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Effectively consulting and communicating with the aviation industry and the wider aviation community, in Australia and overseas, is a key element of CASA’s core goals and an obligation under the Civil Aviation Act 1988.
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 2014–15, CASA received and responded to 108 feedback forms; responses were usually completed within a week. The majority of feedback came from members of the aviation industry. This feedback covered a wide range of issues, including regulatory services, pilot medicals and new regulations. Feedback from the general public also covered a wide range of issues, including aircraft noise, low-flying aircraft and the safety of particular aircraft types.
CASA also engages with the community online through YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Each month CASA produces an e-newsletter, The CASA Briefing, which is distributed to more than 14,000 subscribers. While most subscribers are people working in the aviation industry, there are also subscribers who have a general interest in aviation.
Each edition features stories on CASA’s activities and decisions on a cross-section of regulatory issues, such as changes to regulations, safety education and advice, consultation with industry, airspace reviews, continuing airworthiness and seminars and workshops.
Flight Safety Australia magazine
Flight Safety Australia consolidated and expanded its online presence in 2014–15 by leveraging the power of social media. CASA’s accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and, in particular, Facebook proved effective and economical ways to promote the safety stories and messages of the Flight Safety Australiawebsite and app.
Topics covered by Flight Safety Australia in 2014–15 included helicopter safety, with a focus on offshore operations supporting oil and gas production; 3D printing, and the potential of this radical technology to enhance or disrupt aviation safety; and pilot mental health.
All of these stories continue to be made available, with multimedia extras such as infographics, picture galleries and video, on the iPad and Android magazine app versions. Over the life of each issue, all feature stories can be viewed or downloaded at the www.flightsafetyaustralia.com news site.
Flight Safety Australia was recognised at the 2014 National Aviation Press Club Awards. The feature story ‘RPA – Taking Flight’, which addressed the rapid growth of the remotely piloted aircraft sector, was runner-up in the Aviation Online Contribution of the Year category. Three other stories received high commendations.
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 proposed regulatory changes and related consultation documents for 2014–15 are published on the CASA website and can be accessed at www.casa.gov.au/newrules
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. Over 40 organisations are represented on the main committee, which is chaired by an industry representative, and more than 200 CASA and industry participants are involved in the SCC and its eight sub-committees.
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, Manuals of Standards and advisory circulars
- provide comments on CASA’s proposals for regulatory change.
CASA values industry involvement and feedback on the development of new rules and changes to existing rules. CASA is committed to consulting with the SCC and its sub-committees and working groups on rule changes that affect the aviation industry. By collaborating with industry subject-matter experts in the SCC working groups, CASA aims to produce rules that deliver an acceptable balance between the need to regulate aviation safety and the need to minimise the impact of the regulations on industry.
In accordance with recommendations of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review, a review of the SCC, its mandate and processes is being undertaken, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of CASA’s consultation processes and ensuring compliance with the Government’s Regulator Performance Framework and regulatory policies. The review is being undertaken by a small working group of the SCC. The group is expected to make its recommendations to the Director of Aviation Safety in the first quarter of 2015–16.
Regional Aviation Safety Forum
The Regional Aviation Safety Forum (RASF) 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. The RASF is chaired by the Director of Aviation Safety.
The RASF met on 7 October 2014 and 19 March 2015 in Sydney. Members have advised CASA that participation in the RASF is a valuable means of exchanging information on aviation safety issues of mutual interest.
Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committee
Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committee (RAPAC) meetings are primarily state-based forums for discussion of matters relating to airspace and related procedures in Australia.
Membership is open to all significant airspace users, either independently or through their major industry associations and organisations.
In 2014–15, 22 RAPAC meetings were held in 12 different cities and towns around Australia, including Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Karratha, Kununurra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.
Sport Aviation Safety Forum
The Sport Aviation Safety Forum facilitates communication and consultation between CASA and the sport and recreational aviation sector. The forum brings all the recreational aviation administration organisations (RAAOs) together as a group and provides a single communication point for a range of issues pertinent to the safety of sport aviation operations in Australia.
The annual forum meeting is an opportunity for RAAOs to discuss ways to improve the oversight of sport and recreational 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, participate in consultative discussions, and honestly and openly address any RAAO concerns.
