Lightning that hit a fuel pump at Heraklion airport highlights everyday risks

Lightning that hit a fuel pump at Heraklion airport highlights everyday risks

One more dangerous security incident they are complaining airport officialswhich have practically “entered the refrigerator” since the legislation effectively abolished the mechanism of state control in airports. Workers are ringing the alarm again for high-risk events the lives of passengers and workers by highlighting a recent incident in the Heraklion airport in Crete.

Specifically, as described by the Panhellenic Airport Association, at its airport Heraklion while on April 10 during a storm, an express order was given by the State Aviation Authority at the airport not to carry out any refueling of aircraft, “due to the discrediting of the aeronautical authorities of the airports by the Karamanlis law, refueling occurred and began, which caused lightning to strike near the refueling area, causing sparks at the refueling hose nozzle. If he had managed to enter the tank entrance of the plane, we would have had a lot of deaths.”

Despite the seriousness of the incident, airport staff complain that for the incident, neither preliminary investigation nor fine was imposed, due to legislation and prohibitions of the commanders of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Civil Aviation Service (CAA).

And this while last June a similar incident had occurred at the airport her Thessaloniki on 23/06/2022, for which a question had been raised in Parliament by most parties, but without a substantial response, according to airport officials.

They note that despite the prosecution complaints for security incidents, the former Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, never met them, while the Association’s written request for a meeting with the new MinisterGerapetrite of Giorgos also remained unanswered so far.

Perhaps because, despite everything that has happened, the same denigrating policy is carried out in terms of airport security, to the detriment of the public interest and the safety of citizens”.

It is recalled that the law passed by the government creates an “Athens-centric structure” of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), rather than the model of a decentralized control system by airport workers.

During his discussion bill in parliament in fact, Mr. Karamanlis had submitted a relevant study, for which airport officials point out that it was essentially a table of two countries, which have nothing in common with Greece. And they explain: “There were numbers on the table personnel for only two countries, Portugal, which has 11 airports, where, according to the Ministry of Transport’s own figures, they employ 250 workers, and Ireland, which has 8 airports, where they employ 685 workers. In an island Greece of 40 airports, the current government only needs 172 and today, almost 3 years after the adoption of law 4757/20, it does not even have 100. The government doesn’t he even read his own studies? they wonder.

They also accuse the government that ifthat in order to provide the APA with duly trained and competent staff already in post at the airports, it has chosen to provide for “pre-election relocations of 25 people” by integrating them in fact into law 5039/23 for the support of relatives and victims of Tempe!

They report less and less checks

According to airport officials, 17 days after the Tempe accident, the commander of the civil aviation department with a document prohibits any exercise of surveillance and preliminary investigation powers by airport aviation authorities.

Almost a month after the Tempe accident, it is also the Commander of the Civil Aviation Authority to issue a circular prohibiting any background check exercise of airport workers by airport aviation authorities.

Then, the Commander of the APA signs a protocol of cooperation with the Hellenic Police, which “undertakes to provide the necessary assistance to the Civil Aviation Authority as a pre-investigation authority, in order to ensure in all cases the prompt, timely, appropriate and priority execution of the relevant tasks and its obligations”.

However, according to airport officials, this object does not fall under the jurisdiction of the police, as recent answers-documents of the Ministry of Citizen Protection to parliamentary questions “the competent authority for the control and surveillance of the areas designated as controlled is the Greek police… the Greek police monitors all areas of the airport, at the except for the areas subject to control… the above-mentioned police service,… finds itself incompetent to carry out a preliminary investigation…”.


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