Taipei-Two local ground handling service providers have been fined for incidents in which human negligence or mechanical failure led to damage of aircraft at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said Friday.
Taoyuan International Airport Services Co. and Evergreen Airline Services Co. were fined NT$300,000 (US$9,826) and NT$60,000 each for poor management that damaged three aircraft and one aircraft respectively, said Deputy Transport Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (???).
Wang's remarks came after the ministry conducted an investigation into aircraft damage caused by poor ground handling services, the frequency of which has recently increased at the country's main gateway.
In October alone, there were three incidents, Wang said, adding that the phenomenon has raised serious safety concerns and impacted the image of the airport.
For example, on Oct. 6, a Japan Airlines flight was delayed nearly eight hours after the aircraft was damaged when being towed to the gate ahead of being boarded.
The underside of the aircraft's left engine covering scraped against a passenger gateway as the ground crew from Taoyuan International Airport Services were towing the empty aircraft toward gate D2.
The investigation by the ministry also found that out of eight cases so far this year, three were caused by fuel supplier CPC Co., Taiwan during refilling, while the other was caused by FedEx Co. ground staff.
As the CPC is not a ground service company subject to the constraints of the Civil Aviation Act, the law on which the penalties were based, the case will be transferred to the Ministry of Economics Affairs and reviewed under the Petroleum Administration Act, Wang said.
The incident involving FedEx Co. was minor, so there was no punishment, according to the ministry.
To reduce the safety risk posed by such incidents, Wang said the ministry is looking to introduce a surveillance system that monitors flight conditions and ground operations by the end of this year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel