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CASA Annual Report 2002 03 Part 4: Corporate governance

Part 4: Operational performance report

Output group 4: Aviation regulatory services

Description

CASA issues legal 'permissions' in the form of licences, operating certificates, registrations and permits for aviation-related activities. We use these key aviation safety regulating tools to identify participants who meet safety standards.

Planned output

Regulatory services provided in a timely, consistent and responsive manner, aligned with CASA's safety obligations.

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Context for 2002–03

  • CASA's ongoing responsibility to deliver regulatory services as cost-effectively as possible. A new issue was the Government's move towards full cost recovery for government service delivery.
  • The aviation industry's need for quicker regulatory service delivery to facilitate flexibility and adaptability in the rapidly changing domestic and global market environment. There was a continuing high level of volatility in the industry during 2002–03.
  • CASA's responsibility to avoid any undue disruption or delay in providing aviation services to communities that depend on them. There was a continuing state of flux in the industry following the demise of Ansett.
  • Ongoing perceptions of a degree of inconsistency in regulatory interpretation, approach and decision-making across CASA.

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Highlights of performance

Highlights of CASA's performance during 2002–03 include:

  • reduced incentive for industry to operate illegally outside permissions
  • 18 per cent quicker for initial issue of Air Operator's Certificates
  • 16 per cent quicker for initial issue of Certificates of Approval
  • 14 per cent quicker for variations to Air Operator's Certificates
  • 18 per cent quicker for variations to Certificates of Approval
  • achieved ISO9001:2000 quality certification for some regulatory services delivered through the CASA Service Centre.

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Performance report

Performance measure Target Result

Number of processes for entry to the aviation industry reviewed or simplified.

10

10

Regulatory service processes and tools simplified.

2

6

Simple application forms with accompanying guidance produced.

3

3

For increased effectiveness and efficiency without compromising safety we:

  • developed Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), Certificate of Approval (COA) and Approved Testing Officer application forms and improved guidance material
  • produced a CD-ROM of aircraft images and classification to help non-technical CASA staff understand the requirements of industry
  • refined and implemented the:
    • Estimate Form to improve efficiency and promote greater consistency
    • Standard Form Recommendation to improve efficiency by reducing internal bureaucracy
  • established a specialist team of inspectors to improve regulatory servicing for the agricultural sector
  • revised the AOC Statement of Intent/Application form to make it simpler for industry to use
  • published searchable details about AOC and COA holders on the CASA web site so people can quickly and easily check regulatory information about a particular aviation business
  • finalised and made 'AOC Online' available to industry, reducing industry effort involved in making an application, improving turnaround time, lowering service costs, increasing consistency, and providing training and quality control
  • introduced a 'Special Purpose Lane' to speedily handle subsequent issues of AOCs where there is no variation and non-complex applications to vary AOCs
  • introduced acceptance and processing of applications online
  • introduced procedures and processing tools for Instruments of Appointment issued to industry delegates and approval holders to improve consistency and service
  • modified CAR 232 Flight Check Systems requirements to make them simpler for operators of small aircraft without compromising safety
  • introduced standard COA Schedule

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Performance measure Target Result

Number of AOCs and COAs issued with timeframes agreed with individual applicants.

AOCs 85%

COAs 85%

AOCs 83%

COAs 75%

The percentage of AOCs issued within the timeframes agreed with individual applicants was slightly below target for most of the year due to pressure on resources from further growth of 9% in the volume of applications.

The percentage of COAs issued within the timeframes agreed with individual applicants rose steadily throughout the year. This was despite an 8% increase in applications.

The above-target results in the 4th quarter reflect the introduction of the Special Purpose Lane in May 2003.

100% of subsequent issues of AOCs and COAs were on time.

Figure 18: Issue of certificates within agreed timeframes

Figure 18: Issue of certificates within agreed timeframes

Notes: The measure applies to certificates for the general aviation sector issued through the National Service Centre. Modifications to the Workflow Management System prevented compilation of figures for the 1st quarter.

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Performance measure Target Result

Reduced average processing time for AOCs and COAs.

N/a

Initial Variation

AOCs 18%    14%

COAs 16%    18%

These significant improvements in CASA's processing times were achieved despite a higher volume of applications in 2002–03. The total numbers of AOC and COA applications received increased by 9% and 8% respectively over 2001–02.

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Table 15: Average turnaround time of AOC and COA applications for initial issue

Baseline Days (Jun 02) Change in 2002–03
  2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Average

AOC

119

-12

-3

-52

-22

COA

73

-10

-22

-5

-12

The significant 4th quarter reduction in the number of days taken to issue an initial AOC appears to have been a flow-on effect of the freeing up of Area Office resources following introduction of the Special Purpose Lane in May 2003.

