Monthly Archives: May 2013

The importance of organizational culture in Aviation

All organizations maintain their own specific culture, but in that
respect probably none are more complex than the one of an international
airline. The word ‘international’ already suggests that there are diverse
political, ethnic and social issues that need to be taken into account when
designing any managerial policy.

And then on top of that there is also the requirement to maintain
products and services of uniform quality regardless of the market setting. Knowledge
of cultural dimensions is priceless in mitigating risk, containing costs and
improving corporate effectiveness. Surprisingly, the most noteworthy aspects of
organizational behaviour are often overlooked or their effect is largely

For many years now aviation has been forced to deal with a longstanding
dilemma when the issues of safety and profit are concerned. Theoretically there
should be a positive correlation between the two (a safe airline should be a
profitable airline and a profitable airline should be a safe one).

Sluggish markets, fierce competition, shrinking margins, personnel
turnover, unusual operating demands and adverse economic reality are only
several but probably the most frequently encountered characteristics of the
volatile air transportation industry. Unfortunately, more often than not they
divert the focus of management away from safety matters.

According to Robert Helmreich, a professor at University of Texas
Aerospace Crew Research Project
, effective
efforts to achieve safety must recognize the importance of culture. Organizations
must have a full understanding of cultural influences on their operations if
safety efforts are to succeed. The basic premise of this discussion is that it
is essential to build on the strengths of national culture and to enhance professional
and organizational cultures to establish a robust safety culture.

The documented processes, safety equipment, standard operating
procedures, and certified training programmes which we must utilize might be
perceived as pure administrative or bureaucratic costs. In reality, most of
them reflect the lessons learnt from years of experience, billions of flight
hours and a significant number of past accidents analysis.

When we observe the following evidence: captain’s leadership, commitment
to comply with the rules, clear tasks sharing, open communication, appropriate
level of risk awareness related to each task and phase of flight, error
management, ability to listen and to actively look for information to make safe
decisions, then without hesitation, we can say we have an optimum crew. What is
true for our crew today is also true at a corporate level. We need good
management and strong leadership, solid culture of compliance, open
communication at every level enabling a continuous learning and adaptation
process, ability to look for information and ideas from outside in order to
adopt best practices, recognition of human error as part of every human
activity and use of “fail safe” processes and procedures in accordance with
error management principles.

For pilots, however, there are three cultures dominant in shaping
actions and attitudes to consider. The first, of course, is the national
culture. But there is also a strong professional culture that is associated
with being a member of the pilot profession. Finally, organisations have their
own cultures that are closest to the daily activities of their members. While
national cultures are highly resistant to change because they surround an
individual from birth, professional and organisational cultures may be modified
through strong incentives. All three cultures are of importance in the cockpit
because they influence critical behaviour. They have a strong impact on how
juniors relate to their seniors and how information is shared. Moreover,
culture shapes attitudes about stress and personal capabilities. It also
influences adherence to the SOPs and how automation is valued and used. Each of
the three cultures has its strengths and weaknesses. The strengths enhance
safety and the weaknesses diminish it.

Results based on extensive research show that organisations, when asked
about their policies towards ensuring safety, considered the responsibility of
employees to be more important than implementing effective safety management
systems and encouraging positive safety culture. But the latter should be
actually established prior to forming the policy of an organization, because
‘The pilot is a member of a crew – a group that in turn is influenced by
factors such as professional social norms and a certain corporate culture‘.

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Pilot contract – things to consider

Prior to starting cooperation, every working place and employee signs a
contract to lay all the technicalities on the document. However, a pilot’s job
is not an ‘office’ position and it comes with great responsibilities. How does
a contract of a pilot look like?

