There are inadequacies that if not improved, Vietnam's aviation industry will suffer significant losses.
Two incidents of aviation safety in the past week related to Vietnam have shown inadequacies that if not improved, Vietnam's aviation industry will suffer significant losses.
Two alarming incidents
The first case was a plane of Vietnam Airlines almost landed without lowering the landing gear in Melbourne (Australia). This is rated as a serious incident that can completely cause an accident. Thankfully, the air traffic unit at Melbourne airport detected and promptly informed the pilot to handle the situation and make a safe landing.
The question is what happened in the cockpit? Does the pilot forget to lower the gear? Australian Aviation Authority is temporarily detaining the 2 Vietnamese pilots to investigate the incident.
The second incident was that of the plane of T'way Air (South Korea) colliding with a strange object, causing dents and broken nose cone when approaching to land at an altitude of 600m at Tan Son Nhat airport.
If so, what are the responsibilities of the relevant authorities in ensuring airport safety?
The above cases will be clarified by the authorities, but apart from the direct responsibility of the airline and Tan Son Nhat Airport of ACV, it is the responsibility of the state management agency, ie the Aviation Department of Vietnam.
In the aviation industry, to ensure a safe flight, there should be no errors, not even small ones. Therefore, the incident in Melbourne or the incident of T'way Air in Tan Son Nhat is alarming for Vietnam's aviation industry.
These alarms need to ring more strongly in the context of aviation infrastructure, manpower management and aviation safety supervision being overloaded, while there are many aircraft with many new routes added, and it seems that there will be more new airlines coming out.
Many experts warn that with the current situation of the lack of infrastructure, plus the ability of air traffic control, the limited aviation safety supervision capacity of the aviation industry if they are not urgently advanced, aviation management and supervision capacity will plummet.
The lesson of licensing too many airlines while infrastructure and safety management are not guaranteed had happened in Thailand.
A few years ago, Thailand had up to 41 airlines, but currently, it has only 16 firms and the authority is trying to reduce this number. But the capacity of infrastructure, human resources, and safety management and supervision have not kept up, so the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) must hang a "black flag" forcing the country to improve the situation.
Thai airlines were not allowed to expand their businesses, were prohibited from flying with US airlines and were banned from flying to Northeast Asia, China, and the United States. At that time, not only the airlines and the aviation industry but also the whole economy of Thailand were damaged.
Experts had pointed out the group interests in new airline licensing and underestimated the safety factor of the Thai aviation regulator at that time. After being "flagged" by ICAO, the Thai aviation regulator had to reform. Dozens of Thai airlines were dissolved because they could not meet the requirements for capacity and safety.
The story of the Thai aviation industry is completely repeatable for Vietnam. Reportedly, the Department of Aviation and the Ministry of Transport are considering proposing new establishment to 4-5 airlines. If 1-2 additional licenses are granted, it is very difficult to reject the remaining investors. But if they license the new airlines massively, the Thai incident is likely to happen again.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc once requested that the new establishment or the expansion of airlines must ensure the maintenance and improvement of flight safety operations of airlines; safety supervision capacity of the authorities; ability to provide specific capabilities (pilots, engineers, mechanics repairing and maintaining aircraft ...); and the responsiveness of aviation infrastructure.
If the Prime Minister's instructions are not strictly enforced by the Ministry of Transport, the Vietnam Aviation Administration and relevant agencies, the safety of passengers and airlines will be at risk. The aviation incidents and dangerous levels will not stop at the two cases mentioned above, negatively affecting the entire aviation industry and causing damage to Vietnam's economy.
Source: Thanh Le - VnEconomy