Overview of CASA
Section 9 of the Civil Aviation Act describes the functions CASA must undertake. Broadly, they are:
- developing and promulgating appropriate, clear and concise aviation safety standards
- developing effective enforcement strategies to secure compliance with aviation safety standards
- issuing certificates, licences, registrations and permits
- conducting comprehensive aviation industry surveillance, including assessing safety-related decisions taken by industry management at all levels for their impact on aviation safety
- conducting regular reviews of the system of civil aviation safety in order to monitor the safety performance of the aviation industry, to identify safety-related trends and risk factors and to promote the development and improvement of the system
- conducting regular and timely assessment of international safety developments.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is an independent statutory authority within the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio. CASA is accountable to the Commonwealth Parliament through the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP (see Figure 1).
CASA, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Department of Infrastructure), and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority all contribute to the portfolio outcomes, with Airservices Australia as the key service provider of air traffic management and fire fighting services. While the Department of Infrastructure, with its broad range of responsibilities, contributes to all three outcomes, CASA contributes to the second portfolio outcome, which is CASA's Outcome 1: Fostering an efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system. CASA also has close linkages with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which will become an operationally independent business division of the Department of Infrastructure on 1 July 2009.
Figure 1 Portfolio structure, 2008 - 09
|Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government|
|Policy and governance oversight of CASA and Airservices Australia
Policy management of aviation environment
Policy advice on the industry
Oversight of leased federal airports
|Australian Transport Safety Bureau||Office of Transport Security|
|Independent investigator of accidents and incidents||Aviation security, including regional aviation|
Portfolio agencies/service providers:
|CASA||Airservices Australia||Australian Maritime Safety Authority|
|Safety regulator of airports, aircraft, airspace, air operators and personnel||Service provider of air traffic management and fire fighting services||Search and rescue including aviation|
The aviation industry experienced unprecedented growth in the decade from 1997-2007, growing by more than 66 per cent, while over the same period Australia's national income went up by 42 per cent. In 2007 the aviation sector was responsible for approximately 0.62 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product. Passenger numbers also steadily increased during this time, particularly as new low-cost carriers entered both the domestic and the international markets.
However, during 2008-09 the world's financial climate changed dramatically. This has had a significant impact on the global aviation industry. In particular, Australia's regional operators faced great economic pressures during the year, with Macair Airlines being placed into receivership, Sky Air World going into liquidation and Strategic Airlines purchasing OzJet Airlines.
While there were signs of downturn during the year, there were also signs of recovery, and Australians participated in the aviation industry at an even greater rate than in previous years. As an example, 2008-09 began with record numbers of licences and aircraft registrations being processed by the CASA Licensing and Registration Centre; by mid-year demand had declined steeply, but by May 2009 the numbers had begun to increase again. By 30 June 2009, more than 35,000 Australians held flight crew and engineering licences, a slight increase over the previous year. More than 23,000 people took flight crew licensing examinations during the year, an increase of nearly 1,000 over the previous year.
In some ways the industry has been resilient, but there are still challenges ahead that are placing increased demands on airlines, maintenance and support businesses, aviation personnel and the regulator.
The aviation industry, like other key Australian industries, has been experiencing shortages of skilled personnel. Aviation, by its technologically complex nature, demands significant numbers of highly trained, competent and skilled personnel. While the global economic situation has relieved the short-term shortages of these staff for major operators, shortages still appear in the regional sector and in the general aviation industry. CASA expects that once economic conditions improve a lack of skilled staff will again be a significant issue. The availability of skilled and experienced personnel, particularly in operational management positions, is critical to the health and wellbeing of operators' safety systems. CASA will find it increasingly difficult to compete with the industry to attract skilled staff.
Although the changing state of the global economy has been a key driver for the aviation industry (as a driver of both growth and decline), many of the challenges that were present a year ago remain. These include ageing aircraft, especially in the general aviation sector; the introduction of increasingly large and complex aircraft such as the Airbus A380; and increasing numbers of low-cost and international carriers.
John McCormick, Director of Aviation Safety
John McCormick is a highly experienced pilot and senior aviation manager, who joined CASA as Director of Aviation Safety in March 2009.
He began his flying career in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1974. He served as a fighter combat instructor on Mirage III fighter aircraft in Australia and South East Asia.
