After Crash, PMT Must Pay Up to Fly High

Provided their airplanes meet international standards and they pay compensation to families who lost relatives in a June 2007 crash, PMT Air will once again be al­lowed to fly in Cambodia, ac­cording to an official with the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.

In October 2008, the secretariat suspended PMT’s air operator’s certificate for safety violations following an investigation into its June 25, 2007, crash in Kampot province that left 22 dead: 13 South Koreans, five Cambodians, three Czechs and an Uzbek pilot. The ban on PMT flights expired on April 14.

Since the crash, none of the families of the 22 victims have been compensated by the airline for their loss.

PMT “can fly again after it fulfills our requirements and pays the victims,” Mao Havanall, secretary of state at the secretariat, said Tues­day. As far as what the requirements are, Mr Mao Havanall would only say that PMT would have to provide the secretariat with information about “where the plane is from, its age, technical fitness and its staff structure.”

Government, PMT officials and the airline’s insurance company, which has never been publicly id­entified, plan to meet sometime next week in Phnom Penh to discuss the long-awaited issue of compensation that has yet to be paid to the families of those who died in the June 2007 crash.

“It takes a long time for the negotiations because the victims ask for too much compensation,” he add­ed, but declined to say how much compensation the families should expect to receive.

After nearly two years of waiting some of the Cambodian families, who are asking for $70,000 each in compensation, said they knew no­thing of next week’s meeting.

“They said they will pay us all together, but I haven’t seen a thing so far,” Heang Sorphon, the wife of a flight engineer who died in the crash, said by telephone Tuesday.

PMT President Sar Sareth hung up on reporters when reached by phone Tuesday.


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