Consultation and communication with the aviation industry and the wider aviation community, in Australia and overseas, are both a requirement of the Civil Aviation Act and an essential part of CASA’s work.
Under sections 9 and 16 of the Civil Aviation Act, CASA is expected 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.
CASA’s website features a prominent link inviting people to send feedback on aviation safety issues to the Director of Aviation Safety. In 2011–12, CASA received and responded to 320 feedback forms; responses were usually completed within a week. The majority of feedback came from members of the aviation industry. Industry feedback covered a wide range of issues, including service issues, medical questions and maintenance regulations. Positive feedback was received for several initiatives, particularly the new medical certificate exemption. Feedback from the general public also covered a wide range of issues, including aircraft noise, low flying, and aircraft incidents.
Each month CASA produces a newsletter, The CASA Briefing, which is distributed by email to more than 11,000 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 on a cross-section of regulatory issues, such as regulatory reform, safety education and advice, consultation with industry, airspace reviews, 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.
All regulatory instruments and related consultation documents for 2011–12 are published on the CASA website and can be accessed at www.casa.gov.au/consultation.
Standards Consultative Committee
The Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) brings together representatives from a diverse range of aviation industry groups to work with CASA on regulatory change. Thirty-eight organisations are represented on the main committee, which is chaired by an industry organisation. More than 200 CASA and industry participants are involved in the SCC and its six subcommittees.
The SCC’s principal tasks are to:
- consider safety regulatory issues in relation to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 and amendments to the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 and Civil Aviation Orders and manuals of standards and advisory circulars
- provide comments on CASA’s proposals for regulatory change.
CASA is committed to, and highly values, consulting the aviation industry in its regulatory and standards development processes, through the SCC and its subcommittees. The commitment, effort and coordination involved deliver significant benefits. CASA and the aviation industry have a common goal and have much to gain from the involvement of technically competent, highly experienced and diversely qualified individuals.
Regional Aviation Safety Forum
The Regional Aviation Safety Forum brings together a cross-section of people and organisations that 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. Members have advised CASA that participation in the forum is a valuable means of exchanging information on aviation safety issues of mutual interest.
The forum is chaired by the Director of Aviation Safety, and membership is drawn from operators and associations with an interest in regional operations. It met twice in 2011–12, on 7 October 2011 and 30 March 2012, in Canberra.
Sport Aviation Forum
The Sport Aviation Forum facilitates communication and consultation between CASA and 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 annual forum meeting is an opportunity for RAAOs to discuss ways to improve the oversight of sport aviation, share information and establish benchmarks. This two-day event also represents a unique opportunity for CASA to significantly enhance key relationships with RAAO stakeholders.
The fourth Sport Aviation Forum meeting was held in June 2012. The 40 participants considered a wide range of topics, including surveillance, safety management systems and light sport aircraft.
Airspace Consultative Forum
The Office of Airspace Regulation collaborates with representatives from the aviation industry in the development and application of regulation through the Airspace Consultative Forum. The principal task of Airspace Consultative Forum members is to represent the views of their member organisations, providing consolidated input, as appropriate, to the Airspace Consultative Forum’s application of airspace policy and regulations. All forum members are invited to nominate agenda items for discussion at an Airspace Consultative Forum. The Airspace Consultative Forum meets biannually.
Expert Panel on Aircraft Air Quality
CASA established the Expert Panel on Aircraft Air Quality in 2007. The panel’s report Contamination of Aircraft Cabin Air by Bleed Air—A Review of the Evidence and CASA’s response to its recommendations were published on CASA’s website in March 2012.
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 2011–12 included:
- assisting with the running of the 2011 National Chief Flying Instructors Conference (see page 102)
- developing flight instructor mentoring guidance material for chief flying instructors
- providing input to CASA on the development of helicopter safety education material
- exploring options for increasing the use of flight simulation in on-the-job flying training.
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 six times during 2011–12.
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 five times during 2011–12.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
The relationship between CASA and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is maintained and strengthened through a memorandum of understanding signed in February 2010. The agreement focuses on making the most effective use of the findings of accident investigations and clarifying the complementary roles of CASA and the ATSB in improving air safety. It also provides a framework of cooperation between CASA and the ATSB on aviation safety education, research and data analysis. The agreement covers issues such as the roles of CASA and the ATSB in accident investigations, assistance during investigations, and safety education.
