MONTREAL – IFALPA is closely monitoring the situation unfolding in Lima, Peru after Friday’s runway collision involving a departing LATAM Airlines A320 and a firetruck crossing the runway. Our condolences go out to the families and friends of the firefighters who lost their lives in this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the injured.
IFALPA stresses the need to avoid speculation as to the contributing factors of this accident. Only an extensive, complete accident investigation conducted in accordance with ICAO Annex 13 will provide the recommendations required to advance aviation safety and prevent reoccurrence. The Federation will offer the expertise of its local Accredited Accident Investigators to the relevant Investigation Authorities to help gather facts and pertinent safety and security information.
The flight crew of LATAM 2213 were also placed under arrest and held in custody in Lima up until last night. The Federation considers this situation unacceptable. Holding individuals in custody who are already under intense psychological pressure due to an accident is extremely detrimental to flight safety and can only hinder the investigation. Further, it shows a complete disregard for the Positive Safety Culture principles laid out by Annexes 13 (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) and 19 (Safety Management) to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. It may also lead the public to conclude that the accident resulted from the flight crew’s intentional acts, rather than technical issues or a string of errors originating from multiple factors.
In any similar circumstances, the flight crew should be provided immediate medical care and evaluation. In no circumstances is it appropriate to question them in the immediate aftermath of any accident or incident until they have been professionally evaluated by qualified medical personnel who can determine their mental and physical fitness to contribute accurate information to investigators.
IFALPA therefore urges the Republic of Peru to adhere to and fully implement ICAO’s positive safety culture principles, especially in the wake of such a tragic accident.