Australian charter operator grounded over safety issued
West Australian Alligator Airways grounded
The Civil Aviation safety Authority has grounded a West Australian charter operator because of worries about the safety of its operations.
CASA has suspended both the air operator's certificate and the maintenance certificate of approval of Kununurra-based Alligator Airways because of concerns about aircraft maintenance, failure to report incidents, inadequate pilot records, a deficient safety culture and a failure to appoint key personnel.
Alligator has been flying charter flights from both Kununurra and Broome, both tourism centres. It conducts air tours and scenic flights around the Kimberley.
CASA said it issued a series of show cause notices this year and last but believed that allowing the charter company to continue to fly posed a serious and imminent risk to safety.
“Since the last show cause notice there have been further incidents raising concerns about Alligator Airways' ability to continue to conduct operations safely,” the authority said.
“These incidents involved forced landings where CASA believes employees of Alligator Airways were aware of significant defects affecting the safety of aircraft prior to flight.
“In the circumstances, CASA no longer has confidence in the ability of Alligator Airways to satisfactorily address the safety issues that have been identified.”
The suspension applies immediately for five working days during which time CASA can apply to the Federal Court for extension to the grounding.