Accident at Jorge Chávez airport: Corpac controllers investigated continue working at the entity | LIME

Accident at Jorge Chávez airport: Corpac controllers investigated continue working at the entity | LIME
Accident at Jorge Chávez airport: Corpac controllers investigated continue working at the entity | LIME

A little over a year has passed since the tragic accident in the Jorge Chavez International Airport which caused the death of three aeronautical firefighters, after the unit in which they were mobilized crashed with a plane that was taking off at that time. Likewise, the Sudaca portal recently broadcast a video from the control tower that would demonstrate alleged negligence on the part of air traffic controllers. In this regard, the general manager of the Peruvian Airports and Commercial Aviation Corporation (Corpac), Roger Bernedo, indicated that the investigated workers continue to work in the entity, since they have not yet been judicially sentenced.

READ ALSO: Corpac on the video of the control tower during the accident: “they try to confuse public opinion”

This is what he pointed out Bernedo yesterday, during his presentation, together with the president of the board of directors of Corpac, Roberto De La Torre, in the Congressional Transportation Commission, where both were summoned to provide explanations after the latest images released. In these, some controllers are observed engaging in inappropriate behavior, such as resting and even sleeping.

It is worth detailing that there are 4 workers who have been investigated by the Public Ministry: Wilber Ruiz, general coordinator of the control tower; supervisors Estrella Alcántara and Marcelo Rodríguez; and air traffic controller Reynaldo Bravo.

We have 4 controllers who have been accused by the prosecution and are going to testify. The supervisor who was sleeping is one of them. The supervisor who relieved him and acted very well has also been investigated; as well as the surface controller. Finally, the supervisor and boss of all of them as well. The 4 are being investigated“, he claimed.

The president of the Corpac board of directors, Roberto De La Torre, expressed that the inappropriate behavior on the part of some of the Control Tower workers, which is evidenced in the video released, has no justification. (Photo: Jorge Cerdán)

The general manager of Corpac specified that by protocol, the The General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics requires personnel involved in an accident to be removed from the operation for a certain period of time, after which they must be re-evaluated again, and if applicable, restored to their positions.

They were removed from operation. Approximately 30 days later they were reevaluated and reinstated again, and are now continuing to work. Of course, except for the two controllers who have the wrong posture, who have been sent to other types of activities, such as simulators or trainers.“, said Bernedo.

On the other hand, he added that following the report carried out last September by the Aviation Accident Investigation Commission (CIIA), which points out several conclusions and recommendations, Corpac created an internal investigation board, taking into account only those workers who the video shows having bad behavior and in inappropriate postures, and not those who are being investigated by the prosecutor’s office in order not to interfere with processes.

Video shows responsibility of Corpac in accident where three firefighters died

For his part, De La Torre expressed that the inappropriate behavior on the part of some of the workers at the Control towerand which is evidenced in the video released, has no justification.

It can’t be tolerated. For us it is unacceptable. That is why we ask the management [de Corpac] to adopt the disciplinary measures that must be taken. They can’t be in that attitude“, held.

He also added that the entity’s board of directors has asked management to implement all the recommendations indicated in the CIIA report. “All of these recommendations are being implemented to prevent future accidents.”, he highlighted.

READ ALSO: Corpac on the video of the control tower during the accident: “they try to confuse public opinion”

Hours before, in interviews with various media, Bernedo had accepted a certain responsibility for Corpac in the context of the accident, which was not having carried out planned coordination with the concessionaire Lima Airport Partners so that the firefighters could carry out a response time exercise at the airport terminal.

However, he reiterated that the aeronautical firefighters received authorization to start the drill, but not to enter the airport’s landing strip. Jorge Chavez. He maintained that the exercise was planned to go along routes that did not have access to the flight runway.

Corpac has some responsibility in the issues of coordination and using phraseology, but the cause is clear: there was no permission to enter the flight runway”, he insisted.

What does the control tower video reveal?

In a report by journalist Juan Carlos Tafur, published on the YouTube channel of Sudaca Perú last Friday, there is a chronology of events that occurred minutes before the accident, as well as the precise moment of the tragedy and the moments after. to the same.

According to the report, on November 18, 2022, the day of the accident, air traffic controller Reynaldo Bravo began work, who moments later, at 3:09 pm, gave authorization to the aeronautical firefighters to begin the Time and Response exercise.

