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Ministry of Construction And Transportation Brought on `Aviation Safety Category II`

Ministry of Construction And Transportation Brought on `Aviation Safety Category II`

Posted September. 28, 2001 08:50,   


The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) confirmed yesterday that the Ministry of Construction and Transportation`s (MCT) indolent administration, which ignored the repeated warnings of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) throughout a long period of time, was the major reason that led Korea to be placed in Category II in an aviation safety assessment by the FAA in August.

The BAI, which conducted a special audit to find out how Korea came to receive the Category II from August 20th through September 6th, announced yesterday that it found 10 problems, and asked the Ministry to reprimand six related officials, while issuing a warning notice to the MCT.

The BAI asked the MCT to dismiss three officials, including a former chief of the transportation policy Mr. Kim, former directors of aviation Mr. Kim and Mr. Ji, and to suspend two officials, including a former director of the aviation safety Mr. Kim and a former director of the operation technology Mr. Lee, from their post. The BAI also asked the MCT to discipline Mr. Lee, a former director of the aviation safety.

According to the BAI, although the U.S. Embassy in Korea repeatedly warned the MCT saying that `since the U.S. has intensified the aviation safety management, the Korean government should take prompt measures on this` on August 23rd 1999, December 7th 1999, and June 2nd 2000, the MCT ignored such warnings.

According to the BAI, when the FAA officials visited Korea to discuss the aviation safety assessment in July and August 2000, the MCT made no efforts to find out the time, content and method of the FAA aviation safety assessment, but simply made an improvement plan which is to be completed by the end of this year.

The BAI announced that the MCT should have asked for postponing of the evaluation if it thought it would be difficult to improve before the FAA`s aviation safety assessment took place. However, the MCT made no attempts, thus, resulting in receiving Category II in an aviation safety assessment on August 17th.

A BAI official said that ``it was revealed that the MCT did not recognize the seriousness of the situation until May, in which the issue of the aviation safety categorization bulged out, since the U.S. Embassy reported to the MCT in August 1999. However, the MCT did not take any measure.``

This official added that ``the MCT officials were careless, thinking that `the U.S. would not take a severe measure against the South Korea, its allied country`, or `there won`t be any big problem since the Korea is included in the world`s top ten aviation countries`. Their indolent attitude brought on the huge national humiliation.``

The BAI advised that the MCT should expand the number of experts in the area of aviation safety technology, it should thoroughly grasp the trend of international aviation, and should eventually establish a separate responsible unit for aviation safety management in order to prevent such incident.

Boo Hyung-Kwon bookum90@donga.com