Increase In Airline Accidents In Africa

2817 words - 12 pages

Africa has the lowest air traffic rate in the world with a dismal 3 percent of the population opting for air travel. Based on the statistics released by Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization this aversion to air travel can be attributed to the frequent and tragic airline accidents, accounting for an overwhelming 17 percent of the accidents around the globe. The heightened fear is especially pervasive in Nigeria that has witnessed a record number of air crashes in the nation’s air transport history. In fact, the second largest economy in the continent, Nigeria experiences sudden power outages, air traffic control system caused delays in air departures and arrivals and radars screens going blank. As if all these safety loopholes were not enough, the aircrafts are often outdated and to make matters worse, the air traffic controllers and pilots do not always compliant of safety standards set at the job.
With the increase in airline accidents in 2005 which resulted in a mass revile of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority led to drastic reforms were promulgated. This brought some reprieve to the Nigerian air travelers and citizens alike. “From 2006 when Nigeria passed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Act into law, after a series of crashes, to 2012, the nation enjoyed a relative crash free period, save for the Beechcraft 900D belonging to Wings Aviation which disappeared in March 2008 with three persons on board on its way to Bebi airstrip. It was discovered six months later in a deep valley where it crashed” (Air Crashes: NCAA Must Act Now to Ensure a Crash-free Industry, Jan 2014) .
Background
However, the catastrophic crash of Dana Air, one of the safer airlines, in June, 2012 shook the minds of African people bringing back horrifying memories of the past. The accident that claimed a staggering number of lives and reinforced the fears of the people that the safety reforms looked good only on paper, and that the implementation was far from satisfactory. The spotty, flawed and unimpressive execution of the airline safety laws by the lackadaisical NCAA drew them a lot of flak for their reckless attention to safety procedures by airline operators and the civil aviation authority giving way to a public outcry in Nigeria. As reinforced with the Associated Aviation Embraer the 120 crash took place at the Lagos airport upon take-off, killing about 15 persons. This was followed by NCAA imposing an immediate nationwide ban on Dana Air operations with the condition of Dana airlines meeting the safety standards. A few months down the line, the ban was lifted as it was satisfied the airline had met its requirements for airworthiness and the safety of passengers. Well, it became apparent that the NCAA had acted in a highhanded manner by lifting the ban on Dana Air way too soon as 15 months after the first crash; Dana Airlines experienced another brutal crash where precious human lives were lost. The regular crashes highlight...

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