Role statement - Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is an independent Commonwealth Government statutory agency and ‘no blame’ transport safety investigator. The ATSB is governed 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. The ATSB is established by the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (TSI Act). The ATSB does not investigate for the purpose of taking administrative, regulatory or criminal action.


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Assist where required with transport safety data recording, analysis and research, as well as foster safety awareness, knowledge and action 

2.1, 4.4, 21.1, 21.2

Cooperate with agencies of the Commonwealth, a state or territory that have functions or powers relating to transport safety or functions affected by the ATSB’s role in improving transport safety 

1.2, 3.2 

Response (including Relief)

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Investigate accidents and other transport safety matters involving civil aviation, marine and rail operations in Australia within Commonwealth jurisdiction, and participate in overseas investigations involving Australian registered aircraft and ships. 

3.1, 3.2, 21.1, 21.2

Cooperate  with police and emergency services when exercising powers of investigation and work in parallel with other investigative bodies, noting the  limitations on release of information/evidence gathered by the ATSB under the Transport Safety Investigation Act. ATSB reports are inadmissible in civil or criminal proceedings except in limited circumstances such as coronial inquiries

3.1, 3.2, 4.4, 4.5, 6.5


For recovery activities, refer directly to the agency for further information.

Assurance and Learning

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Issue public reports on investigations, safety issues and reports on remedial safety actions 

2.1, 4.5, 4.6, 6.5, 21.1, 21.3, 21.5

Liaise with agencies as required when carrying out safety investigations to determine contributing and other safety factors to identify and reduce safety-related risk and foster safety awareness, knowledge and action

2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 21.1, 21.2, 21.4, 21.5