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CASA Annual Report 2004-05 - Part 1: Overview of CASA

Part 1: Overview of CASA

The year ahead

In planning for the year ahead, CASA has made a number of assumptions about internal and external environment.

The key assumptions include:

  • Competitive pressures in the industry will continue. While the number of participants within the industry as a whole will remain relatively constant, the turnover of individual organisations within each segment will remain high with a commensurate resource impost for CASA.
  • General Aviation activity is expected to remain flat with continued growth in sports and recreational activity.
  • CASA will continue to work towards completing the Regulatory Reform Programme and will work closely with industry to achieve a smooth and effective transition to the new rules.
  • here will be no government policy changes that will significantly affect the way CASA operates.
  • No judicial decisions will adversely affect the way CASA performs its functions.

With these assumptions in mind, CASA is planning to deliver the following during 2005–2006:

Building a New CASA

The term 'Building a New CASA' is not just an expression - it's a summation of the package of reforms and changes that will be made across the organisation. This reform will continue over the coming years, and is intended to see change implemented in a measured and thoughtful way that delivers real improvements for CASA people, the organisation, the aviation industry and the travelling public.

In November 2004, CASA initiated a new set of priorities that explicitly placed passenger-carrying operations ahead of all other aviation operations. This priority policy will determine how CASA allocates its people and its resources, and was the first step in a reform aimed at ensuring CASA:

  • makes a real and lasting contribution to aviation safety
  • is efficient and cost effective
  • has good relations with industry where CASA is seen as a valued partner in aviation safety
  • is accountable to parliament, the government and the travelling public.

CASA now gives clear priority to the aviation operations that carry passengers, from high capacity regular public transport down to charter and other operations. Naturally CASA will not neglect other sectors of the industry, but will ensure people and resources are aligned with the new priorities.

Another important element of refocusing CASA's work will be development of ways to measure the effectiveness of frontline activities such as surveillance, enforcement and education. By creating effectiveness measures, CASA will be able to make better decisions on which activities should be given priority and how resources can best be allocated.

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Clear surveillance directions

CASA has issued a hierarchy of surveillance tools prioritised to match the different passenger-carrying industry sectors. As a consequence, the surveillance approach taken with high capacity regular public transport will vary from that taken with charter operations or passenger-carrying aerial work. These new directions will also guide future surveillance planning and allocation of resources to surveillance.

Other initiatives include developing a wider range of surveillance tools and new information technology to capture compliance data relevant to CASA's new priorities. This will enable CASA inspectors to take a more targeted approach to aviation operators.

The surveillance tool kit includes entry control, topic-targeted audits, operator risk based audits, scheduled audits, guidance and advice and operational visits.

New guidance for development of standards

To support the package of reforms, a review of the Regulatory Reform Programme will be undertaken in 2005-2006 to ensure delivery of quality new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations that are simple to follow and reflect world's best practice.

The review, in conjunction with the Standards Consultative Committee, will give a fresh focus to the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations to ensure the regulations are:

  • developed on the basis of addressing known or likely safety risks with each proposed regulation to be assessed against the contribution it will make to aviation safety
  • drafted to specify the safety outcome required, unless, in the interests of safety, and to address known or likely aviation safety risks, detailed requirements need to be presented
  • developed within a two-tier regulatory framework comprising the Civil Aviation Act and the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, and supported by advisory material that details acceptable means of compliance with the CASRs.

To further support the review, Regulatory Advisory Panels are being established to provide advice on the proposed content of each CASR Part and, where applicable, the associated Manual of Standards. Members of the Advisory Panels include a mix of CASA and aviation industry representatives. The focus of this process will be on making sure the regulations are not 'just done', but are 'done right'.

Of the 57 CASR Parts being developed under the Programme, approximately half have come into effect and the others are currently being reviewed in line with the new directions.

CASA is committed to ensuring the safe and smooth transition of both the aviation industry and CASA itself to the new CASRs and other regulatory amendments as they arise. Considerable attention will be given to implementing the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations in partnership with industry participants and to providing flexible transitional arrangements wherever possible.

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A new structure

Another stage in the process of 'Building a New CASA' was release of a new high-level organisational structure which was implemented on 1 July 2005. While only a part of the larger reform process, this new structure aligns CASA more closely with the way the aviation industry operates.

The new operational structure sees aviation activity organised between four new groups:

  • Air Transport Operations
  • General Aviation Operations
  • Personnel Licensing, Education and Training
  • Manufacturing, Certification and New Technologies.

There are also two supporting areas - Information Services and Legal Services. Standards development and regulatory reform implementation is allocated to the appropriate operational group. This structure mirrors the sectors within the aviation industry, with the intention of making it easier for industry to work with CASA and for CASA to deliver the best safety outcomes.

Creation of the Information Services Group recognises the importance of finding better ways to manage and share information and knowledge. Changes have also been made to Human Resources, Finance and Risk and Audit.

The next stages of reform will focus on ensuring all CASA activities contribute to improving and maintaining aviation safety. Activities that do not meet this goal may be shed, while resources or people not being used to improve or maintain safety will be reallocated to ensure they are able to make a positive contribution.

Figure 6 - CASA's new organisational structure

Figure 6 - CASA's new organisational structure

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Change implementation team

A change implementation team was formed within the Office of the Chief Executive Officer in February 2005 to assist with the practical aspects of implementing reform.

The team has been tasked with helping managers and staff drive and manage the 'Building a New CASA' reforms, including development of specific tasks and projects that must be completed to align CASA operations with the new priority policy. The team also coordinates work to implement the new organisational structure and complete the development of a sustainability strategy for CASA.

During 2005-06, the team will continue to liaise with CASA people, industry and stakeholders to look at the ways CASA's core business and service delivery contribute to aviation safety and how these can be managed in the most efficient and cost-effective ways.

In planning, implementing these initiatives, CASA will be seeking to define its performance against four criteria:

  • Safety effectiveness with a focus on passengers
  • efficiency
  • Industry relations
  • Accountability.

Improved safety in flying training

Following analysis conducted within the Office of the Chief Executive Officer in early 2004 of General Aviation fatal accidents for the past decade, CASA identified the need to provide increased support for the flying training industry, particularly as a means of reducing the incidence of uncontrolled flight into terrain.

To address this need, CASA has formed a team of flying training specialist inspectors and created the Flying Training Industry Development Programme. In conjunction with the specialist inspectors, this programme will help the flying training industry identify issues adversely affecting flying training standards, and develop initiatives and programmes to address these issues.

CASA expects the following safety benefits will be achieved:

  • Training for and standardisation of Flying Operations Inspectors and Authorised Testing Officers will ensure appropriate pilot entry standards are understood and applied in a consistent manner on a national basis.
  • Industry will gain an enhanced understanding of the broader issues surrounding flying training standards and will demonstrate a greater acceptance of their responsibilities to maintain high standards in flying training.
  • By adopting a cooperative and collaborative approach, flying training industry participants will be encouraged to share concerns and issues with CASA and offer partnership-based solutions in a constructive manner.
  • Advice from the industry, combined with implementation of targeted programmes on a partnership basis, will deliver an enhanced overall safety climate in the flying training sector.

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The Flying Training Role Specialists group was formed following announcements from CEO Bruce Byron that CASA is looking to improve our contribution to the flying training sector, and in the future will work closely with the Flying Training Industry Development Panel.

The CASA Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Bruce Gemmell, has reported that the formation of the team and its role is a good example of a changed approach designed to achieve better aviation safety outcomes.

"CASA now has a clearly defined focus on passenger-carrying operations, with flying training a high priority. We can't expect safety at the top levels unless we ensure pilots are being trained and assessed properly right from the start."

CASA's flying training role specialists with industry instructors

CASA's flying training role specialists with industry instructors

Both students and experienced pilots rely on the quality of the training they receive to develop the skills and knowledge that keep them and their passengers safe, and making real improvements in this area is the group's major focus.

With specialists to be engaged in significant face-to-face contact with all subparts of the flying training industry, the training was designed to enable members to present a consistent, up to date and technically competent face to industry to ensure maximum credibility.

Flying training specialist group member Leonard Yates reported that the purpose of the week in Maitland was to standardise the group, ensure their flying skills were current and up to speed and look at how instructors should be trained and assessed.

"To do this we flew specific sequences in a Cessna 172, with specialists taking turns role-playing instructors and students.

"The ground component of the training involved looking at stalling and circuits in flying training assessment.

"We also received refresher training in emergency manoeuvre recovery on a Pitts Special aircraft, including inverted spins and other scenarios an authorised testing officer or flying instructor might find themselves in.

"For the group it was refresher training, making sure we are all current and confident in handling these situations.

"The outcome from the training was a united view about where we should be going in terms of projecting requirements for authorised testing officers and chief flying instructors.

"We worked solidly throughout the week finishing up around 10.30 each night with our laptops around the dinner table. I think I can speak for all of the group when I say that the training was invaluable and it gave us a terrific opportunity to bond as a team."

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