The GPIAA director, Álvaro Neves, told Lusa News Agency that “current practice is for an investigator to take the boxes, stay as long as needed to attend the decoding of their contents and then return to Portugal with them”, but the body does not have the money to pay for the journey and so it has to ask the ministry for authorisation for extraordinary expenses.
He said that the readings from the black boxes were “indispensable” in the incident investigation process about the ATR plane from Porto that lost its landing gear when it landed in Lisbon on Saturday.
The public body’s “financial strangulation”, with its annual budget having been cut from €500,000 in 2015 to €300,000 this year, means it “has to ask for authorisation for everything”.
Following a first assessment of the plane’s nose gear, which broke during the landing in bad weather, the investigation is continuing with an evaluation of the main landing gear structure and the aircraft’s two black boxes.