The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross has announced the establishment of a Review Board to re-examine certain findings of the Draft Final Report of the investigation into the accident involving Rescue 116 at Black Rock, Co Mayo on March 14m 2017 that claimed the life of Coastguard winchman, Ciaran Smith from Oldtown.
The establishment of the Review Board is in line with the regulations governing the investigation of air accidents, specifically 'Statutory Instrument (SI) No 460 of 2009: Air Navigation (Notification and Investigation of Accidents, Serious Incidents and Incidents) Regulations 2009'.
On foot of the accident involving R116, the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) commenced an investigation, as required under international and domestic law. An Interim Report was published by the AAIU on 16th March 2018 and a subsequent Interim Statement on 1st March 2019.
On 13th September 2019, the AAIU issued its Draft Final Report to interested parties. As part of the process, the interested parties were given 60 days to review the Draft Final Report and offer comments.
SI No. 460 of 2009 provides for an interested party to serve on the Minister written 'notice of re-examination' in respect of findings and conclusions that appear to reflect adversely on the person's reputation. Such a notice was served on the Minister by an interested party. Having reviewed the notice, it was decided that the "notice of re-examination" met the criteria set out in Regulation 15 of the Air Navigation Regulations 2009 (S.I. No.460 of 2009) for establishment of a Review Board. The Minister has now established a Review Board in line with the 2009 Regulations.
The Review Board will be chaired by Senior Counsel Patrick McCann who will be assisted by an independent Expert Member.
The Review Board will be entirely independent in its work in accordance with the relevant legislation.