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CASA Annual Report 2003 04 Part 2: Operational Report

Operational report

Output 1: Aviation Safety Standards


  • Improved regulations for aircraft registration, instrument flight procedure design, synthetic training devices, aviation medical requirements and dangerous goods became law.
  • The first production certificate was issued under the new Australian Parts Manufacture Approval system.
  • The Regulatory Reform Program was refocused on quality rather than timely completion.
  • The launch of the second edition of the Australian Air Traffic Management Strategic Plan, in which CASA had a key standards development role.
  • The foundations of a Design and Manufacturing Office were put in place to meet the needs of the Australian aviation manufacturing industry.
  • A new regulatory reform web site was created to make industry involvement easier and consultation more effective.
  • New emphasis was given to known safety risk as the basis for standards.



Achieve a safer aviation community through development and application of quality safety standards.

CASA defines quality in terms of effectiveness. This requires rules that are:

  • clear, concise and unambiguous so they can be easily understood, and consistently applied and enforced
  • developed in accordance with regulatory best practice to ensure they are relevant, workable and cost-effective.

CASA needs to fully engage the aviation community in standards development so there is general acceptance of the rules and a general willingness to abide by them. CASA then needs to ensure those affected are aware of, understand, and can implement rule changes.

In addition, since Australia operates legally and practically within a global aviation community, rules must be internationally harmonised, as appropriate, and CASA must play a part in developing international standards.

While CASA has no statutory role in industry development, it is also seeking to facilitate a more viable and vigorous aviation industry, where possible, in the course of performing its regulatory functions. This is consistent with the wider portfolio strategic objectives.


Budget: $25.915 million

Actual: $25.440 million

Variation: –1.8 per cent


Initiatives, developments and issues in 2003–04

Regulatory Reform Program

The current Regulatory Reform Program (RRP), begun in 1999, is CASA’s vehicle for achieving a quantum improvement in the quality of Australia’s civil aviation safety standards.

Following a review of progress in 2001, the program was scheduled for completion on 31 December 2003.2 This timetable was based on achieving the substance of reform without an unduly protracted change process. While ambitious, the timetable was intended to address industry expectations about an end to the extra demands of consultation and to restore regulatory certainty as soon as possible.

In 2003–04, six CASR Parts were made, bringing the program total to 30 out of a planned 58. Substantial progress was also made in developing regulatory packages for the remaining CASR Parts. However, it became apparent that the December 2003 deadline could not be met without sacrificing the quality objective and the Minister asked that CASA review the timetable.

CASA is now taking whatever time is necessary to refine the remaining Parts in further consultation with the industry. It is also looking again at how closely the rules target established safety risks and will make a real difference to safety outcomes.

In February 2004, CASA referred the proposed general operating and flight rules contained in CASR Part 91 to the Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) for a comprehensive safety risk review. CASA is now considering the SCC’s report and its implications for associated CASRs.

In addition, CASA put on hold Parts 121A and 121B (dealing with air transport operations) to allow the SCC to consider a regulatory approach that would provide greater safety for fare-paying passengers in remote areas, without putting vital aviation services out of business. The result was a recommendation for ‘air taxi’ standards to be contained in a new Part 135. CASA is considering this proposal against the broader regulatory reform requirements.

CASA also looked this year at how closely it needs to regulate different segments of the industry according to the safety risks involved. The result was a suggestion to the aerial agriculture industry in June that it consider self-administration. As with sports aviation, CASA would still set the safety rules and oversee the performance of the peak industry body.


Regulatory reform implementation

The implementation phase of the Regulatory Reform Program began in 2002–03 and will continue over the next five to seven years to ensure a smooth and safe transition to the new CASRs. The process includes educating the industry, training the CASA staff who will apply the new regulations and assisting individual industry organisations using case management and other strategies.

Sixty manufacturing organisations successfully made the transition to new production rules under CASR Part 21 by the extended deadline of 31 March 2004.

New Part 21 Production Certificates

The new production certificates offer real advantages for manufacturers wanting to export aircraft or major aircraft components. United States and European safety regulators will recognise the production certificate far more readily than the previous CAR 30 approval.

