The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, has called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to put adequate measures in place to stop sector payment of pilots by airlines and other aircraft operators.
The body says, the call has become necessary as it has been observed that, many airlines and aircraft operators are in the habit of paying their pilots based on the sector payment methodology.
In a communique at the end of its National Delegates Conference in Abuja, NAAPE explains that, Sector payment to pilots, which is calculated based on the number of successful flights a pilot performs on daily basis, has been perceived to have very grave safety implications.
It adds that, for the purpose of earning more money, pilots could be negatively induced to attempt flying when an aircraft is unserviceable, not medically fit to fly, under intense pressure, unfavourable weather conditions that may endanger flight, and to fly beyond the maximum hours stipulated by Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, NCARs.
The Aircraft Pilots and Engineers body also raise concerns over reports that several aircraft operators do not have sufficient number of qualified and experienced technical personnel to operate and maintain their aircraft fleets.
They say, this could impede on safe flight operations as the available technical personnel are over-worked, with the safety implication that several errors arising from fatigue could set in.
NAAPE therefore advice the NCAA to intensify its surveillance on operators to ensure that airlines and aircraft operators employ and retain sufficient number of qualified Pilots and Engineers to operate and maintain their aircraft fleets without compromising safety.
It frown at the poor remuneration of Inspectors which poses serious threats on safety as there are no longer sufficient qualified Inspectors to carry out safety oversight on operators.
“The agency’s staffs are still being paid based on 2013 Staff Condition of Service. In recent years, nearly thirty (30) qualified and seasoned Aviation Safety Inspectors have resigned from the Regulatory agency and sought employment with airlines and other international organizations due to their poor remuneration that is not consistent with their education and experience”.
The communique urges the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to double its efforts towards reducing the numbers of birdstrike incidents in the airports by reviewing the practice of grass cutting in the day when birds are most likely to be attracted, check growth of algae along runway shoulder in a controlled and timely manner.
“Bird-strikes pose serious threats to aircraft as they can lead to serious structural damage to aircraft components and it often happen during critical phases of flight such as take-off and landing”.