The Big Conspiracy: The Travails of a Progressive Safety Regulator in a Not- So-Progressive Aviation Industry
Reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views (8/13)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Big Conspiracy’ by Folasade Odutola on Blogcritics.
“The Big Conspiracy” by Folasade Odutola begins explaining the origins of the new set of rules for the International aircraft operations in 1944, now known as The Chicago Convention. These rules, as explained in the book, are what set the foundation of the standards for the International civil aviation activities. Nigeria was one of the 191 countries that participated in the convention back in 1944. It wasn’t until 1988 that the Nigerian Minister of Aviation held a seminar for a National Aviation policy which originated a parastatal authority of the Federal Ministry of Aviation known as FCAA (Federal Civil Aviation Authority). Folasade Odutola became the first female member of the FCAA in 1999, then known as the NCAA (Nigeria Civil Aviation Civil Authority). During the eleven years between 1988 and 1999, the FCAA went through numerous transformations as the Government kept redefining the Institution’s structure and policies; policies which never got to be implemented throughout that time.
Odutola, being an Engineer who had experience working in the FCCA, held the position of Director of Air Worthiness from 1999-2001on the NCCA. In her book, she compiles her experiences and struggles as she tried to implement the safety policies in place only on paper. Odutola definitely has an amazing story to tell and is an inspiration to women in general.
Although I found the topic of the “The Big Conspiracy” and Odutola’s first-hand experiences very interesting; I wished she would have chosen a different style to present her story to the readers only because over 800 pages of narration became a challenge to finish reading. I believe that all the information presented in her book could have also been entertaining if she had utilized the facts to create a fictionalized version as a novel.
“The Big Conspiracy” by Folasade Odutola is a narration that will interest readers who enjoy learning about true Political and Historical facts from third world countries, but it is also for women in general as Odutola is definitely an inspiring role model as she stands determined to fight for Nigeria’s policy integrity and the safety of its people. A big book filled with pages all worth reading!