The first production certificate was presented to Gippsland Aeronautics in August 2003. The company produces three general aviation aircraft types – two single engine aircraft for agricultural operations and the single engine, eight-seat GA8 Airvan.

The new regulations include a range of provisions that were previously in guidance material, particularly in the area of quality systems. CASA staff worked with Gippsland for about two months to complete the assessment and approve the production certificate.


The industry also completed the transition to new regulations for the consignment and carriage of dangerous goods. The new CASR Part 92 introduces new training requirements to improve safety, and removes administrative requirements that did not contribute to safety, for example in relation to the activities of emergency and police services.

CASA is conducting post-implementation reviews as each transition is completed. The lessons learnt from the 2003–04 implementations are being fed into the preparations for those ahead.

During the year, CASA began helping industry move to new regulations for aerodrome certification, synthetic training devices, medical, and instrument flight procedures design. These transitions will be under way for periods of between one and three years. Preparation for the implementation of a number of other CASR Parts continued.


International participation

CASA continued its participation in a wide range of international and regional aviation safety activities, both in its own right as a leading aviation safety authority and representing Australia.

A particularly important role for CASA, as part of an overall portfolio effort, is participation for Australia in the activities of ICAO, a United Nations body which establishes international Standards and Recommended Practices for aviation.

CASA staff have varying roles on ICAO Panels and Working Groups, including chairing two panels. This involvement allows CASA to both influence and be fully aware of future regulatory directions in global aviation. It brings great benefit to the Australian rules development process, as well as to global standards development.

The technical expertise that CASA provides is internationally recognised as being of a very high level and is fundamental to the progress of international standards in some specific discipline areas. A selection of significant contributions to ICAO activities in 2003–04 is in Appendix 4.

CASA also kept abreast of international aviation safety developments and shared Australia’s experience through attendance at a range of international conferences, including in aerospace medicine, aircraft maintenance and safety management.

A notable contribution at the regional level was CASA’s involvement in setting up the Pacific Aviation Safety Office.

Another notable contribution, at global level, was the 11th Air Navigation Conference endorsement of the System Safety Approach advocated by CASA.


Fatigue Risk Management

In its 2000 report, Beyond the midnight oil: managing fatigue in transport, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications, Transport and the Arts identified fatigue as a major safety hazard.

Fatigue risk management has been a high priority for CASA – understanding the effects of fatigue and ways of dealing with the risks it poses. CASA has been running a trial of fatigue risk management systems in the general aviation sector of the industry since late 2001. This trial has been running in parallel with a joint scientific study being conducted by CASA, the Australian and International Pilots Association, Qantas and the University of South Australia.

This year CASA was invited to present an address to ICAO to share the lessons that have been learnt. CASA also joined the ICAO Operational Panel’s Flight Time Limits Task Group, which is a representative group made up of international regulators and industry.

There is particular interest in CASA’s work in developing outcome-based fatigue management systems from other aviation regulators such as the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada, and from other industries looking for solutions. In 2003, for example, CASA was invited to address the annual Info Quorum rostering and shiftwork conference.

CASA will be consulting with the Australian aviation industry in 2004–05 on a contemporary method of managing fatigue in flight crew – Fatigue Risk Management Systems – as a replacement for the current prescriptive flight and duty time provisions.

Facilitating industry competitiveness

CASA presented the first production certificates under the new Australian Parts Manufacture Approval system of CASR Part 21. These certificates are expected to facilitate the export of Australian aircraft and major aircraft components.

CASA anticipates that management of manufacturing approvals will become a significant workload as the industry benefits from the Aerospace Industry Action Plan, which the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources launched in March 2004. CASA is involved in implementing the plan.

The year also saw further work towards establishment of bilateral arrangements with various partner States.

The maturity of CASA’s working relationship with the United States FAA is already easing access to the United States, the world’s largest aviation market. During the year, the FAA accepted Australian findings as its basis for the issue of an amended type certificate for an Australian aircraft modified for instrument flight rules. As a result, the FAA Type Certificate was amended just six months after the Australian amendment.


