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CASA Annual Report 2002 03 Part 4: Corporate governance

Part 4: Operational performance report

Output group 1: Aviation safety standards

Description

CASA is responsible for developing and promulgating standards to maintain, enhance and promote civil aviation safety. These standards address aircraft certification and airworthiness, airspace, maintenance, personnel licensing, and flight operations.

Planned output

Clear, concise and unambiguous safety standards, aligned with international practice, are developed and implemented.

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Context for 2002–03

  • A key focus of CASA's work since 1999 has been the Regulatory Reform Program, which involves developing a comprehensive new suite of civil aviation safety regulations. In 2000–03 we were working towards the target program completion date of 31 December 2003 for re-writing the rules.
  • We are moving into the implementation phase of the Regulatory Reform Program. In 2002–03 CASA began an intensive exercise to ensure a safe and smooth transition to the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
  • Australia's safety standards should be consistent, where appropriate, with the Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In the national interest, we also seek to harmonise our rules with the standards of leading aviation countries to match best practice and to encourage competition and Australia's export activities.
  • CASA has an ongoing responsibility to participate in international civil aviation activities to maintain currency in emerging and evolving global aviation issues, influence development of international safety standards and enable preparation for change.

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Highlights of performance

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

  • 73 per cent completion of the Regulatory Reform Program target1
  • implementation framework for regulatory reform in place
  • new online response system for consultative documents
  • first online aviation safety conference
  • improved consultative processes on regulatory reform.

1. As measured by percentage of required Notices of Proposed Rule Making published.

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Performance report

Performance measure Target Result

Extent to which Regulatory Reform Program targets were met:

90%

73%

The Regulatory Reform Program involves publishing Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs) for 49 packages of regulations. Of these 36 had been published by the end of 2002–03.

We set the target of publishing the last 25 NPRMs required for the Regulatory Reform Program by June 2003. This was to ensure enough time to finalise all the legislative packages by the target 31 December 2003 reform completion date.

While the target was not reached, 12 NPRMs were published during the year and 6 NPRMs were substantially complete at 30 June 2003.

CASA could not proceed with 6 NPRMs relating to sport aviation, pending development of a policy position on future regulation of sport aviation. The other outstanding NPRM, relating to the regulation of meteorological services, is also subject to the determination of a policy position.

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Performance measure Target Result

Degree of consistency of Australian standards with:

  • ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices
  • the standards and practices of leading aviation states.

Aligned as far as practicable

Alignment is a key feature of the Regulatory Reform Program. However, assessment of the extent of alignment will not be available until the new regulations commence.

Maintaining harmonisation with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and with the practices of other leading aviation nations is an ongoing process.

During 2002–03 CASA worked with other agencies in the portfolio to compile a list of Australia's current differences with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. The list is published on the Department of Transport and Regional Services web site at http://www.dotars.gov.au/avnapt/ipb/icao/annex_contents.htm.

These differences often reflect unique Australian conditions. Where this is not the case, CASA seeks that, where appropriate, existing standards are amended and that the new standards being developed under the Regulatory Reform Program are harmonised with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.

In relation to the practices of other countries, CASA's intention is to create rules that align with the standards and practices of other leading aviation nations. CASA's approach is to select those overseas standards that best meet the Australian environment and requirements.

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Performance measure Target Result

CASA's contribution to ICAO.

80% participation

83% participation

This year CASA's participation in standards development activities at the international level resulted in significant contributions made to:

  • aviation medicine
  • dangerous goods
  • flight crew licensing and training
  • aircraft operations and maintenance
  • air navigation
  • air traffic operations.

(See Appendix 6 for a report on CASA's involvement in these and other regional and international aviation safety activities.)

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Performance measure Target Result

A system for monitoring the effectiveness of standards, through stakeholder input, is identified.

100% complete

100% complete

A system to enable feedback by stakeholders on the effectiveness of standards is developed.

