2012 Annual Press Conference of the Aviation Safety Council
The Aviation Safety Council held its annual press conference on Dec. 25, 2012.
In the welcome speech, Chairman Dr. Yu-Hern Chang shared two milestones taking place this year with everyone: First on May 20, the ASC has become a legislatively independent organization under the Government’s “Reform and Innovation” plan. Though the name has changed, ASC’s nature remains the same. ASC would keep making efforts on improving flight safety with altruistic, grateful and humble attitudes.
Second, the ASC has established a Council Archives. With less than 15 years of history, the ASC has accomplished abundant achievements with limited staffs and budget. For instance, ASC is a pioneer of independent occurrence investigation in Taiwan. Prior to ASC’s establishment, flight occurrences had never been investigated through any independently investigative procedures. ASC initiated it, and has received a positive recognition in the nation and internationally. Second, with the diligence of ASC’s staff, we have successfully built up our investigation laboratory as the top in terms of technical capabilities in Asia. Moreover, the flight safety recommendations issued by ASC over the years, as presented in the Council Archives, can be proudly claimed as the accomplishment as in the last decade the ASC and aviation industry have worked together for aviation safety improvement, such that the average occurrence rate of hull loss occurrences in civil aviation transportation category over the last 10 years, was lowered to 1.17 per million departures, which is quite close to the global average. Chairman Chang further noted that, by setting up the Council Archives, those special experiences and the developing process would be preserved. Like an old saying ‘history is a mirror to reflect the vicissitude of life’, Chairman hoped his colleagues at the ASC never forget the hardship at the time of establishing and the primary objective to serve flight safety.
Although the national flight safety has had considerable progress, there is still much room for further efforts. In the last couple of years runway excursion occurrences have drawn the attentions even though aircraft and crews/passengers on board were all safe without any serious consequences. The ASC has noticed the seriousness of this issue as the Chairman requested his colleagues to organize a research team regarding runway excursion reduction in hopes of coming up with a contributive research to prevent re-occurrences of similar events.
In fact, investigation and research complement each other. Conducting a research regarding certain significant issues in advance may behave as preventive measures. After taking over the duty as ASC Chairman, Dr. Chang has expected the colleagues to take their investigation experiences into study / research plans whenever is allowed. This year, besides the topic of runway excursion, there were also studies regarding airport safety management, safety management system, glossaries of the cross-strait occurrence terms (in hopes of having more mutual understanding of terms). The results of the studies will be published in our annual information seminar to share with our friends from aviation industry. Additionally, ASC has adopted European Coordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS) as the base structure to establish the national occurrence data system, to proceed the collection, analysis and statistics of the occurrence data. The web version of this database will be availabe to public for reference starting January 1st, 2013, so that the aim of flight safety information exchange may be achieved.
Besides encouraging the ASC colleagues conducting more research, Dr. Chang will publish a research paper ‘Analysis of an aircraft accident model in Taiwan’ on Journal of Air Transport Management in the upcoming issue early next year. This paper uses both CAA and ASC investigation reports in the past 27 years for analysis in accordance with the ICAO’s flight occurrence classification standards. The aim is to understand the main factors of past occurrences and types, thus improving the national flight safety.
The conclusion of the paper has two main points: First, aircraft takeoff and landing operations, in-flight icing, and turbulence are considered significant to flight occurrences. Second, accidents due to CFIT and system/component failures or malfunction (non-powerplant) significantly affect passengers and crews’ survivability. By publishing this paper, Dr. Chang wished to attract more valued contributions from Government, civil aviation industry, academia, and even media to aviation safety to make our sky safer.
Finally Chairman shared one of his philosophies along with ”smile stickers” as souvenirs to the media. “Have you smiled today?” This is to remind people that a simple smile may fill your surroundings with an altruistic atmosphere. Earlier Chairman has mentioned that ASC shall forever have an ‘altruistic’ attitude since we are living in a same ”community”: We will not live well when others do not live well. With selfishlessness in our hearts, we may make our lifes with gratitudes and happiness.
Sherry Liu, Engineer