Qantas Statement on CASA Review

Sydney, 03 August 2008

Qantas today said it would work with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on the latest review it planned for some of the airline's operations.

The Executive General Manager of Qantas Engineering, Mr David Cox, said Qantas had a long and respected history of safety, engineering and maintenance excellence, and that the flying public should have confidence in the airline.

"Our operations are first class and are continually subject to the scrutiny of Australian and overseas regulators as well as our own internal audits," Mr Cox said.

"We have no issue with this latest review and CASA says it has no evidence to suggest that safety standards at Qantas have fallen. We agree and are totally confident these checks will confirm the integrity our engineering and maintenance operations and our commitment to safety.

"CASA regularly audits a range of Qantas' operations. Qantas Engineering, for example, successfully completed 13 audits in the last year alone, and a recent comprehensive audit of Qantas' Air Operators Certificate resulted in the airline’s operating approval being again confirmed."

Mr Cox said Qantas also conducted up to 150 internal audits each year on Qantas Engineering's operations, and was the subject of extensive audits by around 75 external regulators, manufacturers and customer airlines. These included CASA's equivalents in the United States, the European Union, Japan and New Zealand.

"On any given day, Qantas Engineering is working with multiple audit teams, both internal and external, who are forensically scrutinising every part of our operations, and our compliance, openness and responsiveness to regulator audits is well known across the industry," he said.

"We always have been, and always will be, fully open to this intense and constant scrutiny in the knowledge that our standards are confirmed every time these auditors renew our approvals."

Mr Cox said yesterday's B767-300 air turn back was a routine and appropriate response to an issue with the aircraft's hydraulic system.

"Qantas Group airlines operate more than 330,000 sectors each year, and issues that require an air turn back are extremely rare," he said.

"In this case, the flight crew responded appropriately, emergency services were on standby at Sydney Airport as a precaution, there was absolutely no safety issue at any time and, after checks, the aircraft was back in service eight hours later."

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3795)