NO MORE PUNISHMENT

Although no one was fatally hurt in the hurried El Al departure, the story reminds us of a recent announcement by Japan Airlines that it will exempt pilots and maintenance workers from punishment even if their errors result in a fatal accident. Such a policy has been the norm among US and European airlines, but […]


Although no one was fatally hurt in the hurried El Al departure, the story reminds us of a recent announcement by Japan Airlines that it will exempt pilots and maintenance workers from punishment even if their errors result in a fatal accident. Such a policy has been the norm among US and European airlines, but no organisation involved in the public transport system in Japan has so far adopted it.

The Japanese airline said it puts priority on investigating the cause of a serious accident and believes that the new policy would foster confidence between the company and its employees and help produce swift and accurate reports on any trouble, even on a pilot in a hurry.

The new airline policy is likely to generate a debate and may provoke criticism from survivors and families of victims in previous accidents, of which the airline has had its fair share in the past.

Analyses by Boeing have shown that 70 percent of the aviation accidents that took place over the past 10 years, resulted from human errors. Under the new policy, JAL will stop slapping punishments or penalties, such as pay cuts and suspension from work, on those involved in an accident. They will instead be removed from their main duties for a certain period of time and go through reeducation programmes or counselling sessions.