The main and fundamental factor that distinguishes a pilot’s contract
from others is all the job security protection policies listed. These include:

  • Successorship/Merger – provides certain
    protection to pilots, e.g., continued employment, no change in contract
    until operations are merged, negotiated changes to contract for merged
    operations, and an equitable seniority list merger, if a substantial
    portion of the carrier is sold to, acquired by, or merged with another
  • Fragmentation/Transfer of Assets –
    concerns the possibility of a pilot’s transfer with seniority integration
    rights if a certain amount of the carrier’s assets are sold to another
  • Change in Control – provides union options
    for contract improvements/modifications if another entity gains control
    over the carrier.
  • Cabotage – prohibits code sharing with a
    foreign airline that transports goods or passengers between two points in
    the United States.
  • Alter Ego – prohibits or restricts the
    carrier’s ability to establish a new carrier using other than the existing
    carrier’s pilots.
  • Subcontracting – prohibits wet leasing,
    subcontracting, charter flying, etc., other than by pilots of the carrier,
    without the consent of the union.
  • Board of Directors – provides that a pilot
    will be designated by the union to the Board of Directors, either as a
    voting or a nonvoting member.
  • Bankruptcy 1113 Protections – provides
    that if the carrier files for bankruptcy, it is either restricted or
    prohibited in filing an 1113 motion to reject the collective bargaining

Prior to signing the contract, read it very carefully as it will have a
lot of impact on your future career. Of course, every contract depends on the
particular airlines and their policies, regulations, corporate culture,
requirements, etc. To summarize, pilot‘s working conditions, environment and
liberty are covered in the basic contract sections such as:

  • Subject matter of the agreement;
  • Remuneration and reward;
  • Non – completion;
  • Liability;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Validity of the agreement;
  • Miscellaneous.

There can be also additional chapters concerned with such items as compensations,
guarantees, expenses, vacations, training, sick leave, medical standards,
examinations and testing, employee’s compensation benefits, transfer to
non-flying or supervisory duty, hours of service, scheduling, insurance
benefits, retirement, filling of positions and many others which can be added,
as it was mentioned before, depending on particular airlines.

Why are there so many points which make the entire affair of working as
a pilot sound somewhat less romantic? The job of a pilot comes with heavy
responsibility and deep personal commitment. Stringent training courses have to
be passed followed by recurrent training every six months in order to maintain
the relevant licence required for the job. There is more to the role than just
flying the plane, which has to be done safely and economically. The typical day
can include such tasks as ensuring all information concerning the route, the
weather, passengers and aircraft is received as well as the balance of fuel
levels is in balance whilst maintaining safety, economy and appropriate
aircraft loading.

A pilot is also in charge of ensuring full compliance with noise
regulations during takeoff and landing. He is also responsible for making sure
that all safety systems are working properly, briefing the cabin crew before
the flight and maintaining regular contact throughout the flight. And it
doesn‘t stop there. Every pilot’s working day begins with preparations: using
the aforementioned information to create a flight plan which details the
altitude for the flight, route to be taken and amount of fuel required,
carrying out pre-flight checks on the navigation and operating systems,
updating the aircraft logbook and writing a report at the end of the flight
noting any incidents or problems with the aircraft. During the flight the pilot
has to make regular checks on the aircraft’s technical performance and
position, on weather conditions and air traffic, communicate with passengers
using the public address system, react quickly and appropriately to any environmental
changes and emergencies, communicate with air traffic control, understand and
interpret data from instruments and controls.

The most important thing is to know your rights, do extensive research
and compare different contracts. This is your career and you have to know what
decisions and responsibilities are the most appropriate for you.

Source –

Investigation of CRJ-200 passenger plane’s air crash reasons to be finished this summer

Investigation of the CRJ-200 passenger plane’s air crash reasons may be
completed this summer, Azat Bekturov, Deputy Minister of Transport and
Communications, said, KazTAG reported.

 “I think we will finish this
investigation this summer”, Mr. Bekturov reported when answering journalists’
questions about the timing of completion of the investigation of this air crash
on the sidelines of the Parliament on Friday.

