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Annual Report 2005-06: Office of the Chief Executive Officer

Office of the Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Byron AM

Bruce Byron AM, Chief Executive Officer

Born in January 1947, Bruce Byron began his career in aviation in the RAAF in the mid-1960s, training on Winjeel and Vampire aircraft. By 1968, Mr Byron was flying Caribou aircraft with No. 35 Squadron in Vietnam: during a 12-month tour, he flew 1,600 operational sorties.

After returning from Vietnam, he moved into flying training with the RAAF, the beginning of a career-long association with training in both military and civilian flying. After time overseas as an instructor on exchange programs with the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and the Singapore Air Force, Mr Byron was promoted to Wing Commander in 1980.

During 1982 and 1983 Mr Byron was Commanding Officer of the RAAF Central Flying School, responsible for the training and checking of all military flying instructors in Australia. In 1984 he was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia.

After leaving the RAAF, Mr Byron became an Examiner of Airmen with the Department of Aviation, flying over 20 different types of aircraft and flight testing pilots up to the senior commercial level. In 1988 he took over the management of North Broken Hill Ltd’s private jet operations, while also working as an aviation safety consultant in flight training, human factors and aviation management.

From 1997 to 1999, Mr Byron was a member of the CASA Board, chairing the Board Safety Committee. In this key role he guided the development of CASA’s new safety compliance and promotion activities.

In 1999, he took the position of Executive General Manager of Kendell Airlines, at a time when the airline was introducing jet aircraft operations. This was followed by a period as Vice President Compliance and Quality Assurance with Ansett Australia.

Mr Byron subsequently worked as a high-level consultant on aviation safety management in airlines, including as head of safety systems for Virgin Blue.

Between 2000 and 2003, Mr Byron chaired the Aviation Safety Forum, a high-level industry group which advised the CASA Board and the Australian Government on strategic aviation safety activities. In May 2002, he was also appointed by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services as a special industry adviser to CASA on regulatory reform.

Mr Byron currently holds an airline transport pilot licence, a command instrument rating and a Grade 1 instructor rating. He has flown more than 10,000 hours during his aviation career.


Bruce Gemmell

Bruce Gemmell, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer

Bruce Gemmell joined CASA on 9 April 2001. He was previously a First Assistant Secretary in the Department of Transport and Regional Services with responsibility for aviation. In that role he gained extensive experience in all facets of aviation. His work included leading the department’s handling of the (Mobil) Avgas fuel contamination crisis in 2000, and leading the successful negotiation of Australia’s first ever ‘open skies’ air services agreement with New Zealand.

Mr Gemmell’s public sector administration experience spans more than 30 years, and he has been involved with aviation for more than 15 years. He was one of the Civil Aviation Authority’s inaugural staff members and was the initial project manager for what is now The Advanced Australian Air Traffic System (TAAATS). He was also a director with the Department of Aviation in 1985.