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 2012–13, CASA received and responded to 222 feedback forms; responses were usually completed within a week. Most feedback came from members of the aviation industry. It 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, and the safety of particular aircraft types.
Each month CASA produces an e-newsletter, The CASA Briefing, which is distributed to more than 12,500 subscribers. While most subscribers are people working in the aviation industry, others 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.
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 2012–13 are published on the CASA website.
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 representative. 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, 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 and working groups. 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 (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 26 September 2012 in Sydney and on 15 March 2013 in Brisbane. Members have advised that participation in 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 all matters relating to airspace and related procedures in Australia, and specifically in their areas of responsibility. Membership is open to all significant airspace users, either independently or through their major industry associations and organisations.
In 2012–13, 25 RAPAC meetings were held in 13 different cities around Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Darwin, Broome and Kununurra.
Sport Aviation Safety Forum
The Sport Aviation Safety 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 fifth Sport Aviation Safety Forum meeting was held in June 2013. The 40 participants considered a wide range of topics, including the approved organisations model, surveillance, safety management systems, governance, communication, data capture and future trend analysis.
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 forum’s application of airspace policy and regulations. All forum members are invited to nominate agenda items for discussion. The Airspace Consultative Forum meets biannually.
Flying Training Panel
CASA supports the Flying Training Panel, an industry-led group that provides strategic advice to CASA on flying training matters across all industry sectors. The panel’s activities in 2012–13 included:
- assisting CASA with the review and development of the CASR Part 61 manual of standards
- providing input and advice into the development of CASRs Parts 61, 141 and 142
- assisting with the planning of the 2013 National Chief Flying Instructors Conference
- providing input to CASA on the development of helicopter safety education material.
Cooperation between Australian Government agencies that have an interest in the aviation sector helps to reduce duplication and the 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 2012–13.
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 three times during 2012–13.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
The relationship between CASA and the ATSB has been maintained and further strengthened through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in February 2010. The agreement focuses on making the most effective use of the findings of accident investigations and clarifying the different but 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 Director of Aviation Safety and Chief Commissioner of the ATSB also participate in formal dialogue on a regular basis.
CASA has established an Accident Liaison and Investigation Unit. The senior manager of this important 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 per calendar year to exchange views and liaise about safety issues of mutual interest. The two agencies met in July 2012 and January 2013.
The agencies also cooperate on important research projects and collaborate on providing effective and efficient analysis that supports flight 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.
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 by:
- 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 heads of civil aviation agencies 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 49th meeting of the conference, which was held in New Delhi, India, from 10 to 12 October 2012. The delegation comprised four representatives from CASA.
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 such as air navigation and planning, aviation safety, aviation security and the environment, and technical and regional cooperation.
The 50th Conference of the Directors General of Civil Aviation is due to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 2013.
Regional Aviation Safety Group—Asia and Pacific Regions
The second meeting of the Regional Aviation Safety Group—Asia and Pacific Regions (RASG–APAC) was held concurrently with the 49th Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference in New Delhi, India, on 8 and 9 October 2012. CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety chaired the meeting after being elected as Chairperson for a three-year term at the inaugural meeting in 2011. 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 the Global Aviation Safety Plan and the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap. The reports of RASG–APAC meetings are reviewed by the Air Navigation Commission on a regular basis and by the ICAO Council as necessary. The third RASG–APAC meeting was held in June 2013, prior to the 50th Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Asia Pacific Regional Aviation Safety Team (APRAST) is a subgroup of the RASG–APAC. The second and third meetings of the APRAST were held at the ICAO Asia and Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21 to 24 August 2012 and 7 to 10 May 2013, respectively, and attended by CASA delegates. The objective of the APRAST is to recommend interventions that will reduce aviation risks to the RASG–APAC. It includes representatives of appropriate foreign 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 the Southeast Asian region 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 Southeast Asian states.
The Deputy Director of Aviation Safety attended the 14th COSCAP-SEA Steering Committee meeting, held from 7 to 9 November 2012 in Singapore, as CASA is a Safety Partner.
Cooperative arrangements and agreements
One of the purposes of bilateral aviation safety arrangements with other national aviation authorities and other bodies, as described in the National Aviation Policy White Paper 2009 and CASA Corporate Plan 2012–13 to 2014–15, is to benefit industry by reducing the burden of duplicating the airworthiness certification process when exporting to a foreign country. CASA has also advanced bilateral aviation safety arrangements on maintenance where it will provide expanded opportunities for industry and reduce regulatory duplication. In 2012–13, progress was made on a number of international arrangements.
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, evaluations 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 (IPAs) under the BASA cover:
- design approval
- production activities
- export airworthiness approval
- post-design approval activities
- technical assistance between authorities.
Revision 1 to the IPAs came into force in September 2011, and covers:
- recognition of CASA’s Australian parts manufacturing approvals processes by the
US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- addressing an imbalance in the IPA whereby Australian regulation already recognised and accepted aviation parts manufactured and certified in the United States.
