The global safety rules behind Ethiopia jet crash probe
Context of the News:
An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 crashed on March 10, 2019, killing all 157 people on board. It was the second crash of the 737 MAX, after the Indonesian Lion Air crash in October 2018.
The recent crashes triggered the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX.
Now, a preliminary report on Ethiopian Airlines crash is due within days
Note: 737 Max is the latest version of Boeing’s workhorse narrow body jet that first entered service in 2017.
Theme: The topic deals with the Convention and the organisation which mandates and governs global safety rules in Civil Aviation.
About Convention on International Civil Aviation
The Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention (established in 1944) is a gathering of 52 countries which agreed to common rules for the burgeoning civil aviation industry anticipated after World War Two.
It establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel.
It also established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Note: The Convention also exempts air fuels in transit from (double) taxation.
About International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
It is a specialized agency of the UN charged to manage the administration and governance of the Chicago Convention.
It cannot impose binding rules on governments, but wields clout through its safety and security standards which are approved by its 192 member countries.
ICAO does not participate in accident investigations unless it receives a special request from the country in charge.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), mandates the country to issue a preliminary report within 30 days of the disaster and a final report within 12 months of the crash.
Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation
Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation:
It contains the international Standards and Recommended Practices for aircraft accident and incident Investigation
It promotes close technical co-operation across political frontiers and steers clear of issues of blame, which has been credited with improving air safety dramatically since it was first introduced.
Purpose of Investigation
The purpose of its investigations is to understand the cause of a crash or incident requiring major aircraft repair and make recommendations to prevent a repeat in the future.
However, national sensitivities or disputes over control of data can slow or disrupt high-profile probes.
The country where an air accident takes place, is responsible for the investigation but can delegate it to another country.
Countries where the aircraft is registered, operated and manufactured are entitled to appoint accredited representatives.
A country which had citizens die in the crash can appoint an expert to visit the scene of the accident, receive updates on the event and the final accident investigation report.
Participating countries can also express disagreements over the contents of a final report.