BY BEN BILUA
THE Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Airlines has indicated Airbus A320 is hundred percent safe.
He made the clarification following comments raised by few leaders last week questioning the mechanical integrity of the plane.
Mr Brett Gebers said the A320 is perfectly serviceable with all the systems and every piece of equipment fitted to the aircraft working correctly.
“We will never, and have never operated the aircraft if it is not 100[percent] safe to do so.
“The aircraft is always operated in accordance with Airbus procedures and our operation complies fully with CAASI rules and the requirements of all the authorities around the world,” he explained.
Gebers told this paper that the airbus’s Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) was replaced last weekend and has been operating perfectly ever since.
He adds that the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) is a small jet engine that is situated in the tail of the aircraft and is used for starting the aircraft.
“It also provides electrical power and air conditioning on the ground and it has nothing to do with safety.
“Airbus, Boeing and Embraer procedures allow the respective aircraft to be flown with no APU.
“If the APU is not working we have to use external equipment to start the aircraft.
“Using external equipment such as the Air Start Unit (ASU) and Ground Power Unit (GPU) is inconvenient and is a slow process.
“In addition, the external equipment does not provide air-conditioning on the ground,” Gebers said.
He refutes claims that the plane has faults in its front tyre system and explained that when the tyres wear down they are replaced just as it would be done with a car.
Gebers said the tyres are replaced as soon as the thread reaches a predetermined depth and that is long before it would have been done on the average car.
He reiterated that Solomon Airlines will never allow any of its aircraft with any defect that would make them unsafe and will never do so to operate.
Gebers strongly emphasised that if the aircraft cannot be operated safely, Solomon Airlines Board will simply cancel the flight.
He said Solomon Islands Airlines Management knew very well the standard procedures and safety of its passengers and will continue to perform high standard operation to provide better services and also promote tourism industry in the country.