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Annual Report 2005 06: Annual Report 2005 06

Aviation Security Identification Cards

The Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) was introduced through changes to the aviation transport security legislative regime in 2005. Since 31 March 2006, the new security card has been a requirement for people who need to gain access to secure areas of airports, making the cards vitally important to many pilots.

In 2005–06, to make ASICs available to all Australian pilots, CASA became a card-issuing authority for the first time. We had no experience in quickly processing high-volume transactions so, despite having little time for planning, we needed to introduce both new staff and new processes to assist with the production of the cards. As one staff member put it, we needed to transform from a corner store into a major supermarket.

To cope with the huge workload, we allocated staff to the project for seven days a week, and at times for 24 hours a day, during February and March 2006. Thanks to their outstanding efforts, we issued more than 10,000 cards by the end of March.

Many pilots were troubled by the inconvenience of having to apply for something new, and by the time taken to process their applications. Although other agencies were involved in processing security clearances, which contributed to delays beyond CASA’s control, as the public face of the card-issuing process CASA managed the high volume of complaints.

Working on the ASIC has been a learning exercise for CASA and the other agencies involved. When cards need to be issued in future, we expect to continue to implement improvements in our systems and to make greater use of IT applications.

We also expect fewer complaints. Most pilots now accept that security is an important matter, and that the card and other initiatives help to reduce risk and maintain public confidence in the integrity of Australia’s aviation system.

Aviation Security Identification Card