Gov’t to inspect all planes before the summer

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Gov’t to inspect all planes before the summer

As the country’s two largest airlines struggle due to a liquidity crunch at Asiana Airlines and the sudden death of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho, the government will strengthen safety inspections before the summer holiday season to prevent potential oversight.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Sunday that it will implement safety measures on all local carriers such as inspections for aircraft defects by the end of next month.

The government will inspect all 400 aircrafts owned by the nine local carriers. It will also analyze any recurring defects over the past year and conduct preventative maintenance.

It will restrict aircrafts that have been in service for over 20 years and those with records of high rates of defects from conducting long-distance or late-night flights.

The government will also conduct special tests on pilots with less than a year of experience or those who have received penalties in the past three years for faulty operation. Those who fail the tests will not be able to operate flights until undergoing further education and assessment.

The ministry added that it will expand inspections on foreign maintenance companies for local carriers and classify them by quality. The government will strengthen inspections on companies with low classifications and said it could cancel maintenance permits should they be found to be inadequate.

The safety inspections and measures will address recent concerns amid management difficulties and incidents at Asiana and Korean Air, according to the Transport Ministry. An Asiana aircraft’s tire was damaged at Gwangju Airport on April 10 and a Korean Air flight was forced to land after hitting a bird on April 11.

The Ministry said it will also strengthen the overall airline safety system by developing a big data analysis platform.


BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]

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