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Experts to criticise US aviation authority for 737 Max approval

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By AFP
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A panel of global civil aviation authorities is expected to criticise the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA’s) approval of Boeing’s 737 MAX, which has been grounded for six months following two crashes, a source familiar with the matter said Monday.

The panel, known as the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR), was set up last April by the FAA amid criticism of the FAA’S close ties to Boeing.

The FAA was the last global aviation authority to ground the 737 MAX after one of the aircraft crashed in Ethiopia in March, leaving 157 dead, a few months after another went down in Indonesia, killing 189.

The JATR – which brings together experts from nine international aviation authorities as well as the FAA and NASA – was tasked with reviewing the approval procedures for the 737 MAX and make proposals to improve them.

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According to the source, the report, which must be submitted in the coming weeks, is critical of the FAA.

In particular, it is expected to take aim at the lack of transparency in the way that the FAA permitted Boeing to evaluate systems and software for the MAX, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The panel is expected to conclude that important changes to the design of the MAX were not properly reviewed by the FAA, according to the source.

For example, it was Boeing employees who inspected the MCAS anti-stall system, which has been implicated in the deadly crashes, sources previously told AFP.

The same sources reported alleged collusion under a programme in which employees of Boeing are accredited by the FAA to assist in approving the aircraft as well as signing off on training procedures of pilots on new planes.

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The panel is also expected to criticize the FAA for failing to share data with its peers when certifying the MAX in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We will carefully review all recommendations and will incorporate any changes that would improve our certification activities,” said a spokesperson for the FAA, which has defended the MAX.

The panel’s “focus on the certification of the aircraft is separate from the ongoing efforts to safely return the aircraft to flight,” the spokesperson said.

Steve Dickson, the new head of the FAA, said Monday on the CNBC television channel that he was going to Seattle this week to test a MAX featuring the modified MCAS on a simulator.

He also said that Boeing had still not submitted all the requested changes for the FAA to rule on lifting the flight ban on the MAX.

“It’s really safety first and we’re not on any specific timeline,” he said of getting the aircraft back in the air.

There are differences among regulators on the criteria for returning the MAX to service, with the Europeans indicating that they will inspect the aircraft themselves and, like the Canadians, want pilot training to include time in a simulator.

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Labour court kicks out Mary Wambui : The Standard

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The Labour Court has nullified the appointment of former Othaya MP Mary Wambui (pictured) as chairperson of the National Employment Authority (NEA) board.
Justice Onesmus Makau yesterday said Wambui was unqualified and dismissed her appointment as irregular and unconstitutional as she does not meet the qualifications for the position.
The court quashed the Gazette notice on the appointment, with Justice Makau saying the authority needs a person with academic expertise.
SEE ALSO :Kenyans mock ex-MP Mary Wambui’s appointment”Her appointment to the board does not meet the constitutional requirements; it is therefore null and void. The Gazette notice is quashed. It is unlawful. A permanent injunction is issued barring her from being appointed to the post,” ruled the judge.
The case was filed by Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association, a lobby headed by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
According to the lobby, the former MP had severally admitted that she had limited education background.
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Section 10(2) of the National Employment Authority Act provides that a person shall be qualified to serve as the chairperson of the board if they have at least seven years’ experience in Human Resource Management or its equivalent.
However, there is no age limit.
SEE ALSO :A country of old peopleThe court heard that she did not have academic and professional qualifications to allow her run the office.
In a Gazette notice dated October 14, 2019, then Labour CS Ukur Yatani picked Wambui for the job, triggering an outcry from Kenyans.
Following the appointment, Wambui was expected to lead a team that will create job centres in all constituencies where youths would register, detailing their skills.
The authority is also expected to be a link between employers and potential employees by posting available vacancies on social media. 

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Rwanda sets aside $10m for CHOGM sprucing of Kigali

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MOSES K. GAHIGI

By MOSES K. GAHIGI
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Rwanda is pulling all stops in its preparations to host the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) slated for June 22 to 27. The biennial summit was last held in East Africa in 2007 in Kampala.

The government has set aside up to Rwf10billion ($10.5 million) to improve and build infrastructure needed for the event.

“We have various committees working on the different aspects of CHOGM preparations, from infrastructure, hotels, to protocol, we are moving well and we have put up various mechanisms to ensure that we are ready by that time,” said Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign affairs Vincent Biruta.

Kigali will be the biggest beneficiary as authorities construct inter-city and connecting road network roads that will see the free flow of traffic.

There is new Mulindi Road, Kabeza-Alpha Palace Road, Rwandex Network Road, Nyabisindu-Nyarutarama Road and Migina Network Road connecting Gasabo district headquarters to Sports View Hotel.

All the roads under construction are situated in areas surrounding the airport, and are aimed at decongesting the main Kigali International Airport Road, which will be mostly used during the event.

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“We have different on-going construction projects around the city, many of which are infrastructure, we are also working on recreational sites and green parks such that guests have a great experience. Preparations are at 55 per cent,’’ said Ernest Nsabimana, City of Kigali vice mayor.

Up to 10,000 delegates from all the 53 Commonwealth countries are expected to attend the event. It is expected that the event will stretch the limit of city’s roads, conference venues as well as accommodation.

The Rwanda Convention Bureau did not respond to our questions on the progress on ensuring that the country has adequate accommodation for the CHOGM delegates at the time of going to press.

But it is expected that the existing high-end conference facilities like the Kigali Convention, the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, Intare Arena will all be put to good use.

The airport is key in the CHOGM preparation process, and currently the construction and modifications are ongoing to increase the number of parking space for aircraft and passengers lounge at the terminal.

“The event is expected to raise Rwanda’s profile as a tourism and MICE destination, and the country already has up to 25 events lined up for 2020.

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IPOA launches investigations into Majengo, Mwiki killings by police

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The running battles between police and irate demonstrators in Kasarani and Mwiki areas this week resulted in the death of one person who is alleged to have been shot dead by anti-riot police officers.

Following public outcry, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority has launched investigations into the incident.

In a statement, the authority says it has deployed a Rapid Response team to institute investigation into the incident and another separate one where police are said to have shot dead a young man on 16th January in Nairobi’s Majengo estate. 

IPOA says it seeks to establish circumstances that led to the shootings and if the security officers were justified to use excessive force.

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It is after the intense investigations that the authority will forward its recommendations to relevant institutions for further action. 

The policing oversight body assured the public of its commitment to ensure independent, impartial and fair investigations.  

 

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