Beta version complete

See comment below

As a means of monitoring the effectiveness of standards, CASA has set in place arrangements including:

  • CASA's Legislative Change Proposal system, which allows industry and CASA staff to advise of any changes required to our regulations, standards or advisory material
  • introduction, within the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs), of a Guide to Users, which formally articulates the availability of the Legislative Change Proposal system.

In addition, the Standards Consultative Committee has been tasked with monitoring and providing advice on legislative change proposals and other regulatory development matters associated with the Regulatory Reform Program. The Standards Consultative Committee undertakes its functions in accordance with a nine-step plan, which is available on the CASA web site at /seminars/flot/scc.pdf.

Assessment of a proposal for a computer-based system for stakeholder input on the effectiveness of standards concluded that such a system could not be justified at this time.

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Performance measure Target Result

Develop strategies and plan for Regulatory Reform Program implementation against targets

100%

98%

  • We put in place strategies for stakeholder management and risk management and completed development of the associated management plans.
  • An enabling strategy and plan for CASA and the aviation industry were almost completed.
  • We completed all strategy development and implementation planning for the following new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations:
    • Airspace (Parts 65, 139H, 143 and 171-3)
    • Manufacturing (Part 21)
  • Other completed phases of work included:
    • readiness and transition strategies for Airspace (Part 174)
    • implementation plans for Aerodromes (Part 139), Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licensing (Part 147) and Operations (Parts 60 - Stage A, 67 and 92)
    • readiness project plans for the remaining maintenance, airworthiness, flight operations and licensing parts.

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Initiatives, developments and issues in 2002–03

Regulatory Reform Program

The Regulatory Reform Program is substantially on schedule to meet the target completion date of 31 December 2003. We expect that all the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations will be made with the exception of those relating to sport aviation and meteorological services, which have been delayed pending resolution of policy issues.

Consultation

In 2002–03, we paid particular attention to the quality of consultation on regulatory reform and on seeking to identify areas in which we might improve consultative processes.

We introduced a new simplified style of Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), which is intended to keep the message simple, increase reader appeal and reduce the drafting effort involved in developing regulations. We also introduced an online response system to facilitate industry feedback. This system allows respondents to submit their comments on consultative documents direct to CASA over the Internet.

To further help us involve stakeholders in developing new regulations, we have made increasing use of conferences directed towards particular segments of the aviation industry. During March 2003, CASA held the inaugural Flight Crew Licensing, Operations and Training Conference.

For greater accountability and transparency, we changed the style of reporting on the outcome of consultation. In the Summary of Responses we publish for each NPRM, we now seek to explain and justify our reasons for adopting a particular disposition in relation to each comment received. We also seek to ensure each individual who provided input to CASA will be able to identify their views within the Summary of Responses.

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Classification of operations

A critical aspect of the Regulatory Reform Program is to determine which elements of the aviation industry are subject to the various regulations being developed under the program. During the year, CASA decided a policy position on the classification of operations. The policy introduces the three new classifications of 'Air Transport', 'Aerial Work' and 'General Aviation' operations to replace the existing classifications of Regular Public Transport, Charter, Aerial Work and Private operations.

The intent in the new policy is to ensure a consistent and clear interpretation of whether or not an activity is Aerial Work, requiring regulatory oversight. This will overcome the current situation where there is high reliance on discretionary interpretation by CASA and industry officials to determine whether an aerial activity is governed by the regulations. An NPRM relating to classification of operations was released for public comment in March 2003 and responses were still being considered at the end of the reporting period.

National Airspace System

In support of the Government's initiative, CASA has been actively involved in overseeing the safe implementation of selected characteristics of the United States Federal Aviation Administration national airspace system. CASA has participated in Hazard Identification Workshops, reviewed safety cases and Aeronautical Information Publication material, and established an Aviation Regulatory Working Group to address the regulatory changes needed to facilitate implementation of the National Airspace System.

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Other standards development

Separately from the Regulatory Reform Program, we published three consultation documents on matters not addressed by current regulations. These documents related to a proposal for aural warning to operate with cabin altitude warning systems, a proposal for class 2 medical standard certification of cabin crew and a proposal to mandate upper torso restraints for occupants in small aircraft. Having considered the views of industry participants received in the consultation process, we decided not to proceed with these proposals.

