Letter To The Editor

Sensationalist reporting undermines Australia’s excellent safety record

12 Oct 2012

The recent article by Ben Sandilands ‘Airservices ‘lost Virgin jet’ screen grab unmasks its lie’ is simply wrong.

Any suggestion that there is a ‘cover up’ by Airservices is completely false.

The incident that occurred on 28 September was immediately reported in our incident reporting system by line management. A review of the incident by our internal safety management team commenced that day, which is a normal part of our processes. The classification was updated on 2 October with the incident reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

The ATSB opened their investigation on 4 October. Mr Sandilands posted his initial blog following the ATSB’s public notification of their investigation.

The aircraft was never ‘lost’ to Airservices air traffic controllers. It continued to be displayed on all air traffic control displays managing the airspace and was not in the vicinity of any other aircraft.

Airservices first priority will always be the safety of the travelling public.

Australia’s enviable aviation safety record is dependent on transparent safety reporting through a ‘Just Culture’ policy which encourages staff to openly and honestly report information without concern that it will be used to their detriment.

Sensationalist and inaccurate reporting prior to an independent investigation occurring threatens our strong reporting culture.

Andrew Clark
A/Chief Executive Officer