The Federal Government needs $5.6 million to establish a standard forensic laboratory to analyse and examine black boxes from air accidents.
The Head of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Mr. Mukhtar Shuaibu Usman, said this yesterday when he appeared before the Senate/ House of Representatives joint committee probing the June 3 Dana plane crash.
He said that since Nigeria lacked the capacity to analyse flight recordings and communication between the pilot and air traffic control, the AIB had no choice but to send the black box to the United States for analysis.
The AIB boss also stunned the probe panel members when he disclosed that investigations into the Bellview, ADC and Wings Aviation air crashes were still going on, years after the separate unfortunate incidents occurred.
Bellview crash happened in October 2005, about seven years ago.
According to the air accident investigator, report on the Sosoliso air disaster, which occurred in July 2006, has been released and can be accessed on the website of the Bureau.
Responding to a question from the Chairman of the joint committee and Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodimma, the AIB boss said the Bureau had made several recommendations on how to prevent air accidents to the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly Joint Committee Oduahprobing the remote and immediate causes of the June 3 crash has summoned the management of Dana and all other airlines operating in the Nigerian airspace to appear before it today.
Issuing the directive, Uzodimma warned that appropriate sanctions would be slammed on any airline whose management failed to honour the invitation.
The committee also demanded the transcript of the communication that might have taken place between the Dana plane pilot and the control radar from the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nnamdi Nwafor Udo, who told the panel that the agency had only one helicopter for rescue operations.
Udo also disclosed that about 11 nautical miles to landing at the Lagos Airport, the captain declared May Day about 14: 42 zulu.
Also to appear before the panel today to make presentations are all relevant agencies in the Ministry of Aviation, including the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, which is responsible for certifying the air worthiness of aircraft.