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IAF seeks MOD nod to share mishap data with foreign nations

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Image Credit: IAF

NEW DELHI (PTI): The IAF has sought Defence Ministry approval to share air mishap data with friendly foreign air forces that operate a similar inventory.

IAF Director General (Flight Safety) Air Marshal T S Randhawa told reporters here Saturday that the IAF wanted to share experiences with other countries so as to enable improved flight safety.

"We have asked the Defence Ministry to allow us to share air mishap reports and data with friendly air forces that operate the same inventory of aircraft as IAF. This, we think, will help in bettering safety standards of the IAF," Randhawa said.

Earlier in the day, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, stressing the importance of flight safety, told delegates from nearly 20 countries of the International Flight Safety Conference-2009 (IFSCON-09) that Air Force missions could not be completed unless the flight operations were safe.

"In the past, the 'Mission' was considered paramount in military aviation and all efforts were focused towards achievement of the mission. But remember, that a mission cannot be accomplished unless the force is able to reach, do the required job and come back," Naik said, inaugurating the conference, the third biennial event.

"The implication must be clear to all of you, that safe operations are intrinsic to mission accomplishment and cannot be treated separately," Naik said, adding that there should be no segregation, and any divide created was only procedural and artificial.

"Therefore, we must concentrate on amalgamating all aspects of the conduct of safe operations as a whole and not as individual elements. Only then can we truly carry out safe military operations. This should be our overall Flight Safety Strategy," he said.

The Air Force chief said in the technologically-advanced age and with resources becoming scarce and expensive, the required hands-on experience seemed to be reducing in all spheres, be it a pilot or a technician.

"We need to address this deficit. Simulators, training, sharing the cumulative experiences and communication are some of the ways that come to my mind. As an organisation, we need to address this issue in all seriousness," he said.

Stating that military aviation was an inherently risky business, since air forces operated at the limits of the human being, machine and the environment, Naik said accident probe became extremely important, as speedy communication of the findings could help in averting future mishaps elsewhere.

"This would ensure that there is minimal loss of any kind, human or material through accidents or incidents," he added.

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