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Annual Report 2005-06: Aviation Regulatory Services

Output 4: Aviation Regulatory Services


  • Appointment of more Air Transport Operations Group field operational staff welcomed by industry
  • CASA Licensing and Registration Centre set up
  • CASA Service Centre quality management system recertified
  • Appointment of CASA’s first Industry Complaints Commissioner
  • Manufacturing, Certification and New Technologies Office moves into action.


Regulatory services provided in a timely and consistent manner, aligned with CASA’s safety obligations.

CASA’s regulatory services issue legal ‘permissions’, in the form of licences, certificates, registrations and permits for operations or products, to those who meet the required safety standards.

Certification of aviation products ensures a minimum safety standard, and in many cases allows sales overseas. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration allow for acceptance of some CASA approvals.

CASA’s regulatory services are delivered not only to the individual or organisation that seeks them, but to the whole community we serve as the regulator of aviation safety. Good service does not always mean that permission should be granted, but should be consistent, fair and efficient.

Improvements to regulatory service delivery release our resources for other regulatory functions. The Australian Government’s policy for full cost recovery has also encouraged more efficient service delivery. With much of the industry under commercial strain, we are expected to provide value for money.

Initiatives, developments and issues in 2005–06

CASA became an ASIC (Aviation Security Identification Card) issuing authority in October 2005. This extended our involvement in the Australian Government’s enhanced aviation industry security initiative, which was announced in December 2004. In addition to security check screening for pilot licensing, CASA processed around 15,000 ASICs during the eight months of the scheme’s operation in 2005–06.

We also provided 18,600 flight crew examinations (17,984 in Australia and 616 in Fiji), and completed the task of bringing all flight crew examinations online in the Cyberexams system.

The establishment of the CASA Licensing and Registration Centre (CLARC) has made service delivery in this area more consistent. CLARC coordinates and delivers regulatory services (some of which were previously provided by staff in field offices) to pilots, engineers and aircraft registration holders. The centre (a one-stop shop) also provides better job tracking and reporting. Without it, we could not have issued thousands of ASICs in early 2006.

The CASA Service Centre quality management system was recertified by SAI Global, as is required every three years. The system was developed and maintained to deliver a basis for effective continuous improvement of service delivery. Industry feedback indicates a continuing high level of satisfaction with the CASA Service Centre.

During the year, CASA appointed its first Industry Complaints Commissioner to deal with complaints that cannot be resolved through normal channels. The commissioner is backed by support staff, is independent of our line areas, and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (see Part 3, Governance for further details of the commissioner’s work).

As part of our commitment to review our business processes continuously to improve service delivery and cost efficiency, we implemented service delivery benchmarks for the Air Transport Operations Group during the year. The group’s field officers now report individually on performance.

The new Manufacturing, Certification and New Technologies Office has been established to provide clear lines of accountability and responsibilities. This will improve industry oversight, CASA’s responsiveness to industry, and overall efficiency. We made senior management appointments to the new office during the year and formalised the office’s service levels by including initial metrics and targets.

The office is currently developing a service agreement with the CASA Service Centre to provide workflow management systems and service delivery functions within the existing corporate platforms.

During the year, CASA conducted courses to train people in the skills they need to be able to authorise Australian Parts Manufacture Approvals. Selection and assessment criteria have been established for CASR Part 21.303(4), approval of design data for parts. After processing the initial applications, we issued the first instrument of appointment. We have received further applications from industry, and are working with academic institutions to develop training and educational material appropriate to other aspects of parts manufacturing and certification. In November 2005, a draft revised Advisory Circular AC 21–16 (Australian Parts Manufacturer Approval) was released for public comment. The draft is now undergoing significant rewriting to ensure its readability and usefulness to industry.

CASA had planned to release Advisory Circulars to address one-off production certificates and Australian Technical Standard Order authorisations by June 2006, but the latter was released one month later in July 2006.

We had also planned to have legislation in place by June 2006 for the appointment of authorised persons to conduct conformity inspections. However, it has since been determined that these amendments were not required. Selection, assessment and advisory material has been developed for delegations. We issued the first instrument of delegation for conformity inspections on Boeing 787 parts to industry.

The Manufacturing, Certification and New Technologies Office issued a number of type certificates and supplemental type certificates during the year. These included certificates for the Jabiru J160 C, Kavanagh balloon, Seabird Seeker (increased maximum take off weight) and AirBorne Edge Trike (expanded range). Fifteen supplemental type certificates included certificates for the Qantas B747 Skybed arrangement and an increase in maximum take off weight for the Mallard.

During the year, CASA imported software to generate minimum equipment lists from Transport Canada. We enhanced the software for Australian regulations and successfully implemented the system.

PAGO and a new approach to regulatory development

The Planning and Governance Office (PAGO) was established in November 2005 to bring together strategic roles that had previously been spread throughout CASA. PAGO operates as a glue across the organisation, aligning groups with corporate strategies and working to prevent fragmentation.

New regulatory development processes provide a good example of how PAGO draws together diverse areas of CASA, and of the aviation industry, to get the best possible results.

Projects to develop new regulations are now led by a project manager from PAGO, who builds a team drawn from specialist areas and manages the entire process. In addition to providing leadership, planning and a consistent approach, the PAGO manager also brings an awareness of broader issues and risks that specialists may not have.

All project teams for significant new regulations now include aviation industry representation. This approach, which is based on European methods, is being pioneered in Australia in the field of maintenance regulations. It recognises the value of using industry expertise to develop less prescriptive and more outcome-focused regulations. Of course, authority for all final decisions remains with the Chief Executive Officer of CASA.

In response to the complex and ever-changing aviation industry, CASA is required to develop a great deal of legislation. This new approach, guided by PAGO, will efficiently create clear, consistent and relevant aviation legislation.

Performance measures

Overall effectiveness measures

The contribution of Output 4 to the portfolio outcome can be measured by:

  • timely and consistent delivery of regulatory services
  • enhanced perception of CASA’s effectiveness as an aviation safety regulator and educator.

Output-specific measures

Strategy Continuous improvement in CASA services, processes, techniques, systems, knowledge and information management
Measure Eighty-five per cent of General Aviation Operator Certificates, Certificates of Approval and Aerodrome Certificates issued within the agreed timeframes
Result In 2005–06, 91% of General Aviation Operator Certificates and 76% of Certificates of Approval were issued within the agreed timeframes. Reduced performance in this area is a temporary result of the transition to CASA’s new business system.

CASA also completed the transition of approximately 300 airports to registered or certified status under the new CASR Part 139. This was done on time.
Progress Performance is under continual review.
Measure Number of processes for entry to the aviation industry simplified
Result A review to examine streamlining of regulatory services and efficiency began in June 2006. The outcomes from the review will be progressively implemented through 2006–07.
Progress Ongoing