Aviation Safety Advisory Panel Terms of Reference

The Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) Terms of Reference provide further detail on the ASAP. This includes its:

  • purpose
  • core principles
  • scope
  • composition
  • conduct.

The panel reviews its terms of reference, structure and operations at least once every 2 years. It endorsed these terms of reference in November 2021.

For more information, contact the secretariat.

1. Purpose

  • 1.1 The purpose of the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) is to provide the Director of Aviation Safety (DAS) with informed, objective high-level advice from the aviation community on current, emerging and potential issues that have, or may have, significant implications for aviation safety and the way the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) performs its functions.
  • 1.2 The ASAP is the primary advisory body through which CASA will direct its engagement with industry and seek input on current and future regulatory and associated policy approaches.
  • 1.3 While CASA is not bound to accept the ASAP’s advice or agree with its recommendations, the CEO/DAS will consider the advice and recommendations of the ASAP.

2. Core principles and scope

  • 2.1 The scope of the ASAP is to:
    • 2.2 Contribute to the identification of safety or regulatory issues within the aviation system.
    • 2.3 Consider these identified issues and provide a consolidated industry view on priorities to be addressed, including future regulatory reform activities.
    • 2.4 Provide a consensus view, wherever possible, on the objectives and policy outcomes of actions or interventions sought to address identified issues.
    • 2.5 Be a source of industry specialised advice or technical expertise on options or proposed actions, and where necessary establish, task and oversight relevant Technical Working Groups.
    • 2.6 Assess the outputs or recommendations of Technical Working Groups against the agreed policy objectives and CASA Regulatory Philosophy.
    • 2.7 Advise on non-regulatory interventions to address issues, including actions that require CASA or industry resources.
    • 2.8 Provide advice on the development and implementation of regulatory changes and reforms.
  • 2.2 Guiding principles for the ASAP:
    • 2.2.1 CASA and ASAP members will conduct their business at all times in a way which promotes respect, mutual trust, partnership, honesty and transparency.
    • 2.2.2 The approach to aviation safety issues by both CASA and the ASAP will be driven by sound risk management, informed by data and support both the CASA Regulatory Philosophy and the Government’s aviation safety expectations.
    • 2.2.3 CASA will seek advice, and wherever possible consensus, from the ASAP on the objectives and policy settings of any regulatory reform activities prior to detailed rule development.
    • 2.2.4 Recognising that full consensus may not be possible in all circumstances, ASAP members will support the principles of consensus outlined in Section 6 and respect the overall positions reached by the ASAP.

3. Composition and terms of appointment

  • 3.1 ASAP membership consists of between six and ten individuals drawn from the aviation community who have agreed to serve as members, plus two senior CASA managers.
  • 3.2 The CEO/DAS will seek membership nominations in order to establish wide industry participation and expertise and invite individuals to serve as members of the ASAP, initially for a period of two years.
  • 3.3 To ensure there is a sufficient number of qualified members on the ASAP at all times, individual appointments may be made for different terms in the first instance to allow for staggered tenures.
  • 3.4 A representative from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport Regional Development and Communications will be invited to attend meetings as an observer and the Chair may invite additional observers on occasion.
  • 3.5 Except for the Chair, members of the ASAP serve without remuneration and accept that they, or their organisations, will bear the costs involved in their participation in ASAP meetings and related work. CASA will reimburse travel expenses for ASAP members to attend meetings of the panel on up to four occasions per year, when booked in accordance with CASA travel policy.
  • 3.6 Before the expiration of a Chair’s term, the CEO/DAS will appoint (or re-appoint) a Chair for a period of two years after consulting with the members of the ASAP.
  • 3.7 The Chair of the ASAP will serve as the primary point of contact between the CEO/DAS and other members of the ASAP on matters referred to the ASAP for consideration and advice.
  • 3.8 The CEO/DAS may ask the Chair to assume responsibility for other functions as required.
  • 3.9 The Terms of Reference, structure and operation of the ASAP will be reviewed at least once every two years.

4. Conduct of Meetings

  • 4.1 Meetings of the ASAP will be held approximately four times per year. Video conferencing access will be made available to facilitate members’ participation remotely if required.
  • 4.2 Draft agendas will be developed in consultation with the Chair and distributed by the Secretariat at least three weeks prior to a meeting.
  • 4.3 A final agenda and any papers for the meeting will be distributed at least one week prior to a meeting.
  • 4.4 Minutes will be prepared by the Secretariat and once approved by the Chair, meeting summaries will be published on the CASA website. To assist with discussion, individual members will be de-identified except for Departmental nominees and CASA staff.
  • 4.5 The scheduling of ASAP meetings is determined by liaison between the Secretariat and the Chair.

