New instruction on using safety information
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has taken another important step in implementing its regulatory philosophy and ensuring a 'just culture' approach is taken to safety regulation.
A new instruction from the Director of Aviation Safety to CASA staff sets out limitations on the use of information that may show a contravention of the safety rules.
The instruction clarifies how information can be used when CASA makes decisions about whether enforcement action may need to be taken.
Individuals and organisations found to have violated a provision of the safety rules will be given an opportunity to address and correct safety issues without CASA initiating enforcement action.
Enforcement action will only be taken where there is a deliberate, wilful or reckless breach of the aviation safety rules, where there is a pattern of repeated misconduct or there is a failure to take appropriate corrective or protective action to address identified safety issues.
CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the new safety information instruction puts into practical effect key elements of CASA's regulatory philosophy.
"It is vital that CASA does not simply talk about taking a 'just culture' approach to regulation but actively implements the principles into our day-to-day operations and decision making," Mr Carmody said.
"Our rational 'just culture' approach means that where honest errors or mistakes are made CASA looks to support the efforts of individuals and organisations to make necessary improvements, correct identified problems and ensure safety risks are effectively managed in the process.
"Individuals and organisations with an understanding and commitment to safety need to take responsibility for addressing safety shortcomings and where they demonstrate the ability and willingness to do this CASA need not take action.
"CASA is encouraging a proactive approach to safety by the aviation community by clearly setting out how we will use safety information and the basis on which we will refrain from taking enforcement action based on that information.
"Of course, if the safety rules are deliberately flouted or action is not taken to address safety issues then CASA must and will take appropriate action.
"I am making it very clear to CASA staff and the aviation community that we will use information in the interests of safety and in a manner consistent with the 'just culture' principles reflected in our regulatory philosophy."