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No flying in the face of safety regulations

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-06 07:00

ON SUNDAY, A YOUNG WOMAN POSTED ON her micro blog a photo taken in the cockpit of a commercial airline during a flight, which aroused public anger. On Monday, Air Guilin, the airline concerned, banned the pilot of the flight from flying for life and suspended all the crew members involved. China Daily writer Zhang Zhouxiang comments:

Some have defended the pilot and the crew by saying that the young woman might not pose any harm to the flight, but that defense is rather pale. An average commercial airliner usually carries more than a hundred passengers, and any distracting of the pilots or accidental knocking of the controls might cause the plane to crash.

The cockpit of any commercial airline is given the highest security and the woman's behavior and that of the flight crew were against domestic flight regulations. The pilot has got the penalty he deserves and there is nothing for him to complain about.

Yet the incident has raised public concerns. According to a news release of Air Guilin and the photos posted by the young woman herself, the incident occurred in January. Yet the disciplinary process did not start until November. If the young woman had not posted the selfie via micro blog, the incident might have never been revealed. If the young woman's photo had not created such a media fuss, what kind of action would the airline have taken. Worse, the incident has raised worries that such risky behavior might be taking place on other flights without anybody ever knowing about it.

Intrusion into the cockpit is a major risk to flight security and there should be no exceptions. The possibility must be eliminated. We cannot rely on public opinion for our security in the air. It is time to strengthen the regulatory mechanism of airlines and increase the punishments for anyone who dares break the rules and ignores passengers' safety. Flight security can never be compromised and there is no excuse for anyone doing so.

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