Dr. Assad Kotaite
International Civil Aviation Organisation
999 University Street
CANADA H3C 5H7
April 18, 2001
Dear Mr. President.
I am writing to you to seek the assistance of ICAO on a very delicate matter which has arisen in Iceland in the wake of a tragic aircraft accident which occurred last August. This accident, involving a six-seat single engined aircraft, took the lives of five of the six occupants with one survivor still remaining in a critical condition.
The accident was investigated by the Icelandic Aviation Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) which is an autonomous body set up in 1996. The board's report on this accident was published on 23 March 2001 after a seven month intensive investigative effort. This accident has been the subject of an emotional public debate in the Icelandic media. Severe criticism has been aimed at the Aviation Accident Investigation Board and its findings and the oversight capability of the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration (ICAA). This discussion has eroded the trust of the public in these important institutions which are vital to aviation safety.
The importance of maintaining and strengthening the confidence of the public in the safety of our civil aviation system cannot be overstated. This is to a large degree based upon the trust enjoyed by the public institutions entrusted with the responsibility of aviation safety.
For this reason I am turning to you Mr. President, with a twofold request. In the first instance I would like to request an evaluation of the oversight function of the Icelandic CAA, based on the outcome of the safety oversight audit undertaken by ICAO last September under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program. In addition to the report on the audit I would like to request that ICAO provide my Ministry with an evaluation of the audit results which can be used to determine the performance of the ICAA in relation to regional and global norms.
Secondly, I would like to request an appraisal of the methodology and approach being used by the AAIB. This work would be undertaken with the full cooperation of the AAIB as well as the ICAA.
An appraisal by ICAO of the quality and performance of these institutions and their work is requested at this critical point in time as a matter of urgency. Any expenditures incurred by ICAO in this effort will be reimbursed by the Icelandic authorities.
I would like to take this opportunity to express to you, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Sturla Böðvarsson (sign)
Dr. Assad Kotaite