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Qantas, ALAEA in door fight

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 27, 2010

Qantas and the ALAEA fighting over Q400 cockpit access doors. (Paul Sadler)

Qantas has rejected claims by the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) that QantasLink is flying aircraft with faulty locks on cockpit doors.

The ALAEA says that locks on the cockpit access doors of its Bombardier Q400 fleet can be easily opened, and despite management being aware of the issue, the aircraft continue to fly. The union says that the aircraft are in breach of Department of Transport regulations and should be grounded until the door issue is rectified.

Qantas has rejected ALAEA’s claims, noting that work to upgrade the security of the cockpit access doors on the QantasLink fleet had commenced long before the union made its claims.

“Safety and security are our highest priorities, and the cockpit doors on 28 QantasLink turboprop aircraft meet all relevant aviation security regulatory and manufacturer requirements,” said Qantas group executive government and corporate affairs, David Epstein.

“This has been validated after consultation with the Office of Transport Security and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.”

Qantas also notes that the ALAEA claims have arisen during negotiations between the two parties on a new enterprise bargaining agreement for QantasLink engineers. “This is a well worn tactic of the ALAEA’s federal secretary, Steve Purvinas, when enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations are not going his way,” Epstein said.

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