Consultation and communication with the aviation industry and the wider aviation community, in Australia and overseas, are required by the Civil Aviation Act and play an essential part in 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 2013-14, CASA received and responded to 221 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.
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
In May 2014, CASA's magazine Flight Safety Australia was relaunched as an application for iPad and Android tablet computers. In addition, a new weekly news site, available online for all devices, was introduced.
Flight Safety Australia strives to communicate aviation safety information in an engaging style for all readers, in a variety of formats, regardless of whether they are new to aviation or seasoned professionals. Topics covered in 2013-14 included aviation medicine, the risk profiles of business aviation and low-cost airlines, dangerous goods, and an examination of the effects of hypoxia, for which a reporter was subjected to cognitive function tests at a simulated altitude of 25,000 feet. A video of the reporter's responses was one of several specifically produced for Flight Safety Australia. Many other stories linked to CASA video productions and campaigns.
Flight Safety Australia's efforts were recognised at the 2013 National Aviation Press Club awards. A story on human factors in aircraft maintenance titled 'The error of our ways' was runner-up for online story of the year and also received a high commendation for technical story of the year.
The aviation press club awards focus on aviation media in Australia and New Zealand and include entries from titles such as the Australian Financial Review and Sun-Herald newspapers as well as Australian Aviation and Aero Australia magazines.
Read the highly commended story at Flight Safety Australia website.
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 2013-14 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 eight 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.
CASA will be reviewing the SCC process in 2014-15 with a view to further enhancing the efficiency and utility of outcomes.
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 30 October 2013 and 26 March 2014 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 all matters relating to airspace and related procedures in Australia and in their specific areas of responsibility.
Membership is open to all significant airspace users, either independently or through their major industry associations and organisations.
In 2013-14, 23 RAPAC meetings were held in 14 different cities and towns around Australia, including Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Kununurra, Melbourne, Perth, Port Macquarie and Sydney.
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 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 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 sixth Sport Aviation Safety Forum meeting was held in June 2014. The 35 participants considered a wide range of topics, including the approved organisations model and the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 149 regulations due to be released for consultation; surveillance and compliance of persons operating outside of RAAOs; and the CASA enforcement process complementing RAAO disciplinary processes.
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 annually.
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 2013-14 included:
- assisting CASA with the review and development of the CASR Part 61 manual of standards
- providing input and advice into the development of CASR Parts 61, 141 and 142
- providing input and advice on transition to, and implementation of, CASR Parts 61, 141 and 142.
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 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 2013-14.
Aviation Implementation Group
The Aviation Implementation Group is an interagency forum chaired by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 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 four times during 2013-14.
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.
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 per calendar year to exchange views and liaise about safety issues of mutual interest. The two agencies met in July and December 2013 and again in June 2014. A further meeting is planned for December 2014.
The agencies also cooperate on important research projects and collaborate on providing effective and efficient analysis that supports flight safety in Australia.
Joint Aviation Agency Safety Analysis Collaboration Group
CASA participates in the Joint Aviation Agency Safety Analysis Collaboration Group to share safety data, analysis and findings. Through the group, CASA worked with the ATSB on a study into the safety issue of fumes and smoke events in flight. The safety report that resulted from the study was released in May 2014. CASA has committed to participating in a second formal study through the group, on the issue of unstable approaches and go-around occurrences.
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 Regional Development 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 38th ICAO Assembly was held in Montreal, Canada, from 24 September to 4 October 2013. Four CASA staff were part of the Australian delegation: the Director of Aviation Safety, the Associate Director of Aviation Safety, the Executive Manager of Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation, and a Senior Policy Officer from CASA's international policy section. Further information on events at the assembly is available on page 023.
During the assembly Australia was re-elected as a State of Chief Importance in air transport on the ICAO Council. CASA has assisted Australia to maintain its status as a 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, task forces and study groups, including the Instrument Flight Procedures Panel, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Group and the Safety Information Protection Task Force, of which CASA's Associate Director of Aviation Safety is the Chair.
ICAO global tracking meeting
ICAO convened a two-day meeting at its Montreal headquarters on 12 and 13 May 2014 to explore the need for global tracking of airline flights and the existing technologies that support it, in order to address issues arising from events such as the accident of Air France Flight 447 in 2009 and the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
The meeting was attended by 213 participants and observers, representing a diverse range of interests from within the international aviation community, including aviation regulators, air navigation service providers, aircraft manufacturers, and industry associations and vendors. Two experts from CASA's Standards Division and Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation Division attended the meeting.
As a consequence of the meeting, ICAO is establishing an ad hoc working group drawn from a number of panels, including the flight recording panel, and members of the Air Navigation Commission, with advice from a search and rescue expert. The working group is tasked with developing a 'concept of operations' for aircraft tracking which will be presented to ICAO's High-level Safety Conference in 2015. CASA will contribute to the development of the concept of operations through its representation on a number of ICAO panels.
