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News and Notices
Writer Web Admin Date 16/07/2018
Title EIA REJECTS FALSEHOODS IN KURDISTAN 24 REPORT
Content A statement by EIA Director General, Talar Faiq in respect of the report, 28 June 2018 - '200 Passengers stuck at EIA for 9 hours'

" Firstly, Kurdistan 24 did not contact EIA to offer a right of reply - just accepting and reporting one version of events is poor journalism and goes against all normal standards.

The allegations made in the article by Mr Ali Rasheed are simply not correct.
On June 28, I received a call at 10pm - once Mr Rasheed had texted to identify himself, I spoke with him and subsequently, Mr Nawzad Hadi, followed by many calls with my staff at the airport.
The EIA administration closed at 15.30 during the week. I alerted both the terminal manager and the duty manager to the on-going issue.

The Atlas Jet flight KK 1291 ,28 June was scheduled to depart at 13.00 hours. Unfortunately the aircraft suffered a technical issue. Such technical issues happen every day around the world and they are not the fault or responsibility of the airport. EIA , just like any other airport, will not, and cannot force an aircraft captain to take off during such technical delays.

Equally, neither EIA or the KRG have a supply of commercial aircraft to call in , in the event one of the commercial carriers serving EIA, suffers a technical issue. If and when a technical issue occurs, it is the responsibility of the airline to look after the passengers. That said, EIA staff were present, as were airline staff. It is again untrue that only security were present.

Also wrong in the assertions of Mr Rasheed is that passengers were held prisoner. Not true. Passengers were offered refunds, and the chance to be off loaded - in fact 13 passengers took the Atlas Global managers offer and were off loaded.

During the duration of the technical delay, from 13.00 to 00.30 - three meals were served. These airline style meals were provided by Atlas Global , the airline. The type of food on offer is dependent on the airline but it should be noted the airport is not a restaurant and does not have the facility to feed 180 people at such short notice.



The statement of Mr Ali Rasheed, as reported by Kurdistan 24 is full of errors and inaccuracies.


It is reported that I told Mr Rasheed; ' there is nothing we can do.' In fact, I explained that during such technical delays we cannot force the aircraft to depart. The captain, once he is satisfied that the technical issues are solved, will make that decision.

It is regrettable that people comment on aviation matters without any knowledge of aviation regulations or practice. EIA takes the issue of customer care seriously. We fully understand passengers were left frustrated, but technical issues happen, and safety must come first. The passengers had the chance to return to their homes with a refund and were looked after by the airline.

Mr Rasheed has called for an extra-ordinary meeting to investigate alleged EIA administrative negligence.
I personally wish to call for the Council of Ministers to host a meeting with all related entities to review the untrue public accusations and to publish its conclusions.

It is not appropriate that a governmental entity should use the media to attack another part of the KRG administration. There are channels and mechanisms to hold the different parts of the KRG accountable.

And, it is certainly unfair to EIA staff who have been steadfast in their commitment to their jobs, to publish such baseless falsehoods. Even at the height of the ISIS crisis and airspace closure the staff have remained committed to performing their duties at the highest level to provide services to passengers and to support the coalition troops.


Talar Faiq,
Director General, EIA



The facts are :

Flight fully boarded - push back from stand at 13.00 - pilot spotted an engine fault light and returned to stand.
14.00 - passengers disembarked to wait in the gate area - engine checks and tests on-going
16.00 - passengers re-boarded - aircraft declared fit to fly.
16.52 - Atlas Global returns to stand - technical issue re-occurred. It was decided to await maintenance crew being sent from Baghdad.
Due to the technical issue - the crew, as per ICAO regulations were required to take a mandatory rest and at this point - passengers were offered the following :
Refreshments - x3 servings.
Passengers were offered the option of being off-loaded and to return home, with full refund of ticket, 13 passengers were off-loaded.
At 00.10 the crew returned to the aircraft -
At 00.30 boarding commenced.
At 01.13 aircraft finally departs.

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