Compliance with the EASA directive to suspend all Boeing 737 MAX operations in Europe is unlikely to affect Cyprus to any extent, the Head of Safety Regulation Unit at Civil Aviation, Andreas Paspalides has told CNA.
The EASA announced the directive following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa on Sunday killing all 157 people on board. The crash happened less than five months after a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 went down in Indonesia in October, killing all 157 people on board.
In addition, EASA has published a Safety Directive, suspending all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within or out of the EU of the Boeing 737 models.
He told CNA that the ban will only affect companies that have such aircraft, adding that they can replace these aircraft and carry people to Cyprus on different planes. “No negative impact on Cyprus is expected “, he noted.
No such airplanes are included in the Cypriot register, Paspalides added.
He said Cyprus is complying with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) until further notice.
Meanwhile, Christos Petrou, head of the Mediterranean Flight Safety Foundation urged European institutions to show the same sensitivity concerning aviation safety in the northern part of Nicosia’s FIR as they did with the issue of the Boeing 737-8 crash.
Regarding the EASA’s decision to suspend flights by the Boeing 737 Max jets, Petrou said that Cypriots should probably think that since European institutions show such great sensitivity to flight safety issues, and especially for a matter that they do not even know if it is actually a technical problem, perhaps they could have showed the same sensitivity to the safety risks in the northern part of Nicosia FIR where there are “tangible examples of these risks and the institutions themselves, Eurocontrol, ICAO, EASA, European Commission, acknowledge and include in their reports that there are serious risks to flight safety. ”
He said the least they could have done was to help restore communication between the tower controls of Ankara and Nicosia which is the main reason for these dangers.
Petrou further said that since the European institutions are not doing this, the state should have had a complete strategy to tackle the issue, something that unfortunately is lacking. We are ready to prepare such strategy, without charge. We have the expertise and technical know-how to do it, they only have to ask for it, he said.
In his remarks, Petrou said that hundreds of flights are carried out on a daily basis, with millions of people flying to destinations. On the day of the crash, another 120,000 flights took place throughout the world carrying several million people safely. Do not forget this, he said, adding that this makes the airplane the safest transport / handling device and the likelihood of an accident is 1 in 1.5 million.
“We want to emphasize this. People may be shocked by these accidents but bear in mind that billions of flights are taking place with billions of passengers and the risks are very small.” He called on people to wait for the result of the investigation into the cause of the accident, noting that many factors may be responsible for the aircraft’s demise.