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Table 16: Average turnaround time of AOC and COA applications for variation

Baseline Days (Jun 02) Change in 2002–03
  2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Average

AOC

43

+5

-5

-6

-6

COA

44

-4

-12

-9

-8

Notes: The measure applies to certificates for the general aviation sector issued through the National Service Centre. Modifications to the Workflow Management System prevented compilation of figures for the 1st quarter.

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Performance measure Target Result

Collection of fees payable for regulatory services under the Civil Aviation (Fees) Regulations.

90%

93%

CASA exceeded the target recovery rate in three quarters of the year. We were marginally below target in the 2nd quarter

Figure 19: Recovery of service fees

Figure 19: Recovery of service fees

Note: This measure applies to fees for services through the National Service Centre.

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Performance measure Target Result

Regulatory services for which standard response times have been set in consultation with industry.

1

1

CASA established a service delivery benchmark with Regional Aviation Association of Australia. A four-week timeframe for processing small variations to AOCs through the Special Purpose Lane was agreed.

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Performance measure Target Result

External complaints regarding workflow management system finalised within the timeframe set in the Service Charter.

100%

90%

CASA achieved excellent complaints handling results for the bulk of the year.

Our performance improved by 4% in 2002–03 for an annual average of 90%.

Unusually poor performance in the 1st quarter of the year was due to resource constraints.

Figure 20: Finalisation of Workflow Management System complaints

Figure 20: Finalisation of Workflow Management System complaints

Note: The Workflow Management System is the database the National Service Centre uses to track application processing for some permissions.

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Performance measure Target Result

Industry satisfaction with provision of regulatory services for issue of general aviation AOCs and COAs.

85%

High

We are working on mechanisms for collecting, analysing and reporting data that will provide a clear view of industry satisfaction and highlight where service improvements are required.

Meanwhile, with complaints about service running at 2% of the applications received, the level of satisfaction is assessed as high.

Note: This measure relates to services provided through the National Service Centre.

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Performance measure Target Result

Categories of delegates, authorised persons and permission holders published on the web are correct and current.

95%

99.9%

This result reflected the situation at year's end. Resources did not permit routine measurement as a priority during the year.

Performance measure Target Result

Entry control procedures for specific delegates developed.

1

1

We finalised formal entry control procedures for Approved Testing Officers, to improve accountability, consistency and service to the Approved Testing Officers.

Note: CASA devolves various regulatory powers to industry through appointment of industry delegates and authorised persons, such as Approved Testing Officers to whom CASA has delegated conduct of flight tests under Civil Aviation Regulation 5.19 or 5.41(4).

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Initiatives, developments and issues in 2002–03

The CASA Service Centre entered its third year in April 2003. The Service Centre has created a platform from which to improve service delivery to industry, with a focus to date on general aviation Air Operator's Certificates and Certificates of Approval.

Processing improvements

In 2002–03 we continued to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of CASA's delivery of regulatory services to general aviation operators through the changes to processes, procedures and forms set out in the Performance Report above.

These initiatives benefit industry by reducing the time, effort and cost in making applications, and by allowing us to process applications more quickly, more consistently and with fewer returns for additional work. The results are demonstrated by the reduction in average processing times despite an 8.6 per cent increase in the number of applications received (see Tables 15 and 16).

As well as enabling better service delivery to industry, the changes will promote aviation safety by freeing time for CASA's specialist technical staff in Area Offices to focus more on complex tasks with significant safety implications.

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Quality certification

CASA's Regulatory Services Branch, which includes the CASA Service Centre, achieved ISO9001:2000 quality certification in December 2002.

The quality management system provides the structure and controls to ensure we continue to meet industry requirements and deliver improvements. The system features a continuous improvement program, involving management and staff at all levels, whereby all aspects of the business are reviewed to optimise performance and effectiveness.

Signing certificate in December 2002

L to R: Bruce Gemmell (CASA), Mr Art Makar, General Manager SAI Global, Qld, Rob Collins (CASA) at the certificate presentation in December 2002

Additional functions

In 2002–03 the Service Centre assumed responsibility for 'Operating Certificates', which authorise unmanned aerial vehicle operations. This followed a significant exercise to create the necessary guidelines, procedures and processes to support the new CASR Part 101, Unmanned Aircraft and Rocket Operations.

Access to information

CASA's web site has been upgraded to display information about Air Operator's Certificates and Certificates of Approval, so members of the public can search for an operator or organisation of interest, and view their authorisations. Similarly, aviation industry members seeking flight tests can now view the web site to seek up-to-date records of Approved Testing Officers.

The search engine on CASAconnect allows people to search for specific information using different criteria such as name, region, type of operation, aircraft type and category.

These developments are directed at enhancing information access for the aviation community and reducing the calls on CASA staff time.

