Airblue hearing: PHC asks for black box transcript
January 18, 2013
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has asked the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to present the transcript from the black box of Airblue flight ED 202.
The court added that investigations have not been conducted in accordance with the terms of references provided by the court.
A PHC division bench comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaisar issued the orders while hearing a writ petition filed by politician Marvi Memon against the Airblue administration.
During the hearing, the bench was informed that since ICAO experts have highlighted that the Safety Investigation Board (SIB) is not an independent entity since it falls within the ambit of the Civil Aviation Authority, it will soon be converted into an separate body.
The summary in this regard has been sent to the prime minister. The CJ then directed the Ministry of Defence to expedite the procedure and immediately make SIB an independent body to ensure transparent investigation into aviation accidents. “The SIB should not even be influenced by the defence secretary,” he said.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) senior legal advisor Obaidur Rehman Abbasi told the bench that all relevant records will be produced before the court on the next date of hearing, February 19. He said all material will be made public after a meeting between officials of the Ministry of Defence, SIB and CAA on January 28.
The Islamabad-bound ED 202 Airblue flight crashed in the Margalla Hills on July 28, 2010 killing all 146 passengers and six crew members.Compensation to legal heirs
Compensation to legal heirs Airblue’s Counsel Abdul Latif Yousafzai informed the bench that families of 127 crash victims out of 152 have been compensated.
Yousafzai added the civil suits of other victims were registered in Sindh and Islamabad high courts too. On this, the court questioned Umar Adam, counsel for the petitioner, who replied that he will consult his clients and will inform the bench in the next hearing about whether to proceed with the petition in Peshawar or solve their cases in other high courts.Source: tribune.com.pk
PHC directs CAA to produce communication record
Friday, January 18, 2013
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to produce the recording of exchange of information between the pilot and control tower in the case of the AirBlue plane crash, which had left all the 152 people on board dead.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Mrs Justice Irshad Qaiser also directed the Ministry of Defence to immediately act upon the summary sent to the prime minister for approval about declaring the Safety Investigation Board of CAA fully autonomous.
Senior Legal Adviser to CAA Obaidur Rehman Abbasi informed the bench that as per the court directives, the CAA had sent a summary to the premier for approval on making the Safety Investigation Board an autonomous body.
He also informed the bench that as per the court’s directives, a high-level meeting was convened on January 28 to review the fresh investigation report in the AirBlue plane crash by the international experts. He submitted the materials that were included in the detailed inquiry and were missing on website inquiry would also be placed on the CAA website.
He said that under the inquiry, the incident occurred due to the fault of the pilot. At this, the chief justice observed that it was stated in the international experts’ inquiry that wrong statements were mentioned in the inquiry report available on the website.
The chief justice had observed that the CAA should explain why the Safety Investigation Board should not be made fully autonomous so that it should not be under the control and influence of any bureaucrat or the government.
The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by former MNA Marvi Memon and family members of some of the passengers of the ill-fated plane, which crashed on July 28, 2010. They have prayed the court to order independent inquiry into the crash and provision of appropriate compensation to the bereaved families.
The re-investigation was conducted on the order of the high court. The court had earlier expressed dissatisfaction over the previous inquiry conducted by the Safety Investigation Board of CAA wherein the errors by the pilot and inclement weather were held responsible for the air crash.Source: The News
Autonomy of CAA safety board Defence ministry directed to expedite legislation
PESHAWAR, Jan 17:
The Peshawar High Court on Thursday directed the defence ministry to expedite legislation for making the Safety and Investigation Board (SIB) of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) an independent and autonomous body.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaiser asked the ministry to ensure that no one from CAA or PIA and even the defence secretary should have any administrative control on SIB.
Also, CAA was told to produce certified transcript of the commu-nication and conversation made by the pilot of the Airblue plane, which crashed in July 2010, with different control towers, including that of Islamabad`s airport and radar staff.
The bench issued the order after observing that the re-investigation report prepared by international aviation experts and submitted to the court was incomplete as the terms of reference formulated by the high court were not answered nor was the script of the communication and conversation by the deceased pilot of the plane with different control towers and radar staff annexed with it.
It was hearing a writ petition offormer MNA Marvi Memon and relatives of some passengers of the plane, which crashed on July 28, 2010.
They have prayed the court to order independent inquiry into the crash and also provision of appropriate compensation to the bereaved families.
In Nov last, the bench had ordered that the CAA should explain why the SIB should not be made fully autonomous so that it should not be under control and influence of any bureaucrat and government in accordance with the recommendations of a team of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Senior legal director of CAAObaidur Rehman Abbasi and defence ministry lawyer Tanveerul Islam informed the court on Tuesday that a summary prepared by the defence ministry had been referred to the prime minister for approval. They added that after approval, rules would be framed by the defence ministry.
The two submitted a copy of the said summary to the bench that states the independence of SIB of CAA and making it as AIC (Accident Investigation Commission) in line with the guidelines of ICAO involves a number of changes not only in the Civil Aviation Rules 1994 but establishment of an organisational set up.Mr Abbasi said the Airblue plane crash was not outcome of any conspiracy and it was due to the error of the pilot, the fact which was also endorsed by the international experts. He added that CAA was among the top 10 aviation authorities in the world.Mr Abbasi said CAA had not been compromising safety of flights. He added that it had been engaged in litigation with the district coordination officer (now deputy commissioner) of Chitral, who had been building a house within 350 feet of the airstrip, which was in violation of the National Airfield Clearance Policy.
Also, the bench gave time to lawyer for petitioners OmerFarooq Adam to consult their clients whether they want to withdraw their civil suits filed with the Islamabad High Court and continue with the present petition or not.
Abdul Lateef Yousafzai, representing the Airblue management, contended that they had paid compensation to majority of the legal heirs of the deceased passengers and only few were left as they had filed civil suits before the Islamabad High Court. He asked how compensation of Rs five million could be paid to these persons on the order of the PHC when they had started fresh round of litigation in Islamabad.Source: DAWN