Brunei to balance safety with growth in aviation industry

National 2 minutes, 29 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Department of Civil Aviation has set a target to achieve 100 per cent compliance in air transport safety standards by the year 2020, the communications minister yesterday said.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said the department is also aiming to achieve 80 per cent aviation safety compliance in the next two years.

He said the compliance would focus on safety and the critical elements of a safety oversight system based on international standards.

The minister was speaking during the opening of a two-day workshop on civil aviation safety and security issues.

“I am pleased that in the Air Transport Aspiration 2035, the department has targeted to achieve a compliance rate of 80 per cent in year 2017 and 100 per cent compliance in year 2020, in both the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme and the Universal Security Oversight Audit Programme,” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah.

“These encompass the whole spectrum of civil aviation activities, including areas such as aerodromes, air traffic control, communications, personnel licensing, flight operations, airworthiness of aircraft, accident/incident investigation, and transport of dangerous goods by air,” added the minister.

He further said Brunei is not exempted from the ever-changing demands and landscape of the global aviation industry.

“The changes taking place in aviation have been very profound. Aviation industry is no longer just a necessary component in the transportation industry, but it is also a lifestyle choice.

“Therefore, safety and security have major influences in the aviation sector. The market and community in this sector demand and expect timely action on the continual and rapid integration of new technologies that the aviation authority and industry need to respond to,” he added.

A holistic approach on safety is required, he said, noting that regardless of how well and meticulously prepared they are, accidents and incidents can still happen.

He noted the runway incident of Air Asia AK278 last year that disrupted the Brunei International Airport’s operations and the tragedies involving Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia Indonesia.

“These are challenges that we need to learn from, for further improvement in safety and security, and to minimise the chance of such incidents or accidents in the future.”

Additionally, the Civil Aviation Department was urged to strategise and focus on ways to make the country’s aviation sector not only safe, but also economically sustainable.

“In short, to stimulate growth, the DCA must strive to create confidence and promote connectivity,” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah.

Currently, the transport sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) is below two per cent said the minister.

He said the transport sector needs to contribute five per cent to GDP growth to support the efficient movement of people, services, and goods.“Nevertheless, safety and security must and will remain of paramount importance in the operations and development of international air transport, and should at no time be compromised by economic considerations.”

The Brunei Times