In 1984 John left the RAAF and joined Qantas as a second officer on the Boeing 747-200 . He flew with Qantas's international operations for three years.
John joined Cathay Pacific Airways in 1987, flying as a first officer on the Boeing 747-200 and later as a Captain on the Tristar. In 1994 he became the airline's flight training manager for the Tristar, based in Hong Kong. He was one of two managers selected to introduce the Boeing 777 aircraft into Cathay Pacific Airways service, and was involved in the development of the Boeing 777 and later the 744 Boeing converted freighter program.
John transitioned to the role of flying training manager on the Boeing 747-400. From 1999 to 2002 he was chief pilot of Cathay Pacific's Boeing fleet and from 2002 to 2006 he was general manager operations, based in Hong Kong. The latter role included responsibility for the Cathay Pacific air operator's certificates and all applicable regulatory matters. In 2006 John returned to flying as senior training captain for Cathay Pacific on the Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft.
John holds a Masters Degree in Aviation Management and attended INSEAD business school in France. He has been involved in numerous International Civil Aviation Organization and Association of Asia Pacific Airlines committees and activities.
He has flown many different aircraft, including single-seat aerobatic aircraft, numerous fighter aircraft and many twin-aisle, high-capacity aeroplanes. He is or has been a type rating examiner on the Lockheed L1011, the Boeing 777 series, the Boeing 744 series, the Airbus A330 series and the Airbus A340 series. He has in excess of 10,000 hours as pilot in command.
Bruce Byron, Director of Aviation Safety and Chief Executive Officer
Bruce Byron began his career in aviation in the RAAF in the mid-1960s. His service with the RAAF includes a 12-month tour with No. 35 Squadron in Vietnam, flying Caribou aircraft in 1,600 operational sorties.
Bruce then moved into flying training with the RAAF as an instructor, the beginning of a long association with training in both military and civilian flying. He was promoted to Wing Commander in 1980 and during 1982 and 1983 was Commanding Officer of the RAAF Central Flying School, responsible for the training and checking of all military flying instructors in Australia. In 1984, he was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia.
After leaving the RAAF, Bruce became an Examiner of Airmen with the Department of Aviation, flying more than 20 different types of aircraft and flight testing pilots up to senior commercial level. In 1988, he moved to private enterprise, taking over the management of North Broken Hill Ltd's private jet operations and subsequently occupying senior positions with Kendall Airlines, Ansett Australia and Virgin Blue. He has also worked as an aviation safety consultant in the areas of flight training, human factors and aviation safety management.
Bruce has had a long involvement with CASA. From 1997 to 1999, he was a member of the CASA Board, chairing the Safety Committee and guiding the development of CASA's new safety compliance and promotion activities. He also chaired CASA's Aviation Safety Forum from 2000 to 2003.
His term of appointment as CASA's Chief Executive Officer began in December 2003 and concluded on 1 March 2009.
Mick Quinn, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Operations
Mick Quinn has had a wide variety of experience in the aviation and transport industry, including as a pilot holding Australian and United States licences, and as a specialist in airline operations and safety management, accident investigation, and transport safety regulation.
Mick has flown a range of aircraft types, from gliders to general aviation and corporate aircraft. He has also completed type ratings on numerous narrow-body and wide-body Boeing and Airbus airliners.
He has held the posts of Manager Air Safety Investigation, Qantas; Senior Vice President, Group Safety and acting Vice President, Flight Training, Emirates; and Executive Director, New South Wales Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator.
Mick joined CASA in January 2008. Prior to joining CASA, Mick spent more than 10 years developing, implementing and regulating safety management systems.
Shane Carmody, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Strategy and Support
Shane Carmody joined CASA in October 2006. Before this, he held senior executive positions in the Department of Defence between 1995 and 2006, including as Deputy Secretary, Intelligence and Security, and Deputy Secretary, Strategy.
Shane has had an extensive career in the public service, most of this in the Department of Defence. He also held a senior position in the Department of Finance and Administration. After serving in the Australian Army for 14 years, specialising in intelligence operations, he moved to the civilian side of the Defence portfolio in 1989.
Shane was a member of the Defence Committee (managing the operations of the Department of Defence) from 2001 to 2006 and was also a member of numerous other senior defence and whole-of-government committees.
