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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 August 1 - 21  > Thoroughly investigate China Airlines jet accident
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2007 August 1 - 21 [WORLD]

Thoroughly investigate China Airlines jet accident

August 21, 2007
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

After landing at Naha Airport in Okinawa on August 20, a China Airlines aircraft from Taipei burst into flames. Fortunately, the 157 passengers and eight crewmembers are all alive as they managed to escape using evacuation slides. A delay in the evacuation could have brought about a major disaster.

It is important for Japan to not consider this case as just an accident involving a foreign airlines, but to make use of the findings to ensure the safety of all airplanes.

Full investigation needed

Not only China Airlines, that operates the aircraft, but also Boeing, the manufacturer, and engine makers should cooperate for a thorough investigation into the causes of the accident.

China Airlines has had many accidents, including a crash of its Airbus at Nagoya Airport in 1994 that claimed 264 victims.

Although countries that aircraft or airlines flying to Japan belong to are responsible for their safety, the Japanese government recently began on-the-spot inspections of foreign aircraft at airports in Japan because of a drastic increase in the number of foreign airlines flying to Japan and accidents that they have in Japan.

However, due to a shortage of staff, such inspections are carried out per each foreign carrier only once a year, according to the Transport Ministry. It is essential to drastically review measures to ensure the safety of foreign aircraft flying to Japan.

Amid the stagnating demand for air traffic and increasing competition among carriers, the airline industry worldwide is neglecting improvement in safety measures. The government should take all possible measures to ensure flight safety regardless whether carriers are based in Japan or foreign countries.

Do not miss signs of possible major accident

In the past several years, minor accidents and problems that could have triggered major accidents have occurred in Japan due to the government policy of deregulation as well as airline companies’ profit-first management. Taking them seriously will contribute to the prevention of major accidents.

The government must learn from the China Airlines accident and thoroughly review and strengthen the current safety measures. - Akahata, August 21, 2007
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