ICAO activities

During 2002–03 we continued our international engagement in developing ICAO safety standards addressing a wide range of issues.

Highlights of the year for CASA were the election of Australia's representatives to the positions of Rapporteur of the ICAO Flight Crew Licensing and Training Panel Working Group, Chair of the ICAO Operations Panel, and Chair of the ICAO Obstacle Clearance Panel.

In October 2002, CASA hosted ICAO Panel Working Group meetings in Broadbeach, Queensland, including the Operations Panel, the Dangerous Goods Panel, the Safety and Separation Panel, and the Obstacle Clearance Panel. As a result of these meetings, many of the current and proposed Australian standards have been adopted into proposals that are expected to be incorporated into international standards.

Australia also participated in the Global Navigation Satellite System Panel and the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-B OpLink Panel. Through this involvement CASA significantly influenced development of new standards in Annex 10 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and preparation of material for the upcoming 11th Air Navigation Conference.

CASA's participation in the Air Traffic Management Concept Panel led to a revised ICAO policy on Safety Management Systems. We also continued our involvement with the various sub-committees and the Plenary of the Australia-Pacific Air Navigation Planning and Implementation Regional Group. One outcome was adoption of the Australian recommendation that new Global Positioning System (GPS) implementation be based on the latest GPS receiver standard.

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Regulatory reform plan booklet

Regulatory reform implementation

Effective implementation of the new rules will be crucial to the success of regulatory reform. During 2002–03 CASA geared up for the Regulatory Reform Program Implementation.

In September 2002, we finalised a comprehensive plan setting out the objectives, strategies, activities, governance and management of regulatory reform implementation. The plan is designed to accomplish the transition with minimal disruption for both industry and CASA. It takes into account our own recent experience and the experience of other aviation regulators, such as Transport Canada, with implementing major reforms. A Program Management Group was established in October 2002.

There will be ongoing communication with industry and within CASA to build and maintain awareness of the need to prepare for forthcoming changes. In November 2002 and May 2003, CASA released brochures explaining how and when the new rules are being introduced. We also took the first step in implementing CASR Part 139 by sending a brochure to all airports setting out key changes under the new aerodrome rules, how the changes will affect airports and the transition process.

The emphasis will be on well-timed and targeted promotion and assistance. Education and training requirements and delivery strategies are being identified in consultation with peak industry bodies, and analysis of the gap between old and new regulations will focus promotion and learning. Telling people in the industry about the changes and asking their intentions, as we are now doing with the new aerodrome regulations, will help us direct our assistance to specific needs.

Case management was identified as a key feature of CASA's implementation strategy. CASA specialists will work with individual organisations to agree on a staged transition process. This will be undertaken by multi-disciplinary teams, who will guide and mentor individual industry organisations in gap assessment, and in working with supporting guidance material and tools to implement required changes.

Post-implementation review will occur progressively so lessons learned can be fed into preparing and handling subsequent implementations.

As well as putting in place the overall regulatory reform implementation framework, CASA was actively involved in implementation work associated with a number of new CASR Parts. A major accomplishment was the issue of inaugural certificates approving Airservices Australia as a service provider under a new suite of regulations. CASA also issued Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting Certificates to Broome and Norfolk Island and worked with organisations making the transition to the new CASR Part 21 (Manufacturing Approvals).

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Where to from here

Regulatory Reform Program

A substantial body of work will need to be tackled in 2003–04 to meet the 31 December 2003 target for submission of proposed regulatory packages to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services. This work will include analysing responses to consultation on proposed regulatory packages, publishing Summaries of Responses, developing Regulatory Impact Statements and drafting final regulatory packages.

As noted earlier, regulatory packages relating to sport and recreational aviation and meteorological services will not meet the target completion date for the Regulatory Reform Program. Subject to development of policy positions, CASA will aim to develop regulatory packages for these areas in 2003–04, thus bringing the Regulatory Reform Program to its conclusion.

