KARACHI - Speakers at an international seminar urged the government to establish an independent safety board, Pakistan Transportation Safety Board, to ensure that aviation safety becomes its priorities in Pakistan.

They were speaking at a one-day aviation safety seminar ‘Challenges for Aviation Safety: Pakistan-South Asia” organiSed by Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (Palpa) at a local hotel here on Thursday.

Pakistan International Airline chairman Rao Qamar Suleman, being the chief guest, said that the PIA had remarkable and very competent human resource to take all measures to make Pakistan’s airspace safe and to educate people involved in aviation safety domain.

“In Pakistan we need to have more and more people educated with a coherent and organised initiative on aviation safety, which is a new subject in Pakistan,’ said the PIA Chairman.

He said that PIA will continue to support all the efforts on aviation safety while special emphasis would be given on training of human resource to enhance awareness on safety issues. “Safety management systems academically is a good terminology but people implementing such systems should have stakes in aviation which will enable them to provide effective support,” he reasoned.

“We need to lay a lot of emphasis on human resources which is a basic factor in safety, including aviation safety while data analysis and management is important that must be promoted to avoid repeating mistakes that eventually cause accidents.”

On the occasion, Palpa President Capt Suhail Baloch in his speech asked the government to establish an independent Pakistan Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) with the representations from Palpa, SAEP, and ATC Guild.

He said, “Professional safety in any field and more so in aviation is a continuous effort. Hence the need to regularly update, adapt and adopt to international standards.”

He was of the opinion that Palpa alone cannot safeguard the interest of flight safety in Pakistan. ‘We need to understand that pilots in any aviation industry or airline are the last line of defense, when it comes to safety, of any such organization,’ he added.

Curt Lewis, an expert in Aviation Accident Investigation, in his video address congratulated the PIA new chairman on his appointment and said that he had a great responsibility to steer the airline out of difficult times, for PIA had a proud history. He also recognised the efforts of Palpa to take this bold step of bringing aviation community together for an important cause.

Curt Lewis is currently president/owner of Curt Lewis and Associates, LLC – a consulting firm specialises in aviation safety, accident investigation and reconstruction, and airport and aircraft security. He has in excess of 35 years of safety experience as a professional pilot, safety engineer/director, and air safety investigator. He is currently serving as an Assistant Professor with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, while he also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Occupational Safety at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

“Pakistan like many other places in the world is facing infrastructure issues, and to make things better it has to effectively implement better safety management systems,” said the president Curt Lewis & Associates, who served with American Airlines/AMR Corporation for 17 years. He added that safety management systems are to make you sure about fully comprehending the risks that are around there.

He further said that safety management systems were simply to allocate your money and resources against risks. “Safety management systems can be made unnecessarily complicated, but simplicity is the key to make intelligent decisions as how to manage risks,” he added.

Former Attorney General and senior advocate Supreme Court, Anwar Mansoor Khan in his message highlighted ‘Legal Aspect of Aviation Safety’. Masood Karim, executive director Aviation and Professional Consulting, and also an aviation safety consultant, called for the adoption of systematic safety systems.