Monday, August 26 2019

VietNamNews

Measures needed to curb unhealthy airline competition

Update: August, 16/2019 - 09:14

Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình speaks at a conference held on Thursday to review the performance of Việt Nam’s aviation industry in the first six months of the year and discuss its priorities for the coming months. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Dân

HÀ NỘI — Unhealthy competition among air carriers has led to damaging practices such as forcing pilots to fly more than the permitted number of hours and paying high salaries to poach pilots from other airlines, behaviours that must be stopped to ensure the safety of passengers, according to Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình.

Bình, who is also chairman of the National Civil Aviation Security Committee, made the statement at a conference held on Thursday to review the performance of Việt Nam’s aviation industry in the first six months of the year and discuss its priorities for the coming months.

Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Anh Tuấn reported the industry operated safely in the first half of the year. No serious accidents or security incidents were reported.

Tuấn said that after the crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights in March, the Civil Aviation Administration of Việt Nam (CAAV) promptly banned the operation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft in Việt Nam’s airspace.

The administration is awaiting the conclusion of investigations into the crash and testing of the aircraft model before allowing it to resume operations in Việt Nam.

At the conference, Deputy PM Bình said the implementation of emergency response plans at airports has made great progress.

In February, the CAAV obtained Aviation Safety Supervision Level 1 from the US Federal Aviation Administration, meaning the US aviation authorities and the international community recognise Việt Nam's efforts to improve aviation safety. The change could facilitate the introduction of a direct flight route from Việt Nam to the US.

However, Bình pointed out some shortcomings in the first six months of the year.

Some incidents still occurred such as thefts, passengers carrying weapons and dangerous items, the use of improper documents for flights, public disorder and assaults on aviation personnel.

He said the incidents were caused by legal loopholes, the failure to follow procedures and a shortage of airline staff. Lax management has also led to flight schedule violations and inadequate rest time for crew members between flights.

Many airlines have been hiring foreign pilots, making it more difficult to standardise the employment of pilots.

Bình said State-trained pilots were a national resource. He asked the CAAV to curb unhealthy competition, especially the poaching of pilots from other airlines.

He also instructed the administration to tighten control to ensure airlines would not increase flights and flying hours of pilots beyond the allowed limits.

Bình said the goal was a healthy aviation industry that properly and strategically developed its workforce and the number of aircraft.

He asked ministries and branches to co-ordinate to ensure safety and security in the remaining months of this year.

He also asked the Ministry of Defence to submit to the Government an amended decree on unmanned and ultralight aircraft to replace Decree No. 36/2008/ND-CP. — VNS

 

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