Consultation and communication with the aviation industry and the wider aviation community, in Australia and overseas, is both a requirement of the Civil Aviation Act and an essential part of CASA’s work.
Under sections 9 and 13 of the Civil Aviation Act, CASA is required to promote ‘full and effective consultation and communication with all interested parties on aviation safety issues’. CASA achieves this through information provision and a range of forums and day-to-day dealings with people and organisations in the wider aviation community, including formal meetings, working groups, and consultation committees.
The front page of CASA’s website features a prominent link inviting people to send feedback on aviation safety issues to the Director of Aviation Safety. During 2010–11, 182 feedback forms were submitted; all received a response, usually within a week.
The feedback covered a wide range of issues. The majority came from members of the aviation industry, and related to issues such as airspace changes, regulatory reform and new maintenance regulations. Feedback from the flying public included both positive and negative comments about the suspension of Tiger Airways.
CASA produces a monthly newsletter, The CASA Briefing, which is distributed by email to more than 10,000 subscribers. While most subscribers are people working in the aviation industry, there are also subscribers who have a general interest in aviation, such as members of the media. Each edition features stories on CASA’s activities and decisions in areas such as regulatory reform, safety education and advice, consultation with industry, airspace reviews (see Table B.9 in Appendix B for the number of airspace reviews conducted each year from 2006–07 to 2010–11), continuing airworthiness, and seminars and workshops.
CASA’s ability to develop and enforce appropriate safety standards relies on effective engagement with the aviation industry. CASA participates in consultative forums and supports specialist expert panels to facilitate industry engagement.
Standards Consultative Committee
CASA established the Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) as the focal point for regulatory consultations with the aviation community, in accordance with CASA’s obligations under the Civil Aviation Act and the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.
The SCC is a joint industry–CASA forum that brings together representatives from a diverse range of aviation industry and other groups, to make recommendations to CASA on the development of regulations, standards and associated advisory material. More than 200 participants are involved in the SCC and its six subcommittees. CASA is committed to, and highly values, the consultation with the aviation industry that is achieved through the SCC.
The key regulatory proposals considered in 2010–11 included:
- CASR Parts 42, 66, 145 and 147 (the new suite of maintenance regulations) and related Manuals of Standards
- a discussion paper outlining a proposed strategy and regulatory plan in support of the Australian Government’s National Aviation Policy White Paper
- proposals for mandating certain flight crew training in simulators
- CASR Part 90, relating to additional airworthiness requirements.
A charter to formalise the role and working arrangements of the SCC was finalised in 2010–11 and work is underway to publish the charter in 2011–12. Further information about the SCC (including its membership, subcommittees, meetings and activities) is provided on CASA’s website.
Regional Aviation Safety Forum
The Regional Aviation Safety Forum (RASF) brings together a cross-section of people and organisations who have a direct interest in aviation operations in regional Australia. The forum provides feedback to CASA, allows industry to bring forward concerns and issues, and allows CASA to explain its policies and actions. The RASF is chaired by the Director of Aviation Safety, and membership is drawn from operators and associations with an interest in regional operations.
RASF met on 13 August 2010 in Brisbane and again on 30 March 2011 in Sydney. Members have indicated that participation in RASF is a useful way to exchange information on issues of mutual interest.
Sport Aviation Forum
The Sport Aviation Forum, established in 2009–10, continued to facilitate communication and consultation with the sport aviation industry. The forum brings all the recreational aviation administration organisations (RAAOs) together as a group and provides a single communication point for CASA.
The forum is an annual opportunity for RAAOs to discuss ways to improve the oversight of sport aviation, share information and establish benchmarks. The third forum was held in June 2011. The strategic future direction of the sector was discussed, along with key topics for the enhancement of organisational governance and the future of the Aviation Safety Network and the Enhanced Self-Administration Project.
Expert Panel on Aircraft Air Quality
An independent Expert Panel on Aircraft Air Quality was convened by CASA in 2007, consisting of members with expertise in both safety and occupational health matters. The panel provided its report on contamination of aircraft cabin air to CASA in early 2011. CASA, along with other government agencies, is considering its response to the recommendations.
