Australian/European Aviation Safety Oversight Challenged
The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) has prevailed in a three-year legal battle against CASA, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority. ALAEA sued to gain access to safety-related audit reports of CASA-approved foreign maintenance bases. According to an ALAEA spokesperson, the suit was filed in response to the discovery of “poor quality maintenance” on Qantas aircraft after being maintained at approved facilities in Singapore and Hong Kong. One Qantas aircraft allegedly departed an approved foreign maintenance organization with more than 450 open defects. The maintenance facilities have a stamp of approval from CASA and various other aviation authorities around the world. ALAEA used the Freedom of Information Act to request all CASA audit reports on the companies concerned. “The implications of this case are far reaching and will eventually take on a global perspective. The evidence produced so far clearly highlights a standard of work well below that which is acceptable, yet the organizations concerned continue to operate under multiple approvals obtained from various national aviation authorities around the world,” the spokesman said.