Dana Air flight crash in 2012 and the Associated Aviation flight crash in 2013.
It was learnt that the US FAA has congratulated the country as the minister promised to reform and strengthen the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in line with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for greater efficiency and service delivery.
The benefits of the FAA Category 1 Safety Status is that the Nigerian aviation sector is rated highly in the world aviation industry; Nigerian airlines have easy access to credit facility from international financiers, and insurance premium for Nigerian registered aircraft is relatively low among others.
Chidoka was issued the certification after the Nigerian aviation industry, through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other major agencies in the sector, closed all the identified open items when the FAA team visited the country in April this year.
FAA had carried out an intensive internal aviation safety assessment of the sector earlier in the year and there were fears that the country might not retain the status it earned in September 2010.
The minister, in a statement personally signed by him, stated that the FAA informed him that Nigeria had continued to meet the safety oversight requirements under the international aviation standards.
Chidoka noted that the retention of Category One Status was hard earned and promised that the government would continue to ensure that the country retained the status and other future safety certifications in a seamless way.
During his visit to the US, Chidoka said plans were underway to reform the AIB and elevate it to be in tandem with other similar international bodies for efficiency delivery of service.
He added that the NTSB team also provided some insights on the operations and activities of the board and advised the visiting team on some best practices to institutionalise and achieve the desired outcomes.
Besides, Chidoka further enjoined the US Department of Transportation (DoT) to extend its assistance to the Nigerian aviation industry in a bid to improve safety and security components.
“On the final leg of the official trip, Chidoka met with the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) to explore opportunities for capacity building and strengthening of aviation security systems and infrastructure.
“The minister requested for programme training and exchange programs between the two agencies that would result in direct and more meaningful transfer of expert knowledge in different aspects of airport security. The TSA promised to support the efforts of the present administration to enhance airport security and improve the operational performance and intelligence of security agents working in the air transport sector. The minister and his team also inspected the Transportation Security Operations Center (TSOC) in the state of Virginia.
“On the commercial and private sector investment side, the minister also met with operators in the industry. In Montreal, Canada, he met with different teams from Air Canada and Bombardier and while in the US, he discussed extensively with Boeing.
“During these meetings, economic regulatory and operational issues relating to the aviation sector were discussed and the national carrier project was also mentioned,” he said.
Chidoka and his team also held technical meetings with the World Bank Transport Group where the previous World Bank supported- programmes and the status of implementation were reviewed.
The team from the World Bank reportedly made a strong case for Nigeria given its critical size, to lead the liberalisation of air transport in West Africa and take full advantage of open sky agreements with major regions such as the European Union.
Chidoka was accompanied on the trip by the acting Director-General, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Benedict Adeyileka, Director of Air Transport Management in the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation reforms.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


  1. Sir, you are the best ever appointed by our current and past presidents in history. Your handling of road safety corps is s testimony and surely, you will revamp the aviation sector

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