The Australian aviation regulator upgraded its surveillance of Lion Air affiliates Malindo Air and Batik Air in the wake of the tragic crash off Jakarta.
But it says it has not found any significant problems
Civil Aviation Safety Authority aviation safety director Shane Carmody said the authority had been doing increased ramp inspections in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Carmody said he wasn’t convinced that CASA would find anything wrong either airline but believed the inspections were important because they needed to be done and the airlines were subsidiary operations of Lion Air.
“And as subsidiary operators, you really need to get out there and do something,” he said at the sidelines of the Australian Airports Association national conference in Brisbane.
“Now we still don’t know what caused that accident of course. But putting it nicely, I want them and their owners to know that we’re there.
“And the best way I can do it with a quick turnaround is to say that when they land in Australia that somebody’s had a look. They log it and say: ‘Tthe regulator here was all over us’. That’s what I want. That’s the best I can do in the circumstances.’’
Carmody said he expected Lion Air would be focused on safety after the tragedy that took 189 lives on October 29 shortly after flight JT 610 took off from Jakarta.
“After a tragedy like that, if I was running that business I would be devastated operationally, personally and professionally,’’ he said. “But it can’t be business as usual.
“You can’t just say well we lost one yesterday and we’ll just keep on flying today. There have to be consequences, you’ve got to know people are looking and you’ve got to do better in that space.’’
Indonesian authorities last weekend called off the search for victims of the Lion Air tragedy but say they are continuing to look for the cockpit voice recorder.
The effort to retrieve victims was downgraded to a monitoring exercise after searchers failed to find additional bodies and said they had covered the crash area.
Crash investigators have already retrieved and downloaded information from the flight data recorder but say they need the cockpit recorder to completely understand the plane’s crucial final moments.