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Australian safety oversight found wanting by ICAO

Australia has promised to correct by the end of the year shortcomings in its aviation safety oversight system. The faults were discovered by the International Civil Aviation Organisation during an inspection under its universal safety oversight audit programme (USOAP).

Among other things, the ICAO report found that Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority lacked the technical expertise to carry out all its functions, its training of specialists was lacking, and its record keeping and inspections were poor.

It also found CASA did not manage effectively contractors hired to conduct inspections on its behalf. Meanwhile, the report observed that CASA had been failing to oversee properly extended twin-engine operations procedures of airlines such as Qantas.

CASA says: "The [report] compares Australia's performance with the international norm and shows that Australia is at the international average or above in all categories. Overall, the audit report is positive, but it has identified some issues that Australia could do better in. Particularly in CASA, the report highlights the need for improved training of technical staff. We are developing new programmes for this."

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