Karachi: The speakers at an international seminar requested the government to establish an independent safety board, Pakistan Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) to ensure that aviation safety becomes its priorities in Pakistan.
Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) as a part of their efforts to discharge their responsibility organized a one-day aviation safety seminar ‘Challenges for Aviation Safety: Pakistan-South Asia’ at a local hotel here on Thursday.
Chairman Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Rao Qamar Suleman being the chief guest said that PIA has remarkable and very competent human resource to take all measures to make Pakistan’s airspace safe and to educate people involved in aviation safety domain.
‘In Pakistan we need to have more and more people educated with a coherent and organised initiative on aviation safety, which is a new subject in Pakistan,’ said the PIA Chairman.
He said that PIA will continue to support all the efforts on aviation safety, while special emphasis would be given on training of human resource to enhance awareness on safety issues. ‘Safety management systems academically is a good terminology but people implementing such systems should have stakes in aviation which will enable them to provide effective support,’ he reasoned.
He said ‘we need to lay a lot of emphasis on human resources which is a basic factor in safety, including aviation safety, while data analysis and management is important that must be promoted to avoid repeating mistakes that eventually cause accidents’.
On the occasion, President PALPA Capt Suhail Baloch in his speech asked the government to establish an independent Pakistan Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) with the representations from PALPA, SAEP, and ATC Guild.
He said ‘Professional safety in any field and more so in aviation is a continuous effort. Hence the need to regularly update, adapt and adopt to international standards.’
He was of the opinion that PALPA alone cannot safeguard the interest of flight safety in Pakistan. ‘We need to understand that pilots in any aviation industry or airline are the last line of defense, when it comes to safety, of any such organization,’ he added.
Curt Lewis, an expert in Aviation Accident Investigation, in his video address congratulated PIA’s new chairman on his appointment and said that he has a great responsibility to steer the airline out of difficult times, for PIA has a proud history. He also recognized the efforts of PALPA to take this bold step of bringing aviation community together for an important cause.
Curt Lewis is currently president/owner of Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC – a consulting firm specializes in aviation safety, accident investigation and reconstruction, and airport and aircraft security. He has in excess of 35 years of safety experience as a professional pilot, safety engineer/director, and air safety investigator. He is currently serving as an Assistant Professor with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, while he also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Occupational Safety at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
‘Pakistan like many other places in the world is facing infrastructure issues, and to make things better it has to effectively implement better safety management systems,’ said the president Curt Lewis & Associates, who served with American Airlines/AMR Corporation for 17 years. He added that safety management systems are to make you sure about fully comprehending the risks that are around there.
He further said that safety management systems are simply to allocate your money and resources against risks. ‘Safety management systems can be made unnecessarily complicated, but simplicity is the key to make intelligent decisions as how to manage risks,’ he added.
Former Attorney General and senior advocate Supreme Court Anwar Mansoor Khan in his message on ‘Legal Aspect of Aviation Safety’ said that there are three aspects which need to be altered in order for the law to be adequate for aviation safety, and that include updating the primary law in light of international conventions and standards, prioritizing aviation safety and with severe implications in failing aviation safety; having a separate investigation board for accidents in order to have correct and unbiased reports; and CAA should be a proper regulatory body without the influence of service providers.
‘The CAO 1960 is the oldest document applicable to civil aviation in Pakistan. It has become an obsolete legal document in the context of aviation safety. It does not contain adequate provisions on aviation safety,’ he added.
While talking about the infrastructure issues of CAA, he said that there are two major flaws besides not having adequate, prioritized and up-to-date laws. ‘Firstly, the investigation of an accident is not independent and secondly, the board of CAA has the Managing Director of PIA as a member. By which,there would be and is a conflict of interest which directly affects aviation safety,’ he added.
The former Attorney General recommended that there should be some amendments in the laws of aviation safety: Amendments in the primary legislation, so as to prioritize, aviation security as a separate purpose of civil aviation; amendments in primary law, to update the law in light of international treaties, requirements and standards in regards to aviation safety; and amendments in the law as per the ICAO Sate Safety Program, in order to streamline the law in accordance with international standards.
‘The CAA should be empowered through legislation (amendment) to specifically enable aviation security as one of its main purposes, while it should also be an autonomous body without any member from any operator/service provider, in order to be an effective regulator,’ he said, adding that a separate investigation board should be constituted in order to have effective, accurate, unbiased and specialized investigations for prevention of further accidents, while investigation reports should be made public.
Masood Karim, Executive Director Aviation and Professional Consulting, and also an aviation safety consultant, called for the adoption of systematic safety systems. ‘Through risk management we move to action where we need standardized systems in place with the help of sound evaluation,’ he added.
He was of the opinion that there is a need to identify risks through indicators, reports, and data to assure safety with better training and development. ‘For effective regulations, we should intertwine CAA, operators, Palpa, and ATC,’ he suggested.