FAA, passengers association survey foreign airline safety


Q: Is there a source of information that would let one compare the safety records of foreign airlines?

A: At least two bodies, the Federal Aviation Administration and the International Airline Passengers Association, keep records on safety standards of foreign airlines.

The FAA, which issued a report on the subject last September, makes its assessments of countries, not individual carriers.

Of 30 countries assessed, those judged not to meet international safety standards were Belize, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Zaire. Carriers from those countries are barred from flying to or from the United States.

Four countries were allowed to fly into the United States under heightened FAA inspections. They are Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Netherlands Antilles.

The International Airline Passengers Association (at 5335 Wisconsin Avenue N.W., Suite 440, Washington D.C. 20015) conducted a 10-year study of fatal accidents per 1 million flights among individual airlines from 1982 to 1992, their latest study, and found four problem areas: China; Russia; all of Asia except Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and Colombia. Developing Asian nations with the largest airlines are India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Thailand.

The association says preliminary results from a 15-year study now being conducted show that most developing Asian nations have between four and five fatal jet accidents per 1 million departures, 10 times the rate for the industrialized world. The major problems, it says, are incomplete pilot training and poor or nonexistent cockpit discipline. Russia's problem was described as an aging airline fleet, China's as a lack of adequately trained pilots and aging planes.

A: Is there something called the Pendolino Railroad that either starts or stops in Rome?

Q: The Pendolino high-speed train links Rome to such major Italian cities as Milan, Venice and Turin. There are also Pendolino trains to Bari, Savona and Naples.

The Pendolino, which means commuter, has its own tracks and travels faster than the average intercity train.

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