Shane left CASA in May 2009 to take up a senior executive position at the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Figure 2 Organisational structure at 30 June 2009
CASA's corporate headquarters are located in Canberra, while its operational headquarters are in Brisbane. Regional offices are located around Australia (see Figure 3).
Figure 3 Office locations at 30 June 2009
In 2008-09 CASA consisted of nine distinct work groups as well as the Office of the Industry Complaints Commissioner and staff located in the Office of the Director of Aviation Safety (formerly known as the Office of the Chief Executive Officer). The distribution of staff across each group is shown in Table 1. CASA's organisational chart is at Figure 2. For more information on CASA staffing, see pages 60-62 ('People management') and Appendix C.
|Office of the Director of Aviation Safety||
|Airspace & Aerodrome Regulation Group||
|Airworthiness Engineering Group||
|Aviation Licensing Group||
|Legal Services Group||
|Planning & Governance Office||
|Information Services Group||
|Air Transport Operations Group||
|General Aviation Operations Group||
L-R: Peter Cromarty, Jonathan Aleck, Gary Harbor, John McCormick, Mick Quinn, Clive Adams, Betty Edwards, Simon Denby, Mark Sinclair, Peter Boyd. Absent: Chris Farrelly, Greg Hood.
Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation Group
Group General Manager: Peter Cromarty
The Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation Group is responsible for regulating airspace and managing airspace change proposals to ensure the safe, orderly and efficient flow of air traffic, cognisant of national security, the protection of the environment, and the equitable use of Australian airspace. It is also responsible for aerodrome certification and oversight of providers of communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management services.
The Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation Group comprises the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) and the Airways and Aerodromes (A&A) Branch. The OAR is responsible for exercising CASA's authority for airspace regulation. The A&A Branch oversees regulatory development, operator certification and ongoing surveillance of activities relating to instrument approach design and approval, aerodromes, navigation standards and navigation, communications and surveillance infrastructure, air traffic controller training and licensing and air traffic service provision.
Air Transport Operations Group
Acting Group General Manager at 30 June 2009: Clive Adams
The Air Transport Operations Group (ATOG) is responsible for the safety oversight of aviation organisations for large passenger-carrying aircraft (weighing more than 5,700 kilograms). ATOG also monitors safety performance of airlines and maintenance organisations in the air transport sector across Australia and maintains safety oversight of foreign aircraft operating into and out of Australia.
ATOG conducts surveillance activities on foreign and domestic airlines. As part of CASA's overall risk-based approach, ATOG surveillance consists of regular scheduled auditing of operators, as well as 'no notice' and ad hoc surveillance activities.
ATOG is also responsible for certifying air operators within Australia, and ensures that maintenance organisations that carry out work on Australian-registered aircraft in Australia and overseas are appropriately certified.
2009-10 will see the amalgamation of the General Aviation Operations Group and ATOG into a single entity known as 'CASA Operations'. The unified group will benefit from efficiency gains in elements such as resources, processes and tools, but it will retain the distinctive capabilities and skill sets required for oversight of both the Air Transport sector and the General Aviation sector.
Airworthiness Engineering Group
Group General Manager: Mark Sinclair
On 14 July 2008 the Airworthiness Engineering Branch, formerly a part of the General Aviation Operations Group, became a discrete group. The Airworthiness Engineering Group is responsible for the overall safety oversight of engineering activities in the aviation industry, including the policy and process development for initial and continuing airworthiness and engineering standards. The Group is also responsible for analysis and certification of new technologies and systems, and for issuing and maintaining service difficulty reports and airworthiness directives, bulletins and advisory circulars.
Aviation Licensing Group
Acting Group General Manager: Simon Denby
The Aviation Licensing Group develops and administers standards for air transport and general aviation operations. The Group performs critical service delivery functions for CASA, including:
- aircraft registration
- licensing of flight crew and maintenance personnel
- aviation medical certification
- certification of maintenance training organisations.
Chief Financial Officer: Betty Edwards
The Finance Office is responsible for the functions of finance, procurement, property and security. It provides strategic advice and guidance to senior management on all matters relating to these functions, to facilitate the achievement of CASA's corporate goals. The office is also responsible for implementing relevant statutory requirements and undertaking all associated corporate and financial reporting.
