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HPR Discusses Aircraft Accident Investigation Bill

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Ethiopia’s federal legislature, House of Peoples’ Representative, discussed a draft proclamation to establish an independent body that will be bestowed with an exclusive power to conduct investigation on aircraft accidents and incidents.

Commenting on the issue Amanuel Abraham, Deputy Government Whip, said the draft proclamation aimed at creating strong system which enhances curb aircraft accidents in a manner that suits the country’s ever increasing air transport service.

Safety was an important issue in the aviation industry and part of insuring safety is conducting independent and impartial investigation when aircraft accidents happen and also identifying safety deficiencies from aviation occurrences, Amanuel added.

According to The Reporter, aircraft investigation team is currently at a directorate level under the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA). Such is one of the deficiencies International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) pointed out in its safety oversight audit findings.

The report noted the authority to license and investigate accidents should not be given to one entity. It suggested such should be rectified.

The draft law lists 10 duties that will be given to the newly to be established entity. This includes he power to get unfettered access and control over an aircraft accident scene and any relevant materials, tests and evidence from the surrounding of the accident scene.

It will also have the power to conduct safety investigation into aircraft, accidents and serious incidents. Nonetheless, it will only start the investigation upon receiving a go ahead from the Ministry of Trade or other concerned body.

According to the draft proclamation if a civil aircraft accident happens in a military reserved area, the power to investigate the accident is given for Ministry of Defense (MoD).

The draft bill is entitled “Proclamation to Provide for the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation” and if it is passed by the House a bureau dubbed Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau will be established.