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Shame on EU as Vietnam Leads the Way in Aviation Safety

Dépèche transmise le 20 janvier 2010 par PRNewswire

HOOFDDORP, The Netherlands, January 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the constant flow of statements from the European Union and EASA (European Aviation Safety Organisation) that Europe has the highest aviation standards in the world; it is in fact the civil aviation authority of Vietnam that has shown Europe how to behave.

Jetstar Pacific, an Asian low cost airline with Qantas (Australia) as a major shareholder, has been making headlines for the wrong reasons. Whistleblowers made serious claims about low maintenance standards which of course have been strongly denied by management. Now however a report produced by the Vietnamese Civil Aviation Authority based upon their own thorough investigation has confirmed multiple lapses in safety and standards due to a ''very poor and ineffective'' culture of safety maintenance.

Furthermore the airline had maintenance approvals and senior management approvals revoked whilst being allowed a very short period of time to get itself and the company back in order and come up to the required standard. Senior management of Jetstar Pacific regrettably chose a "shoot the Messenger" approach by firing the whistleblowers rather than applaud their integrity. The whistleblowers despite being placed under incredible pressure remained strong by placing passenger safety before their own concerns.

The situation for the brave engineers who refused to allow this gross abuse of regulation to continue resulted in loss of employment despite the overwhelming evidence highlighting poor management.

Unfortunately however many of the issues raised at Jetstar Pacific are to be found in a number of European airlines. Despite reports being submitted to EASA by AEI officials and many others of similar incidents of abuse and threats to suspected whistleblowers, the European regulators allow malpractice to continue unabated whilst refusing to increase whistleblower protection.

How does the European Union justify its "Blacklist" which contains very few European operators when it is itself unable to properly regulate airlines under its authority? The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to the amazement of many of its international partners has no powers of enforcement whilst the European Commission is just plain incompetent, unable to set proper priorities due to political squabbling amongst member states.

AEI which represents more than 45,000 aircraft maintenance engineers globally considers that no engineer should lose their job for protecting the safety of the travelling public. Fred Bruggeman AEI General Secretary said that "the aviation industry continues to treat whistleblowers in a manner more appropriate for the Middle Ages. The time has come for regulators to stand up to aviation bullies and introduce effective legislation holding managers to account. The only jobs that should be taken away following a whistleblower situation such as this are those management positions that allowed the unsafe situation to develop. They are the real culprits and this need to be recognized".

For further info

CONTACT: F.Bruggeman +31-655930175, Email ;

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