Certificates issued by CASA screen shot from Internet

Capability in e-commerce

Establishment of the CASA Service Centre and standard application forms has enabled industry to submit applications for some certificates by email. The Service Centre now receives over half of applications electronically.

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Where to from here

Regulatory reform implementation

An important strategic focus for CASA over the coming five to seven years will be progressive introduction of new regulations generated by the Regulatory Reform Program. There will be significant implications for regulatory service delivery in terms of preparing staff, updating systems and revising procedures and processes.

New service delivery arrangements for licensing

In 2003–04 CASA will be developing new service delivery arrangements for licensing of flight crew, aircraft maintenance engineers and air traffic controllers.

As part of incorporating licensing functions within the Service Centre methodology, we are looking at the scope for process changes that will generate improvements in service delivery.

Service cost recovery

CASA's fees and charges for service delivery are under review as part of a decision by the Government to establish a more sustainable funding model to help CASA meet its statutory obligations. The review will take into account the Government's new guidelines on cost recovery and the effect of aviation safety regulatory reforms on service functions.

The Government is expected to make decisions on CASA's long-term funding arrangements in the 2004–05 Budget process.

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AOC Online

We introduced 'AOC Online' last year to enhance the Air Operator's Certificate application process for applicants and for CASA staff. It provides a set of electronic tools to help applicants develop their applications to meet regulatory requirements and to help CASA staff assess applications and make consistent decisions.

Air Operator Certification CD

The package was conceived to help overcome problems industry was having in understanding CASA requirements and in submitting all the information needed, particularly operational documentation written to an adequate standard. The package contains an automatic 'builder' for the application form, the Operations Manual and the Compliance Statement. These builders guide applicants through the application process, providing the relevant explanations and references to regulatory requirements along the way. Of particular assistance to many applicants is the option of adopting pre-approved text for some elements of the Operations Manual. In addition, the CD-ROM contains a tool to help applicants complete the necessary self-assessment of their financial viability.

The current version of AOC Online is designed for general aviation certificates and is available to applicants free of charge on CD-ROM. Using the package is optional, but offers benefits for applicants in minimising what can be significant delays associated with incomplete information and sub-standard manuals. Adoption of pre-approved text has the added benefit of reducing service costs.

Further versions of AOC Online are planned. We expect to target additional problem areas, such as Training and Checking, Flying Training and Dangerous Goods, as well as expanding coverage to Regular Public Transport.

In the future AOC Online will be available on the web.

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Special Purpose Lane

CASA set up a 'Special Purpose Lane' to improve service delivery time to the industry for administrative and simple, non-safety-critical changes to general aviation Air Operator's Certificates, and for the re-issue of general aviation Air Operator's Certificates where no change is involved.

The Special Purpose Lane is an outcome of CASA's 'managing by measuring' approach to service delivery. Data analysis permitted by our Workflow Management System showed that applications for minor variations to Air Operator's Certificates represented a substantial proportion of the applications referred to our Area Offices for processing in and amongst other regulatory tasks.

We formed a dedicated team of inspectors trained in modified procedures to more efficiently process these applications within the Service Centre. The results have been positive since the Special Purpose Lane came into full operation in May 2003. During the subsequent three-months, 46 per cent of Air Operator's Certificate applications were processed through the Special Purpose Lane, with an average turnaround time of seven days compared with an average of 60 days previously. A flow-on effect of the release of staff time in Area Offices has been a significant improvement over the same period in the service delivery times for other types of applications.

The Special Purpose Lane currently processes Air Operator's Certificate applications for:

  • subsequent issues with no change
  • adding aircraft with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) below 5700 kilograms
  • adding aircraft of similar type to an existing category
  • adding aircraft in a similar class of operation
  • name change where the Australian Company Number remains the same
  • adding or deleting a trading name
  • removal of an approval
  • removal of an air work function
  • removal of aircraft.

When resources permit we plan to extend this facility to similarly straightforward Certificate of Approval applications.

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Assistance to agricultural aviation

By listening to the agricultural aviation industry's concerns with our AOC processing, CASA set about improving the service for this sector, in particular, reducing complexity and delays.

We established a dedicated Agricultural Unit in our Tamworth Office in New South Wales to specialise in the entry control of operators in the agricultural aviation industry. The office is allocated AOC applications for this industry sector through the CASA Service Centre. This means priorities are not significantly influenced by other industry sectors, and results in much quicker processing of applications. The agricultural industry has specific operational needs, and these benefit from dedicated CASA inspectors with specialised skills to promote effectiveness and consistency as well as timely service to industry.

In another initiative to reduce the burden on this area of the industry, CASA developed the Standard Operations Manual for Agricultural Operations. Operators that are Aerial Agricultural Association of Australian members can use this manual to significantly reduce the effort involved in creating appropriate operating procedures.

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