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Abuja, 23 August 2010 Nigeria has achieved a Category 1 air safety rating from the U.S. Government under the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program. This means that Nigeria complies with international air safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations' technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.
Dr. Demuren (left) receiving US FAA Category One Certification from former US Ambassador to Nigeria Robin Sanders (right) on August 23, 2010 in Nigeria
U.S. Ambassador Dr. Robin R. Sanders officially notified and formally congratulated Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Director General H. O. Demuren at a brief ceremony in Abuja.
The Ambassador said, "This achievement is an important milestone for Nigeria and U.S.-Nigeria bilateral relations. It is only fitting that this coveted Category 1 rating comes at the dawn of the nation's year of Golden Jubilee. The U.s. Mission, NCAA, and FAA have worked together as a team in the true spirit of bilateral partnership over the last two years to achieve this goal. Hats off to everyone for a job well-done and a rating well-deserved."
The FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment Category 1 rating is based on the results of a July FAA review of the NCAA. With the IASA Category 1 rating, Nigerian air carriers can now apply to operate to the United States with their own aircraft. An IASA Category 1 rating means a country has the laws and regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, and that its civil aviation authority equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters meets international standards for technical expertise, trained personnel, recordkeeping, and inspection procedures.
Dr. Demuren (left) with TSA Assistant Administrator, John Halinski (right), after signing a US/Nigeria Security Pact at the TSA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia in June 2011 Dr. Demuren (left) with ICAO Council President, Robert Gonzalez (right), presiding as President of the 37th ICAO General Assembly in Montreal, Canada in October 2010.
As part of the FAA's IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate or might be authorized to fly to the United States and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.
Nigeria is one of just six African countries, including Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco and South Africa, with an IASA Category 1 rating.
History was made at the recent International Civil Aviation Organisation's 37th General Assembly held in Montreal, Canada from 28th September to 8th October, 2010. An African was elected to preside over the General Assembly.
This was unprecedented in the annals of the United Nations Global Aviation Agency.
It was red letter day as the General Assembly which had in attendance delegates from one hundred and ninety (190) member states all voted unanimously.
The President of the 37th ICAO General Assembly was Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The nomination and election took place under item four of the second plenary session of the meeting. One of the most remarkable achievements of the Assembly was the resolution on environment which the ICAo President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez attributed to the hard work, tenacity and wisdom of Dr. Demuren. He affirmed this at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC meeting in Mexico in November 2010.