| Khal Baharulalam |
AS CONCERNS arise following challenges that recently surfaced in the aviation industry after a slew of global developments, the Brunei Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is currently looking to set up an independent Aircraft Accident Investigation (AAI) unit, as a means to highlight the importance of aviation safety and aircraft accident investigations in the Sultanate.
This was shared by Acting Director of the DCA Haji Abdul Karim bin Haji Abdul Wahab in an interview held during yesterday’s conclusion of the DCA’s AAI Workshop, which was jointly organised by the department with the Air Accident and Investigation Bureau of Singapore.
The Acting Director, who attended the closing ceremony as guest of honour, elaborated that the initiative “is still in the pipeline” adding that the inaugural AAI Workshop is only the beginning of the department’s efforts in enhancing aviation safety and investigation resources locally.
“We hope to form a unit that specialises in AAI – an independent body that reports directly to the minister,” said Haji Abd Karim, noting that involvement of all stakeholders – including that of which under the Royal Brunei Police Force and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces – in the Brunei Aviation industry could make this goal a success in the near future.
“In a way, with plans to continue conducting AAI workshops (such as this), our locals will have a certain degree of qualification to carry out certain AAI duties.”
It was explained that following the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Civil Aviation Cooperation between Brunei and Singapore recently, some DCA officers have been attached at the Air Accident and Investigation Bureau of Singapore for training, as part of realising the department’s goals.
The three-day workshop was initiated to enable participants to further understand the underlying causes of aviation accidents and incidents, to improve safety and instigate early prevention of future occurrences – all of which are in line with the international protocol in aircraft accident and incident investigation as per the Standard and Recommended Practices laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Meanwhile, commenting on her participating experience of the three-day workshop, Major Siti Khadijah binti Haji Emran of the Royal Brunei Air Force, agreed that the cooperative efforts in fostering competencies in aircraft safety would bode the aviation industry well in incorporating skills and expertise in AAI, particularly in the local framework.
Yesterday’s ceremony also saw the presentation of certificates to some 30 participants from various government agencies, aviation stakeholders and operators.