The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is an independent Commonwealth Government statutory Agency. The Bureau is managed by a Commission and is entirely separate from transport regulators, policy makers and service providers.
The ATSB's function is to improve safety and public confidence in the aviation, marine and rail modes of transport through excellence in:
independent investigation of transport accidents and other safety occurrences;
safety data recording, analysis and research; and
fostering safety awareness, knowledge and action.
The ATSB is established by the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (TSI Act) and conducts its investigations in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Under the TSI Act, it is not a function of the ATSB to apportion blame or provide a means for determining liability. The ATSB does not investigate for the purpose of taking administrative, regulatory or criminal action.
In terms of aviation, the ATSB is responsible for investigating accidents, serious incidents, incidents and safety deficiencies involving civil aircraft operations in Australia, as well as participating in overseas investigations of accidents and serious incidents involving Australian registered aircraft. The ATSB also conducts investigations and studies of the aviation system to identify underlying factors and trends that have the potential to adversely affect safety. A primary concern is the safety of commercial air transport, with particular regard to fare-paying passenger operations.