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Notification of Making of Amendment Regulations to Civil Aviation (Fees) Regulations

Notification of Making of Amendment Regulations
Civil Aviation (Fees) Regulations

Civil Aviation (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 1)
Stat Rules 2004 No. 211

Issued under the authority of the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Civil Aviation (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2004 (No.1) (65kb)
Attachment - Details of the amending Regulations (38kb)

Explanatory Statement

Subsection 98 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act) provides, in part, that the Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with the Act, prescribing matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed, for carrying out or giving effect to the Act, and regulations in relation to safety of air navigation, being regulations with respect to matters with respect to which the Parliament has power to make laws.

Paragraph 98(3)(u) of the Act provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing fees, either by specifying amounts or by prescribing a method of calculation, in relation to services, applications or requests, or the doing of anything, under the Act, the regulations or the Civil Aviation Orders.

The Regulations amend the Civil Aviation (Fees) Regulations (the Fees Regulations) to align the fees currently charged for regulatory services provided by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) with today’s prices and to position CASA and the aviation industry for the move to full cost recovery for those services in line with the Government’s policy on cost recovery. The current fees and charges have been in place since 1995 and have neither been adjusted for inflation nor the goods and services tax. The impact has been that CASA’s revenue from fees and charges has steadily declined in real terms and not maintained parity against the actual cost of the services provided .

The Regulations give effect to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services’ announcement in the 2004-2005 Portfolio Budget Statement for measures to increase CASA fees and charges and to reflect the Government’s policy on cost recovery.

In developing the Regulations, CASA undertook a cost modelling analysis in an effort to calculate the true cost of CASA activities. Nevertheless, it was decided not to recover the whole cost of providing services at this stage, as part of a staged implementation of full cost recovery in line with the Government’s guidelines for cost recovery.

The increase to the hourly rate charged for CASA regulatory services is limited to the calculated direct staff costs, together with an overhead which takes into account increases in staff costs over the past nine years and is adjusted from $75 per hour to $130 per hour. Increases in fixed fees for regulatory services are calculated on the direct staff costs, together with an administrative fee which takes into account increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the nine-year period, and the addition of the 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) for those services subject to that tax.

No new fees or charges are being imposed by the Regulations. That is, although the fees and charges for the services currently listed in the Fees Regulations are being increased, no new services are being added to the list. Nevertheless, the Regulations do clarify existing services by amending terminology to align with the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) and dividing generic descriptions of services into specific subsets of those services.

The Regulations provide transitional measures for services which are requested before, but which are provided after, commencement of the Regulations. In the case of a service for which a fixed fee is payable and for which the fee has been paid before the commencement of the Regulations, the fee is that which applies before the commencement of the Regulations. In most cases the fixed fee is paid up-front, that is, when the service is requested.

In relation to a service for which the hourly rate is payable which is requested and CASA has begun to provide the service, or CASA has provided a written estimate based on the existing fee before the commencement of the Regulations, the Regulations provide that such a service will continue to be charged at the hourly rate existing prior to commencement, until its completion.

The Regulations also make technical amendments to change the citation of the Fees Regulations, align the terminology used in the Fees Regulations with the terminology in the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) and the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR), and to remove charges that are no longer applicable.

CASA briefed its strategic advisory body, the Aviation Safety Forum (ASF) and its regulatory development consultative body, the Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) in mid May 2004. The ability to consult was limited because of the short time frame produced by the confidentiality of the budget process.

The Office of Regulation Review (ORR) has assessed that the preparation of a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is not required for the Regulations. However, CASA has prepared and certified a Cost Recovery Impact Statement (CRIS) in accordance with Financial Management Guidelines. The CRIS is available on the CASA website at rrp.casa.gov.au/fees.

The Regulations commence on the date of their notification in the Gazette.