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Auditors find that aircraft safety checks are being ‘ignored’

Bahrain News
Wed, 06 Dec 2017

LACK of aircraft inspections and training programmes for young Bahrainis were some of the violations registered by administrative auditors.

The Civil Aviation Affairs, under the Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry, has been accused of failing to comply with recommendations made by a mission from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) last year.

The Administrative and Financial Audit Bureau in its 2016-2017 report, said that this meant safety concerns were not being properly addressed.

It also revealed lack of specialised inspectors for particular aircraft registered in national records.

“The Civil Aviation has not inspected all foreign aircraft that land in Bahrain International Airport to ensure safety procedures are being respected or even the standards of ICAO, while conducting the checks randomly,” said the report.

“There is no ramp inspection to ensure aircraft have been cleared for a safe flight or that all safety requirements have been met.

“No action has been taken against operators for incidents that occur on aircraft, which has meant that operators don’t bother reporting incidents.

“Employees who investigate incidents and accidents have (undergone) minimal training to address those situations.

“The Civil Aviation is content with the findings of operators when an investigation is conducted without conducting its own probe, which is a clear violation of independent monitoring and objectivity.”

The bureau said that the Civil Aviation hired retired personnel for technical posts in the aviation permits directorate, while having no clear plans to permanently recruit young locals.

“Training programmes, in general, for employees are not done in compliance with ICAO regulations, which means that decisions could be taken according to wrong practises, which is dangerous,” it said in the report.

The report also found that the Ports and Naval Affairs, which operated under the same ministry, does not have inspection standards for Khalifa Bin Salman Port’s private operator.

“The operator has also been providing services without being licensed for seven years, despite it being necessary within its work scope,” it said.

“The water channel project earmarked in 2011 for BD22 million has been rescheduled with an additional cost to reach BD33.19m and a delayed completion in 2018.

“Also, no inspections were conducted last year on more than 350 registered ships in Bahrain.”

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