According to him, 95% of the work has been completed. It remains to conduct
a joint meeting with the Canadian, American, Russian and domestic experts.

“It’s a huge process … it’s a lot of work to do, a lot of details that
need to be considered and to prove to make a definitive conclusion about this
or that reason”, he explained.

According to him, the investigation of such accidents requires a lot of
time. In Canada,
for example, the average investigation lasts 450 days.

 “If we finish this summer, it
will be a titanic work of the Commission and all participants of the process”, the
deputy minister said.

 “If you remember the case in the Russian Federation when ATR-72 aircraft crashed
– it happened in early 2012, the investigation was completed this year, and it
is in neighboring Russia.
By the way, that case was much easier”, the deputy minister clarified.

As one reported, on January 29, 2013, at about 13:00, local time, just
in about five km from the Almaty International Airport,
CRJ-200 belonged to the SCAT Airline JSC crashed, as it was operating its
domestic flight #760 en route Kokshetau – Almaty. As a result of this air
crash, five crew members and 16 passengers were killed.

On this fact, the Transport Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case
under Part 3, Article 295 of the Kazakhstan’s Criminal Code. The air
crash place was cordoned off. The Interstate Aviation Committee was involved in
decoding the found flight recorder from the crashed aircraft. Canadian experts are
also involved in this investigation.

Source –


Boeing Company – New 737 MAX aircraft to consume less jet fuel

A new passenger plane, Boeing-737 MAX, will consume jet fuel by 13% less
than its predecessor, RBC writes. This was reported by the Boeing’s Press Service.
As specified, the forecast is based on computer simulations carried out by
engineers and advanced testing of the engine.

According to the Boeing’s plans, the assembly of 737 MAX aircraft will
begin in 2015. The first aircraft will enter into service in 2017.

Source –

Experts – Kazakh civil aviation sector is in a deep systemic crisis

Discussion of the problems and development prospects in the Kazakh civil
aviation sector was held in Almaty,

According to experts, there are many problems nowadays in the Kazakh civil
aviation. The most important of these include the lack of control by the state,
lapses in personnel training, outdated equipment, lack of competition, poor aviation
administration, the rise in fuel prices, and many others.

Thus, a former pilot, aviation veteran, Dmitry Dushimov, declared that Kazakhstan’s
civil aviation system is in a deep crisis. “It is not uncontrollable, and it has
no scientific support and prospects for development. That is how the system of
increased danger, it just hangs out and is bounded to fall”, declared the
expert. He believes that it is time to change the manageability of the system,
namely, to introduce the state control of civil aviation industry, as of high
risk. “Let’s take Civil Aviation Committee. They can not even punish or dismiss
any airline or airport manager. This is absolutely uncontrolled industry.
Today, the car road transport is more controlled than the civil aviation”, Mr.
Dushimov added.

Azhani Tleulesov, associate professor, Academy of Civil Aviation,
took part in these discussions. He told that there were no planes that the Academy
would own nowadays, on which  pilots would
be able to have trainings. However, under the rules, students must fly 150
hours, after which they may obtain the necessary pilot’s certificate. According
to the experts, to prepare a Kazakh pilot, it is necessary to spend up to US $75,000.

The pilot training problem was supported by the chairperson of the Kazakh
Air Carriers Association, Vladimir Kuropatenko. “What is the Academy, which
produces the pilots who do not have flying service, they provide with no original
??asks the expert. He notes that since
independence, Kazakhstanhas abolished the Supreme Qualification Commission, which carefully selected aircraft
commanders for the first-class airplanes. According to him, they also abolished
the “class gradation” for pilots. “At present, we may graduate from such an
academy, fly on simulators, in quotes, and become a pilot. Without experience, with
nothing. For 22 years, there has been no any verification of flight personnel. Do
 they check technician engineers?No. They check papers.

We have sunk to the fact that because of the Aviation Administration’s incapacity,
the air companies were included to the blacklist”, Mr. Kuropatenko summed.

