Shame on EU as Vietnam Leads the Way in Aviation Safety

By Aei Aircraft Engineers International, PRNE
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

HOOFDDORP, The Netherlands, January 20 - 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

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

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

F.Bruggeman +31-655930175, Email sg at; pr at

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