For those who want it in dot points or a tiny silver screen this is what’s in or a consequence of the Senate committee inquiry into the air accident investigation (Pel-Air) report.

  • CASA and thus its Director of Air Safety, John McCormick, have been referred to the Federal Police for a possible breach of the Transport Safety Investigations Act in relation to withholding a relevant document from the ATSB
  • The chief commissioner of the ATSB, Martin Dolan, has been severely criticised by the committee for his testimony and the actions of the supposedly independent air safety investigator
  • CASA has been warned not to do anything that would offend the protections of parliamentary privilege given to those who made submissions or testimony to the committee in public or in camera.
  • The ATSB’s conduct of the Pel-Air inquiry has been variously described as compromised, illogical, inadequate and contrary to the interest of aviation safety or public confidence in air safety investigations in Australia
  • The ATSB should reopen its inquiry into the Pel-Air crash and take into account factors it excluded in favour of blaming almost everything on the pilot
  • Improvements to weather information availability on Norfolk Island should be variously made or considered
  • CASA has been found to have withheld information that if published would have reflected poorly on its acquittal of its duties of oversight and regulation in relation to Pel-Air.
  • Both organisations have been criticised for being more concerned with their image than public safety issues
  • CASA withheld information that showed that it was aware of deficiencies in the Pel-Air operation which if acted upon may have prevented the Pel-Air crash
  • The chief commissioner of the ATSB tried to rely on an international rule concerning air safety investigation that didn’t take force for a year after the Pel-Air crash to justify not retrieving the flight data recorder from the seabed near Norfolk Island
  • The committee has made a series of recommendations for improving the transparency and integrity and effectiveness of the ATSB and CASA by the appointment of a powerful Inspector-General of Aviation Safety
  • The Senate committee’s findings are unprecedented in the dissatisfaction expressed in the quality, integrity and effectiveness of air safety administration in Australia as in the Federal Police referral and the warning to a public authority not to take action against those whose testimony is protected by parliamentary privilege.
  • There is no immediately discoverable record of a national air safety investigator even being requested by a parliamentary review committee to reopen an inquiry on the basis of it being deficient on multiple grounds including internationally accepted standards for such activities
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