The seventh Sport Aviation Safety Forum meeting was held in June 2015. The 41 participants considered a wide range of topics, including the proposed new Part 149 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR); updates to other CASR Parts, such as Parts 103, 105 and 132; organisational risk and causal factors relating to incident, accident and associated reporting cultures; delegate management systems; and emergency beacon benefits. Both the Director of Aviation Safety and the Associate Director of Aviation Safety presented and took questions from RAAOs at the forum, providing a unique opportunity for industry contact with CASA.
Airspace and Aerodromes Consultative Forum
The Office of Airspace Regulation collaborates with representatives from the aviation industry in the development and application of regulation through the Airspace and Aerodrome Consultative Forum. The principal task of forum members is to represent the views of their member organisations, providing consolidated input, as appropriate, to the forum’s application of airspace policy and regulations. All forum members are invited to nominate agenda items for discussion. The Airspace and Aerodrome Consultative Forum meets annually.
Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group
The Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group (ASTRA) is a key industry advisory body on strategic airspace and air traffic management issues for Australia. As such, it is the Government’s primary source of industry advice on air traffic management directions.
ASTRA brings together all of the industry stakeholders, including aircraft operators, airports and service providers, to develop and continuously review the ASTRA Strategic Air Traffic Management Plan and develop a recommended Target Operational Concept.
ASTRA also provides an industry-wide representative forum for developing the industry position on air traffic management matters as the basis for strategic advice to government, and coordinating agreed integrated air traffic management planning, development and implementation efforts by all relevant air traffic management stakeholders.
Flying Training Panel
CASA supports the Flying Training Panel, an industry-led group that provides advice to CASA on flying training matters across all industry sectors.
The panel’s activities in 2014–15 included:
- assisting CASA with the review and development of the CASR Part 61 Manual of Standards
- providing substantial input on:
- flight review requirements and conduct
- syllabus development requirements
- transition issues relating to CASR Parts 61, 141 and 142
- theory examinations
- English language testing
- low-level aerobatics testing requirements
- conversion from a Recreational Aviation Australia recreational pilot certificate to a CASR Part 61 recreational pilot licence
- instructor rating for night operations.
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 CASA’s 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 Regional Development.
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 2014–15.
Aviation Implementation Group
The Aviation Implementation Group is an interagency forum chaired by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development that involves 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, and supports the Aviation Policy Group in implementing cross-agency strategies. The Aviation Implementation Group met four times during 2014–15.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
The relationship between CASA and the ATSB is maintained and strengthened through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) first signed in February 2010 and recently updated and signed on 30 March 2015.
The agreement focuses on making the most effective and appropriate use of the findings of accident investigations and clarifying the different but complementary roles of CASA and the ATSB in maintaining and 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, the State Safety Program and the exchange of safety information and safety education. The Director of Aviation Safety and Chief Commissioner of the ATSB also participate in formal dialogue on a regular basis.
The senior manager of CASA’s Accident Liaison and Investigation Unit is responsible for liaison with the ATSB and ensures that ATSB reports and requests for information are responded to. Recommendations and agreed safety actions are tracked to completion, and formal responses are sent to the ATSB.
In accordance with the requirements of the MoU between the two agencies, CASA and the ATSB meet twice each calendar year to exchange views and liaise about safety issues of mutual interest. The two agencies met in June and December 2014 and again in June 2015. A further meeting is planned for December 2015.
The agencies also cooperate on important research projects and collaborate on providing effective and efficient analysis that supports flight safety in Australia.
Joint Agency Aviation Safety Analysis Coordination Group
CASA participates in the Joint Agency Aviation Safety Analysis Coordination Group to share safety data, analysis and findings. The ATSB and CASA exchange reports on relevant aviation sector trend monitoring and summaries of analyses. Members of the group include the ATSB, CASA, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Airservices Australia and Defence.
Engaging 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 bilateral 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 Regional Development under a tripartite arrangement, to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach.
CASA has assisted Australia in maintaining its status as a Member State of Chief Importance in air transport by:
- providing quality and timely responses to ICAO correspondence
- participating in monthly tripartite meetings and phone conferences with the Australian Council Representative to ICAO and Australian nominee to the Air Navigation Commission
- maintaining an active role in a number of ICAO panels and study groups, including the Aerodrome Design and Operations Panel, Cabin Safety Working Group, Surveillance Panel, Dangerous Goods Panel, Instrument Flight Procedure Panel, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Panel, Operations Panel, and Safety Management Panel.
