CAAB attributes US-Bangla crash to Kathmandu ATC failure

DHAKA, Jan 28, 2019 : Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) today attributed the last year’s deadly US-Bangla crash in Kathmandu to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) failure at Tribhuvan International Airport as the Nepalese authorities released its investigation report trying to highlight the pilot’s role.

“US-Bangla air crash at Kathmandu in last year could be avoided if the ATC tower there gave proper instruction to the pilot,” CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Naim Hassan told a media briefing.

He added: “Our (Bangladesh) representative in the investigation team found that ATC had acted slow and it (the crash) could have been avoided if our pilot received proper and timely instructions from the control tower.”

CAAB called the media briefing at its headquarters hours after the Nepal Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission released their report on the March 12, 2018 crash killing 51 people, claiming that the accident took place due to “human error” but acknowledged that there was no technical glitch in the aircraft.

The CAAB said the report evaded the airport’s ATC inefficiency and tended to attribute the tragedy to the pilot’s error.

“We are neither differing with the report nor saying that it is wrong. We are just saying that the Nepalese authority avoided part of their ATC role in the report,” the CAAB chairman said.

At the briefing, Captain Salahuddin M Rahmatullah , who represents Bangladesh in the investigation team, said CAAB made some additional recommendations from Bangladesh side regarding the role of ATC and requested the Nepal authority to publish the recommendations at the annex of the report.

“If the Nepal authorities do not publish our recommendations in their report, we will lodge a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Authority,” he said.

Salahuddin said the pilot was disoriented and got a misleading approach during the landing and he could have easily made a go around, but “he didn’t get any such instruction from the ATC”.