Aviation-Aerospace Australia Speech
[formally the Australian Association of Aviation and Aerospace Industries]
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.
I hope to outline a number of developments that may be of interest to members of Aviation/Aerospace Australia
- The Future Technology Discussion Papers released in response to the Government's Aviation White Paper,
- Developments in the regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems,
- CASA's work on international agreements to reduce the regulatory burden for the aviation industry,
- Growth of the aviation industry
- the Ageing Aircraft Management Plan.
Future Technology Paper
A revised strategy and regulatory plan for the introduction of new technology for aircraft satellite navigation and to provide inter-operability with the future air traffic management system was released by CASA on 5 September this year.
The strategy includes amended proposals for the fitting of aircraft communication, navigation and surveillance equipment. This follows responses from the aviation industry to CASA's first discussion paper covering the technology issues, which was released for consultation in December 2010.
Proposals that were put forward in the original discussion paper that received strong support from the aviation industry will proceed to the next stage of regulatory development via NPRM.
However, proposals that were not supported by some industry sectors or that attracted varying comments have been revised, with new proposals have been issued a new discussion paper.
The objective of the proposed mandates is to provide significant safety, efficiency and cost benefits by introduction of GNSS navigation under IFR, to support future air traffic management with the use of Australia-wide electronic surveillance, and for air-to-air conflict avoidance.
This will be achieved by requiring modern communication by data-links and navigation and surveillance equipment on aircraft undertaking IFR flight, using satellite and ground based electronic systems. The equipment includes GNSS receivers, Mode S transponders with ADS-B capability, and the latest version of TCAS II for new aircraft.
Overall there were 35 responses to the original 2010 proposals, with a wide range of representative organisations providing input. The airline and commercial sectors strongly supported most proposals, while the visual flight rules sector of general aviation and the sport and recreational sector had a range of concerns.
For the visual flight rules general aviation and recreational and sports sectors, the primary concern was the proposal for all aircraft to be fitted with ADS-B OUT equipment in all classes of airspace. The new discussion paper says: "CASA has decided that it will not proceed with any mandate for the carriage of ADS-B OUT by general aviation visual flight rules aircraft at this time".
CASA intends to issue an NPRM on the aircraft technology mandates that have been supported by industry by the end of this year.
As always, we encourage industry participation in the rule making process.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are covered by CASR Part 101, a regulation that is now nearly 10 years old. Given this, we have established a Review of Regulations and Guidance Material relating to UAS.
While many parts of the community believe that unmanned technology is coming, the fact is that it is here and already providing important services to the community, such as powerline survey, vegetation assessments, pollution surveys, mammal surveys, the list is almost endless; with fire fighting support and law enforcement coming in the near future.
So given the understanding and experience of the existing UAS industry participants, and those who are preparing to join, as well as the many advances in UAS technology over the recent years, work on this project will provide more guidance to industry on the regulatory requirements and approval processes for commercial operation of UAS in Australia. The guidance will consider the long term integration of UAS into normal aviation operations in all classes of airspace. The project will be undertaken in two phases.
Phase 1 will involve the development of a suite of Advisory Circulars covering:
- Training and Licensing
- Manufacturing and Initial Airworthiness
- Maintenance and Continuing Airworthiness
- Safety Management
Phase 2 of the project will consist of a review and where necessary amendment of CASR Part 101.
We are calling for industry nominations to form a joint CASA/Industry UAS Working Group – indeed, CASA's work on this project, the GA Taskforce and the Future Technology Paper are all enhanced though the valuable contributions of people in the aviation industry.
In the Minister's Statement of Expectations to the CASA Board, he made it clear that he expects CASA to continue to pursue the establishment of appropriate mutual recognition arrangements including bilateral aviation safety agreements.
The Australian aerospace sector employs around 13,000 people with annual industry revenue of about $3.9 billion. Exports represent approximately 25 per cent of revenue.
The domestic market for aviation products is relatively small. To be successful, the Government has recognised that Australian manufacturers need to develop markets overseas. Currently, most aviation products require the approval not only of CASA, but of the country to which the product is exported. We recognise that the requirement for duplicate approvals adds to time and costs for manufacturers and can be an impediment to exports.
CASA will continue to seek opportunities to achieve greater recognition of Australia's safety system and acceptance of CASA's certification by other aviation authorities. While CASA has a number of specific technical arrangements with other national aviation authorities, the Government has recognised the industry's desire for increasing the range and scope of such arrangements, and asked CASA to continue to pursue these agreements.
To facilitate greater access to major overseas markets, CASA has reached agreement with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on extending the Bilateral Air Safety Agreement that Australia and the US signed in 2005 to cover the manufacture of approved parts.