Performance measures

Strategy: Review, develop and maintain national aviation safety standards and practices
Measure Regulatory reform planned targets are met
Result A total of 30 of the 58 planned CASR Parts of the Regulatory Reform Program have been made.
Progress The target set in 2001 was submission of the complete set of new Parts of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations to DOTARS by 31 December 2003. Development of seven Parts relating to sports aviation and meteorological services was, or is currently, delayed pending Government policy decisions about the regulations. Development of the remaining Parts is being reviewed with a focus on quality outcomes.
Measure Effectiveness of consultation with the aviation industry
Result Consultation with the industry resulted in a number of significant proposals or changes to improve the practicability of reforms, including:
  • creation of a new Part 132 to cover certain types of ‘air experience’, ‘air adventure flights’ and ‘corporate’ flight operations
  • changes to Part 121B to offer greater flexibility for air transport operations using small aeroplanes
  • consideration of a new Part 135 to provide ‘air taxi’ standards for flight operations in remote areas.
Progress CASA follows a comprehensive regulatory development/consultation process through the Standards Consultative Committee and public consultation using Discussion Papers, Notices of Proposed Rule Making and Notices of Final Rule Making. It also seeks input of industry views and concerns from the Aviation Safety Forum and through industry conferences.

During the year, regulatory reform benefited from the more effective involvement of the Standards Consultative Committee, which represents peak industry organisations. CASA also tried to better engage individual industry members through initiatives such as greater use of mailouts and setting up an ‘industry role profiler’ on its new regulatory reform web site to help people tailor the information displayed to their own circumstances.

The new web site was set up to bring together all regulatory reform material in a more easily accessible way. As well as various depths of information about the nature, purpose and progress of each regulatory development, the web site offers a glossary of aviation phrases and a calendar of regulatory reform events or activities. The web site also has direct links to online response forms, providing an electronic alternative to the freefax, freepost and email methods of submitting comments to CASA on public consultation documents.
Measure Regulation Impact Statements (RISs) developed as required by the Office of Regulation Review (ORR)
Result In 2003–04 CASA achieved total compliance with RIS requirements except for one urgent Airworthiness Directive relating to Robinson R22 Helicopter safety. Although a RIS was published, final ORR approval was not achieved due to the urgency of the issue.

CASA published four RISs and was granted 25 RIS exceptions by the ORR for legislative changes that were minor or machinery in nature.
Progress CASA continued its commitment to develop changes to standards in accordance with regulatory best practice, including analysis of the options available and impact of changes on stakeholders.
Measure Number of differences with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices
Result 1130 currently identified differences. This means some 18 per cent of Australia’s standards differ from the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.
Progress CASA’s approach is to align with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices wherever possible and to select those overseas standards from other leading aviation nations that best meet the Australian environment and requirements.

CASA has been addressing, through the Regulatory Reform program, those differences from the Standards and Recommended Practices that are not warranted by local circumstances. The present review of certain areas of the Regulatory Reform program provides an avenue for further consideration of the differences between the Standards and Recommended Practices and Australia’s reformed regulations.

Progress towards bilateral recognition arrangements with target countries indicates that Australia’s rules in relation to air certification are compatible, if not entirely harmonised, with those of other leading aviation nations.

Last year CASA worked with Airservices Australia and DOTARS to develop a database to monitor the number and nature of ICAO differences with Australian rules. The database has been populated with ICAO Annex references and those Standards and Recommended Practices with which Australia has a difference. The differences database is now mature and shows advantages in the management of the constantly changing differences relationship; driven both by changes to Australian regulations and ongoing amendments to the ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices.
Measure Number and nature of amendments to maintain the functionality of existing Standards
Result During 2003–04, CASA initiated:
  • 1 amendment to the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988
  • 5 amendments to the Civil Aviation Orders 1988
  • a further seven legislative change projects.

List of these legislative changes and projects.

