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CASA Annual Report 2002 03 Part 1: Overview of CASA

Part 1: Overview of CASA

A retrospective

Over the past four or five years, there have been some major changes in the way CASA is managed and the way we do business. As we are about to enter a new phase in our corporate governance arrangements, we have taken stock of where we are.



  • Over the past four years, CASA has brought a major program of regulatory reform near to completion with a comprehensive rewrite of aviation safety regulations. The reforms will underpin enhanced aviation safety with Australian standards that are clearer, more concise, unambiguous and better aligned with international practice.
  • The Australian National Audit Office recently found that, with changes implemented since its 1999 audit, we are better managing our surveillance and enforcement activities, particularly in areas such as identifying risks at the operator level, the frequency and coverage of surveillance, and enforcing the Civil Aviation Act 1988.
  • We have significantly increased our safety promotion activities over the past few years and met with encouraging signs of industry taking a more proactive approach to aviation safety. Participation in our safety promotion programs is over one-and-a-half times greater than it was in 1999—2000 and demand for the safety promotion material we produce keeps growing.
  • CASA is working with industry to achieve fundamental improvements in safety by moving to a systems approach. We have shifted our surveillance methodology for passenger-carrying operators to 'systems-based' auditing, which focuses on identifying and fixing the underlying causes of non-compliance, while maintaining product auditing as an integral element. We have also been educating operators in safety management systems that will more consistently produce safe outcomes.


Effectiveness and efficiency

  • Since we set our corporate challenge, vision and commitments in 1999, CASA has maintained a strong strategic focus and continuously refined planning processes towards a thorough integration of strategic and business planning.
  • We have introduced quarterly performance reporting against the corporate plan and are continuing to improve our performance measurement capability by identifying more meaningful measures and establishing more reliable data collection.
  • We have under way a three to five year major business improvement program that will give CASA efficient and effective business systems, processes and information technology to take us forward in the context of a new business model.
  • CASA is developing a robust risk management framework, which has been benchmarked by Comcover in the top quartile of government agencies surveyed in the past two years.
  • Since the introduction of a new regulatory services delivery model in 2000–01, CASA has achieved significant improvements in the quality and timeliness of major elements of our regulatory servicing. The progressive application of the model to other services offers considerable scope for further improvement.
  • We have made a considerable effort to improve national consistency, fairness and impartiality through centralised decision-making, introduction of more graduated enforcement measures, better procedural documentation, development of precedent information, staff training and electronic tools.



  • A public survey conducted in 2002 found the majority of people are confident about the safety of air travel in Australia and over 80 per cent think it is as safe or safer than flying in countries such as the United States or Canada.
  • 80 per cent of respondents to that public survey thought CASA was doing a reasonable or better job of regulating aviation safety, and 30 per cent thought we had improved our performance.
  • In 2001–02 our good standing in the international aviation community was recognised with Australia's re-election, in equal fourth place, to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council among the 10 nations of chief importance to global aviation.
  • We are building a service culture within the regulatory one. We have published a Service Charter and incorporated its requirements into our operational performance settings, changed our corporate values to reflect a commitment to service and made corporate values an integral element of our Performance Communication Scheme and the Recognition Scheme.
  • We are also developing ways of working constructively with the industry without running the risk of 'capture', notably, with the 'case management approach' we will be adopting for implementation of the regulatory reform program.



  • The ongoing implementation of initiatives in our People Management Strategy provides a solid, integrated approach to people management within the organisation.
  • Through major restructuring and recruitment we have developed a stronger mix of industry, technical and regulatory expertise to address the challenges of coming years.
  • The comprehensive employee survey conducted in October 2002 has shown us where we need to improve to achieve a high level of satisfaction among our existing staff and attract others with the capabilities we need. It has also given us an array of baseline measures to chart our progress.