An Umbrella is designed to protect all it covers from untoward conditions within the environment. Sending a message, it will be a reasonable signage to adopt as an emblem to identify with. It sends a message of protection. That is why it is true we are all under God’s umbrella.

 It implies there are elements covered by an Umbrella. It also metaphorically implies there are divers umbrellas for different component groups. God for humanity, a President for the citizens, a king for the subjects, the Army for geographical boundaries, the Authority for aviation establishments (including itself) and so on.

Coverage can be directly physical but for the subject at hand here, it is a high caliber figure of speech. It is by action. It is empirical. It is seeable, feel-able and as such, measurable. So it can be graded. Each part has functional relationships captured under the broad function of the cover. There is a generic mutual acceptability. For identification purposes, there may be reasons for registration or total inclusion. As a matter of fact, the umbrella can begin to itself establish or suggest this forming components to make it function better in the assigned broad objective of coverage. This may happen when the administrators of the higher deciding body or umbrella is not that well informed or not equipped enough to attend to the task at hand. There is nothing wrong in one country asking for her Army Chief, Head of Judiciary, military foreign mission etc from another country. Coming down to earth, it is rewarding. It is a resulting reward of humility. It is face saving. There are general relationships, a functional grouping. The implication is that the umbrella body has an incontrovertible responsibility to the component bodies of keeping the entity together while the component bodies also have the responsibility of rightly feeding the overseeing body with what is required to continuously keep them afloat under the cover. A non-responding part/sub-part rubbishes the umbrella body like little foxes. Elements of administration, rules, monitoring, development and so on, all for the purposes of continued existence under protected conditions and environments should be visible. There is also the element of genuine concern for the component parts by the umbrella body which will come from the fact that the cover will not want to lose any of its components,  will not want to shack in its responsibilities to any of the parts. The components will also want to remain covered by a trusted, capable cover. There is a synergy here which makes the relationship a complete and sometimes closed system that is very healthy.

Now from the epilogue to the main umbrella subject. By function, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is a regulatory body for a very broad and still expanding and varied set of establishments. Anything at all that has to do with movement in the air. The aviation industry. Other than the obvious ones like Aeroplanes, Airlines, Airports, flight paths and so on, there are so many seeming quiet ones like aircraft dispatching, in-flight services, security network, weather management, clearances, physical structures, engineering attendants, passenger processing devices, safe carriage of all sorts of goods, trainings, ratings and so on. The activities of each of these component organs are governed by well thought out rules and regulations all bordering fully on safety and without compromise. The authority not only rolls out these regulations, it is also saddled with the responsibility of administering them. Covered under NCAA are, and not limited to, such organisations as:

  •     Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)
  •     Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA)
  •     Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET)
  •    All Airlines
  •    Establishments otherwise under the government using aircraft (Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian    Immigration Service, NIS, etc)
  •   Catering services for flights (ASL, Skycare,  Skypower, Things Remembered, etc)
  •   Agricultural set ups
  •   Surveillance organisations (Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force etc)
  •  Approved Training Organisations (ATOs)
  •  Oil and Gas organisations

In a way, virtually each of these organisations has one thing or the other to do with the others. When dishing out these regulations, the authority determines what generically aides and guides the operations of all the establishments together. It makes it formal and accepted by all concerned. What this means is that all stakeholders are involved in the emergence of the regulations. It is possible for the umbrella body to sideline any organization for whatever reason. That will be very unhealthy. It should never come to that. It, however, is not out of place to initiate a safety regulation targeting one particular establishment in the industry in as much as such regulation is in the holistic interest of the industry. The authority should also be that staffed enough putting into consideration all its individual components to be captured also under such responsibilities as administration, supervision, enforcement, corrections, praises if need be and so on. It should be passionate about the survival of every individual organization under its cover.

The regulations rolled out and the administration thereby will show this passion. Passion for safety, passion for assistance, passion for help, passion to have the backs of her component elements and so on and visibly so too.

I recently witnessed a departure from the concern of the umbrella body to the components. The authority came up with a laudable programme considered good for the industry and one that enjoyed an all-round acceptance within the industry.