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March 30, 2023

Raed Arafat: We cannot say at each accident that highest official is held accountable

State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Raed Arafat stated on Friday, in a press conference, that each accident must be analyzed in order to establish what has happened, the responsibility being defined “by different methods”, and advised that the highest official not be blamed directly with no investigation

Arafat said, responding to a question regarding responsibility for the air crash of a Eurocopter EC135 operated by the Mobile Emergency Resuscitation and Extrication Service (SMURD) that “we are expecting the investigation that will set out what has happened there and what were the circumstances of the accident (…), if the State Secretary or Minister is responsible. I believe that we have to change a bit our mentality, to look closely at what is happening on the ground. You cannot hold responsible everyone from the highest level when something is happening in the field with a car, with a means for intervention or something else. Each accident can be analyzed, we then see what it was and how it could have been prevented. But responsibility can be defined in different ways and we cannot claim to each matter that the highest official is the one to be blamed, only if it is found out, when the investigation is completed, that it was a negligence on behalf of that respective person”.

He stated that a modern helicopter was purchased from insurer’s money to replace the helicopter crashed in Siutghiol.

“We have recovered the helicopter crashed in Siutghiol through insurance and it will be received later on. Thus, obviously, when you lose a helicopter, you lose it, but you also lose the pilot. (…) The helicopters can be recovered, they were fully insured, but you must train others, we cannot recover the ones that we lost”, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), Arafat specified.

According to him, the purchase of a flight simulator for training helicopter pilots is necessary .

“We see as necessary the purchasing of a simulator for pilots. At this moment, we sent pilots for training at the simulator abroad. There have been many other abroad training sessions, the SMURD foundation (Mobile Emergency Resuscitation and Extrication Service) paid for the training at the German Police and sent our staff there for simulators, but also within this project. It is the time for the General Inspectorate of Aviation to have a flight simulator for EC-135 helicopters for a more intensive training of the pilot. When you send them abroad, you must find a free span for the simulator, you must schedule for it, and you do not have always access, because there are many others who are scheduling for the simulators to be trained. Taking into account the volume of our activity, already reaching 6,000 flight hours, only on behalf of SMURD, it is normal to have a simulator”, Raed Arafat stated.

Such a flight simulator has a similar cost with an helicopter, in accordance with its features.

“We are already working on a framework-agreement, where funds should not be defined, the matter being that for financing resources there are two possibilities: European funds and state budget resources, from the Ministry’s budget. This matter follows to be settled. The concept was now discussed”, the DSU high official explained.

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