Despite the fact that compared to the previous several years the overall growth of air traffic in Asia-Pacific has slowed down, according to the latest data provided by IATA, this August was particularly good for regional carriers with an increase of 8.6% compared to the same month last year. However, the rise in demand for air travel consequent to the growth of middle class is inseparable from the increasing pressure to ensure flight safety. While the local carriers may be lulled by the contribution they are making towards the recovery of the global aviation industry, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Asia-Pacific has maintained its position as one of the most rapidly growing aviation markets for several years now. For example, in 2013 the air traffic in China has been growing at an average of 4.6% a month. But at the same time, the ICAO reports that in 2012 23% of all aviation accidents happened in Asia. Despite the fact that it is not the largest index, it should be noted that these accidents account for 43% of all fatalities which occurred due to all accidents. Therefore, air safety is still a very relevant issue in the region.
“One of the key elements in maintaining the vitality of civil aviation is to ensure safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable operations at the global, regional and national levels. Moreover, this responsibility increases even further when the industry is undergoing unprecedented growth and there are many new players in the market,” shares Skaiste Knyzaite, the CEO of AviationCV.com. “So for such emerging markets as Asia ensuring air safety is one of the key subjects on the table. It is based on many factors, one of the most important of which is the qualification of pilots.”
The ICAO statistical data indicates that in 2012 the overall global aviation accident rate was 3.2 accidents per million departures - the lowest one since the organization began tracking the global accident rate back in 2006. However, the stubborn number of accidents due to human factor remains a ceaseless headache for operators in the region. Such accidents as the recent Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash in San Francisco raises many concerns with regard to the lack of qualified and experienced specialists in the area. Could the crash have been avoided should the Asiana’s Boeing 777 have been operated by an expert pilot instead of the one who had had only 43 hours of experience flying that type of aircraft?
Another unfortunate incident, involving an Asian airline, happened during the infamous Lion Air Flight 904. The tragedy was attributed to the loss of control of an aircraft in-flight, commonly known as the LOC-I. Although this type of accidents is rare, according to ICAO, over the last eight years, they have resulted in more fatalities in scheduled commercial operations than any other type, including runway incursions, runway excursions and controlled flight into terrain.
“Luckily, aircraft accidents don’t happen that often and air safety is being constantly improved. However, the important thing is to realize that air safety is not something you can achieve once and for all. An important indicator of that are the dynamic changes within the so-called EU “black list” of banned carriers,” says Skaiste Knyzaite. “As for the situation in Asia-Pacific, it’s important to notice that the majority of airlines, operating from Indonesia or Malaysia, which are very promising entrants into the market, are still subject to that list. The accident statistics are only the reminders of the issues that all of the players must address on a daily basis.”
According to the CEO of AviationCV.com, achieving the proper level of safety is a matter of time and cooperation (a great example of which is cooperation of Airbus and the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority). However the idea is always to reduce the possibility of the accident to a minimum, so if some processes are hard to accelerate, finding an experienced pilot via various recruitment agencies is always a valid option until the demand can finally be met with local specialists of proper qualification.