'Air traffic service safe,secure in Brunei'

BRUNEI - The Minister of Communications yesterday assured that the air traffic service in Brunei meets the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

During the final day of the 10th Legislative Council (LegCo) session, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said every aviation authority of member countries will be audited once by ICAO, including Brunei, to ensure the requirements of 19 annexes are met.

The ICAO, a United Nations specialised agency, develops policies and standards necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, regularity, and for aviation environmental protection. The 19 annexes contain standards and recommended practices of safety management requirements, which are amended regularly.

"Alhamdulillah, we have satisfied all requirements, including air traffic control and everything to do with aviation, and I wish to take this opportunity to assure honourable members and the public that airline services in the sultanate comply with the highest standards set by ICAO.

"This is because we place our trust and we submit ourselves to the audit conducted by ICAO,'' added YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah.

The minister was responding to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah Hj Sulaiman's query on whether air traffic control was up to standards.

YB Datin Hjh Salbiah raised concerns over the security and safety of the air traffic control system at the Brunei International Airport, in light of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 two weeks ago.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdullah also explained that the ICAO annexes are not static documents, but are periodically reviewed depending on circumstances. The requirements cover all technical standards on airplanes, pilots, and airworthiness of aircraft as well as traffic control services and runways.