David Learmount/DUBAI

EFFORTS TO IMPROVE the world's air-transport safety will fail while the industry continues to ignore the needs of developing countries and the Third World, where most accidents happen, according to Pakistan International Airlines' Capt Amjad Faizi.

Delegates from 40 nations attended the combined Dubai seminar of the Flight Safety Foundation, International Federation of Airworthiness, and International Air Transport Association. In spite of it being the world's premier safety conference, Faizi asked delegates: "Where are the other 140 [nations]?" and reminded the assembly that more than 70% of all serious accidents happen to airlines based in countries which operate 12% of the world's flights.

Faizi lists the main problems of airlines in the developing world as follows:

slack regulatory functions;

inadequate professional training;

non-professional safety-management;

mismanagement and scarcity of funds;

ageing fleets.

While praising the US Federal Aviation Administration's International Aviation Safety Assessment Programme, which categorises the surveillance standards of national aviation authorities, for being a standards catalyst, Faizi warns that it is resented by Third World countries, which view it with "...a mixture of awe and fear".

He says that, if world aviation safety is to advance significantly, the programme should be based on "assistance", not "assessment", and says that the International Civil Aviation Organisation should be provided with the means to conduct it.

The Organisation began such a programme in 1995, but it is resource-limited and voluntary. Faizi's warning is that the industry must play its part.


Source: Flight International