NZ’s air safety authority lets off NZ air force over dangerous cargo
In what could fairly be described as an act of cowardice, the litigation prone civil aviation authority in New Zealand has decided not to take action against the country’s air force for loading chemical oxygen generating cylinders on an Air New Zealand passenger jet making the long oceanic flight to Vancouver.
The report goes on to quote the director of civil aviation Graeme Harris as saying that there were a number of administrative and communication errors that led to the generators being put on the flight.
“Of particular concern is the incorrect labelling, categorisation and preparation of the cargo for shipping,” Mr. Harris said.
“The ongoing CAA investigation is not conducted to apportion blame. We are interested in promoting the improvement of systems, processes and procedures to reduce the risk of this type of incident occurring again. Accordingly, and due to the passage of time, the CAA will not be prosecuting any of the parties involved,” Mr Harris said.
Really Mr Harris. Instead of talking gobbledegook how about recommending that the NZ Air Force recruit officers who can read warning labels, or alternatively, take immediate action against anyone who is literate but so willfully stupid or indifferent to the lives of civilian air travellers that they would knowingly load onto a passenger jet hazardous materials that are prohibited because they are capable of killing everyone on board?
It takes a conscious effort to break the rules to consign prohibited cargo on a passenger jet, not to mention a stunning lack of diligence on the part of any airline that accepts such a consignment.
Maybe we can have a new form of trans Tasman competition, in the blood sport of seeing who has the most dangerous air safety regulator, given the disgrace the ATSB has heaped on itself with the Pel-Air report, which even its chief commissioner, Martin Dolan, now says is not something he is proud of.