Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has cancelled the air operator's certificate of Transair, the airline involved in the May 2005 crash at Lockhart River in Queensland - the country's worst civil aviation accident in 40 years.

Earlier this year the safety regulator issued the Brisbane-based airline with an enforceable voluntary undertaking (EVU) by because of safety worries. CASA was concerned with "organisational structural problems, systemic documentation and reporting problems impacting on maintenance procedures, and quality control and review".

As part of the EVU, Transair will review and adjust its organisational structure and infrastructure, revise maintenance systems, review maintenance tracking data, conduct internal and external audits of its maintenance system and tracking processes, and report to CASA on implementation progress.

CASA chief executive Bruce Byron told the Australian Senate last month that the airline's AOC had been revoked as the company had failed to address the problems. The airline can continue to fly if it appeals successfully, however.

In the accident on 7 May 2005, a Transair Fairchild Metro III crashed into terrain on an RNAV (GNSS) approach 11km (6nm) north-west of Lockhart River aerodrome in Queensland, killing all 13 passengers and two crew on board.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is still investigating the crash and does not expect to release a final report until March, although a draft final report could be sent to affected parties this month.

Transair was reissued with a three-year AOC after passing a CASA audit just before the crash, but former employees have raised concerns about the company's compliance with regulations.

Source: Flight International