Latin America Calls for Continued Safety Push

 - December 3, 2012, 1:35 PM

The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) has improved aviation safety across the region but it still has work to do on this score, according to the group’s president Roberto Kriete. At the recent 9th ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Panama City, Panama, Kriete said the association “will step up its efforts to urge authorities to make the IATA Operational Safety Audit [IOSA] accreditation a requirement for certification in the region.”

Kriete said ALTA is proud of completing four consecutive years with no fatal accidents resulting in a safety record that is now better than the world average for IOSA-certified carriers. He added that non-IOSA carriers in the region have an accident rate four times higher than IOSA-certified airlines. ALTA wants to see an IOSA-like program for airlines operating aircraft that are not eligible for IOSA certification.

Air traffic control bottlenecks also present challenges for the region where one out of three flights departs each day from a congested airport. ALTA is calling on regional governments to reinvest some of the tax money collected from airlines since so many new-generation aircraft are unable to use their onboard technology effectively due to poor infrastructure and cumbersome ATC procedures.