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CASA Annual Report 2002 03 Part 1: Overview of CASA

Part 1: Overview of CASA

Into the future

Over the longer term CASA is working towards a regulatory model based on the concept of safety maturity. In essence, CASA will be looking at each organisation within the aviation industry to see what level of safety maturity they have reached as a basis for tailoring our regulatory approach and targeting our safety resources.

Safety maturity can be shown as a curve: poor operations at the bottom have safety as a low priority and may breach regulations; improving organisations in the middle recognise safety as important, but have immature safety systems; and high performing organisations boast mature safety systems with a positive safety culture.

Figure 10: Safety maturity curve

Figure 10: Safety maturity curve

The people and organisations that have a high degree of understanding of their safety obligations, regulatory requirements and the need to mitigate their risks would be assessed as having a high level of safety maturity. They would be expected to have strategies, processes and people in place that aim for the best possible outcomes. Whilst CASA would have confidence in their ability to continue to strive for excellence, performance would be monitored at an appropriate level to confirm the maturity rating.

The middle of the aviation safety maturity curve would be where most air operators and maintenance organisations in Australia are currently positioned. These people and organisations have accepted the need to make safety a priority, but have not yet gained a complete understanding and acceptance of the issues and the actions required. CASA will work proactively with this group to help them gain the knowledge and expertise to move upwards in the curve.

The bottom of the safety curve would be the people and organisations that avoid or reject their safety obligations, including ignoring or deliberately breaking regulations. This last group is the sector within which CASA will concentrate its enforcement resources.

The safety maturity curve concept is reflected in the introduction of safety management systems and systems-based surveillance, and the development of a strong safety intelligence capability.