Response to Airline Accident Investigations Report

Media Release

WT042/2014

20 March 2014

Today Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced the Australian Government's response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee's Report into Aviation Accident Investigations.

Mr Truss welcomed the Committee's report as an important contribution to further improving Australia's aviation safety framework and commended the Committee on its careful deliberations.

“The Government has agreed to 20 of the 26 recommendations in the report, with a further four of the recommendations being matters for consideration by the independent safety agencies concerned,” Mr Truss said.

“Key recommendations that the Government has agreed to include improvements to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's (ATSB) investigative and reporting policies and procedures, and the establishment of better and more transparent information sharing and governance arrangements between the ATSB and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

“A number of initiatives have already been implemented to address many of the recommendations in the report.

“In November last year we established an independent Aviation Safety Regulation Review, which is expected to bring forward a number of options for the Government's consideration on further improvements to Australia's aviation safety regulation framework.

“The Review, being undertaken by a panel of leading international aviation safety experts, is also examining options for reducing the cost of regulation on industry.”

The Aviation Safety Regulation Review Panel is expected to deliver its report to the Government by the end of May 2014.

Mr Truss said since receiving the Senate Committee's report, an independent peer review of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau had also commenced which is examining the Bureau's methodologies and processes, concerns about which were raised in the Committee's report.

The peer review of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is being carried out by the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, which is also expected to finalise its report in May 2014.

Mr Truss added that the government has also recently introduced legislative amendments to strengthen the CASA Board by providing for an additional two members.

“These amendments will allow the Government to increase the level of aviation experience on the Board and allow an expanded Board to oversee CASA's new strategic direction, which the Government will issue to CASA after it has considered the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Panel's report,” he said.

A copy of the Australian Government's full response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee's Report into Aviation Accident Investigations is available online at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/safety