Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cambodia's PMT Air has safety problems

PMT Air, a Cambodian airline, was found to have unattended safety deficiencies in an inspection of foreign carriers serving South Korea, a report showed Thursday.

The inspection of seven foreign airlines by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) followed the crash of a PMT Air plane last month in southern Cambodia in which 13 South Korean tourists died.

PMT Air topped the list with 10 deficiencies, followed by Russia's SAT Airlines and Cambodia's Royal Khmer Airlines, with seven and five safety problems respectively, the report said.

PMT Air was cited because its crew captains, non-maintenance personnel, conducted safety maintenance checks 26 times over the past three months. The company was also found to have not updated its service route guidelines.

The airline currently runs six flights each week between South Korea and Siem Reap, a popular Cambodian tourist destination.

SAT Airlines was found to have used non-standard parts in the front wheels of its aircraft, while Royal Khmer hasn't updated its service route guidelines.

The report will be forwarded to air safety officials of the nations involved, along with demands for them to strengthen safety protocols, CASA officials said.

The Transportation Ministry announced earlier in the year that it plans to introduce a safety watch list of carriers with a high risk of accidents, similar to the one initiated by the European Union last year, which placed restrictions on 179 airlines from 14 nations because of safety concerns.

SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap News)

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