India needs to improve air safety

Updated 29 December 2016
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India needs to improve air safety

Rising incidences of commercial aircraft having near misses and skidding should raise alarm bells in India. A near-disaster at Delhi airport is an eye-opener — a potentially major aviation disaster between two aircraft was averted in the nick of time. Similarly, an aircraft skidded at Goa airport, with minor injuries to passengers. India needs to urgently improve its air safety.
Not much has happened in this regard since the near miss of an aircraft carrying the country’s president at Mumbai airport in 2011, even though elsewhere in the world near misses are taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated.
India has seen an aviation boom in the last decade, with new airports, new airlines, and Gulf airlines starting daily flights from airports throughout the country. However, this boom has led to a crippling shortage of highly trained pilots, air traffic control (ATC) personnel and other technical staff. It is high time the government carry out a comprehensive safety audit of the civil aviation industry, and improve staff training and coordination.


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia