Aircraft Engineers International: "Air Asia Accident Highlights Safety Lessons Not Being Learned by Aviation Industry"
The CEO of Air Asia assures us that: "We will not leave any stone unturned to make sure the industry learns from this tragic incident." Although the Air Asia CEO comments are undoubtedly genuine, the fact is that without significant changes in attitude and commitment from CEO's and regulators on a global level, it could happen again.This avoidable accident regrettably highlights that the industry as a whole has learnt little from two previous tragic accidents. The investigations into the "Spanair" and "Turkish Airlines" accidents (2008, 2009) highlighted very similar causal factors.
• Non reporting of defects.
• Inadequacies in the maintenance system allowing a repetitive low key fault, culminate in an avoidable accident.
• Crew training issues.
• Ineffectiveness of the current regulatory oversight system which consistently fails to detect safety issues prior to an accident whilst the same issues are detected immediately post- accident.
The public must be made aware that aviation today is driven by cost. Cost, not safety, is paramount. Pilots and Engineers are often placed under increasing pressure to accept second best, in order to ensure aircraft meet unrealistic flight schedules. The consequences of which are more incidents and ultimately more avoidable accidents.
With training of pilots and engineers often the bare minimum, spares and manpower levels reduced to unacceptable levels, and increased workloads; the working life of these safety professionals has become centered on lowering costs. The lesson to be learnt from this and other avoidable accidents is, that it is now time for the industry to listen to, and properly support, safety professionals trying to keep flying safe.
To that end Aircraft Engineers International are calling for the following reforms:
• A genuine culture of safety before operational needs must be enforced from the very top.
• Aviation must respect and create a culture where the responsibilities of pilot and engineers licenses can be properly exercised, free from reprisal.
• Doing it right the first time must become every engineer, pilot, regulator and managers mantra.
• Governments must invest in regulators in order to ensure effective oversight.
• Training at all levels within industry must be improved and increased.
Finally we would like to echo the thoughts of a grieving relative of one of the victims when they say "Don't let the disaster of 28 December ever happen again".
To have any chance of fulfilling that request, the aviation industry must be sincere and ensure that safety is genuinely paramount.
About the AEI:
Aircraft Engineers International (AEI) was formed in 1971 and represents the collective interests of over 40,000 Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in over 30 countries.
The AEI mission is to be the global voice of Licensed Aircraft Engineers by providing representation and support in order to promote the highest levels of aviation safety and maintenance standards worldwide.