Airline cleared of safety claims

Claims of unsafe practices by Regional Express (REX) were at the centre of an intensive two-day audit conducted by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Even though a final report has not been finished, CASA has confirmed it had no current issues with the safety of REX aircraft.

The investigation came after a report by the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers' Association was lodged with CASA in May in which there were a number of claims of a poor safety culture within the company.

Last week CASA spokesperson Peter Gibson said a 17-page document was lodged by a former engineer with the company and his union at the end of May, and the authority had been analysing the claims.

"If there are any safety issues identified, we will make sure that's addressed properly, but we haven't identified any to date," he said.

On Saturday, July 6, CASA release a statement that it had confirmed it had no issues with the airline's safety after conducting an audit at the REX Wagga maintenance facility as part of the safety assurance review.

The audit focussed on the airlines safety management system and the processes of reporting concerns.

In the statement CASA reported that REX staff and management were interviewed and found to be cooperative and confident in the airline's safety reporting systems.

In a media release, a REX spokesperson said the organisation was grateful the investigation had been conducted responsibly.

"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," they stated.

"Rex has nothing but contempt for the efforts of some media outlets to generate more sales through malicious attacks on its airline safety record based on biased and anecdotal accusations by anonymous disgruntled staff.

"Not only could such disgraceful acts be capable of seriously damaging Rex but it could also result in, if Rex had been forced to cease flying, many remote and rural regional communities permanently losing air services that are critical for their socio-economic needs.

A final CASA report will be submitted in coming days.