ICAO Second High Level Safety Conference
ICAO convened a High Level Safety Conference from 2 to 5 February 2015 in Montreal, Canada. The Australian delegation was led by ATSB Chief Commissioner, Mr Martin Dolan. The Associate Director of Aviation Safety, Dr Jonathan Aleck, represented CASA; other delegates were drawn from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Australia’s Permanent Mission to ICAO in Montreal.
The major focus of the conference was on reaching international agreement on progressing responses to a number of emerging safety issues and ongoing and future approaches to safety management, in particular regarding global tracking of aircraft and flights over conflict zones, highlighted in the international responses to the loss of Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17 in 2014.
In relation to global flight tracking, it was agreed that ICAO finalise and distribute a global aeronautical distress and safety system concept of operations for future implementation of normal, abnormal and distress flight tracking for aircraft. This response includes the establishment of a performance-based standard for increased aircraft position reporting every 15 minutes, using existing technologies.
Following the conference, ICAO established a website that will contain information made available by countries on risks to civil aircraft arising from conflict zones. The conference also discussed implementation of the Global Aviation Safety Plan and safety information protection and sharing.
Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference
The annual Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference brings together the Directors General of Civil Aviation in the Asia-Pacific region to build consensus on improving aviation safety through coordinated action in the region. The 51st conference was held in Hong Kong from 24 to 27 November 2014. CASA leads Australian delegations to these conferences.
During the conference, delegates considered the main causes of accidents in the Asia-Pacific region and the levels of effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. Briefings were also received from Malaysia on the MH370 and MH17 occurrences; global tracking of aircraft; and an ICAO manual for remotely piloted aircraft systems.
The concept of a regional civil aviation commission to harmonise action and initiatives across the region was raised, and it was agreed that a task force would be created to look into implementing the idea. The 52nd Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference is due to be held in Manila, the Philippines, from 28 to 30 October 2015.
Regional Aviation Safety Group – Asia and Pacific Regions
The Regional Aviation Safety Group – Asia and Pacific Regions (RASG–APAC) met in Hong Kong on 20 and 21 November 2014 prior to the Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference.
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 Global Aviation Safety Roadmap. The reports of RASG–APAC meetings are regularly reviewed by the Air Navigation Commission and by the ICAO Council as necessary. The next RASG-APAC meeting is due to be held in Manila, the Philippines, from 26 to 27 October 2015.
The Asia Pacific Regional Aviation Safety Team (APRAST) is a subgroup of the RASG–APAC. CASA delegates attended APRAST meetings in Bangkok, Thailand, from 15 to 19 September 2014 and 6 to 10 April 2015. The objective of the APRAST is to recommend interventions that will reduce aviation risks to the RASG–APAC. The APRAST includes representatives of appropriate overseas regulatory agencies, as well as industry and other organisations.
Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme South East Asia
The Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme South East Asia (COSCAP–SEA) is an association of civil aviation administrations within South-East Asia under the auspices of ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Bureau.
COSCAP–SEA was formally implemented in July 2001 to cooperate in removing deficiencies in the flight safety oversight capabilities of South-East Asian states. CASA is a Safety Partner.
CASA attended the annual COSCAP–SEA Steering Committee meeting held from 29 to 31 October 2014 in Dili, Timor-Leste. The meeting provided a useful opportunity to discuss training needs among participating countries.
Cooperative arrangements and agreements
One of the purposes of bilateral aviation safety arrangements with other national aviation authorities and other bodies is to benefit industry by reducing the burden of duplication in the airworthiness certification process when exporting to another country. CASA has also advanced bilateral aviation safety arrangements on maintenance, to provide expanded opportunities for industry and reduce regulatory duplication. In 2014–15, CASA progressed a technical arrangement covering flight simulation training devices.
Australia and the United States have a treaty-level agreement in place that recognises that the two nations maintain an equivalent level of aviation safety. The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement provides a mechanism to accept each other’s approvals, evaluations and monitoring of civil aeronautical products, personnel and facilities.
