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Mr Andre Kovtun, Deputy Head Mission, Minister Counsellor to the Committee of Independant States, and Mr Kym Bills, Executive Director of the ATSB, sign the Memorandum

The increasing cooperation between Australian transport safety investigators and their counterparts from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), has been recognised by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding this morning.

The Memorandum was signed by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), representing 12 Independent States: Azerbaidjan, Armenia, Belorus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmena, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

This agreement sets out protocols for the sharing of expertise and experience relating to investigations, with the sole objective of improving the safety of air transport, ATSB Executive Director, Mr Kym Bills, said.

We are working closely with the IAC on the investigation into the crash of a Russian aircraft near Cakung Airport, Baucau, East Timor, on January 31 this year.

The IAC represents the country of manufacture and design of the aircraft involved.

IAC investigators are assisting with information about the aircraft as well as flight recorder replay and analysis.

The ATSB and IAC investigate accidents and incidents so that the industry can prevent such occurrences from happening again as enshrined in Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, we do not investigate with a view to blame or liability.

Both Australia and the Commonwealth of Independent States are also members of the International Transport Safety Association (ITSA), the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) and the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF).

In the Memorandum, the ATSB and IAC have agreed to:

  • Provide assistance, in the form of investigation facilities and equipment, as resources permit. This assistance may include expertise in the fields of air traffic services, engineering, operations, flight recorders, human performance and management organisation.
  • Appoint investigators as observers or participants in investigations, with a view to improving understanding of each others investigation requirements and procedures.

The Memorandum applies to:

  • Aircraft, operated by the States-signatories, in the territory of Australia; and
  • Australian-operated aircraft in the territory of the States-signatories.

Mr Bills said the Memorandum would serve to build the ATSBs experience and offer valuable opportunities to share information and expertise.

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Last update 01 April 2011