Feb 06 2013
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IATA: German firm's airline safety ranking flawed
In a letter sent to Saudi Arabian Airlines, Director of IATA's Global Safety Chris Glaeser said that IATA does not endorse the findings of the German-based Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center (JACDEC).
Commenting on the report, Assistant Director-General of Saudia for Safety and Quality Capt. Muhammad Miteb said that the JACDEC report lacked professionalism and was inaccurate in preparing a safety ranking list of airlines.
Glaeser said in the letter that IATA noticed that there was increasing media interest in the annual airline safety ranking list produced by JACDEC for 2012.
He emphasized that IATA did not endorse the approach of JACDEC and did not assist in the compilation of their report in any way. "It has long been the view of the airline community that safety is not a competitive issue, and that the safety reputation of the industry rises and falls as a collective whole. A ranking of an individual airline's accident record in the absence of any contextual factors is not an accurate or effective tool for judging airline safety," he said, stressing that IATA considers the JACDEC list as giving at best only a partial view, and believes that the entire principle of ranking airlines is flawed.
Glaeser also disclosed that the JACDEC methodology is opaque, with possible issues concerning incomplete data, inconsistent definitions of accident types, and a bias in favor of younger airlines.
Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Capt. Miteb said that JACDEC ignored many factors concerning external parties that may contribute to accidents. He emphasized that Saudia is extremely keen in applying international standards and criteria with regard to safety and quality. "The airline also adopts minute and rigorous terms and conditions and procedures when hiring and providing training for pilots, cabin crew, as well as operation and maintenance engineers. The airline also carries out periodic evaluation of their performance in order to ensure whether they comply with safety standards."
Capt. Miteb said that Saudia is a member of international organizations and forums concerned with airline safety and quality of services. These include the International Aviation Safety Association (IASA), and IATA's Safety Committee, and Accident Classification Working Group.
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