Regional Express (REX) has hit back at ‘wild accusations’ the airline has a poor safety culture.
The response comes after the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) submitted a report to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) which claimed staff felt intimidated into not reporting defects, according to Nine.
The 17-page document alleged a ‘culture of fear’ within the airline.
ALAEA asked the safety authority to remove REX’s capacity to service its own aircraft, a move that would effectively ground the entire fleet.
The regional airline wrote in response to claims which they said had been raised previously by a ‘disgruntled engineer and his union’ to the Fair Work Commission and to CASA.
‘Realising that these baseless accusations are not getting any traction, some are now taking the despicable and cowardly approach of launching anonymous malicious attacks on Rex in the press,’ Chief Operating Officer Neville Howell said.
‘Rex has been advised by the ALAEA that it is CASA that is behind the anonymous leaks,’ Mr Howell said.
The airline said it had invited senior management from CASA on June 18 to discuss the claims, along with ‘the professional failings of the disgruntled engineer’.
REX added it had a proven track for its Safety Management System and culture, before referring to a section of a statement it was sent from CASA late last month.
‘I would like to re-iterate my previous advice that the Board and Management of CASA have no current safety concerns with Rex. …CASA is satisfied that Rex is currently meeting all its obligations,’ Mr Howell said.
‘We will leave it to the safety authority to judge if our safety culture is lacking in any manner.’
The document submitted to CASA alleges ‘serious breaches of safety’ and details a 2017 incident when a flight from Albury to Sydney saw a 100kg propeller land metres away from southwest Sydney homes, according to The Daily Telegraph.
An investigation later identified a fatigue crack as the cause, according to the publication.
A spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘CASA is reviewing the allegations. We have put them to REX and they have responded.
‘All this information is one being carefully considered.
‘We are looking at the allegations thoroughly.they were in the progress of reviewing the allegations and response.’
A source told the publication the alleged culture is ‘manifestly dangerous’ and staff won’t report things.
ALAEA declined to comment while matters are still before the courts.