INTERNATIONAL AVIATION CONTROLS OVER ITS ACTIVITY INDEPENDENTLY
Yerevan, August 14. ArmInfo. The crash of Armavia’s A-320 and the
investigation of its causes continue being the key topic of the
Armenian press, especially after the crash of Siberia’s A-310.
When A-320 crashed, the International Aviation Committee (IAC) said
semi-officially that the crash was caused by the fault of the pilots.
After the crash in Irkutsk, IAC also hurried to blame the crew, but
this time, unlike the A-320 case, it faced much stronger resistance
and later said it was caused by technical problems. The newspaper
cites a document adopted by Russia’s Federation Council in July:
"The recent chain of air accidents within a short period of time
has proved that there is an urgent need to improve the technical
control over airports and planes and to raise the qualification of
air personnel. In the last years Russia’s civil aviation sector has
got into serious crisis." The Russian senators specially noted the
necessity of delimiting the powers of certification and air accident
investigation. The logic is that a crash may well happen through the
fault of the one who has issued the certificate. So, it is inadmissible
that IAC control its own self.
The last two big air crashes – A-320 and A-310 – have vividly shown
what negative consequences self-control may have, say Armenian experts.
Iravunk says it is not for the first time that the Kremlin questions
IAC’s efficiency. In 2003, after IAC’s ban on IL-86 flights, Vice
Speaker of Russia’s State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky said: "They have
put a ban on the safest air liner. 5 Boeings fall every year, and our
Transaero (company whose 45% belong to the family of IAC Chairwoman
Tatiana Anodina and 3.25% to her personally) is engaged in lobbying.
Why did they ban IL-86? Because Transaero buys only foreign planes.
This will only benefit them, while for our economy this will be a heavy
blow, and huge money will again start flowing out of the country."
After the ban on IL-86, the State Duma asked the Russian President
to consider stopping IAC’s activities. They said: "The State Duma
believes that the International Aviation Committee, set up in 1991,
does not contribute to the strengthening of the aviation security as
IAC has undertaken functions it didn’t have initially: certification
of radio-technical equipment, engines and signal systems of Russian
planes. As a non-governmental organization IAC does not pay taxes
from the profits it gets from certification and spends colossal sums
to meet its own purposes rather than to raise the aviation security.
With both the certification and air crash investigation functions
in its hands, IAC prefers to say that all air crashes are caused by
"human factor" rather than by the state of air equipment."
Such combination of functions permits the IAC not to be responsible for
air catastrophes and lay all the blame on the pilots. The deputies of
the Russian Parliament considered that certification of airplanes and
air crash investigations must be realized by structures, controlled by
the Government. They came to conclusion that the IAC activity on the
territory of the Russian Federation does not benefit the country. The
deputies found at last necessary to dismiss IAC and establish national
governmental structures for the supervision on civil aviation.
Those days the Russian press reported that the IAC gave permission
for "Il" flights and started active lobbying in order to prevent its
dismissal from Russia. Taking into account that the Committee exists
so far, it is clear that the lobbying was a success. The Committee
also managed to make use of its status of an international structure.
It was found in 1991 by the initiative of 12 states and has never
been reformed since then, although numerous constitutor countries
left it for different reasons. The officers of the IAC have immunity
and are not to be brought to any criminal responsibility even after
their resignation. Thus, the Committee can cause the state a damage
of many million dollars (by such groundless prohibition of "Il-86"
flights) and suffer no punishment for that. IAC will not be brought
to responsibility even in case it is found out that the ArmAvia A-320
air liner crashed at the fault of the Sochi airport, certified by
the IAC. It must also be noted that since 1991 head of IAC Tatiana
Anodina has had status of a Russian Federal Minister, although the
Committee has never been a part of the Federal system.
The Armenian ‘Iravukn’ newspaper calls upon the Civil Aviation
Department and the Government of Armenia to make certain obvious
conclusions of the A-320 crash investigation story. To the opinion
of ‘Iravaunk’ staff it is important that independent international
structures once again investigate the catastrophe. Their impartial
estimation would permit the Armenian aviators to decide whether the
activity of the IAC is welcome in Armenia or not. ‘Iravunk’ says it
is time for the Armenian aviation to take example of Russia and start
thinking of developing the aviation system of Armenia.