Regulatory reform implementation

CASA anticipates that regulatory reform implementation will continue over the next five to seven years as the new rules come into effect at various times and with various transition periods to allow industry time to adapt (see Appendix 7).

Implementation will be structured around clusters of related rules – airspace, flight operations, pilot licensing, maintenance personnel licensing, maintenance, certification and airworthiness and authorised representatives.

National Airspace System

CASA's involvement with implementing the National Airspace System will continue in 2003–04. Our involvement will include review of safety cases presented in the various phases of the National Airspace System and regulatory changes necessary to facilitate its implementation.

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Flight Crew Licensing, Operations and Training Conference

CASA held a three-day Flight Crew Licensing, Operations and Training (FLOT) Conference at Sydney's Darling Harbour in March 2003 to give pilots, airline managers, flying instructors, aircraft owners and other stakeholders the opportunity for direct involvement in developing new safety rules.

The FLOT Conference, which was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon. John Anderson MP, followed the model of successful maintenance conferences held in 2001 and 2002.

As well as the 300 people attending the FLOT Conference in Sydney, representatives from the aviation industry in other cities, and regional and rural areas were able to participate through a live and interactive Internet feed. Those logged on were able to view the proceedings, ask questions and make comments in real time.

Use of this new medium for reaching stakeholders proved a resounding success with over 700 discrete log-ins over the duration of the conference, from locations across Australia, typically with groups of people watching during each login.

Emma Watson

Safety Promotion's Emma Watson in the technical booth at the Conference

The Conference was based on six workshops, which discussed the proposed rules for the following new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations:

  • Part 61 (Flight Crew Licensing)
  • Part 91 (General Operating and Flight Rules)
  • Part 121B (Air Transport Operations – Small Aeroplanes)
  • Parts 133, 136, 137 (Rotorcraft, Aerial Work, Aerial Agriculture) and Safety Management Systems
  • Part 141 (Flight Training Organisations)
  • Part 142 (Training and Checking Organisations).

The workshops allowed CASA to:

  • explain the rationale and philosophy underpinning the proposed rules
  • outline some of the changes that had been made to the initial discussion papers through consultation
  • identify some of the more important issues yet to be satisfactorily resolved or upon which we were seeking guidance.

The rapporteurs for each workshop were individuals from industry who were familiar with the legislative drafting process through involvement in Standards Consultative Sub-committee work in either licensing or flight operations and each workshop was attended by the relevant CASA project manager.

The workshops were repeated four times so all participants had the opportunity to attend four of the six workshops available. There were Internet broadcasts of the opening and closing plenary sessions, as well as one session of each workshop.

The conference generated robust and constructive discussions, and the result was a plethora of information and views for CASA to use in further developing the new regulations.

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GA8 Airvan certification

This year a CASA team completed a certification upgrade of the Australian designed and manufactured GA8 Airvan.

The manufacturer, Gippsland Aeronautics, sought the upgrade to facilitate acceptance of their product by the Federal Aviation Administration into the United States.

The exercise ensured that the GA8 Airvan meets the most stringent and current safety standards – United States Federal Aviation Regulation 23, Amendment 54. This standard demands superior levels of occupant protection in the event of a crash, superior levels of system reliability, and extensive flutter testing.

CASA team at GA8 certification

CASA Deputy Chairman, James Kimpton, handing over the certificate.

As a result of the work of Gippsland Aeronautics and the certification team, the Federal Aviation Administration accepted the aircraft type in record time – just two-and-a-half months – with the comment that the thoroughness of the work done in Australia made the acceptance process straightforward.

Acceptance into the United States opens up many markets worldwide, in countries that base their acceptance on the Federal Aviation Administration's acceptance. Gippsland Aeronautics is now looking forward to a period of increased production.

The GA8 Airvan is a rugged eight-seat, high-wing aircraft, which is finding a niche with sightseeing tour operators. Several of these aircraft are operating successfully in the Kimberleys and from Fraser Island.

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