Annual Report 2006-07: Our groups
- Air Transport Operations Group
- Finance Office
- General Aviation Operations Group
- Human Resources
- Information Services Group
- Legal Services Group
- Manufacturing, Certification and New Technologies Office
- Personnel Licensing, Education and Training Group
- Planning and Governance Office
Figure 7 shows the number of staff in each CASA group.
The Air Transport Operations Group (ATOG) oversights large (more than 5,700 kilogram) aircraft passenger and freight operations. Its functions include:
- regulatory service activities
- scheduled and risk-based operational surveillance of industry
- development of initiatives that make a contribution to aviation safety, with an emphasis on the safety of passengers.
ATOG has its headquarters in Brisbane, with field offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Its policy and development functions are located in Brisbane, and responsibility for airways and aerodromes resides in CASA’s head office in Canberra.
A week in the life of ATOG
The Air Transport Operations Group is responsible for the regulatory oversight of the top 32 airlines in Australia and the 80 maintenance organisations that keep the airlines’ fleet of aircraft flying safely.
Each week, ATOG inspectors conduct on average two complex scheduled audits on airlines and their aircraft maintenance organisations as part of an annual audit programme. This is supported by around 15 ad hoc operational surveillance activities of various airlines and aircraft around Australia.
Airline capacity is expanding in Australia by approximately 9 per cent per year and ATOG has to make sure that the systems within airlines are capable of operating safely in order to sustain this growth. As a consequence of this growth, at least two changes to airlines’ air operator’s certificates occur every week, requiring significant evaluation by ATOG inspectors.
ATOG also meets its international responsibility to the flying public by ensuring that the 76 foreign airlines flying into and out of Australia do so safely. Every week ATOG inspectors conduct surveillance on the operations of at least two foreign airlines and their aircraft.
While ATOG’s main focus is on safe airline operations, it is also responsible for the oversight of the 157 certified and 138 registered aerodromes in Australia. On a weekly basis, the team of aerodrome inspectors, working to an annual schedule, conducts audits on six or more of these aerodromes.
The Finance Office is responsible for the functions of finance, procurement, and property and security. It provides strategic advice and guidance to senior management on all matters relating to these functions, with its main purpose being to facilitate the achievement of CASA’s corporate goals.
The office develops policy and procedures in relation to these functions and is responsible for implementing relevant statutory requirements and undertaking all associated corporate reporting.
The General Aviation Operations Group (GAOG) oversights the general aviation industry sector. This covers the entry control function (issue of approvals, permissions and other documentation), surveillance (ensuring compliance with civil aviation regulations) and enforcement (taking action with non-compliant persons and operators).
The sector includes low-capacity regular public transport, charter, emergency services, pilot and engineer training, aerial work, sporting and recreational activities. It also includes all the maintenance services to support those activities.
GAOG staff comprise a wide range of experienced, skilled personnel covering the breadth of activity in Australian aviation. Priority within GAOG is given to operations that carry passengers.
GAOG’s headquarters is located in Brisbane. It has regional offices located in Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Moorabbin and Bankstown and supporting offices in Adelaide, Townsville, Cairns and Tamworth. GAOG also has responsibility for the CASA Service Centre, CASA’s ‘one-stop shop’ for regulatory services, located at the Brisbane headquarters.
Human Resources advises and consults with CASA’s senior management on human resource matters. Its aim is to develop and maintain an integrated approach to managing CASA’s human resource and staffing strategies to meet the goals of the organisation.
Human Resources facilitates CASA’s organisational development strategies and the national training programme. It drafts and implements policy on staff and industrial relations, which includes conditions of service, payroll, occupational health and safety, and learning and development.
The Information Services Group has a strategic focus on:
- ongoing information and communications technology (ICT) operations, including the periodic refreshment of technology, improving the stability of business and corporate systems and increasing the value of systems to users
- new ICT development to enhance capability and deliver major upgrades to existing infrastructure in response to business requirements
- continued information management improvements to maintain the integrity and security of CASA’s information
- ongoing improvement to the governance and management of the processes for the design, development and deployment of ICT systems.
The Legal Services Group provides a full range of legal assistance, advice and support to CASA’s Chief Executive Officer and operational, service and corporate areas. It has three branches.
