The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced continuous capacity building of its personnel across its Commands and Units on safety measures, as part of effort to avert further air mishaps.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao made this disclosure while declaring open the 2021 Mobility Command Safety Seminar held in Abuja.

Represented by the Managing Director, Nigerian Air Force Investment Limited (NAFIL) Air Vice Marshal Emmanual Wonah, the CAS that the seminar is specifically focused on the enhancement of safety in the conduct of air operations.

He noted that the timing could not have been more appropriate, considering recent unfortunate occurrences that have impugned the flight safety records of the NAF.

Air Marshal Amao who was also the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion said: “I am personally enthused by the thematic focus of the Seminar, which is: ‘Managing Adverse Weather Conditions for Safer Air Operations in the NAF’. This is because adverse weather is a natural phenomenon that we cannot wish away or control. In extreme cases, it poses very grave threats and danger to flight operations. All we can do as aviators, is to manage these “manifestations of mother nature”, for the safe and effective conduct of our flight operations. Therefore, a thorough knowledge of weather patterns and trends, as well as the characteristic features of prevailing weather conditions on our flight routes can facilitate a pilot’s quick and accurate decision making for mission accomplishment”.

He further explained that, “Seminars of this nature afford us opportunities to take stock and appraise our safety procedures for enhanced operational efficiency. It is also gratifying to note that the holding of this Seminar is in line with my Vision of ‘enhancing and sustaining critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives’ and is particularly geared towards updating the knowledge base of personnel towards producing thoroughly skilled and professional airmen in fulfilment of one of the key drivers of my Vision which focuses on the ‘pursuit of purposeful training and human capacity development”.

He implored participants, as safety managers, to imbibe the salient points that would emanate from this Seminar to improve safety consciousness in their respective units.

“I expect the discussions at this Seminar to be open, frank and incisive. We must use the medium to bring all safety concerns to the fore and professionally deliberate on them in order to proffer realistic and lasting solutions to our flight safety issues. The resolutions at this Seminar are therefore expected to be articulated towards making the NAF a safer, more effective and efficient instrument of National Power,” he concluded.

In his opening remarks the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, Air Vice Marshal Aliyu Bello said the idea of the Seminar was conceived after the unfortunate fatal accident of 21 May 2021, which claimed the lives of our very senior colleagues and threw the entire nation into mourning.

He said: “Considering the potential role that adverse weather may have played in the accident, it became necessary for us, in Mobility Command, to create a forum, such as this, where we can draw from the knowledge and experiences of our senior pilots, some of whom are retired, to educate our young and upcoming pilots on the practical means of managing prevailing adverse weather conditions in furtherance of safe flight operations in the NAF.

“The fact that we are having this Seminar today, is indicative of our collective resolve to embrace continuous training to promote a robust safety culture as a veritable tool for preserving NAF’s valued assets and the lives of our personnel. It is through such preservation that we can also ‘Foster a Disciplined Workforce Essential for Combat Readiness’ as one of the drivers to achieving the Chief of the Air Staff’s Vision for the NAF”.

 He added that the Mobility Command intends to constantly update its personnel towards upholding best global practices in the safe and professional conduct of airlift operations and other ground duties.

Earlier the Command had conducted a safety sensitization seminar, which focused on domestic safety of its personnel and members of their families.

 


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