Case study: Surveillance out west reinforces CASA's regulatory reach
During a five-day period in July 2012, a multidisciplinary team from CASA's Western Region office conducted a surveillance sweep in the northern region of Western Australia.
The team included airworthiness and flying operations inspectors, an aviation safety advisor and a drug and alcohol inspector.
Flying in a Beechcraft Kingair B200, the surveillance team took in a vast area comprising Geraldton, Shark Bay, Exmouth, Learmonth, Karratha, Port Hedland, David Forrest Mine, Paraburdoo, Newman, Wiluna and Meekatharra.
Although the sweep was not generally publicised, word spread fast that CASA was in the region.
As well as ramp checks and visits to operators and maintainers, a number of regulatory service tasks were carried out in addition to random alcohol and other drug testing.
The outcomes from the surveillance included a small number of aircraft survey reports issued for aircraft with notable defects.
Some pilots did not have their pilot's licences or medical certificates on hand, and there were instances in which navigational documents were not at the correct amendment status.
The surveillance sweep took in organisations of all sizes, ranging from Qantas, Qantas Link and Skywest to Skippers, Network and many other smaller charter operations.
With CASA staff from a range of disciplines taking part in the surveillance exercise, CASA's multifaceted role as the aviation safety regulator was reinforced to all involved.
The sweep gave CASA valuable feedback about the need for more targeted aviation safety seminars for larger charter organisations rather than just recreational flyers, and also provided the opportunity for the CASA team to let the local pilots know of the new safety products and tools available to assist them.