Flying Training Panel
CASA supports the Flying Training Panel, an industry-led group which provides strategic advice on flying training sector matters. The panel’s activities in 2010–11 included providing input into the development of guidance material for flying instructor training, and planning for the 2011 National Chief Flying Instructor Conference.
Cooperation between Australian Government agencies that have an interest in the aviation sector helps to reduce duplication and fragmentation of government policies, regulations and services.
Aviation Policy Group
The Aviation Policy Group is a high-level interagency group that consists of the CASA Director of Aviation Safety, the Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia, the Chief of Air Force and the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. Although the group is not a decision-making body, it provides a forum for effective interagency policy coordination and for working through air traffic management and other aviation issues at a strategic level. The Aviation Policy Group met four times during 2010–11.
Aviation Implementation Group
The Aviation Implementation Group is an interagency forum, chaired by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, that involves high-level representation from CASA, Airservices Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force. It is an important forum for identifying cross-agency aviation issues and maintaining regular communication between the four agencies. The Aviation Implementation Group supports the Aviation Policy Group in implementing cross-agency strategies. The group met eight times during 2010–11.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and CASA continue to cement their relationship, as documented in a memorandum of understanding in 2009–10, and have agreed to a schedule of meetings to exchange views and liaise with each other. The two agencies met once in 2010–11 with further meetings scheduled for 2011–12.
The agencies cooperate on important research projects and discuss the use of data to improve flight safety in Australia. During the year, the ATSB took part in an accident simulation exercise at Sydney Airport and CASA took the opportunity to exercise its Critical Occurrence Response Plan. This plan is in place to guide CASA’s actions in the event of a critical accident or incident in which the two agencies may be involved. The exercise proved to be a good opportunity to finetune CASA’s emergency response and to confirm the liaison and information-sharing methodologies.
The working relationship between the two agencies continues to mature. Protocols have been developed in the areas of information sharing and education, with staff attending both CASA and ATSB training courses. The Accident liaison and Investigation unit and the newly formed Safety Systems Office are working closely with the ATSB to further the State Safety Program as envisaged by the International Civil Aviation Organization, and develop appropriate ways to use the information held by the two agencies to improve air safety in Australia.
Engagement with the global aviation industry, and with aviation safety regulators in other countries, is a vital part of CASA’s role. CASA achieves this through participation in international forums, particularly the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and through direct discussions and arrangements with overseas agencies.
International Civil Aviation Organization
Australia is a signatory to the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), which provides for the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation. The Chicago Convention established ICAO to develop international standards and recommended practices through international panels and working groups.
Australia’s participation in ICAO is shared among CASA, Airservices Australia and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, under a tripartite agreement to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach.
The ICAO Assembly, comprising representatives from all ICAO Contracting States, is the sovereign body of ICAO. It meets every three years to review the work of ICAO and to set policy and budgets for the coming triennium.
The thirty-seventh session of the ICAO Assembly was held in Montreal, Canada, from 28 September to 8 October 2010. Delegates from CASA, the ATSB, Airservices Australia and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport attended. The participation of CASA officials ensured that Australia had a voice on any proposals which may have implications for Australia’s future aviation work.
Among the key outcomes of the assembly was the re-election of Australia as a Member State of Chief Importance in air transport.
During 2010–11, CASA liaised with Brazil, Canada and the united States regarding the progress and finalisation of a number of treaty-level agreements and working arrangements.
In August 2010, CASA formalised an agreement with the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil to establish a working arrangement for the mutual acceptance of airworthiness procedures and processes.
An existing arrangement between CASA and Transport Canada was further developed in 2010–11. Initial discussions regarding a mutual arrangement relating to maintenance indicated that the two organisations’ rules, systems and processes were sufficiently compatible to proceed. The arrangement will be further expanded in 2011–12.