CASA has expressed interest in working with the FAA to move towards a revision to the IPAs under the BASA. Areas flagged for inclusion in this revision include 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. The FAA is aware of CASA’s interest and has advised that it will consider the revision in its proposed work plans in late 2013. CASA will also continue to progress the potential scoping of maintenance implementation procedures and implementation procedures for licensing under the BASA, and will complete a questionnaire for the FAA to support the maintenance implementation procedures process.
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 and the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) worked closely together to examine each other’s aviation safety regulations in order to establish an MoU on airworthiness certification, which was signed by the Deputy Administrator on behalf of the CAAC on 9 June 2013 and on behalf of CASA by the Director of Aviation Safety on 19 June 2013.
CASA delegates visited Hong Kong in August 2012, and a delegation from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department travelled to Australia in February 2013 to be briefed by CASA staff and visit aviation industry sites. The visits showed that the Australian and Hong Kong systems would produce the same safety outcomes, forming a solid basis for an arrangement between the two authorities. An arrangement covering airworthiness certification is expected to be in place by the end of 2013. Following this, there is potential to expand the arrangement to cover maintenance.
CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore signed an MoU for cooperation on aviation safety in March 2013. The MoU led to development of a technical arrangement on maintenance with Singapore, which was signed on 22 April 2013. Implementation for Australian operators was subject to the making of the Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation, which occurred in May 2013. Work towards a technical arrangement on airworthiness certification is ongoing and an arrangement is expected to be signed by August 2013. There is potential to develop further technical arrangements covering licensing and simulators in the future.
Outcomes that were not achieved
CASA had aimed to have in place a maintenance arrangement with Transport Canada by the end of 2011–12, later revised to the end of 2012–13. Due to competing workloads in each organisation, this has not yet been achieved. The arrangement is still being finalised and reviewed to ensure that all relevant references to the Australian CASR Part 145 are correct.
CASA has been working to engage with the European Aviation Safety Agency to discuss the scope of a potential safety arrangement. CASA has been advised that the agency is unable to enter into such negotiations until it receives approval from the European Commission, which is not likely in the short term. CASA will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that negotiations commence when both parties have appropriate domestic authorisations in place.
International assistance programs
Papua New Guinea
CASA participates in 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 an MoU between the governments of Australia and PNG on cooperation in the transport sector. CASA has delivered a number of programs to assist in improving aviation safety in PNG under the memorandum.
In early 2013, AusAID agreed to fund a significantly enhanced program of assistance to PNG for transport safety. Through this assistance, CASA will receive approximately $800,000 for a three-year program from 2013–14, which will comprise activities to contribute to enhancement of aviation safety processes and procedures and organisational development for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea (CASA PNG).
In May 2013, CASA’s Associate Director of Aviation Safety participated in AusAID’s agency capacity diagnostic of CASA PNG, which assisted in identifying priorities for CASA Australia to address with CASA PNG. The program is expected to commence in August 2013, subject to finalisation of the diagnostic report and liaison with CASA PNG.
On 15 December 2010, Australia and Indonesia signed a new arrangement on the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package (ITSAP) with funding from the Australian Government. 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 an MoU 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.
CASA received approximately $430,000 in funding under ITSAP for 2012–13 and continued to work closely with Indonesian counterparts to deliver projects and activities under the program.
Significant CASA activities with the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2012–13 included:
- initial drafting of the key personnel manual for industry representatives and staff instructions for DGCA personnel
- a review of options and issues associated with transitioning to European Aviation Safety Agency Part 66 for maintenance licensing
- planning and scoping for the delivery of safety promotion activities, including a mountainous terrain operation forum and the translation of the Tropical Mountainous Terrain Flying Operations Training Kit into Bahasa Indonesia
- completion of drafting of the ICAO Annex 14 (Aerodromes) Manual of Standards
- joint delivery with the DGCA of a safety promotion workshop on apron safety
- training of inspectors in regulatory requirements during an emergency aerodrome planning exercise
- analysis of air navigation oversight, including aeronautical information services enhancement
- advice and workshops relating to the DGCA’s enforcement framework
- participation in partner meetings with other States providing assistance to the DGCA to enable information sharing and coordination, and to avoid duplication
- hosting representatives from the DGCA’s legal section (including the section manager) during attendance at the Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand annual conference in May 2013 and discussions with CASA experts on regulatory review and revision.
CASA is working with the Indonesian DGCA and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to identify potential cooperative activities for the period 2014–18, subject to available funding.
CASA has in place an MoU with the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji, 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
The Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) underwent a period of significant change, with the PASO Council contracting a consultant to draft a new business plan for the organisation. CASA provided detailed input towards this plan and attended the PASO annual general meeting in April 2013 in Vanuatu.
Visiting delegations and ad hoc assistance
In addition to visiting delegations to progress cooperative arrangements and agreements, CASA welcomed representatives from civil aviation regulators from South Africa, New Zealand, India, China, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Pakistan during 2012–13. These 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.