Published date: 29 October 2021

Please attribute this statement to the Director of Civil Aviation, Keith Manch.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has carefully considered the District Court judgment issued on 20 October in the matter of Graham Lindsay v the Director of Civil Aviation.

This matter was an appeal against conditions which had been imposed on Mr Lindsay’s aviation medical certificate by the then-Director of Civil Aviation in mid-2018, which effectively grounded the senior airline pilot. Those conditions were then removed some months later.

As Director and Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, I accept the decision and acknowledge the criticisms made by Judge Tompkins.

The Civil Aviation Authority is committed to maintaining high standards of regulatory decision-making based on the consistent foundation of an intelligence-led, risk-based approach.

The decisions made by the CAA in 2018 clearly did not meet the standards that we are committed to and that I expect from our regulatory decision makers.

Despite clear shortcomings in this 2018 case, I am confident the CAA now has robust decision making processes in place in the medical certification area. The vast majority of our medical regulatory decisions are upheld when reviewed.

However, we will carefully consider the findings from this case as part of work we have underway with industry (through the Airline Pilots Association) to look at ways we can improve the regulatory framework and our practices with respect to medical certification. This will ensure we remain responsive to changes in best practice and the wider aviation landscape.

Contact: Hazel Dobbie, Engagement and Communications Manager

027 2696 296 | media@caa.govt.nz