Fiji Time: 4:13 PM on Wednesday 25 November

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Airline responsible

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, March 29, 2014

FIJI Airways is responsible for the safety of its aircraft and competency of their pilots under the safety management system (SMS) being used in terms of commercial aircraft operations in the country.

Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji CEO Netava Waqa made this comment in response to queries that one of the brand new Airbus A330 suffered significant undercarriage damage during a heavy landing in Sydney earlier this month.

He said under SMS, CAAF only approved what the airline had made commitments to in terms of aircraft maintenance standards and pilot competency.

"The airline manages their risk," Mr Waqa said.

"They have assessed the situation and made a decision based on the risk they have found and they have started doing their own investigation. We have approved their SMS and under the system we have approved, they are doing what the document says.

"Our role is to guide them, mitigate the risk and ensure safety levels are of the highest standard."

Mr Waqa added a report of the findings from the incident would be forwarded to CAAF upon completion of investigations by the airline.

Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Stefan Pichler said the airline grounded the Airbus after the maintenance crew in Sydney cleared it to return to Nadi.

"Fiji Airways grounded the aircraft in Nadi and it is now at the hangar to undergo maintenance work."

In response to queries about the costs involved, Mr Pichler said: "We have started an internal investigation to determine the damage to the aircraft and the underlying causes of the damage."

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