Progress In parallel with the major Regulatory Reform Program, CASA undertakes one-off legislative change projects that become necessary for reasons of safety or to remove undesirable impositions on the aviation industry.
Strategy: Contribute to development of regional and international standards
Measure CASA’s contribution to the ICAO and regional programs
Result CASA provided technical expertise for ICAO Panels, Working Groups, regional forums and other activities in the areas of:
  • aviation medicine
  • dangerous goods
  • flight crew licensing and training
  • aircraft operations and maintenance
  • aircraft airworthiness
  • air navigation
  • air traffic management.

CASA’s international participation resulted in a number of significant Australian contributions to standards development. A notable contribution at the regional level was CASA’s involvement in setting up the Pacific Aviation Safety Office to support small island nations in the South West Pacific.

Progress CASA maintained a high level of participation in essential international programs, with a principal focus on ICAO activities. Resource constraints caused CASA to provide targeted support for the development of ICAO international standards and have restricted its support of some non-ICAO activities.CASA has worked closely with other government agencies in providing technical advice to the Pacific Transport Review initiative.
Measure Australia’s level of influence in the international arena
Result Australia continued to act as a technically proficient but non-aligned State in global aviation policy discussions. This position is generally appreciated and often provides a suitable alternative viewpoint to entrenched positions, thereby benefiting global aviation progress.
Progress During the year, CASA played a significant role in influencing the development of international Standards and Recommended Practices to reflect proposed Australian rules, including competency-based pilot training, ADS-B, ACAS and Airborne Separation Assistance Systems.
Strategy: Monitor effectiveness of standards
Measure Number of contributions to Legislative Change Proposals Scheme
Result CASA had the Legislative Change Proposals Scheme in place for use by both industry and CASA staff to suggest amendments to the standards or advisory material. The scheme was not used during the year; however, legislative change proposals were received through other means.
Progress CASA amended the Regulatory Reform Program web site to make the Legislative Change Proposals scheme more readily accessible and is examining ways of promoting the scheme. It is expected that, with the progressive introduction of the new regulations, this mechanism will be used by both CASA and industry.
Measure CASA is equipped to apply the rules through having procedures, processes, and systems in place
Result On track. New business systems are an integral element of the introduction and management of the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
Progress The new business systems are being developed as part of the CASA Improvement Program.
Measure Industry acceptance of the rules
Result There is no data nor trend as yet as the new regulations are not yet finalised.
Progress CASA expects an increase in the number of complaints as the new regulations are finalised and the aviation industry becomes aware of changed requirements. However, after the transition to the new regulations is finalised, CASA anticipates a decrease in industry complaints.
Measure Greater industry conformance with the rules
Result CASA uses Safety Alerts as the indicator of performance against this measure. In 2003–04, there were 203 Safety Alerts issued, 98 per cent of these to general aviation operators and organisations. These alerts related to findings of no documented systems, inadequate systems and not following systems.
Measure Number of exemptions from Standards
Result 199 exemptions were issued in 2003–04.
Progress The number of exemptions has decreased by close to 50 per cent over the past two years, from 388 in 2001–02, to 282 in 2002–03, to the current 199.
Strategy: Ensure a safe and smooth transition of industry and CASA to the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and other regulatory amendments
Measure Planning for readiness and implementation of the new CASRs to support the effective date of each Part.
Result The Stakeholder and Communication strategic plans for the relevant CASR Parts have been finalised. Training and implementation plans are undergoing further refinement.
Progress The current review of proposed new regulations has affected preparations.
Measure Project implementation commenced on or before the effective date for each CASR Part.
Result Achieved
Progress Implementation commenced on the effective dates for the following CASRs:
  • Part 139 – Aerodromes (on 23.8.03)
  • Part 60 Stage A – Synthetic Trainers (on 18.9.03)
  • Part 67 – Medical (on 03.09.03)
  • Part 92 – Dangerous Goods (on 01.09.03)
  • Part 173 – Instrument flight procedure design (on 01.10.03).
Measure Implementation plans and strategies developed in sufficient time to allow smooth transition
Result Achieved
Progress Implementation plans and strategies were developed and implemented in a timely way to enable smooth transitions by industry to CASR Parts 21, 139, 60A, 67, 92 and 173.