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Tuesday , October 19 2021

The Director and the tortoise government

In the midst of the peak summer heat last July, a Gulf Air plane made an emergency landing at the Kuwait International Airport, the crew declared a state of emergency and asked the passengers to leave the aircraft as soon as possible because part of the plane caught fire and there was fear of the plane exploding.

Disembarking from the plane took a long time. It was sheer luck that the flames did not reach inside the plane. The chaos, conflicting instructions and ignorance of the passengers about the rules, which are supposed to be followed in emergency situations, was the result most of them suffered bruises and injuries, not to mention the horror of the situation which will perhaps remain in their hearts forever, after they saw death with their own eyes.

However it appears for thirty minutes the civil aviation authorities could not send ambulances and fire fighting engines to the plane, not even buses to transport the passengers in the chaotic situation who remained huddled in a deserted area surrounding the plane. Finally they had to walk to the terminal building with panic in their hearts, and their thoughts preoccupied with their luggage.

All that took place under the unbearable temperature because of the negligence of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Despite the security calamity that befell the plane and its passengers, and the serious evident failure of the DGCA, it was able to cover up the issue, and chose not to comment on it, and not to give any reasons for its apparent failure to respond to the minimum safety requirements. Perhaps, fortunately for the DGCA, there was no VIP among the passengers otherwise the case would have been completely different.

This serious failure was preceded by several blunders and fatal mistakes during the Corona crisis, such as the departure fees crisis, where the administration failed over a period of six months to implement the decision to impose departure and arrival fees on all travelers, forcing it to sacrifice a previous tax to implement the new tax with same old tax code and the state lost two dinars for each passenger, so who is responsible for this loss?

I personally do not know anyone in the civil aviation, and I have nothing to do with it or how do I deal with it, but what has happened and what is happening is a flagrant shortcoming and inability of the DGCA to perform.

What will  the situation be when the DGCA takes the responsibility of managing the new airport building, with its size which is many times bigger than the current one?

We are tired of waiting. Our tortoise government needs to move faster and put the competent in the right places.

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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