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Annual Report 2005 06: 2005 06 in brief

2005–06 in brief

A year of change

2005–06 was a year of considerable change in CASA, particularly in the areas of resources, operational procedures and service delivery. Although many significant projects were undertaken in 2005–06, the following sections list the major works that were part of CASA’s strategic reforms.

Major work

Major CASA undertakings during the year included:

  • continued refinement of the new corporate structure established on 1 July 2005, including the relocation of our operational headquarters to Brisbane
  • implementation and refinement of cost-recovery arrangements, in line with government policy
  • the Generated Minimum Equipment List project
  • establishment of the centralised CASA Licensing and Registration Centre (CLARC)
  • continued implementation of photographic pilot licences and commencement of security background checking role
  • continued implementation of the Regulatory Reform Program
  • introduction of the field safety adviser initiative to increase CASA’s safety education presence.

Generated Minimum Equipment List system

The GMEL project team, left to right: Stephen Bowler, Airworthiness Inspector; Michelle Chorley, Project Administration Officer; John Bromley, Project Manager.

The GMEL project team, left to right: Stephen Bowler, Airworthiness Inspector; Michelle Chorley, Project Administration Officer; John Bromley, Project Manager.

A minimum equipment list specifies the conditions under which an aircraft may operate when particular items of equipment are not functioning. It is carried on board the aircraft and provides the pilot in command with clear guidance on whether a flight should or should not go ahead.

Traditionally, each operator had to develop their own minimum equipment list for each aircraft, subject to approval by CASA. With the new Generated Minimum Equipment List (GMEL) system, a centralised software application is able to build standardised lists for many different aircraft types, based on technical input from master documents and specialist personnel.

Since the GMEL system was introduced by Transport Canada in June 2000, it has been very successful. In January 2006, CASA formalised an agreement with Transport Canada to adapt the system to suit the Australian aviation industry. GMEL will be fully implemented in the final quarter of 2006 and will cover at least 11 aircraft types, with ongoing additions.

GMEL brings major benefits to CASA and the aviation industry. The industry makes safety gains from having well prepared, consistent and regularly updated minimum equipment lists, and saves time and money in preparation, assessment and approval processes. CASA benefits from the increased efficiency, which allows us to redirect resources into other areas of aviation safety.

Improved safety in flying training

The work of the Flying Training Role Specialist Group, staffed by flying operations inspectors from field offices around Australia, has benefited both CASA and the flying training industry.

In 2005–06, CASA offered the following assistance to operators in the flying training industry:

  • ongoing training for flying schools in competency-based training principles
  • Approved Testing Officer (ATO) workshops
  • tools to improve ATO surveillance.

CASA in turn has increased its understanding of the flying training industry and achieved greater standardisation of policies.

CASA also established the Flying Training Industry Development Panel, comprising CASA specialists and industry experts. The role of both groups is to provide increased support to, and consistency in, the flying training industry. The goal of the program is to reduce the incidence of uncontrolled flight into terrain by recognising the importance of flying training in achieving safety outcomes.

CASA anticipates that the program will achieve the following safety benefits:

  • Standardised training of flying operations inspectors and authorised testing officers will ensure that appropriate pilot entry standards are understood and applied consistently across Australia.
  • Industry will gain an enhanced understanding of the broader issues surrounding flying training standards and will demonstrate a greater acceptance of its responsibilities to maintain high standards in flying training.
  • Our cooperative and collaborative approach will encourage flying training industry participants to share their concerns and offer partnership-based solutions in a constructive manner.
  • Advice from the industry, combined with the implementation of targeted collaborative programs, will deliver an enhanced overall safety climate in the flying training sector.

As a first step in program development, we conducted a flying instructor survey, which was highly successful. The responses to the survey formed the basis of decisions on how the program should operate.

As part of the program, CASA held workshops for approved testing officers and chief flying instructors; convened a Chief Flying Instructor conference, held in conjunction with Safeskies 2005; visited a number of flying schools; and updated the flying instructor manual. The revised manual was published and distributed free of charge to all current flying instructors in June 2005, with a request for feedback to assist CASA in producing a more definitive and up-to-date version in late 2006.