The Aviation Safety Council yesterday released its final report on TransAsia Airways' ill-fated night landing at Tainan Airport in March last year, pointing the finger at a poorly managed airport and boosting TransAsia's bid for NT$430 million in compensation. \nOn March 21 last year, TransAsia flight GE543 crashed into a construction truck on the lit runway. Although the 169 passengers and 6 crew on board were not seriously injured, three construction workers were injured and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. \nIn October last year, TransAsia Airways estimated its losses at US$900 million, and was the first domestic airline to seek national compensation. Combined with an insurance company's suit for US$10.75 million, the compensation claim is now an unprecedented NT$800 million. \n"We will continue our suit against the air force," said Janet So (湛華生), TransAsia's public relations manager, in a phone interview. \n"If negotiations break off, we will file other suits for operations losses, damage to our reputation and interest incurred by the delay in compensation," So said. \nAccording to the Aviation Safe-ty Council, both the air force and the Civil Aeronautic Administration should be held responsible for poor coordination and inadequate safety mechanisms at the joint civilian-military airport. \n"The runway incursion was caused by multiple factors," council chairman Kay Yong (戎凱) said. "Only through top-level cooperation can the risk factors be reduced." \nAt 10:30pm, an air force technician led a construction team to the airport's Runway 36 Right without tower permission, the council said. \nAlthough the runway edge light was activated for night landings, the construction team mistook its illumination for a routine lighting test. Two lighting tests had been conducted during curfew on the two previous nights. \nTainan Airport's curfew commences at 10:30pm. At 10:31pm on that night, however, controllers cleared TransAsia flight GE543 to land. \nThe construction team did not verify the flight schedule with the tower, according to the council. \nBecause the truck was not equipped with flashing lights, both tower controllers and pilots were unable to detect the truck on the runway. \nAt 10:35pm, the plane's nose-wheel touched the ground and the plane skidded. The pilots saw the truck and were unable to avoid a collision. \nOther construction workers had tried to inform the construction team on the runway by radio, but the radio set they used had no power. \nThe council urged both the Civil Aeronautic Administration and Air Force Headquarters to clarify their responsibilities at the airport and improve safety mechanisms. In May and July this year, the council demanded that both authorities provide suggestions on improving their management of the airport. It has yet to receive a reply from either.
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the