Go to top of page

CASA Annual Report 2004-05 - Part 4: Accountability and External Scrutiny

Review of CASA's regulatory decisions

Table 2: Administrative Appeals Tribunal - merits review (a) of regulatory decisions (b) 2001-02 to 2003-04

Matters with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
Applications on hand from the previous year 12  17 16 15
Applications lodged during the year  27  17  19 18
Total 39  34 32  33
Matters dealt with (c)        
Decisions affirmed 4 5 3 2
Decisions varied 0 1 1 0
Decisions set aside 3 2 2 1
Matter dismissed  3  1  2 2
Sub-total  10 9  8 5
Status of other matters        
Applications withdrawn by the applicant 12  9  8 10
Applications remaining on hand at 30 June 17 16 16 18
Sub-total 29 25 24 28
Total 39 34 32 33

a) Merit review involves the reconsideration of an administrative decision. On the facts before it the Administrative Appeals Tribunal decides whether the correct, or in a discretionary area, the preferable decision has been made in accordance with the applicable law.

b) The types of CASA regulatory decisions that can be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal are listed on the AAT website at: Jurisdiction.

c) Does not include interlocutory decisions, that is, decisions made during the progress of an action.

TOP

Table 3: Categories of CASA decisions that were appealed to the Administrative Appeal Tribunal

Flight Crew Licence (including ratings and endorsements)
Refusal to issue 0
Issue subject to conditions not sought by applicant for the authorisation 0
Cancellation/Suspension 2
Variation/imposition of conditions not sought by holder 0
AME Licence or maintenance authority (including ratings)
Refusal to issue 1
Issue subject to conditions not sought by applicant for the authorisation 0
Cancellation/Suspension 2
Variation/imposition of conditions not sought by holder 0
Medical Certificate
Refusal to issue 3
Issue subject to conditions not sought by applicant for the authorisation 2
Cancellation/Suspension 0
Variation/imposition of conditions not sought by holder 1
Air Operators Certificate
Refusal to issue 0
Issue subject to conditions not sought by applicant for the authorisation 0
Cancellation/Suspension 4
Variation/imposition of conditions not sought by holder 2
Certificate of Approval
Refusal to issue 0
Issue subject to conditions not sought by applicant for the authorisation 0
Cancellation/Suspension 0
Variation/imposition of conditions not sought by holder 0
Certificate of Registration or Airworthiness
Refusal to issue 0
Issue subject to conditions not sought by applicant for the authorisation 0
Cancellation/Suspension 0
Variation/imposition of conditions not sought by holder 0
Chief Pilot Approval
Refusal to issue 1
Issue subject to conditions not sought by applicant for the authorisation 0
Cancellation/Suspension 2
Variation/imposition of conditions not sought by holder 1
Other authorisations
Issue of a Banner Towing Permit Subject to conditions not sought by applicant for permit 1
Total
22

TOP

Table 4: Federal Court - applications for judicial review (a) of regulatory decisions, 2001-02 to 2004-05

 
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
  Filed by subject person (b) Filed by CASA Filed by subject person (b) Filed by CASA Filed by subject person (b) Filed by CASA Filed by subject person (b) Filed by CASA
Matters with the Court
Applications on hand from the previous year 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 1
Applications filed during the year 3 0 2 1 1 2 4 1
Total 6 0 4 1 1 2 5 2
Matters dealt with
Decisions affirmed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Decisions set aside/overturned 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Matters dismissed 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
Sub-total 3 0 2 0 0 0 2 1
Status of other matters
Proceedings discontinued 1 0 2 1 0 0 1 0
Applications on hand 2 0 0 0 1 2 2 1
Sub-total 3 0 2 1 1 2 3 1
Total 6 0 4 1 1 2 5 2
Decisions arising from AAT decision 2 0 4 1 1 0 1 0

a) "Judicial' review by the Federal Court is based on questions of law and is directed to the legality rather than the merits of a decision.

b) A person who is the subject of a CASA decision may apply direct to the Federal Court under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 for review or, having first appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, may appeal the decision made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Federal Court Prohibition Orders

Under the enforcement provisions that came into effect on 21 February 2003, CASA may suspend a civil aviation authorisation for five business days without issuing a show cause notice where there is a serious and imminent safety risk. Such suspensions then end unless CASA applies to the Federal Court for a prohibition order before that five-day period expires.

CASA made one application to the Federal Court for an order, in May 2004.

TOP

Two CASA staff members from the Northern Territory and Kimberley Area Office were recognised by CASA for their professionalism while working under extreme conditions.

Early in the reporting period, John Beasy, Flying Operations Inspector, and Tom Forrest, airworthiness inspector, attended a Northern Territory property in response to a complaint from neighbours concerning the operations of a helicopter.

Tom Forrest, Doug Whitfield and John Beasy.

From L to R: Tom Forrest, Doug Whitfield the Office mascot and John Beasy.

John and Tom attended the property where the helicopter was being kept and met with people who can best be described as 'cowboys'. The Officers were intimidated with the presence of ringers handling firearms.

John and Tom inspected the helicopter and documentation under extreme duress, but handled themselves with total professionalism. They had to return later that day to serve notices and conduct a further inspection, and again nearly a week later to investigate further claims.

Despite the intimidation, they carried out their duties without fear or favour. The inspectors obtained enough evidence and took detailed notes to allow a successful investigation to be carried out, which led to both administrative and prosecution action against the owner/pilot of the helicopter and prosecution action against the property owner.

Despite the hardships and intimidation endured by John and Tom, they treated the identified persons with respect, explained the reasons for their visit and their powers under the law to carry out their duties and conducted themselves with total professionalism.

All of their actions were scrutinised in court and despite intense cross examination, the magistrate even commented on the professionalism of the Officers concerned.

The prosecution action against the property owner concluded in December 2004. He was convicted and fined at the Darwin Court of Summary Jurisdiction for failing to allow Tom and John access to the helicopter on their last visit to the premises.

TOP

Table 5: Freedom of information, 2001-02 to 2004-05

Matters with CASA
2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
Requests on hand from the previous year 5 5 5 10
New requests received 90 53 62 76
Total 95 58 67 86
Matters decided
Access granted in full 45 24 37 34
Access granted in part 13 8 5 23
Access refused (a) 22 14 12 11
Sub-total 80 46 54 68
Status of other matters
Requests withdrawn by applicant 8 6 2 8
Requested transferred in whole to another agency 2 1 1 0
Requests remaining on hand at 30 June 5 5 10 10
Sub-total 15 12 13 18
Total 95 58 67 86

a) Includes matters where the reason for refusal was that the document(s) did not exist.

TOP

Table 6: Time taken to make decisions on freedom of information matters

  2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
  No % No % No % No %
0-30 days 73 91 43 93 50 93 55 81
31-60 days 7 9 3 7 3 5 13 19
61-90 days 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 90 days 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0
Total 80 100 46 100 54 100 68 100

TOP

Table 7: Internal CASA review of freedom of information decisions

  2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
Matters on hand
New applications received 4 5 2 7
Total 4 5 2 7
Matters decided
Decisions upheld 1 2 0 2
Greater access given 2 3 2 3
Charges increased 1 0 0 0
Charges reduced 0 0 0 0
Sub-total 4 5 2 5
Status of other matters
Applications withdrawn 0 0 0 0
Applications remaining on hand at 30 June 0 0 0 2
Sub-total 0 0 0 2
Total 4 5 2 7

TOP