Go to top of page

Annual Report 2005-06: International relations

International relations

International Civil Aviation Organization

Australia is a signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), which provides for the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation.

ICAO, which was established by the Chicago Convention, develops international standards and recommended practices using international panels and working groups. Those standards and recommended practices are published in 18 annexes to the convention.

The Transport and Regional Services portfolio has carriage of Australia’s participation in ICAO, with the various portfolio agencies taking responsibility for ICAO activities falling within their legislative functions. CASA is responsible for seven of the 18 annexes, and shares responsibility for a further two annexes with Airservices Australia.

CASA continued to provide strong support to ICAO in 2005–06. However, resource constraints and the organisational changes implemented from July 2005 required a review of priorities to ensure that our support was targeted to strike the most effective balance between ICAO’s objectives and Australia’s expertise, resources and priorities.

Our significant contributions to ICAO’s work during the year included:

  • aerodromes, including aviation rescue and fire fighting standards
  • airworthiness
  • air traffic management and related matters
  • dangerous goods
  • flight crew licensing and training
  • operations and related matters
  • various Asia–Pacific regional planning and implementation groups.

Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions

The 42nd annual Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions, was hosted by Australia on the Gold Coast, Queensland, from 26 to 30 September 2005. The conference was jointly organised by CASA, DOTARS and Airservices Australia, with assistance from ICAO’s Regional Office in Bangkok.

CASA’s CEO, Bruce Byron, was elected chair of the conference, which was attended by more than 200 heads and senior officials of aviation authorities throughout the Asia–Pacific region, as well as representatives of a number of peak industry organisations. The Secretary General of ICAO, Dr Taieb Cherif, also attended the conference as a special guest. The conference was officially opened by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon Warren Truss MP.

The conference provided an important opportunity for senior aviation officials to discuss a wide range of issues of regional interest, including aviation safety and security, air navigation planning and regional technical cooperation. In particular, the conference focused on how member organisations can meet the challenges arising from the forecast rapid growth in aviation in the Asia–Pacific region.

Conference delegates

Delegates to the 42nd Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions

Bilateral arrangements

CASA continues to work towards bilateral arrangements with various international partners.

Following the signing in June 2005 of the Executive Agreement to a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) with the United States of America, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services and a senior official of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Ms Nancy Graham, signed the Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) which accompany the BASA. The IPA is the first treaty-level procedure negotiated under the BASA and sets out the detailed technical processes that CASA and the FAA will use to certify, approve and oversee a range of activities covering airworthiness. These include design approvals, production activities, export airworthiness approvals and the sharing of technical assistance between authorities.

The BASA and IPA are expected to enter into effect early in 2006–07, once the necessary treaty actions have been completed on both sides. This set of procedures will benefit and promote Australia’s aviation exports to the United States, because the products of Australian manufacturers will be certified and approved by CASA and recognised by the FAA.

In 2005–06, we discussed mutual recognition of aviation certification with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Both parties agreed that an agency-to-agency arrangement is the most expedient approach to this issue, pending the longer term negotiation of a treaty-level agreement between Australia and the European Union.

Ongoing discussion between CASA and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) led to agreement that an agency-to-agency arrangement between the two should be the first step in the development of a bilateral aviation safety agreement between Australia and China.

Arrangements with both EASA and CAAC are in progress and should be substantially completed during 2006–07.

signing the IPA

Ms Nancy Graham of the United States FAA, and the Hon Warren Truss MP, Minister For Transport and Regional Services, formalise the signing of the IPA

Trans-Tasman relations

CASA continued to work closely with the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand in 2005–06 to put in place technical procedures and systems to allow the national airlines of each country to operate in the other country with a minimum of additional certification. Such procedures will maintain the high standards of aviation safety required of airlines by the relevant safety regulators.

This process is complemented by the work undertaken by DOTARS and the New Zealand Ministry of Transport to provide a policy framework appropriate for these operations.

Regional activities

CASA remained active in the Pacific region throughout 2005–06, providing substantial support for the establishment of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO). By agreement, DOTARS has provided Australian representation on the PASO Council of Directors since August 2005. CASA will continue to provide advice and assistance to the Australian representative in relation to the aviation safety technical issues that PASO is likely to face as it becomes operational.

Final requirements were completed in June 2006 for the formal approval of loan funding to PASO by the Asian Development Bank. The loan funding, together with additional grant funding from the Asian Development Bank and ICAO, will enable PASO to move ahead with the recruitment of technical personnel and the commencement of safety oversight operations in the Pacific region.