Implementation procedures for airworthiness cover:
- design approval
- production activities
- export airworthiness approval
- post-design approval activities
- technical assistance between authorities.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) convenes an annual Asia-Pacific Bilateral Partners Meeting. The meeting brings together delegates from all Asia-Pacific countries that have a bilateral agreement with the FAA, along with observers from countries that are working towards a bilateral agreement with the FAA or have significant aviation safety interests in the region. The meeting provides an opportunity for engagement on technical developments and harmonisation of standards and processes. CASA representatives attended the Bilateral Partners Meeting in Hong Kong in April 2015.
CASA and the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department have finalised the text of a technical arrangement on airworthiness certification at the regulator-to-regulator level. The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department is now finalising the agreed text through the government’s central legal agency. The arrangement is expected to be signed in the second half of 2015.
CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand met in November 2014, beginning negotiations towards a MoU to cooperate on aviation safety. Discussions initially focused on the development of a technical arrangement on aviation maintenance. It is expected that airworthiness certification will be discussed at a later stage.
CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore are negotiating the framework of a technical arrangement on flight simulation training devices that will be covered by the MoU signed by CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore in February 2014. The technical arrangement is expected to be signed in late 2015.
The Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package (ITSAP) assists 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 MoU on cooperation in the transport sector between the governments of Australia and Indonesia.
ITSAP is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and managed by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
Together with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Airservices Australia, the ATSB and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, CASA participates in ITSAP Project Review Group meetings and steering committee meetings to review key achievements and the strategic planning for the program.
In 2014–15, CASA worked with the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) through a period of significant change, as both agencies welcomed new leadership and took time to consider the direction and challenges of aviation in Australia and Indonesia.
This work included:
- engaging an air traffic services expert to work with the DGCA on the requirements for certification, audit and compliance of Indonesia’s recently formed air navigation service provider, AirNav Indonesia
- conducting workshops and providing mentoring on the oversight of aviation rescue and firefighting services, with information on dangerous goods, hazardous materials, and human factors in aerodrome emergency planning
- supporting DGCA staff to attend an ICAO legal seminar to learn about the work program of ICAO’s Legal Committee and aviation law
- hosting an Indonesian delegation at the 2014 Australian Aviation Wildlife Hazard Group forum.
The third phase of funding for ITSAP ceased on 30 June 2015. CASA worked with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and other agencies to seek additional funding through other Australian aid mechanisms. ITSAP governance arrangements have been extended until 31 December 2015 to allow agencies to continue to deliver planned activities, and a new proposal for funding is expected to be developed in late 2015.
Papua New Guinea
Assistance to Papua New Guinea is driven by Australia’s commitments made under the MoU between Australia and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the transport sector. In 2013, assistance for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea (CASA PNG) was approved under the MoU. However, program objectives and the identification of delivery approaches needed to take into consideration CASA PNG’s requirements.
In 2013, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade conducted an agency capacity diagnostic of CASA PNG. The purpose was to identify shortfalls within CASA PNG to ensure that new Australian assistance initiatives would be effectively targeted. The agency capacity diagnostic made 30 recommendations, which contributed to the allocation of assistance tasks.
Throughout 2014, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s PNG program manager worked with the chief executive officer of CASA PNG to finalise activities to be delivered under the MoU. The activities were formally agreed to in an arrangement between CASA PNG and the Australian High Commission, signed in May 2015.
Under the agency support arrangement, CASA will be responsible for two activities:
- annual joint safety conferences
- corporate mentoring and development.
Following the signing of the arrangement, CASA developed activity statements to support the work program.
Pacific Aviation Safety Office
The Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) has recently undergone a period of significant change, with the PASO Council contracting a consultant to draft a new business plan for the organisation. CASA supported the Australian Council Representative to PASO to provide detailed input to this plan, and attended the PASO annual general meeting in April 2015 in Vanuatu and a special council meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, in June 2015.
Visiting delegations and ad hoc assistance
In addition to welcoming visiting delegations to progress cooperative arrangements and agreements, CASA welcomed representatives from other civil aviation regulators and research institutes, including from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, during 2014–15.
Visits are often study and familiarisation tours that focus on specific areas of CASA’s work. Specialists are drawn from across CASA to present on areas of interest to the visiting delegations. Facilitators encourage open discussion so that the visits are beneficial for CASA and counterpart authorities.
CASA also provides ad hoc international assistance on a case-by-case basis. CASA’s ability to meet requests for assistance is subject to resources, funding and proposed timing.