Ross Greenwood speaks to Civil Aviation Safety Authority Peter Gibson after CASA announced Australia will temporarily ban the operation of the Boeing 737 MAX, the same model from the Ethiopian Airlines crash, into Australia.
Ross Greenwood: Civil Aviation Safety Authority which as I indicated earlier has temporarily suspended the operation of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into or out of Australia. That’s happened this evening. The spokesperson for CASA is Peter Gibson who is online. Many thanks for your time Peter.
Interview with: Peter Gibson, Spokesperson, Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Peter Gibson: No problem.
Ross Greenwood: Clearly, they’ve been a number of other sovereign nations have taken this action, Australia has joined them. Is this considered to be a precaution and how long is the ban likely to be on?
Peter Gibson: Yes, it is considered to be a precaution. We’re being conservative basically. There are lots of questions about the aircraft type, the 737 MAX and not many answers at this point. While that information is being found obviously through the investigation into the Ethiopian accident and also by the work being done by the United States Federal Aviation Administration. We think it’s prudent just to say, “We won’t have that aircraft operating into and out of Australia.” Hopefully, not for too long but it’s hard to say for exactly how long at this stage.
Ross Greenwood: It seems there’s two airlines in particular that are affected by this ban in and out of Australia.
Peter Gibson: Yes, that’s right. SilkAir, the Singapore low cost carrier operates the 737 MAX in Australia as does Fiji Airways. Now, Fiji does have other aircraft types they can put onto the route. They’ve told us that. There shouldn’t be too much inconvenience there. SilkAir, already the Singapore Aviation Authority had decided the same thing as us. That is to suspend the operations of the 737 MAX. SilkAir might be operating their MAX aircraft to Australia either.
Ross Greenwood: The one thing we should make as an observation to people is that CASA and other aviation authorities around the world really do act in collaboration on these things. Any information that is being gained on these aircraft around the world is certainly passed on to you and that does very much dictate your actions in regards to the safety standards of aircraft operating in our skies.
Peter Gibson: Absolutely, that’s right. There’s great collaboration between all safety regulators. In this case, the US Federal Aviation Administration has the lead because they’re certifying authority for Boeing aircraft, but other authorities like ourselves, makes their own judgment on whether they’re happy for the aircraft type to continue operating, and for the moment we thought the best thing is to suspend that, while we get more information while investigation into the Ethiopian accident gets underway. Then we can decide what the appropriate course of action is. There’s a lot of work going on, that will continue, but in the meantime, we’re being prudent by taking this action.
Ross Greenwood: Peter Gibson is a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia on the suspension of the operation of any Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into or out of Australia. Peter, I appreciate your time in the program this evening.
Peter Gibson: Thank you very much.
Image source: 2GB