Regional Airlines Safety Study Project


The 1995 House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructure Plane Safe Report (Morris, 1995), found that 'a paucity of information' and 'an absence of safety indicators' were features of the low-capacity RPT sector of the Australian aviation industry. A Preliminary Information Paper published by BASI in 1996 concluded that a range of safety issues warranting further research existed within the regional airline industry. BASI then appointed a research team to comprehensively investigate the level of safety in the regional airline industry.

After a study of safety occurrences in the BASI database and visits to many regional airlines, a safety questionnaire was sent to every member of the regional airline industry. More than 28% of industry members responded to the survey.

The study examined all areas of the regional airlines operations, including cabin safety, flight operations, maintenance, airspace management, regulations and surveillance.

Overall, the results indicated that in 1996-97 the safety health of the industry was good, although some areas for improvement were identified. Ninety-two per cent of respondents rated the safety of their regional airline as adequate or better. On the other hand, 57% of respondents identified reasons for avoiding some regional airlines. The results showed that there was an industry wide awareness of the importance of a good safety culture.

Where a safety deficiency was identified by this study, safety action, in the form of a recommendation or a safety advisory notice, was taken by BASI. A summary of the safety action taken prior to the release of this report is contained in chapter 6.

This study was conducted with the support of the industry and shows that, on the whole, the industry does have a high regard for safety. However, it was found that in some airlines, commercial pressures were a significant factor in many safety deficiencies.

Note: The Bureau recognises that a number of changes have occurred within aspects of the aviation industry between the time the Regional Airlines Safety Study commenced and the release of this report. The findings of the study, as summarised in chapter 5 of this report, are based on the 1996-97 structure and climate of the aviation industry. Every effort has been made to acknowledge relevant changes.

Type: Research and Analysis Report
Publication date: 17 May 1999
ISBN: 0 642 27460 6
Last update 07 April 2014
Download complete document
[ Download PDF: 635KB]