« Reply #1 on: 2014-07-20 12:03:17 »
As the politicians lobby their own agendas, willing to risk higher global tensions at all our expense. The fact I mind remains! No one should have been flying over a known war zone.
Almost all civil air tragedies require a cascade of poor judgement and in this case poor judgement on the airlines for flying over a war zone to keep profit margins, countries selling military rockets for profit, Russia and USA using a civil war to further their personal agendas; I keep forgetting humans can be disgusting swine.
The search for answers begins in tragedy of flight MH17
The China Post new staff
July 20, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
The incident has raised many questions; especially whether MH17 should had been flying over war-torn eastern Ukraine. According to various sources, this air route between Europe and Asia is followed by dozens of jets a day. Why did the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) declare the flight route safe? More importantly, could the MH17 tragedy have been avoided? The response to this last question is regretfully yes.
Based on the precautionary principle the precept that an action should not be taken if the consequences are uncertain and potentially dangerous the ICAO, Malaysia Airlines, Russian and Ukrainian authorities as well as the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), should have anticipated the consequences of the worsening conflict with the pro-Russian separatists. They should have taken into account anticipatory actions of the parties involved, the right of travelers to know the risks involved in their journey, the need for alternative assessments and full cost accounting in war times as well as the importance of a participatory decision-making process that clearly evaluates the irreversible damage that could be caused to those who have nothing to do with an armed conflict travelers.
To begin with, they should have considered anticipatory actions in the region. Pro-separatist rebels already shot down a fighter jet and a military transport plane two low-flying Ukrainian aircraft earlier this week. There was a duty to take anticipatory actions to prevent last week's incident. Some airlines had already been avoiding the area amid concerns over the deteriorating security, but many government organizations, businesses and international groups who had failed to take any actions now share major responsibility for the crash.
After all, travelers have the right to know prior to departure the risks involved in our journey and the burden to supply this information lies with the carriers, not with the general public. In late April, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Notice to Airman (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. carriers from flying over the Crimean region and portions adjacent to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov due to the unilateral and illegal action by Russia to assert control over Crimean airspace. The same organization issued another NOTAM on Tuesday prohibiting flights between 26,000 feet and 32,000 feet in an expanded area close to where MH17 crashed. Malaysia Airlines said in a statement Friday that the pilots of MH17 filed a flight plan asking to fly at 35,000 feet throughout Ukrainian airspace. Upon entering this airspace, however, Ukrainian air traffic controllers instructed MH7 to fly at 33,000 feet. Even though the flight plan was approved by Eurocontrol, the sole organization responsible for determining civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace, who is responsible for allowing passenger jets to fly at high altitudes over one of the world's hotspots? Who should the families believe in their quest for an answer to this tragedy?
In times of war, all parties involved in the safety of innocent people should further conduct regular alternative assessments to examine a full range of alternatives and select the option with the least potential impact on human lives, including the alternative of doing nothing. According to website FlightRadar24, 15 out of 16 airlines in the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines fly this route over Ukraine. European airlines, including British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and KLM, have also used the same route and traversed the same airspace in recent days. Yet, some airlines chose to avoid these areas for which a series of notices to pilots had been issued in recent weeks. Australia's Qantas reportedly stopped flying over Ukraine several months ago, while Korean Air also rerouted cargo and passenger flights in early March amid the worsening situation over the Crimean peninsula. Did the passengers know that the airline chose the most direct and economic flight route possible in order to keep their fuel costs down despite the potential risks? Maybe not.
No airline should risk the safety of their passengers, crew and aircraft for the sake of fuel savings and a full cost accounting should take into account the information on air space availability provided by government and air traffic control authorities. When evaluating potential alternatives, there is a duty to consider all the reasonably foreseeable costs, but short- and long-term benefits should be considered when making decisions. We all agree that civil aircraft are not military targets all governments agreed to that in the Chicago Convention signed in 1944 but flying a passenger jet on a route that is assumed safe is a tragedy for 298 people, and it should not have happened in any airspace.
In fact, a participatory decision process is the key for making sure that decisions applying the precautionary principle are transparent, participatory and informed by the best available science and other relevant information. That wasn't the case last week and we sincerely hope that it will be the case in the future.