The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of Australia has suspended the operations of Alligator Airways with immediate effect from Thursday 3 May 2012. This action has been taken because CASA believes permitting Alligator Airways to continue to fly poses a serious and imminent risk to air safety.
Both the air operator’s certificate and the certificate of approval of Alligator Airways have been suspended. During 2011 and 2012 CASA served a number of show cause notices on Alligator Airways due to concerns about aircraft maintenance, failure to report incidents, inadequate pilot training records, a deficient safety culture, an inability of key personnel to carry out their safety obligations and key positions unoccupied or not functional.
Since the last show cause notice there have been further incidents raising concerns about Alligator Airways’ ability to continue to conduct operations safely. These incidents involved forced landings where CASA believes employees of Alligator Airways were aware of significant defects affecting the safety of aircraft prior to flight.
In the circumstances, CASA no longer has confidence in the ability of Alligator Airways to satisfactorily address the safety issues that have been identified.
The suspension is in force immediately for an initial five working days, during which time CASA must apply to the Federal Court for an extension of the grounding. If the Federal Court supports CASA’s application the court can continue the suspension for a period of time which will allow CASA to complete investigations into the safety matters. Until this suspension, Alligator airways was authorised to conduct charter flights from Kununurra and Broome in aircraft which include a seven seat GA8 Airvan.