The ATSB and CASA continue to foster their relationship, and have agreed to a schedule of meetings to exchange views and liaise with each other. The two agencies met once in 2011–12 (in December), and further meetings are scheduled for 2012–13.
In 2011–12, CASA established an ATSB communication policy which relates to the activity of the Accident Liaison and Investigation Unit. This unit is responsible for liaison with the ATSB and ensures that ATSB reports and requests for information are addressed. Recommendations and agreed safety actions are tracked to completion, and formal responses are sent to the ATSB.
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.
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.
CASA has assisted Australia in maintaining its status as a Member State of Chief Importance through:
- providing quality and timely responses to ICAO correspondence
- participating in monthly tripartite meetings and monthly phone conferences with the Australian Council Representative to ICAO and the Australian nominee to the Air Navigation Commission
- monitoring Australia’s ICAO expenses and ensuring that CASA’s portion is within budget
- maintaining an active role in a number of ICAO panels and study groups, including the Instrument Flight Procedures Panel; the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Group; and the Safety Information Protection Taskforce, of which CASA’s Associate Director of Aviation Safety is the Chair.
Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference
The Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference annually brings together the Directors General of Civil Aviation in the Asia–Pacific region, to build consensus on improving aviation safety through coordinated action.
CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety led Australia’s delegation to the forty-eighth meeting of the conference, which was held in New Caledonia from 10 to 14 October 2011. The delegation included representatives from CASA, the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the ATSB and Airservices Australia.
The conference provided an opportunity to discuss important issues affecting the Asia–Pacific region and to conduct informal discussions with international regulatory counterparts. Topics covered at the conference included air navigation and planning, aviation safety, aviation security, environment, and technical and regional cooperation.
Regional Aviation Safety Group – Asia and Pacific Regions
The inaugural meeting of the Regional Aviation Safety Group – Asia and Pacific Regions (RASG–APAC) was held concurrently with the Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference in New Caledonia, from 10 to 11 October 2011. CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the RASG–APAC.
The RASG–APAC is tasked with developing and implementing a work program that supports a regional performance framework for the management of safety on the basis of ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety Plan and the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap. The reports of RASG–APAC meetings will be reviewed by the ICAO Air Navigation Commission on a regular basis and by the ICAO Council as necessary.
The next meeting of the group will be held concurrently with the next annual meeting of the Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference. The Asia–Pacific Regional Aviation Safety Team (APRAST) is a subgroup of the RASG–APAC. The first meeting of the APRAST was held at the ICAO Asia and Pacific Regional Office in Thailand from 20 to 24 February 2012, and was attended by the Director of Aviation Safety and other CASA delegates. APRAST’s key objective is to make recommendations to the RASG–APAC on interventions which will reduce aviation risks. It includes representatives of appropriate regulatory agencies as well as representatives of industry and other organisations.
Cooperative arrangements and agreements
United States of America
Australia and the United States have in place a treaty-level agreement, the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), which came into force in November 2006. The purpose of the BASA is to provide for cooperation to sustain an equivalent level of aviation safety between the parties and to facilitate acceptance of each other’s approvals, evaluation and monitoring associated with civil aeronautical products, personnel and facilities. This is done through the establishment of implementation procedures in a number of agreed areas.
The Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) under the BASA cover:
- design approval
- production activities
- export airworthiness approval
- post-design approval activities
- technical assistance between authorities.
Revision 1 to the IPA came into force in September 2011, and covers:
- the Federal Aviation Administration’s recognition of CASA’s Australian parts manufacturing approvals processes
- addressing an imbalance in the IPA whereby Australian regulation already recognised and accepted United States manufactured and certified aviation parts.
CASA is currently working to establish Revision 2 to the IPA, which is expected to cover provision for United States acceptance of Australian supplemental type certificates for small fixed-wing aircraft, small rotorcraft and fixed-wing and rotary wing transport category aircraft that are not designed in the United States or Australia. CASA is also in the process of scoping implementation procedures for licensing and a maintenance implementation procedure under the BASA.
CASA has been working to establish contacts with key aviation safety regulators in the Asia–Pacific region with a view to establishing arrangements that reduce the burden of requiring duplicate aviation safety regulatory approvals in each country.