The video also shows the moment in which the supervisor of the Control tower of the airportMarcelo Rodríguez, sleeps for about 14 minutes, between 2:46 pm and 3:00 pm, even though he was the person in charge of coordinating the firefighters’ exercises with all the parties involved.

A report by Sudaca provides a chronology of events that occurred minutes before the accident, as well as the precise moment of the tragedy and the moments after it. (Photo: Sudaca video capture)

Likewise, at 3:00 pm, he entered the Control tower another worker, also an air traffic controller, who decided to take some time to rest and lie down between two chairs. She even placed a pillow behind her to support her head and covered herself with a blanket.

According to the images, when the clock read 3:11 pm, personnel from the Control tower He watched the fire truck and the Latam plane approach the landing strip, but he couldn’t do anything other than observe the scene. Seconds later tragedy occurs. The workers become desperate and cannot believe what has just happened.

Immediately, a tower supervisor asked the air traffic controllers if they coordinated that the firefighters’ exercise had to take place outside the runway. That same worker asks controller Reynaldo Bravo if he notified the firefighters that the exercise was off the track, but he does not respond. He then asks for someone to relieve him of the position.

READ ALSO: Prosecutor’s Office received video without audio about what happened in the control tower during the accident at the airport, according to lawyer

Minutes later, at 3:16 pm, and at the insistence of the supervisor, Bravo acknowledges that he did not notify the firefighters that the exercise had to be carried out outside the track. “I have not said off-piste, nor have I told you authorized on the piste,” you hear him say.

At 3:35 pm, Marcelo Rodríguez, the supervisor who was caught sleeping before the accident, admits to his co-workers that the controller Reynaldo Bravo did not receive the information from him, and that he did not have time to give it to him.

Finally, at 4:07 pm, Wilber Ruiz, general coordinator of the Control tower of the Jorge Chavez airportrequests the workers of Corpac to issue a report on what happened and, based on the fact that they supposedly never knew that the firefighters wanted to enter the landing strip, they are heard saying: “all closed.”

Father of deceased firefighter speaks

Roberto Santa Gadea, father of one of the deceased firefighters, rejected the fact that the workers involved in the investigation into the tragic accident remain working in Corpac and that they have not been separated, at least provisionally, while the investigations last and are completed.

It is a topic that does not comply; That is, when a worker is involved in an accident, the first thing they should do is separate them to see what has happened. If they continue working, Peruvians would think that we are in the hands of people who did not fulfill their role well.”, he expressed.

READ ALSO: MTC announces that it will increase the number of positions for air traffic controllers and arranges the reorganization of Corpac

About the recently released video of the Control towerpointed out that this has been evaluated by his lawyer and that they do not rule out filing a complaint for the alleged crime of manslaughter.

This tragedy could have been avoided. When watching the videos that have been relevant, you can see two people who are watching the movement of the equipment. It is also seen that two people are resting”, he questioned.

It is worth specifying that the aeronautical firefighters Nicolás Santa Gadea and Ángel Torres died instantly after the collision between the emergency truck and a Latam plane. The third firefighter, Manuel Villanueva, died in June of this year after several months of being hospitalized.

Corpac confirmed its decision to hold firefighters responsible

Through a statement issued last Saturday, Corpac He pointed out that the images released by Sudaca were “edited and taken out of context,” as they claim that “they do not conform to reality.” The entity indicated that it delivered to the Aviation Accident Investigation Commission (CIAA) the complete recording of the Control Tower (24 hours long), showing what happened before, during and after the accident.

Therefore, it is not true that the company has hidden these recordings, nor that they constitute new evidence within the framework of the investigations.“, accurate.

Corpac recalled that, after examining all the recordings, the Aviation Accident Investigation Commission (CIIA) ruled out that the conduct of the controllers, which occurred moments before the accident, such as sleeping and lying on two chairs, was the cause of the accident. same.

Nevertheless, Corpac considers that the physical postures of some of the controllers on the day of the accident are unacceptable and, for this reason, it has been carrying out a profound reform in said area.“, held.

Meanwhile, he highlighted that in its report, the CIAA determined that the cause of the accident was the incursion of the SSEI – LAP vehicle (where the firefighters were) on the landing strip without having the authorization of the Control tower. He explained that this permission was not requested by the personnel on board said unit nor granted by the Control Tower at any time.

Conclusion 35 of the report indicates: “The authorization to enter the flight runway was not requested by the Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (SSEI-LAP) nor authorized by the Control tower before or during exercise””, he pointed out.

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