Air New Zealand today released the key findings of the Boeing peer review of its maintenance engineering operation commissioned by the airline last year following a number of in-flight incidents.
In its summary, the Boeing team stated:
“The Team reviewed the investigation reports provided by Air New Zealand Limited regarding five recent incidents and found that the reports did a thorough job of assessing and addressing the issues contained within.”
“Our observations, interviews, review of documents, check findings, and review of procedures, substantiated Air New Zealand Limited’s safe and effective maintenance engineering practices.”
Air New Zealand Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Norris said he was satisfied that the Boeing Report confirms that Air New Zealand is a safe airline with sound engineering practises.
“The Boeing team have extensively examined Air New Zealand`s engineering operations, both in Auckland and Christchurch, and found nothing wanting in terms of airline safety - and that was our number one concern,” said Mr Norris.
“In the last 18 months, Air New Zealand aircraft underwent half a million take offs and landings at airports all over the world. With this scale of activity it is inevitable that some technical failures will occur. Indeed, aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus take into account this inevitability and build in safety factors when designing and constructing commercial aircraft.”
“Notwithstanding this, it is understandable that our passengers, and the public at large, were questioning Air New Zealand’s engineering and safety practises as a result of last year’s incidents.”
“Because of these questions, I decided it was essential that we addressed these concerns by commissioning a fulsome and independent review of our engineering processes to reaffirm to ourselves, and most importantly to our passengers, that our processes are robust, and that we are a world-class airline,” said Mr Norris.
“I am satisfied that the Boeing Report proves that this is indeed the case.”
While the report confirmed that Air New Zealand is a safe airline with sound engineering practises, it did highlight some areas for improvement. These were principally in the areas of recruitment and training.
Air New Zealand has taken account of these recommendations and is implementing programmes to address them. In particular, the airline has a strong recruitment drive both in New Zealand and offshore in place with 74 trainees completing their training and being inducted into the engineering workforce. An expanded engineering training school in Auckland which will be officially opened in July 2003.