Canadian safety investigators acknowledge efforts by MK Airlines to instigate changes in aviation safety

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Canadian investigators have acknowledged efforts by Ghana-registered MK Airlines to improve safety, having criticised oversight and operational discipline within the carrier at the time of its fatal Boeing 747-200F crash at Halifax. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) says that MK Airlines’ varied operations often involve crews flying to airports with poor facilities, and dealing with frequent delays and equipment failures. It says: “Some of the strengths that this environment brought also generated weaknesses [like] accepting short cuts and deviations from procedures.”

The TSB also observes: “Regulatory oversight of MK Airlines by the Ghana civil aviation authority was not adequate to detect serious non-conformances to flight and duty times, nor on-going non-adherence to company directions and procedures.” It adds that, although MK Airlines had a flight-operations quality and flight-safety programme, it was in the early stages of development at the time.

A month after the accident MK requested a full audit by the UK, then opted to obtain compliance with European Joint Aviation Requirements and has applied to go on to the UK register. MK says it has put in place a safety management system, revised its training manual, and now uses software-assisted crew-scheduling.