CASA visited the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) in June 2012 to commence scoping and negotiations with the CAAC to establish a working arrangement on airworthiness certification. A reciprocal visit by the CAAC to Australia is scheduled for October 2012.
During a side discussion held at the Federal Aviation Administration/Asia–Pacific Bilateral Partners Dialogue Meeting in New Zealand in March 2012, the Civil Aviation Authority of Hong Kong advised CASA of its interest in pursuing arrangements on airworthiness certification which may later be expanded to cover maintenance. CASA is planning to visit Hong Kong in August 2012 to gain an understanding of the certification/maintenance processes, policies and procedures and to determine whether there is scope to enter into an arrangement.
During a side meeting held at the Federal Aviation Administration/Asia–Pacific Bilateral Partners Dialogue in New Zealand in March 2012, the Singaporean Civil Aviation Authority advised CASA of its interest in pursuing arrangements on simulators, pilot licensing, airworthiness and maintenance. CASA will undertake a familiarisation visit to Singapore in August 2012 to discuss a high-level arrangement between the two authorities, initially covering certification and maintenance but with scope to include licensing and simulators in the future.
CASA and the Korean Office of Civil Aviation met in Sydney in May 2012 to sign a memorandum of understanding and implementation procedures for airworthiness. The memorandum of understanding is intended to facilitate acceptance of each authority’s airworthiness approvals and requirements, approval of aeronautical products and design approval. This has the potential to reduce the economic burden imposed on the aviation industry both in Australia and Korea, in that duplication of technical inspections, evaluations and testing will be significantly reduced.
In 2011–12, CASA officials met with the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority on a regular basis. The meetings provided a forum for both high-level and operational discussion and information exchange regarding general policy issues and matters such as mutual recognition and the exchange of safety-related information.
Outcomes that were not achieved
CASA had aimed to have in place an arrangement with Transport Canada on maintenance by the end of 2011–12. This was not achieved because of competing workloads in each organisation. The arrangement is still being finalised and reviewed to ensure that all relevant references to Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 145 are correct.
CASA, in consultation with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, continued to engage with the European Aviation Safety Agency to discuss the scope of a potential safety arrangement. At this stage, with outstanding issues related to the Australian-European Union Air Transport Agreement (which is the responsibility of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport), an agreement is still to be finalised.
International assistance programs
Papua New Guinea
CASA participates in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Interagency Transport Cooperation Working Group meetings with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, AusAID, Airservices Australia and the ATSB. The working group coordinates activities under a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Australia and PNG on cooperation in the transport sector. CASA delivers a number of programs to assist in improving aviation safety in PNG under the memorandum.
CASA also attended the annual Transport Senior Officials’ Meeting with senior PNG transport officials to discuss strategic objectives towards capacity building in PNG. In 2011–12, officers of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of PNG (CASA PNG) undertook six weeks training in Australia for an airworthiness inspector and a flying operations inspector. This project, valued at approximately $70,000, was funded by AusAID under the memorandum of understanding on transport cooperation.
CASA delivered training on dangerous goods to two CASA PNG officers; a reciprocal visit is scheduled to take place in PNG in the third quarter of 2012. This project, valued at $25,000, is funded by AusAID through the Public Sector Linkages Program.
On 15 December 2010, Australia and Indonesia signed a new arrangement on the Indonesia 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. The assistance is provided to Indonesia in accordance with a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the transport sector between the governments of Australia and Indonesia.
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 safety oversight capacity-building activities with Indonesian counterparts.
Together with the department, Airservices Australia, the ATSB and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, CASA participates in ITSAP Project Review Group meetings and steering committee meetings to discuss key achievements and the strategic planning for the program.
Throughout 2011–12, 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, assistance in reviewing guidance materials and mentoring. The assistance contributed to the production of key Indonesian resources for safe flying in mountainous terrain and a revised manual of standards for Part 139 which was substantially completed in 2011–12.
CASA has in place a memorandum of understanding with the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAFI), signed in May 2011, allowing CASA to provide regulatory advice and assistance services to the authority on a cost-recovery basis.
Pacific Aviation Safety Office
CASA continued to support the Council of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) throughout 2011–12, 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 offered access to CASA training courses for PASO staff. CASA was represented at a PASO meeting in October 2011 and the PASO Annual General Meeting in May 2012.