Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 3, 2008 — In response to the announcement from France today that prosecutors have decided to charge Continental Airlines with involuntary manslaughter and bring criminal charges against some Continental employees, the French Civil Aviation Authority, and the Concorde program in connection with the tragic crash of the Concorde in 2000, Flight Safety Foundation President and CEO William R. Voss said:
“Like other recent and failed attempts to criminalize aviation accidents in France, these manslaughter charges appear rather dubious and short-sighted. Absent willful intent or highly egregious conduct, we seriously question the basis for putting companies and aviation professionals through the ordeal of criminal prosecutions. In addition, we’re very concerned criminal prosecutions will discourage the free flow of information from operators to management to regulators, to the detriment of aviation safety.”
Voss further noted that the Flight Safety Foundation, which has been active in such cases around the world, will be watching developments in this case with great interest and will speak out forcefully when necessary.
In October 2006, the Flight Safety Foundation, the Royal Aeronautical Society, l’Academie Nationale de l’Air et de l’Espace, and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation jointly signed the Criminalization Resolution decrying the criminalization of aviation accident investigation.
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents. www.flightsafety.org
Contact: Emily McGee, Director of Communications, 1-703-739-6700, ext. 126; firstname.lastname@example.org