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CASA Annual Report 2002 03 Part 1: Overview of CASA

Part 1: Overview of CASA

The year ahead

Corporate governance

Proclamation of the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2003 will see significant changes in CASA's Corporate governance.

The Minister will remain at arms length from CASA's day-to-day regulatory operations, but will have a much closer involvement in setting strategic directions and overseeing our performance – the role currently performed by the Board.

We anticipate that the Minister will issue a new Charter Letter, framing objectives and priorities for aviation safety over the next few years and giving the tenor of our regulatory approach. CASA will also have a new head.

Planning for new directions, defining new relationships, establishing new administrative arrangements and implementing new approaches will make 2003–04 an invigorating but challenging year for CASA.

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Operational

High priorities will be completing the remaining elements of the Regulatory Reform Program, as well as preparing ourselves, and helping industry to prepare, for the progressive implementation of new regulations already made. In 2003–04 we will be rewriting a suite of six parts of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations governing sport aviation and implementing parts of the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (see Appendix 7 for the implementation schedule).

We have introduced 'the safe and timely implementation of the National Airspace System' as a new critical success factor in our Corporate Plan for 2003–04 to 2005—06. This reflects the importance of the National Airspace System in the Government's aviation reform program. Airservices Australia has statutory responsibility for airspace management; however, CASA is a key stakeholder with responsibility for overseeing safety-related issues associated with implementing the National Airspace System.

Four months after Royal Assent is given to the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill, new enforcement provisions will come into effect for which associated new procedures are being written. Staff training and an industry awareness campaign will also be needed.

The Foundation Stage of the CASA Improvement Program will continue, with implementation of Phase 1.

Over the next three to five years this Program will effect fundamental change in the way we do business and facilitate significant improvement in our effectiveness and efficiency.

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Budgetary

CASA's financial position will be improved in 2003–04 with supplementary funding of $6.5 million to cover the continuing shortfall in aviation fuel excise revenue. This supplementary funding will be derived from an increase in the excise and customs duty on aviation gasoline and aviation turbine fuel. These arrangements will apply for one year from 1 July 2003.

The Government has requested that CASA's funding arrangements be reviewed to identify a stable long-term funding strategy. Revised funding arrangements for CASA will be considered in the context of the 2004–05 Budget.

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Resources

While the improvement in our budgetary situation will ease the financial constraints we experienced this year, there will be continuing pressure on our resources in 2003–04 as we set out to complete our operational agenda.

We do not expect any diminution in the demands of our day-to-day regulatory operations. It is likely that the volume of regulatory services will remain high with continued volatility in the industry, and we must sustain our strong surveillance and enforcement effort. The ongoing changes in our business systems and processes will also entail some disruption to operations and impose some demands on staff.

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Industry

We will build on our solid working relationships with the larger airlines to deal with issues such as handling new technology.

CASA anticipates that our relationship with the general aviation sector will be enhanced over time by the continuing improvements we are achieving in regulatory service delivery, implementation of the new enforcement measures, greater clarity in the new regulations and demonstrably higher levels of consistency in our approach to compliance and enforcement as new procedural documentation and training take effect.

At the same time, implementation of regulatory reform, though carefully staged, will have an impact on all commercial sectors of the industry. We hope to minimise that impact by working closely with the industry throughout the process.

In 2003–04, CASA will be consulting closely with the sport aviation community to progress the regulatory reform program for that sector.

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