From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
By now most people are probably aware that I have been permanently appointed as CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety for a five year term. I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead CASA through a time of challenges and changes. My vision is for CASA to be an open and transparent regulator and one the aviation industry finds it easy to do business with. I am especially keen to improve our service delivery. People coming to CASA for approvals, licences or certificates have every right to expect efficient, streamlined and timely service. To do this we will continue to improve our systems and processes. Streamlining our systems and centralising data will also make us more effective in continuing to improve aviation safety. The correct analysis of data provides an opportunity to create a new proactive model of risk management. We want to be able to take a risk-based, rather than a knee-jerk approach to safety management. A key element to this approach will be to keep the aviation community ‘in the loop’ about the issues we see emerging from the data and from our broader sectoral analysis.
A current challenge for CASA is the growth of unmanned aircraft, or drones. Drones have enormous potential for making aviation and society safer, by doing many of the repetitive and dangerous aerial jobs without risking human lives. However, this emerging industry poses challenges to us as the regulator because we now have to deal with both emerging technology and a new group of people who have had little or no exposure to aviation. One of my priorities will be bringing this new group into the broader aviation community, so that together we maintain and improve Australia’s aviation safety performance.
I must emphasise that I understand CASA needs to do things differently. In particular, I know many people are frustrated by delays in some of our regulation reform processes. These have been too slow and too long and not sufficiently focused on practical, common-sense outcomes. However, I am confident that by working co-operatively with the aviation community we can make positive progress and deliver effective change that achieves safe skies for all.
Consultation reboot for better results
A substantial overhaul of the way CASA consults with the aviation community has been announced. Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody has set up a new body to ‘reboot’ consultation processes. The changes will streamline consultation and ensure the aviation community is directly involved in the early setting of safety and regulatory objectives and policies. CASA will now get timely advice on current and emerging issues from a cross section of aviation organisations. A new consultation body, known as the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel, is being established from 1 July 2017. It is to be made up of senior representatives from Qantas Airways, Virgin Australia, the Australian Airports Association, The Australian Aviation Associations Forum, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia and Recreational Aviation Australia. The Aviation Safety Advisory Panel will provide CASA with objective, high-level advice from the aviation community on issues with significant implications for aviation safety and the way CASA performs its functions. CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel will become the avenue through which CASA seeks aviation community input on regulatory and policy approaches. He said: “Most importantly, it will be the forum through which we seek to agree on the objectives and policy outcomes – before we then call our technical experts to do the detailed work. CASA’s overriding responsibility for aviation safety leadership, however, means that there will always be limits. We cannot appease everyone, nor meet every request as regulatory activities are inherently challenging and CASA ultimately has to make the call on major safety questions. My intention is that once we have settled on a position we will stick to it and deliver on what we have said we will deliver. If we can do this, we will maintain the trust and respect of the aviation community as a whole. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has served on consultation panels in the past.”
Take part in our service survey now
CASA is committed to improving the delivery of regulatory services to the aviation community. To achieve this goal we need the help now of everyone who uses CASA’s services. A short survey is underway to give CASA a better understanding of the service needs and preferences of people in the aviation community. The results of the survey will be used to make practical changes to CASA’s service delivery systems and processes. Questions in the survey include how easy it is to obtain CASA services, the level of satisfaction with service delivery, how services should be delivered, how CASA should contact people and how applications for services should be submitted. The survey is multiple choice, with the option to provide written comments as well. All results from the survey will be anonymous, unless people choose to provide contact details. The survey is open until 5 July 2017. Anyone who would prefer a paper version of the survey can request a copy by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take part in the service survey now.
Phone service improvements
From July 2017 CASA is making changes to improve the way phone calls are managed. Calls to all CASA 13 and 1300 numbers will now be diverted through to 131 757. The separate 1300 numbers for aviation medicine and licensing and registration will be redirected to a central telephone menu. This means 131 757 will become CASA’s primary contact number and should be used by all callers. People who call will be able to choose from a range of options, so that enquiries can quickly be directed to the most appropriate place in CASA. Options will include services relating to licensing, aircraft registration, aviation medicine, regional offices and unmanned aircraft. Callers to CASA will not need to do anything differently but they will notice a difference in the way calls are managed.
