The Senate Inquiry into pilot training and airline safety standards has deferred tabling its report from today until June 15 in order to seek further evidence from CASA and Tiger Airways in relation to a show cause order the safety regulator served on the Singapore owned low cost carrier on March 23.

The committee is understood to want to know what it was Tiger did to cause CASA to issue a notice which could have lead to the suspension of the airline’s airline operator certificate.

It also wants to explore the issue of CASA secrecy in that it didn’t tell the public why their safety regulator was so concerned about an airline carrying thousands of passengers a day that it issued such an order.

(A Senate hearing last came into conflict with CASA over such secrecy in the aftermath of the 2005 Lockhart River crash which killed all 15 people on board an Aerotropical turbo-prop. CASA knew the operator was dangerous, failed to take appropriate and timely action to remedy the situation, and then denied, through its previous CEO, Bruce Byron, that it had any responsibility to tell the public anything in situations in which they were left in peril.)

The issue of the safety regulator having a predisposition to ‘work with’ airlines, rather than ‘work for’ the travelling public is fraught with problems.  By contrast, the Federal Aviation Administration in the US names airlines when it finds issues with compliance with the safety regulations and fines them sometimes in the tens of millions of dollars.