Authorities of ASEAN member countries responsible for the investigation of aircraft accident and incident signed on May 29, 2008 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigations which aims to enhance the capabilities and professionalism of their respective aircraft investigators, and strengthen, promote and develop cooperation to enhance aviation safety.

The signing of the MOU reaffirms the objective enshrined in Annex 13 to the Convention of International Civil Aviation (“the Chicago Convention”) that the sole objective of the investigation of an aircraft accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents and that it is not the purpose of the investigation activity to apportion blame or to provide a means of determining guilt.

The MOU was signed by government officials representing each of the ASEAN members countries, namely: Permanent Secretary Alaihuddin Taha of the Ministry of Communications, Brunei Darussalam; Director General Chea Aun of the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, Kingdom of Cambodia; Chairman Airfield Marshall Tatang Kurniadi (Ret) of the National Transportation Safety Board, Republic of Indonesia; Director General Yakua Lopangkao of the Department of Civil Aviation, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Deputy Secretary General Abdullah Yusuff Basiron of the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia; Director General Winn Pe of the Department of Transport, Union of Myanmar; Undersecretary for Civil Aviation Atty. Doroteo A. Reyes II of the Department of Transportation and Communications, Philippines; Deputy Secretary Lim Boon Wee of the Ministry of Transport, Republic of Singapore; Deputy Permanent Secretary Chalor Kotcharat of the Ministry of Transport, Thailand; and Deputy Director General Luu Thanh Binh of the Civil Aviation Administration, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

The MOU was signed at the ASEAN 25th Senior Transport Official Meeting (STOM), Mactan’s Shagri-la Resort and Spa, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines.

Under the MOU, the participating ASEAN member countries will cooperate in aircraft accident and incident investigation, investigation training and sharing of information and expertise, consistent with the Standards and Recommended Practices, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, contained in the Chicago Convention.

Among the salient provision of the MOU is that participating country will offer assistance and the use of air safety investigation manpower, facilities and equipment to the other signatory country, which may include expertise in the fields of air traffic services, engineering, operations flight recorders, human performance and management organization.

The signing of the MOU shows the common interest of the ASEAN countries in establishing a lasting framework for cooperation in the area of aircraft and incident investigation.###