Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has given Regional Express (Rex) the all clear after completing a review of the airline’s safety management system.
The regulator said in a statement on Friday it had completed a two-day audit of the airline’s maintenance facility at Wagga Wagga on July 4 and 5, where its staff interviewed engineers and audited its safety management system.
“The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has confirmed it has no current issues with the safety of Rex aircraft,” the CASA statement said.
“This follows intensive work over the last month reviewing allegations made about short comings in Rex maintenance.”
The regulator said management and staff, which were randomly selected for interview, were cooperative and responsive to the audit team’s requests and questions.
“All of them said that they felt confident in reporting maintenance errors or defects and they indicated Rex operated according to ‘just culture’ principles,” CASA said.
“CASA will carefully assess the information obtained in the course of the audit against the requirements of the applicable civil aviation legislation.
“Although it normally takes up to 21 days to finalise an audit report of this kind, CASA is expediting the completion of this report.”
The CASA review followed allegations from an engineer that the airline had discouraged its staff from reporting safety defects.
Rex, which has denied the allegations and described them as baseless, welcomed Friday’s CASA statement.
“Rex owes the CASA Board, CASA Executive Management and its Director of Aviation Safety a vote of gratitude for carrying out their responsibilities as the guardian of Australian air safety without fear or favour,” Rex said in a statement on Monday.
“CASA conducted their investigations in a prompt, comprehensive and responsible manner that should leave no doubt with regard to the safety of Rex flights in the minds of regional passengers, many of whom depend exclusively on Rex for their medical, educational and professional travelling needs.
“With the announcement of CASA’s definitive findings, Rex considers the matter to be closed, and Rex’s management will now be able to focus its attention exclusively to providing our passengers with a safe and reliable air service.”