Monday, March 23, 2009

Safety Transparency in the EU

Aviation lawyers Guido de Vos and Frans Vreede (whose earlier guest post on the blog is available here) of the Dutch firm AKD Prinsen Van Wijmen have written a fresh commentary on opening the European Commission's database on airline safety performance to the public.  Noting that the EU's current airline blacklist "is no panacea for aircraft accidents," their piece begins: 

A serious accident involving a Turkish Airlines aircraft took place in the Netherlands last Wednesday.  The drastic impact of such a disaster on victims and relatives cannot be stressed enough.  Fortunately aid workers were on hand quickly, and the fact that no fire broke out prevented more serious consequences. Speculation began immediately as to the cause of the crash.  The history of air disasters has shown that there is seldom one single cause; the disaster is usually the result of a chain of interrelated events.  It is the task of the Safety Investigation Board to carefully ascertain the cause.  Anyone is free to state their opinion, since statements before the Council cannot, in principle, be used in criminal proceedings.

In the meantime, it has been suggested in various media that Turkish Airlines has the reputation of being an unsafe airline because it has been involved in other serious accidents. However, the European Commission quickly issued a statement that the company is not, and never has been, on the European blacklist of unsafe airlines.

The rest of the article is available online here.

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