Report on the accident of the Red Air airline that left Santo Domingo for Miami
Santo Domingo.- On July 31, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its official report on the investigation into the Red Air accident that occurred at Miami City Airport a year ago. The accident resulted in injuries to seven passengers, including a pregnant woman. The investigation uncovered several troubling findings, including negligence by senior officials at the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC) and issues with certification processes, control of national airlines, and post-accident actions.
Francisco Díaz, an airline captain in the United States, discussed the revelations with LISTÍN DIARIO, attributing the failures to the interrogations conducted with the Dominican personnel responsible for Flight 203 of the Red Air MD-82 plane that crashed on June 21, 2022.
The NTSB report established that Red Air had an unauthorized connection with LASER, a Venezuelan airline, which violated Dominican law and the certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Board (JAC). It was discovered that Red Air was essentially a creation of LASER, used to sell tickets to Miami, despite Venezuelan airlines being prohibited from flying to the United States due to sanctions against the government of Nicolás Maduro.
Furthermore, it was revealed that there was no action taken to improve operational safety after the accident, even though the airline’s flight permits were initially suspended. The interaction between IDAC and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was described as minimal or non-existent, and the company used an unapproved satellite phone for communication.
The validation process of Venezuelan licenses and the certification process were also found to be problematic, as well as issues with maintenance. The IDAC maintenance inspector for RED AIR seemed uninformed about day-to-day operations, and the maintenance director did not know the location of the maintenance records or whether the necessary maintenance was being performed.
Those questioned during the investigation included various officials from IDAC and Red Air, but it was noted that some of them required a translator during the interrogations due to their limited proficiency in English.
In conclusion, the NTSB report shed light on serious lapses in safety and compliance within Red Air and raised concerns about the relationship between the airline and LASER, as well as the overall management and oversight by the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation.