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CASA Annual Report 2003 04 Part 3: Corporate report

Corporate report

Office of the Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Byron (right) Chief Executive Officer and Bruce Gemmell (left) Chief Operating Officer

Bruce Byron (right) Chief Executive Officer and
Bruce Gemmell (left) Chief Operating Officer


Bruce Byron, Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Byron began his career in aviation in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the mid 1960s, training on the Winjeel and Vampire aircraft. By 1968, Mr Byron was flying Caribou aircraft with No. 35 Squadron in Vietnam and during a 12-month tour flew 1600 operational sorties.

After returning from Vietnam he moved into flying training with the RAAF, the beginning of a career long association with training in both military and civilian flying. After time overseas as an instructor on exchange programs with both the United Kingdom RAF and the Singapore Air Force, Mr Byron was promoted to Wing Commander in 1980.

During 1982 and 1983 he was Commanding Officer of the RAAF Central Flying School, responsible for the training and checking of all military flying instructors in Australia. In 1984 Mr Byron was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia.

After leaving the RAAF, Mr Byron became an Examiner of Airmen with the Department of Aviation, flying over 20 different types of aircraft and flight testing pilots up to the senior commercial level. In 1988, he took over management of North Broken Hill Ltd’s private jet operations, while also working as an aviation safety consultant in flight training, human factors and aviation management.

In 1999, Mr Byron took the position of Executive General Manager of Kendell Airlines at a time when the airline was introducing jet aircraft operations. This was followed by a period as Vice President Compliance and Quality Assurance with Ansett Australia.

Prior to joining CASA Mr Byron worked as a high-level consultant on aviation safety management in airlines, including a period as head of Safety Systems for Virgin Blue.

From 1997 to 1999, Mr Byron was a member of the Board of CASA, chairing the Board Safety Committee. In this key role he guided the development of new safety compliance and promotion activities.

Between 2000 and 2003, Mr Byron was chairman of the Aviation Safety Forum, a high-level industry group which advised the CASA Board and the Australian Government on strategic aviation safety activities. In May 2002, he was also appointed by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services as a special industry adviser to CASA on regulatory reform.

Mr Byron currently holds an airline transport pilot licence, a command instrument rating and a grade one instructor rating. He has flown more than 10 000 hours during his aviation career to date.


Bruce Gemmell, Chief Operating Officer

Bruce Gemmell joined CASA on 9 April 2001. Mr Gemmell was previously a First Assistant Secretary in DOTARS with responsibility for aviation. In that role he gained extensive experience in all facets of aviation, with work including leading the Department’s handling of the Mobil Avgas fuel contamination crisis in 2000, and leading the successful negotiation of Australia’s first ever ‘Open Skies’ Air Services Agreement with New Zealand.

Mr Gemmell’s relationship with Australian aviation spans more than 15 years. He was one of the inaugural Civil Aviation Authority staff members, including being the initial project manager for what is now the Australian Advanced Air Traffic System and was a Director with the Department of Aviation in 1985. His public sector administration experience spans more than 30 years.