Air safety not a political issue: deputy transportation minister

Taipei-Aviation safety should not be a political issue, Deputy Transport Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (???) said at a press event held Thursday in Taipei, which is set to host the International Air Safety Summit for the first time next week.

Wang was alluding to China, which has so far not registered to attend the annual meeting from Nov. 4-6.

The International Air Safety Summit is organized by the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF), and is one of the major gatherings of aviation professionals in the world, designed for people with responsibility for safety in aviation related design, manufacturing, development, training, maintenance and operations.

The 72nd edition of the event will be hosted by the Taipei-based China Aviation Development Foundation (CADF).

Participants from China, Macau and Hong Kong have yet to register to attend, leading to speculation that they could boycott the event because it is being held in Taiwan.

Safety is paramount in all aviation activities, and the subject should not be tied to politics, Wang said.

About 350 officials and company representatives from 37 countries have applied to attend the upcoming event in Taipei, he said.

Although none of China's government aviation agencies have registered for the summit, a Chinese national working for American company GE Aviation in the country has been listed as attending the event, the deputy minister said.

According to the CADF, participants at this year's aviation summit will include representatives from the United States' National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as well as France's Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Taiwan tried to host the International Air Safety Summit in 2007, but its bid failed due to pressure from China.

In March last year, Wang, who is also CADF chairman, signed a memorandum of understanding on holding the 72nd annual summit with FSF Vice President Mark Millam, a first for Taiwan.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel