Annual Report 2007-08 PArt 3 Strategic Relationships
Standards Consultative Committee
The Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) brings together representatives from a diverse range of aviation industry groups to work with CASA on regulatory change. Thirty-nine organisations are represented on the main committee, which is chaired by industry. More than 200 CASA and industry participants are involved in the SCC and its six subcommittees. CASA considers that the commitment, effort and coordination involved deliver significant benefits.
The SCC’s principal task is to consider safety regulatory issues in relation to the civil aviation safety regulations, orders, manuals of standards and advisory circulars.
CASA is committed to—and highly values—consultation with the aviation industry in the regulatory development process, through the SCC and its subcommittees. Both CASA and the aviation industry have a common safety goal and have much to gain from the engagement of technically competent, highly experienced and diversely qualified individuals. This involvement enables CASA to deliver aviation safety regulations that are contemporary and practical, reflect industry best practice, and are capable of responding to changes in the industry in the future.
The objectives of the SCC are to:
- consider regulatory proposals that have been submitted by CASA, and to recommend a level of priority for the regulatory work involved
- identify individual industry experts to work with CASA staff on the development of regulatory proposals
- provide input and make recommendations to CASA on formal proposals for regulatory change.
In addition, the SCC is a source of information to CASA about the aviation industry. Through the SCC, the industry informs CASA of developments that have an impact on the industry and on safety issues requiring action. This ensures that the diverse yet significant needs of each industry sector are recognised and considered during the rule-making process.
The SCC also serves as a forum for consultation on a broad range of issues relating to CASA’s responsibilities. The SCC receives feedback from CASA on how CASA has managed SCC recommendations, so that the decision-making process is open, transparent and accountable.
The SCC considers recommendations from its subcommittees, and helps resolve conflicting industry views on regulatory issues and CASA proposals.
In summary, the SCC provides a forum where CASA and the aviation industry can raise and exchange new ideas, test new initiatives and discuss future developments. This enables both CASA and the industry to keep abreast of industry trends and issues and to be well placed to commence planning for development of new standards or regulations that might be required.
Activities in 2007–08
The SCC met three times during 2007–08. Some of the key issues considered were the maintenance regulations project, the alcohol and other drugs testing for safety-sensitive personnel project as well as further development of the operational suite of CASRs. The SCC also discussed various amendments to the CASRs, CARs and CAOs and related issues.
The SCC also reviewed nine NPRM consultation documents before they were issued by CASA for formal public comment.
Further information about the SCC can be found on CASA’s website at www.casa.gov.au/newrules/scc/.
Aviation Safety Forum
The Aviation Safety Forum (ASF) is a high-level advisory body helping the aviation community and CASA work effectively together to improve aviation safety in Australia.
The ASF is comprised of experienced aviation specialists who advise the CASA CEO on strategic issues. These people have worked in every area within aviation, including passenger transport, aviation medicine, engineering, aerial agriculture and general aviation. The fixed-wing and helicopter sectors of the industry are both represented.
There is also representation from Airservices Australia, the Department of Defence, and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (the Department).
The ASF provides strategic advice directly to the CASA CEO. In 2007–08, the ASF met four times and discussed a range of issues including a risk-based approach to safety, air traffic control, flying training, fatigue and human factors. The ASF also made a submission to the Australian Government’s issues paper Towards a National Aviation Policy Statement.
At 30 June 2008, the membership of the ASF was as follows:
- Mr John Bartlett
- Mr Owen Batchelor
- Mr Jim Davis
- Mr Stephen Fankhauser
- Ms Pamela Graham
- Mr Rob Graham
- Dr Bob Hall
- Mr James Kimpton
- Mr Keith Morgan
- Dr Heather Parker
- Captain John Raby (Chair)
- Mr Adrian Verkerk.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
This year CASA and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) are working on a revised memorandum of understanding (MoU) that sets out safety objectives and underlying values to guide the ongoing relationship between the two organisations. The MoU will maximise aviation safety outcomes and enhance public confidence in aviation safety.
As part of the MoU, CASA reviews and comments on ATSB reports into aspects of aviation safety, including investigations into aircraft accident or incidents. CASA is considered a ‘directly involved party’ who may be either directly involved in the occurrences or their immediate aftermath or who may be affected by the findings. In 2007–08, CASA responded to 204 such reports.
CASA also responded to 41 requests for information, as required under section 32 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. Section 32 requests can require the appearance of people or the provision of documents by a specified date to assist in an investigation.
Under the Air Navigation (Confidential Reporting) Regulations 2006, administered by the ATSB, CASA is required to respond to safety concerns reported through the Aviation Confidential Reporting Scheme (REPCON). REPCON is a voluntary scheme, which enables any person who has an aviation safety concern to report it to the ATSB confidentially. In the event that the concerns are relevant to CASA’s business, these reports are forwarded for comment back to the ATSB. In 2007–08, CASA responded to 23 such reports.
Complementing activities under the MoU is CASA’s Accident Investigation Report Review Board (AIRRB—the Review Board), established in November 2007. The Review Board is a monthly forum, designed to review material released by the ATSB, using CASA’s aviation expertise to provide commentary on draft reports. Advice provided by the Review Board assists the ATSB in developing practical recommendations that can be implemented by industry, ensuring the continuous improvement of aviation safety standards. The Review Board meets monthly and is chaired by the Deputy CEO, Operations.
Expert Panel on Aircraft Air Quality
In 2007–08, CASA finalised plans to establish an Expert Panel on Aircraft Air Quality. The panel has been established under the auspices of the Cabin Air Quality Reference Group, an airline, union and industry body that was established in 2002. The panel will review the cabin air issues, provide expert advice on the quality of information available, and determine what gaps exist and whether further study is needed. It will meet up to eight times during 2008 and 2009 and is due to submit a final report by the first quarter of 2010.
During the year, CASA’s senior management attended two industry briefings, one in Brisbane in November 2007 and one in Perth in April 2008. The briefings allow senior management to brief the industry on CASA’s current work and give the industry an opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns they may have.
International stakeholder engagement
International Civil Aviation Organization
Australia is a signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), which provides for the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation. Under the Convention, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), through its international panels and working groups, develops international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The SARPs are published in 18 annexes to the Convention.
The Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio has carriage of Australia’s participation in ICAO, with the various portfolio agencies taking responsibility for ICAO activities falling within their legislative functions. CASA is responsible for seven of the 18 annexes and shares responsibility for a further two annexes with Airservices Australia.
CASA’s strong support for ICAO activities continued in 2007–08 through its participation on panels and working groups at both international and regional levels. This included work on the standards for performance-based navigation (important in a technology-driven operating environment); carriage of dangerous goods; maintenance of ageing aircraft; standards for structures around airports; and standards for the certification of operators.
Audit of Australia’s safety oversight
In addition to assisting ICAO with its international standardisation and procedural work, Australia was audited by ICAO as part of its cyclical Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP). The audits have the objective of ensuring that the 190 countries that are a party to the Convention are meeting its articles and the ICAO SARPs.
ICAO undertook the audit of Australia’s safety oversight of the aviation industry from 18 to 28 February 2008. The nine-member audit team spent the majority of its time examining those areas—notably industry safety standards—for which CASA has responsibility.
While the final report will not be published until November 2008, a preliminary report has been provided to CASA. Australia has responded to ICAO on its proposed Corrective Actions as a result of the audit.
Bilateral aviation safety arrangements reduce regulatory duplication and provide greater market access opportunities for international aviation business.
United States—aviation parts manufacturing
Representatives of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) visited Australia in August 2007 to review CASA’s oversight of aviation parts manufacturing. The visit took place within the framework of the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between Australia and the United States. The focus was on Australian Parts Manufacturer Approvals (APMAs) issued by CASA with a view to their acceptance under the agreement.
The FAA has subsequently confirmed its satisfaction with Australia’s legislation, procedures and oversight, and provided draft amendments to the agreement to incorporate APMAs. CASA is now in negotiations with the FAA on technical elements of the amendments. Finalisation of the amendments will enable much easier access to the US aviation market for Australian parts manufacturers.
European Union—aircraft maintenance
CASA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are currently considering the feasibility of a working-level arrangement for the oversight, by CASA, of Australian maintenance organisations that maintain aircraft for European Union (EU) countries. Such an arrangement might allow CASA to provide oversight of Australian holders of EASA maintenance organisation approvals. This could lead to increased international recognition for Australia, its regulatory environment and its maintenance industry. This may also increase the ability of the Australian maintenance and maintenance training sectors to compete internationally and will lay the foundations for work on any future bilateral agreement between Australia and the EU.
New Zealand—air operator certification
From March 2007, legislation was put in place to enable the mutual recognition of air operator certification between Australia and New Zealand. The Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport recommended that a safety assessment should be conducted by CASA 12 months after the commencement of mutual recognition of air operator’s certificates. CASA is working to complete this review.
Pacific Aviation Safety Office
CASA continued to provide technical support to the Australian representative on the Council of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) throughout 2007–08. PASO is now in the final stages of becoming fully operational, with the recruitment of technical personnel and commencement of safety oversight operations in the Pacific region.
Loan funding from the Asian Development Bank, together with additional grant funding from ICAO, enabled a review of aviation legal and technical systems to be undertaken in Pacific Island States that will receive safety oversight services through PASO. The review will assist in determining the scope of services that PASO will provide across the region.
Papua New Guinea
During the year, CASA continued to participate in an Interagency Implementation Working Group with the Department, to develop a new strategic direction for civil aviation regulation under the Australian Government’s Enhanced Cooperation Program for Papua New Guinea.
Implementation of the three-year, $23.9 million Indonesian Transport Safety Assistance Package (ITSAP) commenced in February 2008, following the signing of a Scope of Approved Works by the Australian and Indonesia Ministers for Transport in January 2008.
ITSAP addresses issues associated with aviation and maritime safety and includes a number of activities: training Director General Civil Aviation Indonesia inspectors in Jakarta and Australia (18 trained to date); project visits to Australia (four conducted to date); industry education workshops in Jakarta (two conducted to date); safety promotion assistance (ongoing); and the provision of advice on aviation industry oversight issues (ongoing). This work will continue to broaden over the next two years.
The program is managed by the Department on behalf of the Government, with CASA’s role relating to the provision of training activities, which accounts for approximately 25 per cent of the funding.