FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Schiphol-Rijk, The Netherlands. 23 March 2022 – As part of comprehensive training cooperation, the JAA Training Organisation (JAA TO) delivers customised courses on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria (NCAA). The activities, held at NCAA location in Lagos, Nigeria, were split into two parts. In a first session, JAA TO Subject-Matter Expert and UAS instructor Prof. Filippo Tomasello facilitated UAS-INI and UAS-OPS courses to the Nigerian delegation in December 2021. The second session covering UAS-AWE and UAS-SORA was held in February 2022.
In completing these courses, NCAA obtained the full UAS expertise and training of JAA TO’s drone portfolio recognized by the Joint Authorities on Rulemaking for Unmanned Systems (JARUS). This also qualifies the Nigerian delegates to receive the new UAS Diploma, a voluntary honour of achievement upon completion of a certain string of training courses.
This very first cooperation between JAA TO and NCAA in the UAS domain marks a milestone for both organisations. As ICAO Training Centre of Excellence (TCE), the JAA TO is proud to support an aspiring aviation stakeholder like NCAA with the JARUS-certified UAS training. For NCAA, the training means harmonisation of Nigerian UAS regulation according to the world’s highest standards and the euro-centric European Union (EU) UAS Regulations in particular.
JAA TO Faculty Manager Prof. Filippo Tomasello comments: “These training courses provide Nigerian CAA with the latest international information supporting the establishment of harmonised, safe and secure requirements for non-military drones in Nigerian airspace. The course material is based on recommendations by JARUS, which have inspired the ICAO model on UAS guidance and which have already been widely transposed in the European Union (EU) by the Commission and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). These are great efforts in global harmonisation of aviation regulations, to help CAAs facing the disruptive innovation represented by drones.”
NCAA is the regulatory body for aviation in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. With over 31 airports and about 28 foreign airlines operating in Nigeria, the country boasts improved aviation infrastructural facilities at airports and highly skilled manpower to ensure the safety and comfort of the flying public. Similar to the global trend, UAS activity in Nigeria is also anticipated to rise over the coming years which requires NCAA as the regulatory body to recognise policy and regulations as well as safety standards.
Engr. Ebitei Charles, Aviation Safety Inspector and Training Coordinator at the NCAA Directorate of Airworthiness Standards reflects on the training activity: “As regulatory body, NCAA assists interests involved in the development of UAS to identify the route to certification, outline the methods by which authorisation for aerial work may be obtained and ensure that the required standards and practices are met by all UAS operators. With the extensive training received by the JAA TO, we can ensure airworthiness and safety requirements are met prior to any UAS operations in Nigeria”.
As NCAA regulatory requirements start to be developed and align with ICAO and EASA guidelines, the Authority is taking a proactive step towards increased flight safety. Moving away from a mass centric classification approach, NCAA now describes how UAS operations should be approached so that all functional areas of the operations are considered (Concept of Operations) underpinning the approval/requirement process.
Trainees from the courses value the service and quality of having an instructor on site. Engr. Suleiman Nasir Akwuh, Manager, Abuja NCAA Regional Office, summarises: “The two-part UAS training courses were absolutely rewarding […] the depth of knowledge exhibited was splendid. I have attended some training on RPAS, but this particular one exposes the actual performance-based knowledge skill for proper understanding of RPAS operations in EU context having ICAO fundamentals in mind”.
The latest ease of travel restrictions allows JAA TO to offer more flexibility for client requested training formats. The UAS training bundle for Nigeria started the revamp of customised training courses at client location which had been on hold due to the pandemic circumstances.
JAA TO Director Paula V. de Almeida, MEd on the opportunity of facilitating courses globally: “Being able to send JAA TO instructors to delivery the courses on location is of great service for the client. For larger groups of trainees outside of Europe, this is still the only way to receive training in-person. As leading training organisation with global scope, JAA TO accommodates all stakeholders to the best of its ability. Providing this service is not only one of the company values but it provides professionals with the most flexible solution for the advancement of their careers”.
For more customised training options at client location, check the JAA TO website.
About JAA TO
The JAA Training Organisation (JAA TO) is a Dutch non-profit organisation and an Associated Body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). JAA TO has a history of 50 years training the aviation industry and national authorities worldwide on regulations in the air transport sector. JAA TO is the only European Training Centre of Excellence (TCE) recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and a leading member of the Virtual Academy (EVA) of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
JAA TO schedules, globally, more than 300 training courses annually on topics such as safety, security, drones and management. Within the aviation community, JAA TO offers a platform to learn and exchange views on latest regulatory developments. In addition, JAA TO provides advisory services, knowledge solutions, training consultancy and assistance with capacity building for (aviation) training departments.
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