This section describes the ATSB’s performance against the deliverables relating to the ATSB’s role as the independent ‘no-blame’ transport safety investigator, as published on page 21 of the ATSB Corporate Plan 2019–20.
To meet its objective for improved transport safety, the ATSB has committed to the following independent ‘no-blame’ investigation of transport accidents and other safety occurrences, and research deliverables:
- Complete and publish up to:
- 35 complex investigations
- 100 short investigations
- 100 occurrence briefs.
- Ensure preparedness for a major accident by reviewing and testing major accident response and management capabilities through participation in one major exercise per annum.
- Provide assistance to investigations overseas in accordance with international arrangements and where resources permit, with a report produced annually addressing the transport safety contribution of this support.
In 2019–20, the ATSB initiated 24 complex safety investigations and 32 short investigations. In addition, 10 external investigations were commenced.
During this reporting period, the ATSB completed 38 complex occurrence investigations, and 16 external investigations. The ATSB also completed 17 short aviation occurrence investigations.
As at 30 June 2020, there were 48 ongoing complex aviation investigations, 27 ongoing short investigations and nine external investigations.
In 2019–20, the ATSB initiated one complex and two short occurrence investigations.
During this reporting period, the ATSB completed four complex occurrence investigations, two short occurrence investigations and one external investigation.
As at 30 June 2020, the ATSB continues to investigate four marine occurrences (three as complex investigations, one as a short investigation).
In 2019–20, the ATSB initiated four complex rail occurrence investigations and two short rail occurrence investigations.
During this reporting period, the ATSB completed five complex rail occurrence investigations and three short rail occurrence investigations.
As at 30 June 2020, the ATSB continues to investigate 12 rail safety occurrences (11 complex investigations and one short investigation).
Preparedness for a major accident
Being prepared to respond quickly and effectively to a major aviation, rail or marine accident is a key function of the ATSB.
To maintain preparedness, the ATSB actively participates in practical exercises to test the effectiveness of response arrangements. In December 2019, the ATSB conducted a two-stage exercise to simulate the establishment of the ATSB Accident Command Centre (ACC) in response to a marine scenario.
The ATSB also has a Major Investigation Preparedness Plan (MIPP). The MIPP includes a comprehensive suite of procedures and information. The MIPP and preparedness activities ensure that the ATSB is ready to respond effectively to a major transport accident.