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Annual Report 2005 06: Looking forward

Looking forward

Industry outlook and implications for CASA

In the coming years, all sectors of the aviation industry will face change and pressure from further rationalisation of the number of operators, the size of operations and the types of aircraft and routes flown. Competition and new opportunities will prompt the industry to seek new technologies and refine its methods of operation. CASA will need to be able to respond to these changes.

Economic pressures, particularly from increasing fuel prices, will affect operations and supporting infrastructure. Generally higher costs will reduce profit margins, and the aviation sector will continue to find it difficult to pay for regulatory services.

CASA will be required to respond to industry demands quickly and effectively, particularly in our provision of services. A culture of industry change creates risks, which CASA must analyse and address through a combination of effective surveillance, enforcement and safety education.

The industry will continue to accept more responsibility for its own safety outcomes, but will still be subject to CASA’s oversight and guidance. As the industry matures, we will consider further delegation and self-administration where doing so is safe and efficient.

CASA is committed to completing the Regulatory Reform Program, which will provide new rules in response to industry changes. This will require continuing resource investment by CASA and the industry, but reform will enable the industry to position itself well for the future.

The year ahead

Our focus in 2006–07 will be on improving service delivery and finding appropriate ways to improve cost recovery.

Published service levels

CASA has developed service levels for all regulatory services that incur fees. The service levels are not service delivery guarantees, but they will enable our clients to plan ahead, since they will know approximately when they can expect delivery of our services. Based on the CASA fees regulations, we provide a service level benchmark together with a performance target for each item. In 2006–07, we will publish the service levels on our website and monitor service level performance closely in order to reduce the benchmarks and improve service delivery.

Surveillance and risk assessment

CASA surveillance resource planning matches surveillance tools and efforts to our surveillance policy, which focuses our resources on the protection of passenger-carrying operations. Our surveillance methodology continues its evolution into one that is risk based and, for sophisticated operations, concentrates on a systems approach.

Passenger-carrying operations identified as high risk will be the subject of special safety assessments by independent teams of inspectors. The aim is to ensure the efficacy of the operation’s management systems, and to assure CASA management that the regular surveillance activities are effective.

We have introduced simple risk tools and elementary training to help local managers target surveillance to address known or potential risks. The coming year will see further development of these tools and methodologies.

Relocation and restructuring

CASA will move its operational headquarters from Canberra to Brisbane. The move recognises that aviation is not Canberra centred, and demonstrates our intention to become more operationally focused and physically closer to industry.

We have reorganised our field offices into five regions (North, South, East, West and Sydney), effective from 1 July 2006. This change recognises industry demographics and delivers a more efficient structure with lower overheads. Most policy development staff have been relocated to field offices; in some cases, positions have been retired.

Operational policy branches will move to Brisbane towards the end of 2006 or early in 2007, and will be restructured at the same time. Previously, one of their main roles was to develop new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs). In the new structure, policy branches will only be required to manage the development and amendment of legislation and policy. The development of the new CASRs will be the responsibility of the Planning and Governance Office.