Report: Legislative Flaws Endanger Aviation Safety

An International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) report cites serious legislative flaws that could damage the standing of Israel's aviation industry, TheMarker has learned.

The most worrying finding is the lack of suitable legislation in the event of a mass aviation disaster in the country. The law does not designate which body would be responsible for search and rescue operations, if an airplane flying over the country's skies were to crash.

Another grave finding relates to the lack of the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) enforcement and sanctioning authority over institutions within the industry, such as the Israel Airports Authority or Israel Aircraft Industries, in the event that an institution under scrutiny does not repair defects as ordered by the CAA.

It seems the CAA has no authority, as required by law, to levy sanctions on bodies under its supervision.

The report could have financial consequences for passengers and airlines flying to Israel. Because the report's interim findings are distributed worldwide, international insurance companies are liable to demand higher premiums on the basis of safety flaws. Should that happen, airlines would be forced to raise their ticket prices to and from Israel.

The international team of inspectors headed by a representative of the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority also discovered a lack of training programs and professional courses, particularly for CAA officials responsible for supervising the airline industry within the CAA. The team revealed that for five years, inspectors had not undergone any professional training as required.

The ICAO team presented the primary faults two days ago before the CAA at Ben-Gurion International Airport. CAA director Udi Zohar said he is waiting for the interim report, and that the CAA would act to fix any shortcomings as quickly as possible.