air transport david learmount / london
International Civil Aviation Organisation inspectors arrived in Abuja, Nigeria last week to carry out an aviation safety audit - the second check the nation has undergone since ICAO set up its Universal Safety Oversight Audit in 1999. This visit was scheduled more than a year ago, but comes after Nigeria suffered its third major jet airliner crash in just over 12 months.
Meanwhile, a new law granting the country's civil aviation authority greater regulatory enforcement powers and political and financial autonomy is awaiting assent from President Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Harold Demuren, a member of the Flight Safety Foundation, has been hired as a "new broom" to head the aviation authority. These events came in the wake of two airline accidents last year involving Bellview Airlines and Sosoliso Airlines, in which more than 200 people were killed.
The aviation ministry confirms only seven of the 104 people on board the ADC Airlines Boeing 737-200 (5N-BFK) survived the 29 October crash, which occurred just after take-off. The ministry confirms air traffic control had warned the crew about a thunderstorm near the airport, but the pilot chose to take off. The ministry says weather is not known to have caused the accident, but that both flight recorders have been recovered. According to Flight's Acas database, the 737 was built in 1983 and was originally operated by US Airways. It was acquired by ADC three years ago.
Ninety-seven people died in the ADC Airlines 737-200 crash