Taiwan to host international flight safety conference for 16 nations

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Aviation representatives of 16 countries will attend an international conference on flight safety in Taipei next week, Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council (ASC) said Tuesday.Some 40 investigators from official aviation accident investigation organizations around the world will participate in the annual Accident Investigator Recorder (AIR) meeting, which will focus this year on marine salvage, damaged recorder processing and new investigation technologies, said ASC head Kuan Wen-lin.As a founding member of the AIR, Taiwan can have significant influence in the global aviation community, although it is not a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), he said.For example, Taiwan has a key role of maintaining an AIR platform called the "International Recorder Investigator Group" on which flight safety information is discussed, Kuan said.He said almost all flight safety issues deliberated in the ICAO are usually discussed first on the platform among AIR members.The AIR was established in 2003 by the ASC, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety in France, and Australian Transport Safety Bureau.The AIR was created in recognition of the importance of maintaining dialogue about global flight safety cooperation and technology developments, including advances related to cockpit voice recorders and flight recorders.Among the current 25 members, 16 will attend the meeting Sept. 18-20 in Taipei, namely the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Russia, and Papua New Guinea, Kuan said.Taiwan last hosted the AIR conference in 2008, with professionals from the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong attending.