Tokyo April 14: Japan Airlines today announced a series of measures to improve safety monitoring and reporting within the organization, in response to a business operational improvement order and administrative warnings made by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in March 2005.
The JCAB acted following a series of incidents involving JAL maintenance and flight operations between December 2004 and March 2005, issuing a Business Improvement Order to Japan Airlines International and Administrative Warnings to Japan Airlines Corporation, the group holding company, and Japan Airlines Domestic on March 17.
JAL Group's new safety measures:
Fundamental to the new safety measures is the re-emphasis to all Group staff that safety is top priority before service considerations such as on-time performance.
The airline established a new Safety Measures Committee on March 17, 2005 comprising: the President, Executive Vice President, executive directors for safety and executives from flight operations, maintenance, cabin attendants, airport operations and cargo departments. This will meet regularly and also whenever an irregular situation arises, to share important information related to flight operations and decide on counter measures and also to consider important measures for the whole JAL Group and decide policy.
Additionally three safety officers of vice president level have been be assigned since April 1st 2005 to collect information on safety that could affect daily flight operations and everyday work of the JAL Group. In turn they will report directly to JAL's President and provide advice.
The JAL Group has also launched a special safety awareness improvement campaign during April and May 2005 to reaffirm and reinforce principles of safety and raise safety awareness throughout the organization and its subsidiaries. More than 100 safety meetings will be held in Japan and overseas. The president and all board members will visit all workplaces to hold emergency safety meetings to enlighten staff on safety and talk directly with staff to increase interactive communication.
Focusing on elimination of human error, from April to the end of December JAL is reviewing all procedures and manuals in all departments related to flight operations, utilizing feedback from within the company and other sources, with the objective of adopting new methods or actions that will make procedures and manuals more user-friendly and clearer to follow.
With regard to specific recent incidents, JAL has already overhauled flight operations and cabin operations manuals to provide clearer instructions for flight crews and cabin crew for pre-take off procedures including cockpit workload management and ATC communications.
A new computer system for aircraft parts monitoring will be operational this year
On March 17 when the JCAB issued the orders Japan Airlines announced a reshuffle of top management to take responsibility for the incidents.
The specific incidents subject to the MLIT order included:
JAL PRESIDENT STATEMENT
In a statement, JAL president Toshiyuki Shinmachi said, `' Flight safety is the foundation and social responsibility of the JAL Group, as an air transport operator responsible for the lives and property of customers.
“JAL management and staff of the JAL Group have reflected deeply on the series of safety-related incidents. We have analyzed the causes of each and have formulated countermeasures to improve safety based on our findings,” he added.
An in-house analysis of the causes of incidents produced three common factors: first, a fall in safety awareness; second, a lack of quick and accurate information-sharing and third, pressure to secure on-time-performance (OTP) combined with pressure caused by time limitations.
There was also a lack of communication between management and front offices, due to the new JAL Group framework of one holding company and two business companies created in the process of integrating Japan Airlines (JAL) and Japan Air Systems (JAS) which was completed in April 2004.
In the airline's new medium range business plan for the three years from April 1st 2005 through March 31st 2008, the three companies will be unified by March 31st 2006.