The FAA will now accept Australian Parts Manufacture Approvals for replacement and certain modified aircraft parts. This has significantly reduce the cost and simplify the process of getting Australian parts into the US market. CASA has a work program that includes negotiating an extension of the airworthiness agreement under the bilateral aviation safety agreement with the US
CASA has been trying for some years to establish a similar working arrangement with China for the mutual acceptance of aeronautical products and parts, and we will continue to explore options for entering into an arrangement with our Chinese counterparts.
In addition, CASA has been in discussions with a number of foreign authorities on the development of further technical arrangements. These discussions have taken place with Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada and a Working Arrangement with Korea for certification of aeronautical products.
The Government has stated in the Aviation White Paper that it will look for opportunities to achieve more recognition of CASA's safety certification to facilitate the export of aviation products and expertise, including through its negotiation of an Open Aviation Market with the European Union.
We are seeing continued strong growth across the industry. While there are certainly strong commercial challenges, particularly in the GA sector, overall we continue to see growth.
Since 2006-7 we have seen the Australian fleet of civil grow from 12,718 to 14,462 aircraft.
The standout is the growth of the helicopter sector which has seen an increase across the same time from 1,303 to 1,797 helicopters. This presents a significant challenge for CASA, especially in attracting and retaining people with the skills and experience to oversight this part of the industry – the very same people who are in demand from the industry itself.
AOC's in General Aviation have increased steadily from 472 to 527, while we have seen a big increase in Airline AOCs from 84 to 106.
We have seen an increase in flight crew examinations from 18,841 in 2006-7 to 20,660 in 2010-11 and an increase in flight crew licences from 33,272 to 34,308.
We have also seen an increase in the numbers of holders of Certificates of Approval. In 2006-7 there were 663 COA holders, that has increased to 736 in 2010-11. Along with this growth, we have seen an increase in the numbers of Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licences holders from 6,403 to 7,076
These numbers present a picture of a industry that has responded well to a challenging financial environment and continues to grow.
We can expect to see this growth to continue. The BITRE Forecast that the number of air passenger movements through the capital city airports is set to increase by 4.2 per cent a year over the next 21 years, from 98.3 million in 2008–09 to 235 million in 2029–30.
The number of aircraft movements through capital city airports is expected to increase by 2.2 per cent a year over the next 21 years, from 1.1 million in 2008–09 to 1.7 million in 2029–30, an overall increase of around 60 per cent.
The number of scheduled aircraft movements is expected to increase by 2.8 per cent a year over the forecast period. This includes 4 per cent growth in international movements, 2.7 per cent in intercapital movements and 2.2 per cent in regional movements.
At the same time the industry is growing, we are also seeing issues emerge with the age of the fleet.
In 2010 CASA commissioned a dedicated project to review the ageing aircraft issue and make recommendations for the continued safe operation of the Australian fleet – The Ageing Aircraft Management Plan (AAMP).
The AAMP has determined several broad findings:
- That Australia has an ageing aircraft problem – the average age of piston engine fleet is 40 years and rising.
- Ageing aircraft are here to stay – there are relatively low replacement rates.
- The main segment of concern is under 5,700kg. The average age of high capacity RPT aircraft is significantly less than GA fleets. RPT aircraft tend to have manufacturer's support programs in place as well as comprehensive systems of maintenance (unlike GA).
- There is no one size fits all solution. Every aircraft can be at a different stage of ageing. Blanket legislation to address the chronological age factor alone is not justified in the aviation context.
- There is minimal availability of ageing data. Individual aircraft data is necessary to determine the extent of ageing issues, and that date is limited. I.e. flying hours, cycles, System of Maintenance etc. The Military and airlines manage this better than GA, and CASA is looking into this issue
- There is also a minimal awareness of the science of ageing in industry. To address this, CASA has embarked on an industry awareness campaign "Take a closer look" to further educate owners and maintainers.
A result of these finding, CASA is considering a number of additional actions:
- Further education initiatives for industry on ageing related issues.
- Mechanisms to obtain and manage individual aircraft ageing data to ascertain which aircraft have the potential to be of the most concern.
- Review of minimum standards of maintenance applicable to GA to ensure ageing related aspects are included.
- Increasing ways industry can support ageing aircraft fleets such as replacement parts production and development of type specific systems of maintenance.
CASA supports the continued operation of ageing aircraft – provided it can be done safely.
I hope this summary of some of CASA's current activities – on top of our day to day surveillance and oversight functions – gives you an understanding of the current and future issues facing us as the regulator and the industry as a whole, and what action we are taking to address them.