Industry must collaborate for aviation safety as conflict zones expand across region
As conflict zones continue to sprout up across the Middle East, aviation players are called on to collaborate to identify, assess and respond to risks that civil aircraft face from hazardous activities in conflict areas.
Industry debate on the issue is heating up once again after regional airlines suspended flights to Baghdad following the recent shooting at the flydubai airplane in Iraq.
The risks associated with flying aircraft over conflict zones will be a key area of discussion at the 3rd World Aviation Safety Summit in Dubai this year. Regional and international aviation experts will explore how this rising set of threats and challenges for global civil aviation can be successfully handled and mitigated.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has declared that gaps exist in global aviation security and recognised that airlines require the calibre of state-level intelligence to decide when and where aircraft should not be flying.
Shortly after the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine on 17 July 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) and IATA jointly set up a task force with other industry players to study what information airlines should be receiving from governments when flying over or near known conflict zones.
Airlines have highlighted that detours over the Middle East’s various high risk areas has a significant impact on airlines’ bottom lines.
“We long for the support of the international community and ICAO member states with conflict-striken territories to take proactive actions and impose no-fly zones above their conflict areas,” said Mohammed Eturki, Executive Director Group Safety and Quality from FlyNas.
“Their air traffic controllers (ATC) should ban flying over such dangerous zones as well as set up alternative routes to support continued safe flying. There is an urgent need for the aviation community to cooperate in the sharing of information about dangerous flying zones through a well-organized system.”
“Collecting and disseminating clear, accurate and timely information about conflict zones is critical to the safety of civil aircraft,” said Captain Elias Sadek, Vice President for Safety & Quality at EgyptAir Holding Company, who will also be speaking at the summit. “A wealth of important data is available – what’s lacking in the industry is the efficient exchange of useful information. A centralised global intelligence system must be set up to provide airlines with clear guidance on the threats to their passengers, crew and aircraft.”
Cengiz Turkoglu, Chairman of the Technical Committee, International Federation of Airworthiness, commented:
Growing commercial air transport is fuelling economic growth in many countries and the only way to sustain this growth is to continue maintaining public confidence in the system. The commercial aviation accident rate has decreased significantly over the decades and the commercial air transport system has become ultra-safe.
However, if further reduction in accident rate cannot be achieved in the coming years, by 2030, the predicted traffic growth will inevitably generate 1 fatal accident per week.”
Leading aviation safety specialists from around the world will gather at the 3rd annual World Aviation Safety Summit in Dubai to debate the key strategies and challenges required to improve aircraft safety in the global industry.
Held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Emirates Group, the Summit will be hosted by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and organised by the Streamline Marketing Group.
Running from 16-17 March 2015 in Dubai, the two-day summit is expected to attract more than 300 regional and international stakeholders from regulatory authorities, airline operators, airport operators, aircraft manufactures, pilot associations, safety organisations and air traffic control service providers to explore a range of aviation safety topics at panel discussions, strategy sessions and group discussions. Experts will also share regional case studies on how the challenges of integrating and implementing new and existing safety procedures can be overcome.