Although Asia Pacific airlines reported no major accidents involving large western-built commercial aircraft in 2015, regional airline body the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said safety in the turboprop sector faces "particular challenges."
AAPA reported that 2015 has been the safest year ever for commercial aviation in the region, but DG Andrew Herdman noted that Asia Pacific , which has a significant number of operators running small turboprop operations, could face "specific operational challenges."
Herdman said the aircraftplay an important role in serving smaller markets and developing regions, but face particular challenges from operating in remote geographical areas, and from occasionally limited airportand air navigationinfrastructure.
February 2015 saw a fatal TransAsia turboprop crash in Taiwan that killed 43 and raised subsequent issues over pilot proficiency. In August a Trigana Airlines turboprop was lost over Papua New Guinea with 54 onboard.
Herdman said there is an opportunity to enhance turboprop-operationssafety performance, by "focusing particular attention on the importance of human factors including relevant flight training and adherence to standard operating procedures." Herdman also saw potential benefits from improving air navigation aids and ground infrastructure at some airports.
"Governments have an important role to play," he said, adding that effective regulatory oversight should also be mandated to keep pace with the expected growth.
"AAPA's safety objective is to deliver further positive improvements in safety performance, recognizing that this can only be achieved through...the region's operators working in close partnership with regulators and other involved stakeholders."