Pilots to play key role in new safety seminars
A new series of the popular AvSafety seminars for pilots starts from July 2017. The new series will get pilots talking about key safety issues by looking at previous accidents and incidents where the outcomes were both good and bad. This season of seminars will concentrate on pilot decision making during pre-flight, in-flight and approach and landing. Discussions will look at flying within your limits, making the right decisions in-flight and hazards on arrival. Case studies of accidents and incidents covering each phase of flight will be set out, with a mix of fixed wing and helicopter events to be examined. The aim of the seminars will be to get pilots thinking about their flying behaviour and decision making and to offer ideas and resources to support safe operations. CASA’s team of safety advisers will ensure the seminars are interactive and open, with pilots encouraged to talk about their own experiences and offer lessons learned. The seminars have been developed with the support of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Airservices Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Bureau of Meteorology. A representative from Bureau of Meteorology will attend some seminars to provide information on the new area forecasts format.
In July there are seven AvSafety seminars at: Port Pirie, Griffith, Wagga, Ballarat, Gawler, Moruya and Lilydale. The Port Pirie seminar will be based on the previous lessons for life format.
Book your place at an AvSafety seminar for pilots now.
Flight test system changes
Changes are being made to the flight test notification system. The new system, called Flight Test Management, replaces the current Flight Test Notification System from 3 July 2017. The new system will be accessed through the CASA on-line self-service portal. It means all flight examiner records and flight test data will be managed in one system and accessed through the self-service portal. Some paper-based processes will be replaced, eligibility validation will be provided and hard copy paper requirements will be reduced. The major steps for conducting flight tests and proficiency checks will remain the same. All flight examiners should ensure they have checked their qualifications are up to date in the CASA self-service portal as the new system starts. There are also changes to the flight examiner rating course and professional development program, flight test and proficiency check standards, and updates to guidance documentation. The training course for people who want to gain a flight examiner rating or flight examiner endorsement has been re-developed and is now made up of five phases. It provides for recognition of existing flight examiner qualifications.
Go to the CASA self-service portal.
Support for helicopter mustering safety
Everyone involved in helicopter mustering needs a new specialised safety information card. The card provides information on safety around mustering helicopters on the ground and in the air, passenger safety, emergencies and hiring a helicopter for mustering. The card folds down to pocket size to make it easy to carry and hand out to non-aviation people involved in helicopter mustering. Simple illustrations are used to delivery safety messages about 11 key issues relating to safety around mustering helicopters. These include approaching and leaving the helicopter, riding a horse or motorbike near a helicopter, awareness of helicopter blades, sloping ground and avgas drums. Passenger safety focuses on entry and exit, seat belts and seating, doors, headsets and dangerous goods. Four good reasons are set out for hiring a helicopter musting operator that meets all the civil aviation legal and regulatory requirements. People hiring helicopters are advised to ask the operator for a copy of their air operator certificate.
Order a copy of the helicopter mustering card now.
Switch now to new limited category certificates
Owners and operators of ex-military aircraft have until late July 2017 to transition to a limited category certificate under Part 132 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Part 132 commenced on 28 January 2017, with transition to the new regulation required by 28 July 2017. Warbirds currently operating on an experimental certificate must transition to a limited category certificate. Under a limited category certificate operations and airworthiness authorisations will be managed by a self-administering organisation in cooperation with CASA. The rules enable other types of standard category aircraft, such as historic and replica aircraft, to operate on a limited category certificate. This type of certificate offers flexibility for personal flights and recreational purposes. As a result a number of people have already made the switch to the new rules. The new rules apply to the owners, operators and pilots of ex-military (warbirds), certain historic and replica aircraft, the owners of any other aircraft certified in the limited category and individuals and organisations that conduct or sell adventure flights in warbirds.
Find out more about the rules for limited category aircraft.
Spotlight on aircraft weighing
Twelve key points to remember when weighing aircraft have been set out in new advice from CASA. There have been recent reports of some general aviation aircraft being prepared for weighing using improper practices. Reports also indicate the preparation of aircraft and the weighing are not being documented properly. This makes it difficult to determine the configuration of the aircraft in which it was last weighed and throws doubts over the validity of the load data sheet. The purpose of aircraft weighing is to determine the baseline empty weight and empty weight centre of gravity of aircraft, with the information published in a load data sheet to provide for the accurate loading of aircraft before flight. Aircraft manufacturer instructions for weighing should be followed if available, with the airworthiness bulletin from CASA providing recommended practices. The recommendations include the state of the aircraft at weighing, configuration, equipment lists, fuel, oil and other liquids and levelling. Weighing documentation should be clear on what was and what was not included in the empty weight of the aircraft. This is important for the future comparison of weighing information.
Find out more about aircraft weighing.
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