Tue, Jul 11, 2006
2004 Letter Warned Of Safety Falling To "Third World
The government on Cyprus says it's just not going to talk about
it -- a developing flap over aviation safety as pointed out
by a British aviation expert two years ago.
Andrew Varley, who represents the British CAA in the
Mediterranean, says efforts to create a credible aviation safety
organization on the island have failed miserably because Cyprus
won't hire the necessary technical staff.
"We have lost count of the hours of work, letters, memos and
other documents we have produced over the last six years with the
aim of helping Cyprus create a credible aviation safety regulatory
body," Varley wrote in the 2004 letter. "A European Union funded
project in 2001/2002 that cost the European Union 357,963 euros
failed completely, mainly due to the inability of the Department to
recruit suitable technical staff within an acceptable
Varley went on to warn that if Cyprus didn't get on the ball...
aviation safety levels there would drop to what he called "third
Now, remember, that letter was written two years ago. What's
been done since? Nothing.
That's the word from the Cypriot government itself in a second
letter -- which, like the first, was published in the magazine
When reporters contacted the Cypriot Minister of Communications,
Harris Thrassou, he said there were two meetings on aviation safety
back in late 2004. He says decisions were made and concrete steps
were taken... but what those decisions were and how they were
implemented, Thrassou won't talk about it.
As Aero-News reported last
August, in the time since Varley wrote his letter a
Cypriot airliner went down near Greece, following a total loss of
cabin pressure. All 114 passengers onboard the Helios Airlines 737
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