Minister Duma’s statement on the Air Niugini B737-800 accident at Chuuk International Airport

October 2, 2018

Tuesday 02nd October, 2018 – Port Moresby: The Minister of State Owned Enterprises, William Duma, has asked the people of Papua New Guinea to be patient and allow the skilled investigators from the Accidents Investigation Commission to complete their investigation following the B737-800 accident at Chuuk International Airport on Friday last week.

Minister Duma stated, “As in all accident investigations, we are sure there will be lessons that all operators around the world will be able to learn from this event. However, it is important to allow the investigators, which include inspectors from both our own PNG AIC, representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia where the events occurred, NTSB from the USA and also Boeing as the aircraft manufacturer, to be able to complete their work. Accident investigations are complex multi-agency processes. They are completing this work following the well-established procedures of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13. Typically, preliminary and final reports can take many months and sometimes over a year to complete, such as the report into US Air 1549, which had an accident in New York. The accident occurred in January 2009 and the final report was adopted in May 2010. While we do not know how long this investigation will take, it is important to set expectations. This work is entirely independent and critical to ensuring ongoing improvements in aviation safety. There is no room in aviation safety for rumours or political point scoring; as they do nothing to assist in this important investigation”.

Minister Duma thanked the highly experienced crew that were operating P2- PXE for their professionalism as well as the local responders and people of Micronesia, the US Navy personnel, and all others who quickly moved in to assist with transporting the passengers from the aircraft to the shore and taking care of our people.

The Minister said Air Niugini Ltd, which maintains the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), has had an enviable reputation for safe operations over many years in extremely demanding environments, and is confident that despite the challenges of this event, the airline will continue to deliver safe services for the people of PNG.

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