CD Posted March 15, 2004 Report Share Posted March 15, 2004 Engineers to fight pilot flight checks AIRCRAFT engineers are to launch a public campaign highlighting safety concerns arising from competition between low-cost airlines and plans to allow Jetstar pilots to make pre-flight safety checks. The engineers say they have been told by Jetstar the airline plans to limit pre-flight checks by licensed engineers to one at the start of each day, with pilots performing the rest. A similar proposal by Virgin Blue last year sparked threats of industrial action before the airline reached an agreement that allowed engineers as well as pilots to inspect the carrier's planes at major airports. Engineers confirmed yesterday they planned to campaign against the Jetstar plan, and called on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to ensure competition between low-cost airlines did not lead to short cuts on safety. The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said its members were under pressure at Virgin Blue not to conduct the checks. The engineers argue that pilots can easily miss problems that would be spotted by trained engineers. But airlines say the pilot checks are common overseas and allowed under current laws and manufacturer guidelines. ALAEA federal secretary David Kemp said the travelling public had every reason to be concerned about the Jetstar proposals. "The manufacturers tell airlines what they want to hear when they're selling aeroplanes," Mr Kemp said. "But these aircraft are complex machines, and they do need to be inspected." Qantas spokesman Michael Sharp said the Jetstar procedures had been approved by CASA. They had been used without a problem for four years at Impulse Airlines, which is forming the basis of the Jetstar operations. "There will be no change for Jetstar – it's exactly what's happening now with the Impulse operations," Mr Sharp said. Full Story Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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