5. Technical Working Groups

  • 5.1 The ASAP may establish Technical Working Groups for referring specific issues within an industry sector, subject matter or domain for advice.
  • 5.2 When established, Technical Working Groups will provide a forum in which industry representatives and technical experts can provide input to the ASAP on specific technical issues and proposals.
  • 5.3 All Technical Working Groups will be tasked by the ASAP directly and do not determine their own work programs. Tasking instructions will normally include specified reporting timeframes, particularly for matters considered to have significant safety implications.
  • 5.4 CASA or ASAP members may seek nominations for membership of Technical Working Groups.
  • 5.5 Following receipt of nominations, the ASAP will invite individuals to serve as members of the Technical Working Group and provide detailed tasking information.
  • 5.6 The ASAP Chair may appoint an industry member to act as Chair of a Technical Working Group.
  • 5.7 Reports or advice from a Technical Working Group will be provided to the ASAP to inform the ASAP’s advice to the DAS.
  • 5.8 A Technical Working Group will normally be disbanded upon completion of the specific task. The Chair may disband a Technical Working Group where there has been no activity or progress made within a reasonable timeframe.
  • 5.9 Members of Technical Working Groups serve without remuneration and accept that they, or their organisations, will normally bear the costs involved in their participation in meetings and related work.
  • 5.10 The scheduling of Technical Working Group meetings will be determined by liaison between the Secretariat and members of the working group recognising the need to not over burden the Secretariat or members.
  • 5.11 The priority accorded to different working group meetings will be determined by the Chair of ASAP in consultation with the Secretariat.

6. Consensus amongst members

  • 6.1 A key aim of the ASAP is that a consensus be reached, wherever possible, in the provision of advice to the CEO/DAS.
  • 6.2 Technical Working Groups will follow the same consensual principles as the ASAP and these will be specified in all Technical Working Group tasking instructions.
  • 6.3 Consensus is understood to mean agreement by all parties that a specific course of action is acceptable.
  • 6.4 Achieving consensus may require debate and deliberation.
  • 6.5 Consensus can be unanimous or near unanimous. Consensual outcomes include:
    • 6.4.1 Full consensus, where all members agree fully in context and principle and fully support the specific course of action.
    • 6.4.2 General consensus, where there may well be disagreement, but the group has heard, recognised, acknowledged and reconciled the concerns or objections to the general acceptance of the group. Although not every member may fully agree in context and principle, all members support the overall position and agree not to object to the proposed recommendation.
    • 6.4.3 Dissent, where differing in opinions about the specific course of action are maintained. There may be times when one, some, or all members do not agree with the recommendation or cannot reach agreement on a recommendation.

Determining and documenting consensus

  • 6.6 The ASAP and Technical Working Groups should establish a process by which it determines if consensus has been reached. The way in which the level of consensus is to be measured should be determined before substantive matters are considered. This may be by way of voting or by polling members. Consensus is desirable, but where it is not possible, it is important that information and analysis that supports differing perspectives is presented.
  • 6.7 Where there is full consensus, the report, recommendation or advice should expressly state that every member of the ASAP or Technical Working Group was in full agreement with the advice.
  • 6.8 Where there is general consensus, the nature and reasons for any concern by members that do not fully agree with the majority recommendation should be included with the advice.
  • 6.9 Where there is dissent, the advice should explain the issues and concerns and why an agreement was not reached. If a member does not concur with one or more of the recommendations, that person’s dissenting position should be clearly reflected.
  • 6.10 If there is an opportunity to do so, the ASAP (or Technical Working Group) should re-consider the report or advice, along with any dissenting views, to see if there might be scope for further reconciliation, on which basis some, if not all, disagreements may be resolved by compromise.

7. Miscellaneous provisions

  • 7.1 There may be occasions when CASA will cover certain costs, and/or reimburse members for certain expenses, incurred in connection with their ASAP-related work. Such arrangements will be at the discretion of the CEO/DAS.
  • 7.2 Subject to applicable Commonwealth laws, documents and records of communications involving members of the ASAP (or its associated groups), as these may relate to the work of the ASAP, will be afforded an appropriate level of confidentiality by CASA and by ASAP members.
  • 7.3 The CEO/DAS reserves the right to depart or deviate from any provision of these Terms of Reference at any time. The CEO/DAS will normally provide timely advice to the Chair of the ASAP and/or other members of the ASAP in the event of such a departure or deviation.

8. Secretariat

  • 8.1 CASA will provide a secretariat for the ASAP and any Technical Working Group.
  • 8.2 The Secretariat, in consultation with the Chair, is responsible for:
    • 8.2.1 establishing, maintaining and publishing the annual program of ASAP meetings
    • 8.2.2 preparing and distributing meeting agendas, attachments, reports and meeting packs
    • 8.2.3 recording and retaining meeting records and action items registers
    • 8.2.4 organising meeting venue and catering arrangements
    • 8.2.5 providing a technology platform to facilitate remote collaboration and discussion
    • 8.2.6 maintaining membership lists
    • 8.2.7 managing any financial requirements.
Last updated:
15 Dec 2021
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