Headline : 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.