Annual Report 2006-07: Accountability
During the reporting period CASA received 15 identifiable compliments commending the actions of CASA staff.
To ensure corporate accountability the management and reporting of complaints is undertaken by the Industry Complaints Commissioner. The ICC immediately refers information indicating an imminent risk to the travelling public or air safety to relevant CASA officers and operational areas.
Members of the public are quick to report unusual incidents or concerns about aviation activity in Australia. Many people who make complaints and reports request to remain anonymous.
The complaints received cover a broad range of topics and issues relating to aviation and aviation safety. In 2006–07, the ICC logged a total of 283 complaints.
The main topics and issues about which complaints were received included:
- administrative procedures and service standards
- regulatory decisions and actions
- commercial airlines—service, standards and safety issues
- general aviation—licensing, airworthiness, engineering and aircraft operations
- airports—noise, location and activity.
|Timeframe for resolution||Number of complaints|
|Within five working days||47|
|Within 10 working days||26|
|Within 28 working days||20|
|More than one month||23|
|Action taken to progress complaint resolution||Number|
|Reports to CEO||3|
Two representative ICC investigations undertaken during 2006–07, and their results, are summarised below.
- A complaint was received from a maintenance organisation about regulatory action taken by CASA. The ICC investigation showed flaws in the original surveillance activity, which led to incorrect compliance demands by CASA. These demands were subsequently withdrawn. The investigation also showed a lack of coordination within CASA and a breakdown in communications between operational areas. Good communications and a professional working relationship between CASA and the organisation have been restored.
- A passenger with a disability complained about regulations concerning the transport of wheelchairs in airliners. The investigation showed that airlines were communicating information about the use of mobility devices to passengers well, and that the availability of services and assistance to people with disabilities was well advertised by commercial airlines. The ICC was able to show the complainant that aircraft design standards and dangerous goods rules were necessary to protect all fare-paying passengers and that these rules were being properly applied and were not intended to discriminate.
Many complaints were received during the year about safety, noise and activity at small regional or rural airstrips. These complaints came from people in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and focused on four airstrips in particular. Investigations showed that most of the issues were not safety issues but issues and grievances about the use of semi-rural areas for light aviation recreational activity. The ICC recommended that a project be initiated to provide written guidelines to local government and airstrip operators, to review and advise on relevant current regulations and to provide simple, clear brochures and advice to people living near small airstrips about how they operate and how to make complaints. The recommendations have been accepted. The project will be completed in late 2007 under the auspices of the ICC.
During 2007 the ICC received 58 calls on the CASA Hotline.
In 2006–07, the Commonwealth Ombudsman received two complaints relating to CASA, compared with one in 2005–06. The ICC is working with the Ombudsman to resolve these complaints, which should be finalised early in the new financial year.
Table 6 shows the number of coronial inquiries in which CASA was involved in 2006–07 and the previous four financial years.
|Inquiries on hand from the previous year||5||1||3||1||4|
|Conclusions handed down||5||2||3||1||5|
|Inquiries remaining in progress at 30 June||1||2||1||4||2|