The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are spearheading a move to improve air safety in Latin America with the creation of the Pan American Aviation Safety Team (PAAST).

"We're concerned about the accident rate in Latin America and to improve safety we came together and said we had to do something. We're developing a strategy to establish and consolidate a safety strategy for the region," says Gunter Matschnigg, IATA vice president infrastructure and operations.

In addition to IATA and ICAO, PAAST draws on the participation and contribution of individual airlines, aerospace manufacturers and the International Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations (IFALPA). The new coalition has an executive and working level tiers and is co-chaired by the Brazilian carrier TAM and IFALPA.

"What we want to do is have a common integrated approach when making recommendations to airlines. We'll be looking at areas such as human factors, controlled flight into terrain, crew development packages, enhanced ground proximity warning systems, language and air traffic control," explains Matschnigg.

PAAST's emphasis will be on training and assisting airlines, airports and regulatory authorities, producing training aids, manuals, software, seminars, missions and consultancy services. "PAAST is a new initiative and if it works properly, we're thinking of establishing teams in other areas like Africa and Asia," adds Matschnigg.

Source: Flight International