On 18 August 2016, a Qatar Airways passenger plane has made an emergency landing at Istanbul’s Atatürk airport due to an engine fire believed to have been caused by a bird strike.
Thanks to the professionalism of the cockpit and cabin crew as well as the firefighters and the airport’s airside workers, all 298 passengers on board and 14 crew members were carried to safety after having been evacuated from the aircraft on landing.
The Civil Aviation Section of the ITF would like to emphasise the critical role played by the pilots and cabin crew. Section Secretary Gabriel Mocho noted: “This was a professional job done by professional people. These safety people are responsible for managing incidents such as this in order to avoid an incident becoming a disaster.”
Ataturk Airport’s fire and airside teams, as well as air traffic controllers, should be commended for their quick and professional response as well. Without the intervention of cabin crew keeping upset and distressed passengers under control, and organising their escape to safety in an orderly fashion such a successful outcome wouldn’t be possible.
ITF’s Civil Aviation Section congratulates all those workers for the excellent job they have done.
This incident once again demonstrates the importance of all aviation workers as safety professionals. Airlines and other aviation companies should stop practices causing a sharp decline in employee confidence in their management and overall morale. Aviation workers shouldn’t be used as the primary shock absorbers for managing the business cycle and external shocks. Instead, they must be regarded first and foremost as valuable assets to their companies.
See: ITF aviation blog