CASA Audit Clears Australia’s Regional Express

Audit had been triggered by allegations from a former Rex engineer and his union.

A month-long review of Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) turned up nothing that suggests the operator is unsafe, the regulator announced.

The audit that led to CASA’s July 6 public statement was triggered by allegations from a former Rex engineer and his union that the airline pressured its maintenance staff to overlook safety issues. CASA said its review included a two-day audit of the carrier’s heavy maintenance facility in Wagga Wagga, Australia, and interviews of five randomly selected engineers.

"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.

Rex said CASA’s audit found a 13% increase in defect reports over the last two years.

"Feedback from CASA during the audit supports our position that the Rex Safety Management System, including its safety culture, to be effective, advanced and healthy,” Rex said. CASA’s findings supported results from five previous audits conducted since February 2018, the airline continued. 

The airline added that it welcomed CASA’s public statement and considers the matter “closed.”

Rex, Australia’s largest regional carrier outside of the Qantas Group, operates 58 Saab 340s on more than 1,500 weekly flights to 60 Australian destinations.

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