The reporter expressed a safety concern relating to the constant exceedance of CAO.48 by pilots at [operator]. The reporter advised that the pilots flying for [operator] are required to exceed CAO.48 Flight Time Limitations on a regular basis. Pilots are required to work a ten-day fortnight and are generally at work on those days for at least 10 hours.
During peak season, this is constantly extended to 12 hours each working day. Pilots frequently mention that they are exhausted and fatigued because of the long hours they work on a daily basis. It is the accepted practice within the organisation to incorrectly enter duty times to remain at or below 90 hours in any fortnight.
Operator's response (Operator 1)
We take fatigue risk management very seriously. Our operations manual, which is CASA compliant, details flight and duty requirements that accord with CAO 48. The company also seeks to foster a culture of compliance with all aviation safety requirements including flight and duty obligations and fatigue risk management. The company is regularly audited by CASA without any concerns being raised regarding flight and duty times and the company is unaware of any other complaint or allegation in this regard.
For these reasons, the allegation of constant exceedance of CAO 48 Flight and Duty requirements is strenuously denied.
The de-identified version of the complaint contained in your email, makes very general allegations with no detail or particulars of any specific instances of alleged breaches. As such, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to meaningfully respond to the allegations. Notwithstanding this, we have used the event as an opportunity to review our fatigue risk management requirements and to discuss fatigue risks with our pilots.
Finally, the REPCON report makes allegations which are extremely serious for the key personnel of [operator]. The allegations are, as far as we are concerned, anonymous and non-specific to the point of being impossible to investigate but also very damaging to individuals.
Regulator's response (Regulator 1)
CASA has reviewed the REPCON and the information provided will be considered as part of planned surveillance. CASA recommends that the complainant contact our confidential safety risk line on 1800 074 737 should they wish to provide more specific details of their concern.