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AusALPA MEDIA RELEASE: AUSTRALIAN AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION

25 September 2018

In reply to the release of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) response to the Independent Report on Australia’s Fatigue Rules, the Australian Air Line Pilots Association (AusALPA) the technical body representing more than 7000 of Australia’s Professional Pilots has expressed disappointment in CASA’s ability to conduct itself as an Independent Regulator.

Acting President Captain Murray Butt said the language in the report focused on commercial considerations over the required safety arguments, and consequently pilots in Australia have little confidence that the safety of the travelling public is the number one priority of CASA as stated in its Charter.

“CASA has apparently decided that Australian airlines are capable of self-regulating when it comes to fatigue,” Captain Butt said.

“Australia’s experience with self-regulation has never ended well, particularly in a complicated industry such as aviation, where history shows that commercial interests must be balanced with safety considerations,” he said.

Captain Butt said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) approach to fatigue management has been a co-operative one, between Regulator, Airline Operator and Pilot Representatives to achieve fatigue mitigating solutions. This contrasts with the CASA proposal which is a hands-off regulator once a fatigue system is approved, with no requirement for airlines to ensure Pilot Representatives are independently selected by pilots.

“We have seen this in the past where WH&S Representatives were hand-picked by commercial interests. This eventually led to the requirement that representatives be elected to ensure their independence. CASA has resisted any such system for fatigue management throughout this rule-making process.”

“AusALPA regards this fatigue management rule-making as being symptomatic of the wider CASA approach in appointing unbalanced decision-making bodies with representatives of vested commercial interests, without the balancing views of pilot representative organisations.”

“Pilots are losing faith in this process and the Government which is overseeing it,” Captain Butt said.

Murray Butt, and Shane Loney from AusALPA are available for interview.

Media contact: John Hill 0412197079