I've decided to seperate my observation regarding the Swiss regulatory authority from the thread that pertains to the article published in Switzerland that reports that swissair pilots cheated on the ATPL exams.
What I find most interesting in this thread on Pprune is the mention of the cozy relationship swissair had with Switzerland's regulatory authority- The Swiss Federal Bureau for civil aviation (BAZL/OFAC). We witnessed in frustration this very thing when a man named Leon Vonlanthen, Assistant Director of the Federal Civil Aviation Office (OFAC) accused Swissair of having exerted pressure on its administration to approve the installation of 'films and video games (the IFEN) in a hurry'. "We were looking only at what we were able to see, the installations were hidden by a covering" claimed Leon Vonlanthen. The Swiss government claimed to have done an investigation regarding what Vonlanthen said, but it became obvious that BAZL was a big advocate for swissair and proceeded to discredit this administrator's honest concerns and observations. Once again, the truth about the IFEN and it's installation was covered up to protect the airline and it's reputation by the Swiss aviation regulatory body that was supposed to be looking out for passengers' safety.
Also from Gary Stoller's USA TODAY article regarding Leon Vanlanthen's honest remarks: Swissair was given permission to operate the planes, although one of the Swiss aviation agency's inspectors told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung after Flight 111's crash that his agency had to hurry its inspection to meet Swissair's flight schedules and that much of the entertainment system work was not visible. The installations were hidden, and the inspections were "a pure alibi exercise," inspector Leon Vonlanthen was quoted as saying.Vonlanthen, now president of a small Swiss airline, refuses to discuss the entertainment system inspection.The Swiss aviation agency refused to answer any questions about its oversight role. After the crash, the agency said it granted Swissair temporary authorization, because Hollingsead gave SR Technics, Swissair's maintenance arm, an FAA document, Form 337, that stated the systems met certification requirements.
[b]From the Canadian Transportation & Safety Board's Final Report:
Swiss FOCA:As the regulatory authority in Switzerland, the Swiss FOCA had the authority to certify the IFEN installation in Swissair aircraft. The FOCA did not, however, issue a separate STC, but accepted the FAA STC ST00236LA-D and the use of Form 337. FAA AC43.9-1E states: FAA Form 337 is not authorized for use on other than US-registered aircraft. If a foreign civil air authority requests the form, as a record of work performed, it may be provided. The form should be executed in accordance with the FAR and this AC. The foreign authority should be notified on the form that it is not an official record and that it will not be recorded by the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Although Form 337 is not typically used in Switzerland, this method was acceptable to the FOCA.
http://www.tsb.gc.ca/en/reports/air/1998/a98h0003/02sti/18additionalinformation/companies.aspThis message has been edited. Last edited by: BF,
Very Interesting development today:
Thursday 26.02.2004, CET 04:47
Swiss beef up air safety
swissinfo February 25, 2004 5:21 PM
Swiss aviation safety is at a crossroads The Swiss authorities have announced they will hire an extra 60 aviation specialists to improve safety in Switzerlandï¿½s skies.
The move comes amid a shake-up of the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) and follows calls for an overhaul of air safety mechanisms in Switzerland.
Transport minister Moritz Leuenberger said on Wednesday that the government was responding to serious criticisms of the civil aviation office in the wake of a series of accidents.
The new appointments are just one of a number of recommendations made by a Dutch institute, which was commissioned by the Swiss government to review air safety.
This followed the ï¿½berlingen air disaster in July 2002 when two jets collided in Swiss-controlled airspace over southern Germany, killing 71 people.
On Tuesday an air traffic controller on duty at the time of the crash was stabbed to death at his Zurich home. Police are investigating a possible link between the two incidents.
The report concluded that air safety levels in Switzerland, although extremely good, had been declining at the same time as they were improving in other western European nations.
ï¿½Our aim is to climb back to the top of those countries with the safest civil aviation,ï¿½ said Leuenberger.
The studyï¿½s authors called for a national air safety policy and increased resources, as well as a reorganisation of the bodies overseeing air safety in order to improve their efficiency.
The first casualty of the report was FOCAï¿½s director, Andrï¿½ Auer, who departed during the summer. His successor, Raymond Cron, was named in December but has yet to start work.
Separation of tasks
As part of the ï¿½Topasï¿½ (Topping Aviation Safety) project, policy and safety will also be separated within the FOCA.
The Dutch report criticised the fact that the same people were responsible for policy and safety, adding that working methods were out of date and inefficient.
The authors said this was borne out by the fact that more than 100 people had died in three major accidents since 2000.
According to the transport minister, the new organisational structure of the FOCA would reflect the latest advances in aviation safety.
Four new departments at the FOCA, dealing with aircraft, operations, infrastructures, and safety and risk management, will oversee aviation safety in the future.
The FOCA will also modify its work methods. Instead of carrying out spot checks, it will be expected undertake a systematic surveillance of Switzerlandï¿½s aviation sector.
Max Friedli, the FOCAï¿½s interim head, had appealed for more staff just over a week ago.
The transport ministry had been hoping to take on 80 air safety specialists, but it will have to settle for just 60 in two batches.
The FOCA has already undertaken a review of smaller Swiss airports such as Bern and Lugano. For years, inspectors failed to check all aspects related to operations at these airfields, possibly compromising security.
Officials admitted last August that international standards were not being upheld in Lugano.
According to Daniel Gï¿½ring, spokesman for the FOCA, the changes should be completed by the beginning of next year.
ï¿½We will start hiring people as soon as parliament approves the extra SFr11.5 million ($9.3 million) credit,ï¿½ he told swissinfo.
Part of the costs will be funded by the transport ministry from its own budget, while airport taxes will also be raised.
Leuenberger admitted that the additional costs could penalise Swiss airportsï¿½ competitiveness, but he said that safety was paramount.
swissinfo with agencies
quote:I've got news for the authors. Try 329 in the last 5 and a half years. See my post below about the Swiss authorities approval of the entertainment system though it was covered up at the time they looked at it. Let's keep the numbers straight. They speak volumes about the problems the Swiss authorities should be correcting. I'm tired of them ignoring sr111 and the lessons that should have been learned as a result of this terrible tragedy.
It is really an outrage that there was no investigation conducted in Switzerland following the CTSB's final report last March, but hardly surprising. That would mean that the Swiss authorities would have to examine individuals involved in the government and what might have gone on while it was decided that swissair should buy a risky gambling system from a small, inexperienced company in Arizona (IFT) with Alexander Haig on the board of directors. Apparently the Swiss government was to benefit from the profits generated by this IFEN system improperly installed on the jet that crashed.
Laasner said the overall responsibility for monitoring games of chance, their rules of
play and Swissair's compliance will rest with the
Swiss National International Lottery Board. The board will also receive all net profits remaining after deductions of operating expenses, which will go into the overall lottery fund, for allocation to various social and cultural projects around the
This is from a press release that was published on 01/28/97 in New York.
As a friend of mine always says, "Follow the money."
Another article in the Swiss press published today:
|Powered by Social Strata|