Supporting Aviation Accident Investigators in Iraq

By Debbie Hersman

Last month, the NTSB joined the U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq when Training Center Director Paul Schuda, Senior Aviation Investigator Dennis Jones and Senior Advisor for International Affairs Gail Robertson spent a week in Baghdad. The team met with transportation officials and provided basic aviation accident investigation training to 22 Iraqi aviation professionals. The students, representing five Iraq airports, participated in the class taught at the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority Training Center at the Baghdad International Airport.

The Iraq Minister of Transportation Hadi Al-Amiri and Captain Nasser-Bander, director of the Civil Aviation Authority, both participated. Minister Al-Amiri told the group, “I appreciate the support from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. Embassy and Transportation Attache’s office and I want the class to know that I support not only this training but will support further training in order to further build our accident investigation capabilities.”

The class was well received and as follow-up, NTSB will work with the Embassy to bring students to the two-week basic aviation accident investigation course in April at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Va.

To round out the trip, NTSB staff toured the Baghdad International Airport control tower, observed new training simulators for air traffic controllers and also met with Iraqi railroad officials.

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