Schmidt Sabirov, Chairperson, the Legal Entities Association for Aviation
Workers Trade Unions,  told that the
majority of airfields of local airlines are out of order in Kazakhstan. “And
when there is no local airlines, it means that there is no recharge for general
aviation as well”, said the expert. According to him, the country, because of
the large areas and small population, cannot build motor roads everywhere, as it
is impossible. Therefore, the civil aviation, the speaker believes, is
necessary for Kazakhstan,
as air.

Serik Muhtybaev, Deputy Chairperson, Civil Aviation Committee, responded
on the issues voiced. According to him, the Committee’s structure has already been
changed. The Government plans to allocate over three billion tenge (KZT)to the Academy of Civil Aviation to purchase an aircraft,
simulators and so on. In addition, there are plans to open a regional center
for aviation security, as well as a center for aviation training at the Academy
in September 2013.

The official declared that the changes in the legislation, which are
scheduled soon, will affect the current situation in the Kazakh civil aviation.
They will strengthen the role of the state in the field of civil aviation. “It
is also usual notion of a “State Aviation Inspector”. He will have the right,
in case of any violation of safety regulations, to stop the aircraft, to
suspend the air companies’ activities, ones of airports, and so on. By autumn of
2013, this practice will be applied”, declared  Mr. Muhtybaev.

Source –

Kazakhstan faces a sharp reduction in the number of airlines

Kazakhstan faces a sharp reduction in the
number of air companies due to the re-certification, which is carried out in
accordance with the ICAO standards and participation of ICAO representatives, Vladimir
Kuropatenko, Manager, Kazakh Air Carriers Association, shared such an
assumption with

Earlier, the Minister of Ministry, Askar Zhumagaliev, said that
recertification will affect the safety of flight operations and the output of
the Kazakh aviation from the blacklist. According to Mr. Kuropatenko, Kazakh
carriers were entered into the so-called black list of the EU due to
incompetent Aviation Administration, and it is necessary to restore order, first
of all, at the leadership level and not at the airlines themselves.

 “We have to carry the message of
the President of Kazakhstan to establish a strong professional aviation
administration, but, to do so, one should create such an aviation
administration (…) We must stop be under the control of the Ministry of Transport
and Communications (MTC), it is necessary to deduce it from the civil aviation
sector and subordinate it to the President, as this the industry is high risk,
as well as astronautics. Next, one should define the criteria for personnel, to
which the officials managing the aviation sector should be in compliance with”,
Mr. Kuropatenko told.

According to the Manager of this Association, after all, it is necessary
to decide on establishing the country’s Air Code. He also stressed that the
consultation on aviation issues should be conducted by the Interstate Aviation
Committee and not by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), which “will
create obstacles so that Kazakhstanwould not become an aviation power”.

“Perhaps, the number of air companies will be reduced but this
recertification (ICAO) is illegal, since they recognize all airlines including
Air Astana to be almost nothing. They admitted their impotence, as I mean both
the Committee and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. This is a
politically illiterate action, causing damage to our country”, he concluded.

Source –


ICAO to audit Kazakhstan airlines by autumn

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will audit Kazakhstan air companies in autumn, reports citing KazakhstanVice-Minister of Transport and Communications Azat Bekturov.

“A complex work is currently in process. We want our company to be
removed from any blacklists. As we have repeated several times we are working
with the ICAO and their experts. Thanks to that work, we suppose that we will
bring ICAO auditors in the end of summer or in the beginning of autumn to take
the airlines out of the blacklist,” Bekturov told the journalists on the
sidelines of the 6th Astana Economic Forum.

“We hope that this time there will be a big difference compared to 2009.
We will contact the EU flights safety commission in November and let them know
that the audit, I hope, has been passed successfully and the required work has
been completed. We will ask the EU to vote for removing restrictions from our
airlines in the European space,” he said.

