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CASA Annual Report 2002 03 Foreword

Chairman's foreword

Letter of transmittal

14 October 2003

The Hon. John Anderson MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

On behalf of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), I present to you the Annual Report for the reporting year 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003.

The Report has been prepared in accordance with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) and the associated Orders made under the CAC Act, and in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 1988. The Report includes a report of operations, financial statements and the Auditor-General's report on those financial statements, as required under Schedule 1 of the CAC Act.

In accordance with Section 9 of the CAC Act, the Members of the Board are responsible for the preparation and the content of the Report in accordance with Finance Minister's Orders.

Yours sincerely

Signature of Edward G Anson AM

Edward G Anson AM
Chairman

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Chairman's foreword

On behalf of the Board I am pleased to present CASA's Annual Report for 2002–03.

This is the second Annual Report I have presented, and for reasons I will come to later, it will also be the last to be prepared under the authority of the Board.

In terms of CASA's performance for 2002–03, I am pleased to report that it has been another year of solid achievement, with positive outcomes in a number of areas. CASA's aviation safety compliance program has effectively met the goals set for it at the beginning of the year. There has been much progress in the development of better ways to use our finite resources to achieve the best possible safety outcomes for the aviation industry and the travelling public. We have been progressively moving to a regulatory model that puts emphasis on the willingness and ability of the aviation industry to accept its safety obligations. That process is now coming together, with surveillance, enforcement and educational strategies that will complement and reinforce each other, and will be based on risk assessment and safety life-cycle management.

These are the essential elements of CASA's integrated safety system approach, which we are now introducing to the industry. A key component of this initiative has been a series of systems safety seminars in all mainland capital cities. In fact, CASA conducted 44 aviation seminars on a range of subjects during the year across Australia, a reflection of the emphasis we are placing on the value of knowledge and training in enhancing aviation safety.

The Regulatory Reform Program, a major initiative to re-write the bulk of Australian aviation regulations, remains essentially on track for completion by December 2003.

The Implementation phase of the Program commenced during the year and is gaining momentum, using a range of initiatives to support industry participation, including seminars at city airports and regional centres. These and other programs are discussed in more detail in the Report. They all are helping CASA to achieve its strategic goal of Safe skies for all.

The CASA Improvement Program, made possible by special government funding, is progressing well towards its goal of producing a substantial upgrading of the processes and procedures by which CASA does its work. The benefits will flow through to the aviation industry by way of better service delivery by CASA, and to the travelling public through enhanced safety surveillance capability.

Since I became Chairman, I have tried to ensure that my Board colleagues and I take every opportunity to meet directly with members of the aviation industry. During the year the Board held formal meetings in Melbourne and Sydney. Board members have met with industry representatives in Canberra and at regional locations, such as Morwell and Avalon airport. I thank members of the aviation industry for the input they have provided to the Board and to CASA during 2002–03, whether as participants in advisory bodies such as the Aviation Safety Forum or the Standards Consultative Committee, or as individuals. Industry input to draft rules, for example, has been an important contribution to development of the new regulatory framework. This two-way communication and consultation, leading to improved mutual understanding and sharing of expertise, is an essential part of building a safer and more effective aviation environment in Australia.

CASA has been associated with, and supportive of, the airspace reform initiative by the Deputy Prime Minister to develop a world-standard airspace environment for Australian aviation. CASA's specific responsibility is to review the safety case for the proposed airspace structure, in addition to which, in my personal capacity, I am a member of the body having overall planning responsibility for the new airspace.

I offer my congratulations to management and staff at CASA for a job well done over the course of 2002–03,and my encouragement to maintain the momentum in the period ahead.

In terms of the Board's own structure and focus, the year represented a further period of stability. Board membership remained unchanged to the end of the year, and once again few issues emerged to divert the Board's attention away from its main responsibility of strategic management of CASA. The term of appointment of Board member Megan Cornelius ended on 30 June 2003. Ms Cornelius has been a strong contributor to the work of the Board, and I thank her for her four years of dedicated service to CASA.

I mentioned in last year's Annual Report that, at the request of the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, I had prepared, in my personal capacity, a report on aspects of CASA's governance, operations and possible future structure. During 2002–03 the government announced its intention to introduce legislation to provide for a number of changes to CASA. These include giving the Minister authority to establish consultation mechanisms for industry and stakeholders, including an aviation standards advisory body. There will also be new powers to enable the Minister to set policy directions and standards for CASA. I believe these are positive initiatives, and I am pleased they have been adopted.

Particularly significant are new enforcement procedures, which widen CASA's options in dealing with industry, while at the same time enhancing industry's rights of appeal and recourse against any decisions they consider inappropriate. The Board fully supports these enforcement initiatives.

In terms of CASA's governance, the changes provide for abolition of the Board, with the Director of Aviation Safety reporting directly to the Minister. This means that, when the legislative amendments are proclaimed, the Board will cease to exist. This had not occurred at the time of writing, although it is expected to take place shortly.

In August 2003, Mick Toller, who for five years had been Director of Aviation Safety and member of the Board, indicated his desire to move on. The Board thanks Mr Toller for the leadership he provided to CASA, and for the important contribution he made to aviation safety.

I also thank my fellow Board members for their strong support during my term as Chairman, and for their dedicated contribution to the work of the Board and its Committees. My colleagues and I, as we pass to others the responsibility for the ongoing strategic management of CASA, believe we are leaving in place a highly professional organisation that is working effectively and efficiently, and one that is well placed to meet the challenges of the future.

Signature of Edward G Anson AM

Edward G Anson AM
Chairman

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