Actionable data needed to ground aircraft

Unless CAAS had greater insight than FAA, CAAS' act was nothing more than political.
Unless CAAS had greater insight than FAA, CAAS' act was nothing more than political. PHOTO: ST FILE

It is premature of Mr Sim Lim Onn to applaud the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore's (CAAS) decisiveness for being the first country to impose a blanket ban not just on the B-737 Max 8 but all variants of the jet too (Kudos to CAAS for putting safety first, March 14).

It would be instructive for Mr Sim to understand why the United States and Canada became the last two countries to take fleet-grounding actions.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acting administrator Daniel Elwell explained it elegantly when he said: "We are a data-driven, action-oriented agency and we don't make decisions about grounding aircraft... without actionable data."

In this case, the actionable data did not arrive until yesterday (US defends delay in grounding Boeing 737 Max, March 15).

Unless CAAS had greater insight than FAA, CAAS' act was nothing more than political, or at least not as conjectured by Mr Sim that it was "right to put safety first regardless of the financial impact".

It is so much simpler to give in to emotions and political pressure and make fast-and-easy decisions than to make decisive actions grounded on truth and based on facts.

Cheang Peng Wah