Aircraft collision not a major incident, says Civil Aviation Department

A collision that occurred yesterday between a Maldivian Air Taxi seaplane and another aircraft at Male’ International Airport resulted in no injuries or major damage, the country’s Civil Aviation Department has said, claiming it has no concerns over the safety of the aircraft.

Hussein Jaleel, Deputy Director General for the Civil Aviation Department that oversees airline regulation, said it had been made aware of a collision yesterday, which it downplayed as a minor accident involving the wingtip of an aircraft colliding with another aircraft that was not seen as “a major safety concern.”

“There was a collision yesterday involving a Maldivian Air Taxi aircraft, but it was actually not a serious incident,” Jaleel said. “No person was injured and no damage was recorded to the aircraft that could affect flight operations.”

Local newspaper Haveeru reported that the seaplane collided with the wing of an aircraft taking-off from Hulhule, at 6:30am while it was approaching the water runway.

The official, however, said the number of passengers and the cause of the accident could not be identified yet, as a full report has not been filed so far.

“We receive urgent reports only if it is a serious accident. So it will take some time to receive reports of minor accidents,” the official said.

MAT Ground Operations Manager, Inthikaab Ahmed said he was not aware of any accidents.

A spokesperson for airline operator Maldivian Air Taxi told Minivan News that there had not been any reports of an accident or minor collision in the company’s fleet, a track record they claimed has not changed for some time.

When asked about the Civil Aviation Department claims, the company spokesperson said its management had not been informed of any incidents with its vehicles and it had no idea where the information had came from.

“We [Maldivian Air Taxi] have had no accidents in the last few years, maybe even longer,” said the spokesperson. “There have not been any collisions.”

Regardless of whether the accident reported was a serious or a minor collision, Jaleel said Civil Aviation Department regulations required an investigation into any accident. However he added that “no further reports would be required” in relation to yesterday’s incident.

“We have no issues that the accident was the result of negligence, though if we ever have any serious concerns relating to safety issues then we would of course take action,” he added.

The Civil Aviation Department claimed it therefore remained confident of the effectiveness of safety measures employed by seaplane operators in the Maldives.