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 50th conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1 to 4 July 2013. During the conference, regional directors general considered regulatory oversight, capacity and air navigation planning and implementation, economic development of air transport, aviation and environment, and technical and regional cooperation. The Executive Manager, Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation led Australia's delegation. The 51st conference is due to be held in Hong Kong, China, from 24 to 27 November 2014.
Regional Aviation Safety Group - Asia and Pacific Regions
The Regional Aviation Safety Group - Asia and Pacific Regions (RASG-APAC) met immediately prior to the Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on 27 and 28 June 2013. The RASG-APAC is tasked with developing and implementing a work schedule 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 reviewed by the Air Navigation Commission on a regular basis and by the ICAO Council as necessary.
The Asia Pacific Regional Aviation Safety Team (APRAST) is a subgroup of the RASG-APAC. CASA delegates attended the APRAST meeting in Manila, the Philippines, from 22 to 25 April 2014. The objective of the APRAST is to recommend interventions that will reduce aviation risks to the RASG-APAC. It includes representatives of appropriate overseas regulatory agencies, as well as industry and other organisations. CASA also attended the first Asia Pacific Accident Investigation Group meeting, in Bali, Indonesia, from 16 to 19 September 2013 and the second meeting of the APRAST Safety Reporting and Programme Ad-Hoc Working Group in Manila, the Philippines, on 21 April 2014.
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, supported by the International Liaison and Programs section head, attended the annual COSCAP-SEA Steering Committee meeting held on 25 and 26 November 2013 in Bangkok, as CASA is a Safety Partner. During the meeting the Deputy Director advised that CASA would work with COSCAP-SEA to consider development of targeted technical training assistance, subject to resources being available.
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 duplicating the airworthiness certification process when exporting to another country. CASA has also advanced bilateral aviation safety arrangements on maintenance, in addition to airworthiness certification, where it will provide expanded opportunities for industry and reduce regulatory duplication. Following consultation with industry, CASA has approached aviation safety regulators from a number of countries to gauge their interest in entering new technical arrangements covering aspects such as airworthiness certification, maintenance and flight simulation training devices.
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, in effect from May 2010, 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 United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- addressing an imbalance in the IPAs 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 further 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 and CASA are currently determining their domestic procedures required to create a revision to the IPAs as well as the scope of any proposed revision.
CASA and the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department are finalising the text of an arrangement covering airworthiness certification which is scheduled to be signed at the Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference in Hong Kong in November 2014.
CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand have agreed to commence work towards an MoU on aviation safety. Beneath the MoU, the two authorities are planning to have technical arrangements on airworthiness certification and maintenance. The first stage of oversight visits to examine the other authority's safety regulations is expected to take place in late 2014.
In 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 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 discuss key achievements and the strategic planning for ITSAP.
Significant CASA activities with the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2013-14 included:
- publishing a Tropical Mountainous Terrain Flying Operations Training Kit in Bahasa Indonesia, and delivering an industry workshop on safe operations in mountainous terrain (see page 055 for more information)
- commissioning a training needs analysis, conducted by CIT Solutions, which examined the management development currently offered to DGCA managers and recommended options for enhancing or complementing it
- engaging an ICAO expert to deliver an Aeronautical Information Service to Aeronautical Information Management transition workshop for representatives from the DGCA and AirNav Indonesia and Indonesian airport operators
- providing advice and facilitating workshops relating to the DGCA's enforcement framework, including by hosting a delegation of DGCA and Ministry of Transport legal staff in Canberra and Melbourne in May 2014
- funding the delivery of ICAO Annex 14 Manual of Standards implementation workshops which were conducted by DGCA staff.
Pacific Aviation Safety Office
The Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) is undergoing a period of significant change, with the PASO Council contracting a consultant to draft a new business plan for the organisation. CASA continues to act as the technical adviser to the Australian PASO Council Representative and will continue to be involved in relevant aspects of PASO's work.
Visiting delegations and ad hoc assistance
In addition to visiting delegations to progress cooperative arrangements and agreements, CASA welcomed representatives from Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand during 2013-14. Such 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.
Outcomes not achieved
In 2013, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade agreed to fund a significantly enhanced package of assistance to Papua New Guinea for transport safety, including approximately $800,000 for CASA to deliver a three-year package of assistance to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea (CASA PNG).
In May 2013, CASA's Associate Director of Aviation Safety participated in an agency capacity diagnostic of CASA PNG. The diagnostic was designed to identify priorities for the provision of assistance to CASA PNG, which would inform the development of projects for CASA to deliver. As the report from the diagnostic was not finalised until June 2014, CASA has not yet been able to provide any assistance to CASA PNG.