In May 2010, Australia and the united States signed an agreement to amend the Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA), which form part of the Australia – united States Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement. This amendment enhances export opportunities for Australian manufacturers by facilitating recognition by the united States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of CASA’s aircraft parts manufacturing approvals. Australia has around 40 manufacturing companies with the potential to benefit under this agreement.
In May 2011, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommended that binding treaty action be taken to ratify the amended IPA.
Discussion between CASA and the FAA is underway to progress the second revision to the agreement, which may also include mutual acceptance of supplementary type certificates for rotorcraft and large aircraft, as the current agreement applies to general aviation aircraft only. In April 2011, CASA met with officials from the FAA to discuss these proposed amendments to the existing IPA.
During 2010–11, CASA continued to engage with stakeholders in the Asia–Pacific region.
Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference
The forty-seventh Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference was held in Macau, China from 25 to 29 October 2010. The purpose of the conference is to annually bring together the directors general of civil aviation in the Asia–Pacific region in order to build consensus on improving aviation safety through coordinated action.
The Director of Aviation Safety led Australia’s delegation, which included representatives from CASA, Airservices Australia and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss important issues affecting the Asia–Pacific region and to conduct informal discussions with international regulatory counterparts. The conference covered topics including air navigation and planning, aviation safety, aviation security and the environment, and technical and regional cooperation.
Pacific Aviation Safety Office
CASA continued to support the Council of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) throughout 2010–11, under the auspices of the working arrangement regarding the provision of advice and assistance on matters relating to civil aviation safety. CASA also provided technical advice and access to CASA training courses for PASO staff. A CASA representative attended the PASO Annual General Meeting in May 2011.
In May 2011, CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority Fiji signed a new working arrangement for the provision of advice and assistance on matters relating to civil aviation safety.
On 15 December 2010, Australia and Indonesia signed a new arrangement on the Indonesian Transport Safety Assistance Package (ITSAP), which the Australian Government will fund until 2015. The purpose of ITSAP is to assist Indonesia to regulate and promote transport safety in accordance with applicable international standards and contemporary safety management practices, consistent with the priorities of the Indonesian Government.
ITSAP is funded by AusAID and managed by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. Over the life of this second phase of ITSAP, CASA may access up to $2.96 million to undertake activities to build safety oversight capacity with its Indonesian counterparts.
Throughout 2010–11, CASA provided assistance to the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation on a range of safety oversight issues, including the provision of training, safety promotion, mentoring and joint audits.
CASA is involved in ongoing discussions with the Korean Office of Civil Aviation regarding the progress of a draft working arrangement on airworthiness certification.
Korea approached CASA during the April 2011 FAA – Asia–Pacific Bilateral Partners meeting to further discuss the potential for a technical arrangement on airworthiness. CASA undertook a familiarisation visit in August 2011. The Korean Office of Civil Aviation will follow up with a visit to Australia in October 2011.
Should both agencies determine that their respective certification systems are acceptable, the working arrangement will be progressed with the aim of finalising it by the end of 2011.
CASA officials met with their counterparts from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority in November 2010. The meetings provide a forum for high-level discussion and information exchange regarding general policy issues and matters such as mutual recognition, and the exchange of safety-related information.
Papua New Guinea
CASA participates in meetings of the Papua New Guinea Interagency Transport Cooperation Working Group, with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, AusAID, Airservices Australia and the ATSB. The working group was set up to coordinate activities under a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the transport sector between the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
In November 2010, CASA officials attended the Transport Senior Officials’ Meeting to discuss strategic objectives towards capacity building in PNG with senior PNG transport officials.
Under the auspices of the memorandum, CASA undertakes capacity-building activities in PNG. New capacity-building initiatives delivered in 2010–11 included a mentoring project focused on flight operations and airworthiness inspectors in PNG, and facilitation of access to international-standard training in the transport of dangerous goods for CASA staff in PNG.
CASA is working with the European Aviation Safety Agency and European Commission to progress a proposed safety agreement between the two organisations. In June 2011, CASA officials met with agency officials to discuss the proposed agreement.