Gol Goes On and On
According to Brazil’s Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, critics are “playing politics” when they disparage the state of Brazil’s aviation industry, in which occured in the past year, the crash of a Gol jetliner over the Amazon in which 154 people died, and July’s disaster when an Airbus crashed into a warehouse in Sao Paulo killing 199 people.
Nevertheless, during a seminar in the United States, the President of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers, Marc Baumgartner criticized the Brazilian Air Force which oversees Brazil’s air traffic control system for trying to punish the controllers. “The Brazilian Air Force invested lots of energy to arrest and prosecute its own workers but none to fix its (air traffic control) system.” He also said that “it’s a question of time before a new air accident happens again in Brazil.”
So far, a military court has declined to indict five Brazilian air traffic controllers for the GOL crash. Two American pilots face charges in a civilian criminal court in connection with the same crash. A Congressional commission report supports the indictment of pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino.