Thursday, May 13, 2010

AirAsia X denies flying too low when approaching Gold Coast, Australia

Malaysia's low cost carrier, AirAsia X has denied that its aircraft was flying too low while approaching Gold Coast airport in two incidents last week as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigates the airline for two safety breaches on May 3 and 4.

“For the first incident, we do not think it is serious as we have checked all our flight data. We will supply the data to the ATSB so that they can analyse and compare with air traffic control data to see if there are any anomalies.

“They want to routinely check but we believe there is no issue. Whatever it may be, the safety of passengers will not be compromised,'' AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said.

As for the second incident, Azran said “we do not think anyone was in danger. There was low visibility and the aircraft had to be diverted to Brisbane when it was approaching Gold Coast,'' he said.

The only inconvenience was on the part of the passengers that had to land in Brisbane instead of Gold Coast but that was “the safest thing to do because of the weather conditions.''

The ATSB had posted details of the two incidents on its website which details out the incident on May 4 whereby the AirAsia X A330-300, registration 9M-XXB aircraft went “below the radar lowest safe altitude” while approaching the airport after a flight from Kuala Lumpur and ATSB classified the incident as serious.

Flight Global reported that the approach was made in instrument meteorological conditions, indicating low visibility due to cloudy or bad weather conditions at that time.

The bureau said a similar incident involving the same aircraft occurred on May 3 in visual meteorological conditions, which indicates sufficient visibility. An investigation into the incidents is ongoing, said the ATSB, adding that no injuries occurred as a result.

“To say we are putting passengers at risk and flying below the radar is completely incorrect. The landing was smooth and we are transparent and that is why we are sharing all the flight data. We will fully cooperate with the ATSB,'' Azran said.

source : the star online

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