AIC will not probe aircraft destruction

The Accident Investigation Commission will not be investigating the events in Mendi, Southern Highlands Province, which resulted in the destruction of a Dash-8 aircraft operated by Link PNG.

AIC Chief Commissioner Hubert Namani said the AIC was promptly notified about the Mendi riots last Thursday afternoon and the substantial damage to Mendi town and airport infrastructure, including the aircraft.

Namani said in accordance with International Standards, this is not an air safety matter because the aircraft was parked and the engines were shut down.

However, he said it is an extremely serious aviation security occurrence and a criminal act warranting police and aviation security investigation due to it occurring on an airport.

Namani made a strong statement about the role of the AIC and its ongoing commitment to cooperate with other agencies in the quest for aviation safety.

He said, as always, the AIC stands ready to provide assistance, but this is a police and security matter that will inevitably result in blame and liability, both of which are outside the mandate of the AIC.

He added that any assistance by the AIC would have to be provided without becoming involved in a blame investigation.

Namani further reiterated that at this point in time, such assistance has neither been requested by law enforcement authorities nor is it contemplated by the AIC.


Freddy Mou