Annual Report 2006-07: Achieving our vision
Achieving our vision: safe skies for all
In performing its functions to achieve this vision, CASA will demonstrate its willingness to:
- be flexible and responsive
- communicate and listen
- consult widely
- be open to ideas from the local and international aviation communities
- maintain a high level of visibility to industry.
Setting aviation safety standards, or rules, is a key function for CASA. Rulemaking within CASA is managed and coordinated by the Regulatory Development Management Branch. The branch develops project proposals for new or amended regulations, orders and standards to assess safety risks, identify regulatory and non-regulatory options to address those risks, and initiate the making of new or amended rules. Project teams are staffed with subject-matter experts from both CASA and the aviation industry. The teams are required to follow the regulatory policies published in CASA CEO Directive 001/2007.
CASA works closely with the industry-chaired Standards Consultative Committee and its six subcommittees to identify project team members and to conduct industry consultations on regulatory proposals and their associated publications. These publications include manuals of standards, advisory circulars, ‘acceptable means of compliance’ references and other guidance material. Regulatory proposals are subject to business cost calculator reports and regulation impact statements when required by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.
In addition to addressing newly emerging issues and risks that require more immediate regulatory amendments, CASA is also undertaking a general regulatory reform programme to update, consolidate and reformat the aviation safety regulations.
Part of ensuring safe skies for all is requiring safety standards to be met by potential operators and personnel.
CASA applies entry control to manufacturing organisations when they apply for approval to manufacture aeronautical products and to authorised persons when they apply for an instrument of appointment to carry out certain CASA functions. Entry control is also applied to new types of aircraft being registered for the first time in Australia, via the type acceptance certification process.
The CASA Service Centre plays a major part in entry control activities. All general aviation air operator’s certificate and certificate of approval applications are processed through the centre. Additionally, the centre processes manufacturing and certification approvals, approved testing officers, instruments of appointment, maintenance controllers and many more permission types. In 2006–07 the CASA Service Centre issued 472 air operator’s certificates and 188 certificates of approval.
A key role of CASA is the oversight of the industry, through various surveillance techniques. The most visible is the inspection or audit process, whereby CASA inspectors conduct formal audits of compliance with the safety regulations. These activities are undertaken at intervals appropriate to the risk profile of the organisation or individual. For example, an organisation with a large, complex charter operation is inspected more often than an aerial work operation with occasional charter. CASA uses many other surveillance mechanisms, such as annual information returns, safety trend indicators and safety reports.
CASA continually examines the effectiveness of the oversight regime. In 2006–07, CASA commenced reviewing its method of oversighting the industry through its industry oversight project, which is a strategic long-term project to enable CASA to assess the safety of permission holders using a structured approach based on systems safety and risk management principles.
To encourage compliance with regulations, CASA conducts information sessions for industry personnel and arranges seminars and roadshows when new regulations are being promulgated. The trend towards the adoption of safety management systems by industry is encouraging, as it sets a framework for consistent compliance with legislation.
Developing enforcement strategies
CASA’s Legal Services Group has developed a new coordinated enforcement process which, through the Enforcement Policy and Practice Branch, is focusing on enabling CASA to provide a more appropriate and better informed response to non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
CASA continues to engage industry through various stakeholder groups and forums including the Standards Consultative Committee and Aviation Safety Forum; safety education seminars; and safety publications such as Flight Safety Australia.
CASA’s safety promotion role involves shaping attitudes to safety, encouraging safe behaviour and achieving the safest possible outcomes. Safety promotion encourages the adoption of best-practice safety principles, practices and standards. CASA does this by using a range of communication channels to deliver carefully considered safety information, education materials and messages. These materials and messages are based on the analysis of emerging issues in the industry, both domestically and worldwide, and draw on our expertise in relevant fields.
CASA aims to increase acceptance of education and communication as the key to fostering the right attitude to safety, safety-conscious behaviour and safe outcomes for aviation. We can achieve this by encouraging industry to take responsibility for its actions through ensuring industry participants choose CASA products when they need education, training and information on aviation safety, its application and its delivery.
CASA actively encourages safety culture, systems and practices in the aviation industry by:
- developing practical targeted advisory and guidance materials, such as civil aviation advisory publications on visual flight rules at night and aerobatics, and guidance to approved testing officers on the correct procedures for the recording of endorsements and ratings and the assessment of English language proficiency
- devolving responsibility to operators where appropriate, including responsibility for the oral examination of aircraft engineers undertaking practical consolidated training on type
- reducing, wherever possible, the administrative burden associated with applying to CASA for regulatory services involving licensed personnel or the registration of aircraft
- recommending improvements in the quality-management systems of maintenance training organisations
- publishing flight crew examination feedback on a quarterly basis, and continually refreshing the flight crew examination database to cover new and emerging technologies and contemporary safety issues
- adopting a risk-based approach to aviation medical certification
- providing regular seminars and presentations on all functions relating to airworthiness, including manufacturing, airworthiness standards and regulations, and certification of aircraft and aeronautical products.