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President Papadopoulos vows full investigation in Helios Airways crash
2005-08-16 11:07:40

Nicosia, Aug 16 -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has pledged that a full investigation will be carried out into the cause of the Helios Airways plane crash on Sunday.

Speaking after a memorial service for the victims of the crash, President Papadopoulos expressed deep sorrow and pain for the loss of life and stressed that the ''government will go beyond conveying condolences and will stand by the relatives, offering every help they might need''.

He assured the Cyprus people that the government ''will make serious efforts for a full investigation to find the cause of the crash and those responsible for this tragedy''.

Mr. Papadopoulos also said the government was in contact with the European Union and would not hesitate to call in ''independent and objective experts until this is fully investigated, impartially, and until responsibility is attributed, no matter who those responsible may be.''

Moreover, an announcement by the island's Civil Aviation Department said that the safety standards of flights in Cyprus are in line with the common safety regulatory standards and procedures of the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) and the European Union.

The Department further noted that its collaboration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority was continuing and a relevant contract would be signed by the end of August 2005.

The Ministry of Finance has already approved the expenses for such collaboration, the announcement added.

Furthermore, the Department of Civil Aviation pointed out that contrary to press reports, the doomed plane of Helios Airways had the relevant RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum) certification since April of 2004 and was allowed to fly at an altitude of over 29,000 ft.

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