“This is a difficult job. This is the first time we check the aircrafts
registered in Kazakhstanbut based abroad. Earlier Kazakhstancompanies used to work without such checks. We can now pay good salaries to
hire best experts. They are experienced, possess the required certificates and
licenses to check and inspect western-made aircrafts that are currently in use
in Kazakhstan,”
the Vice-Minister added.

The European Union earlier published the list of airlines banned from
flying over its territory.
Almost all the Kazakhstan airlines were on
the blacklist.

Source –

Somon Air changes it’s IATA code from 4J to SZ

Somon Air’s two letter IATA Code will change from 4J to SZ starting June
1st, 2013.

The change of designator from 4J to SZ has no impact on Somon Air’s customers,
suppliers and agents who have previously booked flights bearing 4J code. Somon
Air will be updating booking records over the next few days. Customers
presenting for check-in with an itinerary showing the old designator will still
be accepted as normal.

All other aspects of the booking, including flight departure and arrival
times, will remain unchanged, unless notified separately by Somon Air.

No action is required on the part of customers and agents, unless they
have advised flight details to external parties such as travel insurers,
airport transfer companies or meters and greeters. These customers may wish to
update these parties the change in designator from 4J to SZ.

Meanwhile, air tickets for Somon Air’s flights are available for booking
at or through the call
centre at +992446404040 or +992446404051

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Aviation Service under Turkmen Ministry of Internal Affairs celebrates four-year anniversary

Four years ago, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) created an Aviation
Police Service. Such helicopters, as  R44
Ravyen-II policye produced by the Robinson Company, U.S.,
as well as Mi-17 and Mi-17V-5 produced in Russia were acquired for the new Service.
Professionals working with Mi-17V-5 helicopters were specially trained in Kazan, Russia.

According to the Press Service of the Turkmen Ministry of Internal
Affairs, the pilots successfully perform their tasks to support public order
and fire safety, prevent car accidents, accompany transport corteges or
individual transport, transport personnel and cargo.

The Aviation Service in cooperation with the Fire Safety Office under
the Turkmen MIA also flies in the foothills, and other places where there is a
likelihood of fires. At the tactical exercises, Khazar-2012, in August-September
2012, the pilots’ work was given a high rating. Also, airmen distinguished
themselves during their search-and-rescue training flights in December 2012 in the Caspian Sea region.

Source –

Islamic Development Bank allocates US $270 million to Uzbekistan to purchase Boeing aircraft and modernize power plant

Uzbekistan has signed an agreement with the Islamic
Development Bank (IDB) to allocate US $270 million to purchase Boeing aircraft
and modernize a power plant, IDB website reported on May 28, 2013.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Uzbekistan, Dr.
Rustam Azimov, accompanied by a senior delegation comprising Mr. Saidakhmat
Rakhimov, Chairman of the National Bank of Uzbekistan for Foreign Economic
Activity and Mr. Egambergen Palvanov, First Deputy Director-General of
Uzbekistan Airways, singed two agreements with the IDB to finance purchase of
two Boeing airplanes for the Uzbekistan Airways (US$ 170 million) and for
modernization of hydro-power stations (US$ 100 million).

During the meeting with IDB Group Chairman Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, the
Uzbek First Deputy Prime Minister praised IDB’s developmental role and stated
that the agreement signing is reflective of the ongoing partnership between his
country and the IDB. “I am proud that other developing nations are recognizing
the growing role of the IDB,” Dr. Rustam Azimov said adding that Uzbekistanshall be relying more on IDB for the structural reforms in the country.
Referring to the last week’s decision by the IDB Board of Governors at their
38th Annual Meeting in Dushanbe,
, to
triple the capital of the Bank.

The First Deputy Prime Minister called the decision a wise one and
reiterated that “Uzbekistanlooks forward to further strengthening its partnership with the IDB.”

The IDB Group Chairman expressed the Bank’s preparedness to cooperate
with all member countries and to provide the best support to see increased
development of partnership with Uzbekistan.

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