The Legal Branch provides legal advice and has responsibilities that include:
- handling matters in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Court
- responding to summonses and subpoenas
- assisting in aspects of CASA’s involvement in coronial inquests and litigation to which CASA is a party.
The Legislative Drafting Branch is primarily responsible for the drafting, registration, publication and archiving of a wide range of legislative and other instruments under civil aviation legislation. It also advises on, and assists in the preparation of, drafting instructions for civil aviation safety regulations prepared by the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing in the
The Enforcement Policy and Practice Branch (formerly Enforcement and Investigations) is responsible for enforcement policy and is the focal point for the coordination of all CASA’s enforcement activity. It issues infringement notices, carries out investigations under Part IIIA of the Civil Aviation Act and refers briefs to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. It also collects information and statistics on enforcement action taken by CASA.
The Manufacturing, Certification and New Technologies Office (MCANTO), which will be renamed the Airworthiness Engineering Branch in the coming year, is responsible for:
- performing functions relating to the continuing airworthiness of the Australian civil aviation fleet
- offsetting and maintaining airworthiness standards and regulations, including airworthiness directives.
MCANTO has four sections. The Manufacturing Section administers approvals relating to the manufacture of aeronautical products. The Certification Policy and Programmes Section administers certification policy and projects relating to aircraft and aeronautical products. The Technologies and Systems Section and Airframes and Structures Section provide an internal ‘technical service’ to CASA groups to ensure they have access to up-to-date information on new technological developments and airworthiness standards.
Technical specialists within MCANTO provide a wide range of expertise and experience in all fields of civil aviation. They also participate on national and international standards panels and committees as required.
The Personnel Licensing, Education and Training Group develops and administers standards for air transport and general aviation operations and performs critical barrier-to-entry functions, encompassing:
- aircraft registration
- licensing of flight crew and maintenance personnel
- aviation medical certification
- certification of maintenance training organisations.
The group, through its Safety Promotion Branch, develops and delivers safety education and communication programmes, including the magazine Flight Safety Australia, the safety communications product suite, the field safety adviser programme and the human factors and flight development initiatives.
The Planning and Governance Office comprises the following branches: Corporate Relations, Risk Management and Internal Audit, and Regulatory Development Management.
Its functions include:
- coordinating CASA’s interaction with a range of government, industry and international stakeholders
- managing and coordinating CASA’s standards-setting function
- coordinating and communicating CASA’s corporate and operational strategies and plans.
Office of Airspace Regulation:
CASA takes on airspace regulation function
From 1 July 2007 CASA will be officially responsible for the regulation of Australian airspace, taking over the role from Airservices Australia. To facilitate this CASA established the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) which was functional as of 15 June 2007.
The primary role of the OAR is to regulate Australian airspace to ensure the safe, orderly and efficient flow of air traffic, while being cognisant of national security, the protection of the environment and the equitable use of Australian airspace.
The OAR undertakes the following activities:
- assessing and managing airspace change proposals
- consulting with industry, the community and other stakeholders on airspace matters
- monitoring flying activity within Australian airspace to ensure that the relevant airspace is fit for purpose
- conducting periodic reviews of the airspace structure
- participating in strategic airspace planning.
CASA’s guidance document, the Australian Airspace Policy Statement, was signed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon Mark Vaile MP, on 28 June 2007. The statement outlines the Government’s vision for airspace along with CASA’s responsibilities under the new regulations. The Government remains committed to the National Airspace System reform objectives, particularly greater flexibility and the allocation of air traffic management services on the basis of risk, and also expects CASA to adopt a proactive approach to assessing Australian airspace and its operations, and to identify and pursue airspace reform opportunities.
The statement directs that CASA take into account the following key principles in carrying out its airspace regulation activities:
- Safety of passenger transport operations is the most important consideration.
- Efficient use of airspace is a benefit to the aviation sector and the Australian economy.
- Protection of the environment is of concern to all Australians.
- Access to airspace will be open to all users unless there are justifiable reasons to deny access because
of safety, efficiency, environmental protection or national security considerations.
- Airspace administration will take account of national security.
A new team has been appointed headed by Peter Cromarty. Further information about the Office of Airspace Regulation is available on CASA’s website.