International Federation Warns that Brazil Is Ripe for More Air Tragedies

Burial of Guilherme Duque Estrada de Moraes, one of the victims of the air crash London-based International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), which represents about 4.5 million transport workers from 148 countries belonging to 681 unions, released a note telling that Tuesday's Brazilian plane crash was an avoidable tragedy. And one that could easily be repeated if as they put it "obvious and already known problems are not urgently addressed."

The ITF also backed Ifatca (International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations) and Ifalpa (International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations) in their warning that the crash proves that the problem of runway lengths must be urgently examined.

Ingo Marowsky, Secretary of the ITF's Civil Aviation Section, said: "Like everyone else who works in the industry or has ever been a passenger our hearts go out to the families of all those affected. But even while the investigation continues we must also work to make sure that this kind of tragedy does not happen again.

"We and the Brazilian trade unions have repeatedly stated that safety was being compromised. There is no better proof of this than that union representatives were meeting with management in the TAM building at the time of the crash to complain about safety."

Marowsky continued: "It gives us no pleasure to say that Latin American aviation is on the verge of a crisis. I hope that everyone concerned – governments, airlines and trade unions – will now commit themselves to an emergency meeting to address that fact and see what can be done to pull the aviation sector there back from the brink."

The ITF also backed a full investigation into the crash including, if the investigation demands it, prosecution of those who allowed the situation to degenerate to such a hazardous state.

It also called for the immediate release of the two air traffic controllers who had been courageous enough to warn that this kind of accident was likely, and for a review of industry standards, including fair competition, so as to increase safety and working standards to a decent and safe level when compared with the rest of the world.

The ITF stated that the need for a plan to improve the industry in Brazil and the Mercosur countries was predicted several years ago by trade unions, who, as long ago as 2004, helped the ITF draw up just such a plan, which sought to avoid the kind of problems that have subsequently occurred.


  • Show Comments (5)

  • bo

    [quote]When this country learns to stop the blame game and be accountable for their errors it will be recognized as a serious country. The people of Brazil deserve the truth and deserve the right to a safe flight. Until the vgovernment wakes up, their will be more people killed and the air space is recognized by the rest of the aviation world as dangerous.[/quote]

    Looks like we’ll be looooong gone before that ever happens….unfortunate reality.

  • Aviator

    It is unbelievable that there are so many idiots that comment on a situation way over their head. The Brazilian people are as normal as american people that ar influenced by their government. Americans are just as embarressed as Brazilians with their Government as americans are embarresed by their goverment. The only difference is that the Brazilian media will print what ever someone will say and the american media wil print what ever the Brazilian media says with no accountability to the truth and validity of the information.

    Just like the mid air colloision in September 2006. The media printed what ever the moron Waldir Pires would say and all he was doing was saving the re-election of Lula. In the mean time the under trained, non-english speaking, over worked and under paid controllers screwed up and pointed two planes in the opposite direction at the same altitude by accident and are faced with going to jail. The controllers and pilots are not criminals they are humans that were caught up in an inferior system of the government of Brazil.

    The fix is simple; decriminalize the air accidents as per international rules and learn from the mistakes and fix them immediatley, Admit that there system is flawed, compensate the victims of their accidents caused by the Brazil governments mistakes and invest in the technology and resources neede to keep up with the 1st world countries.

    When this country learns to stop the blame game and be accountable for their errors it will be recognized as a serious country. The people of Brazil deserve the truth and deserve the right to a safe flight. Until the vgovernment wakes up, their will be more people killed and the air space is recognized by the rest of the aviation world as dangerous.

  • ch.c.

    I tell you……
    …..that Brazilians politicians DONT CARE AT ALL, except in their public speeches, of a few hundreds deaths……here and there !

    Just look at the facts, your politicians act exactly the same to NOT REDUCE CRIMES…..totalling around 1000….A WEEK !!!!!

    It is just a diversion, because while the society is talking about the crimes PLUS all the roads/air/healths deaths tragedies……your politicians just steal MORE MONEY !!!!!!

    Yessssss…they just want you to look elÀƒ©sewhere and think about other things…..while they steal billions and billions of Reals !!!

    And you…idiots… applaude them… the voting time…..and re-eleect those who are taking you for a ride !!!!!

    Impressive !

  • Ric

    Point well taken, but if all pilots and controllers were incarcerated, it would resolve the problem of crashes and slowdowns.

  • Ralph M

    Brazilian Air Tragedies
    There have been two airline tragedies in Brazil in less than a year. It appears several others are waiting to happen. While there is concern about the length and conditions of the runway at Sao Paulo contributing to the TAM crash, it seems that the most expedient and least expensive fix to prevent another accident is the one they chose to prevent another GOL – Legacy mid-air: INDICT THE PILOTS AND CONTROLLERS. That seems the only action taken so far.

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