Page 11 - InterPilot Vol1 No4
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ASIA/PAC REGIONAL FOCUS 11

The Asia/Pacific region is grappling with a positive problem: growth. Executive VP
Asia/Pac Capt Amornvaj ‘Ben’ Mansumitchai talked with InterPilot editor Rick Adams
about high-priority aviation issues on which IFALPA and other organizations are focused.
Growing planes










s in the rest of the aviation world,
Aaircraft operators and pilots in The Asia/Pacific region is expected to
IFALPA’s Asia/Pacific region are dealing add 300 million more passengers by 2017,
according to IATA. (Photo: Hajime Suzuki)
with the high-risk issues of runway excur-
sion safety, loss of control in-flight (LOC-I),
and controlled flight into terrain
(CFIT). Worldwide, these three categories
accounted for 63% of all accidents from
2006-2011, 69% of fatal accidents, and two
thirds of fatalities. In 2012, the numbers
improved: 47% of accidents, 45% of fatali-
ties. In Asia in 2012, there were 23 acci-
dents, three of them accounting for 43% of
fatalities globally.
But those are not the only major issues
the region is dealing with in trying to cope Countries with long-established aviation
with explosive growth rates in commercial histories, such as Australia, New Zealand,
airline traffic, according to Capt Amornvaj Japan, and Korea, do have such a system,
‘Ben’ Mansumitchai, IFALPA Asia/Pac execu- but Capt Mansumitchai noted, “Many states
tive vice-president. cannot afford an independent accident
Capt Mansumitchai flies the Airbus A380- investigation body. This requires a lot of
800 for Thai Airways, where he started 22 human and financial resources.”
years ago as a flight engineer on the A300. Therefore, ICAO has established the
He was the founder of the Thai Pilots’ Asia Pacific Accident Investigation Group
Association Technical and Safety Committee. (APAC-AIG), in which IFALPA is actively par-
In 2005, he was chosen as IFALPA director ticipating. The group met in September in
for the Thai Pilots’ Association, became Thai Airways A380 captain Amornvaj ‘Ben’ Indonesia to review the work plan imple-
IFALPA regional VP Asia East in 2007, and Mansumitchai, IFALPA Asia/Pac EVP, has also mentation and to further discuss how to
flown Airbus A300, A330, A340, Boeing 737,
has been an IFALPA Board member since enhance regional cooperation during an air-
and 747 aircraft.
2011. In addition to line flying, Ben was a craft accident investigation.
simulator instructor and check airman for The International Civil Aviation ICAO has stated: “A regional investigation
the A330/A340 (with more than 5,000 hours Organization (ICAO) recommends establish- system can provide economies of scale
on these two types). He has also led the Thai ing “an independent accident and incident by allowing for the sharing of required
Airways acceptance team multiple times investigation process, the sole objective of resources.”
when taking delivery of new aircraft from which is the prevention of accidents and inci- Capt David Newbery, an Airbus training
Airbus in Toulouse, France. dents, and not the apportioning of blame or captain with Cathay Pacific Airways, an
liability.” ICAO notes that many governments IFALPA accredited accident investigator, and
PROCESS INDEPENDENCE allow the regulatory authority to conduct a member of the IFALPA Accident Analysis
Yet another hat Ben wears is that of an accident investigations, and says that “this and Prevention Committee since 1998, com-
accredited aircraft accident investigator. practice raises a potential conflict of interest mented, “The purpose of an investigation
“During the recent IFALPA Asia/Pacific whereby the investigators may be required to should be to find out what happened, iden-
Regional Meeting in Seoul, Korea, a highlight report on shortcomings in the state’s safety tify contributing factors, and suggest reme-
of discussion was about a regional accident oversight performance (perhaps even their dial measures to prevent a similar accident
investigation body,” Capt Mansumitchai said. own performance as regulators).” occurring. The focus is on preventing 
The Safety and Technical Journal of IFALPA | InterPilot Vol 1 | No 4 | December 2013
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