Essendon Fields Statement – Final ATSB report

Essendon Fields Airport today welcomed the release of the final ATSB report into the tragic events on 21 February 2017 which resulted in the deaths of five people.

The release of this final ATSB report is important to help ensure some closure for the widows of the victims both in the United States and Australia and the thoughts and best wishes of everyone at Essendon Fields are always with those families.

The ATSB investigation has confirmed in great detail the circumstances relevant to the events of that day. The report’s finding outlines clear contributing factors to this accident and additional factors that increased the risk of what happened in February 2017. The report provides several strong safety messages relevant for the entire aviation industry.

The significant public interest into the circumstances of this tragedy will ensure the learnings from this report will strengthen the already impressive safety record for the entire aviation industry in Australia. Safety remains the first priority at Essendon Fields at all times.

The final ATSB report makes it clear the operation or conditions at Essendon Fields Airport played no role in this terrible crash.

The report confirms that the presence of the DFO building struck by the aircraft did not increase the severity or the consequences of this accident. This building is not subject to further investigation.

The ATSB is conducting a separate investigation into the approval process of two other buildings at Essendon Fields DFO. We note those buildings were approved by CASA prior to construction. Those two buildings did not contribute to this accident.

Essendon Fields Airport looks forward to the release of the report into the building approval process and will continue to work co-operatively with the ATSB on this investigation. Until then it is not appropriate to comment further on this matter.

Chris Cowan, CEO