by Tolu Orekoya
Reacting to Sunday’s Dana Air crash, the Senate has called for the grounding of the airline’s fleet until after investigations into the health of its fleet and operational standards is complete. The operational license of Dana Air has been withdrawn by aviation authorities ahead of this call from the Senate.
At plenary session earlier this morning, the upper legislative chamber also asked that the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Harold Demuren, be removed from his position temporarily, until the investigation has been submitted, according to Premium Times. In the same session, they also asked for a review and audit of all airlines in the country.
The motion was brought to the floor by the chairman of the Senate committee on aviation, Hope Uzondinma.
From Premium Times:
Mr. Mohammed (PDP-Kwara), said details of the probe will be announced on Tuesday when the House meets.
“We cannot fold our arms and allow this to be swept under the carpet. We will support all relevant agencies of government to get to the root of the tragedy. We want to know why it happened,” he said. “We want to, for once, unravel what is responsible for that national calamity.”
The lawmaker said the probe, which is to establish the age of the aircraft, its airworthiness.
“We are interested in the nature of the aircraft, the age of the aircraft. Is it supposed to fly in our airspace? We will be very strict on this as the blackbox does not lie. It will tell everything that happened,” he said.
The Senate demanded a thorough investigation of all airlines in the country in a statement by Spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia).
“Senate demands nothing, but a holistic investigation of the remote and immediate causes of the plane crash.
“Senate would also insist that the probe this time should not be limited to Dana Airlines and their fleet, but all the airlines operating in Nigeria.
Mr. Abaribe said, “We had thought that Nigeria had landed in the golden era of safe aviation industry, where all the standard codes that conform with international best practices were being complied.”
The last time the Senate committee on aviation came to the fore with such prominence was back in April of 2012, over a dispute with foreign airlines about airfares disparity when considering Nigerian air routes.