Gov’t puts high priority on aviation safety plan

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Gov’t puts high priority on aviation safety plan

The Korean government plans to improve aviation safety this year as the country looks to export its safety technology to other developing countries.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said yesterday it is currently working to carry out its aviation safety enforcement plan this year. The ministry said that although Korea has the world’s sixth-largest air transportation volume, the safety problem is a recent issue.

According to the ministry’s data, a total of 115 aviation accidents have occurred and 23 people have died in the last 10 years. For 2012, the total number of fatal accidents decreased, but the number of small incidents that could lead to fatal accidents increased, along with cases of safety failures, which soared from 793 to 948 compared to a year ago.

Since the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency specializing in aviation, also changed its evaluation system this year, the ministry said that upgrading its safety plan is essential. Korea topped the ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program in 2008 after scoring 98.89 points out of 100.

The ministry said its first goal is to reduce the number of accidents or incidents by 10 percent compared to 2012, and upgrade its aviation safety process. It will also reinforce a pilot education and maintenance program for newly-created air carriers and low- cost carriers.

The government said that it will also support development of the KC-100 four-seat light aircraft. The aircraft is currently manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and expected to be released in October.

Meanwhile, the ministry said that the educational program concerning its aviation management system for aviation officials opened yesterday. Korea will explain its Standards Management and Implementation System and Safety Oversight Management System to 15 countries, including the Philippines, Ghana, Thailand and Estonia.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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