General Aviation Operations Group
Group General Manager: Greg Hood
The General Aviation Operations Group deals with operations of aircraft outside the regular public transport sector. This includes business jets, passenger aircraft below 5,700 kilograms maximum take-off weight, fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and aircraft used in specialist roles such as search and rescue. It also includes recreational and sports aviation, private flying and pilot training, important sectors of the general aviation industry that are growing in popularity.
In 2008-09 the group also included the national Flight Training and Testing Office. The office is responsible for CASA's conduct of flight tests, centralised oversight of approved testing officers, and development of flying training policy and procedures. The office also assists flying training schools and technical staff to achieve a consistent approach to flying training policy and procedures.
Human Resources Group
Head: Gary Harbor
The Human Resources Group consults with and advises CASA staff on all employment and workplace-related matters. The group's aim is to develop and maintain an integrated approach to managing CASA's human resource and staffing strategies to meet the goals of the organisation. The group facilitates CASA's organisational development strategies and the national training program. It drafts and implements policy on staff and industrial relations, including conditions of service, payroll, occupational health and safety, and learning and development.
Information Services Group
Chief Information Officer: Chris Farrelley
The Information Services Group supports CASA's ongoing information and communication technology operations. This includes periodically refreshing and upgrading technology employed by CASA to improve the stability of business and corporate systems. The group is also involved in the development of new information and communication technology solutions and the ongoing enhancement of CASA's information management systems.
Legal Services Group
Head: Jonathan Aleck
The Legal Services Group provides a full range of legal assistance, advice and support to CASA managers and staff, as well as handling matters in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Court, responding to summonses and subpoenas, and assisting in aspects of CASA's involvement in coronial inquests and litigation.
The Legal Services Group also provides advice on legislative drafting matters and assists staff to prepare regulatory and other documents, such as drafting instructions. It is responsible for drafting subordinate civil aviation legislation and all manner of statutory instruments.
The group is also the focal point for the coordination of all CASA's enforcement activity. It issues infringement notices, carries out investigations under Part IIIA of the Civil Aviation Act and refers briefs to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Planning and Governance Office
Head: Peter Boyd
The Planning and Governance Office coordinates CASA's interaction with a range of government, industry and international stakeholders, as well as assisting CASA staff with the handling of correspondence and parliamentary matters such as Senate estimates committee hearings and other parliamentary inquiries.
The Planning and Governance Office manages and coordinates CASA's standards setting function, from managing consultation with the industry on regulatory development proposals through to issuing discussion papers, notices of proposed rule making and regulation impact statements.
The Planning and Governance Office is also responsible for the delivery of a range of communication services, including media relations, development and delivery of safety education and communication programs (including the magazine Flight Safety Australia), and management of CASA's internet and intranet content. The office also plays a role in providing advice on strategic matters, and coordinates and communicates CASA's corporate and operational strategies and plans.
Changes to structure and senior management
- The former Airworthiness Engineering Branch became the Airworthiness Engineering Group on 14 July 2008.
- The Personnel Licensing, Education and Training Group was renamed the Aviation Licensing Group in May 2009, and some of its functions were transferred to the Corporate Relations Branch of the Planning and Governance Group.
- Bruce Byron completed his appointment as Director of Aviation Safety and Chief Executive Officer.
- Shane Carmody resigned as Deputy Chief Executive Officer Strategy and Support.
- Rob Wight resigned as Senior Manager Air Transport Operations.
- Ian Hosegood resigned as Principal Medical Officer.
- Steven Bennett resigned as Manager Northern Region Field Office.
- Stewart McAlister retired as Manager Southern Region Field Office.
- John McCormick was appointed as Director of Aviation Safety and Chief Executive Officer.
- Greg Hood was appointed as Group General Manager General Aviation Operations.
- Greg Vaughan was transferred from Group General Manager General Aviation Operations
- and appointed as General Manager Regulatory Implementation.
- Simon Denby was appointed as Group General Manager Aviation Licensing.
- Mark Sinclair was appointed as Group General Manager Airworthiness Engineering.
- Pooshan Navathe was appointed as Principal Medical Officer.
- Gerard Campbell was appointed as Manager Northern Region Field Office.
- Owen Richards was appointed as Manager Southern Region Field Office.
2009-10 will see changes to the CASA structure to better align our functions with the roles and functions of the organisation as articulated in section 9 of the Civil Aviation Act. CASA's new structure takes effect on 1 July 2009 and will replace the former 'groups' with 'divisions'. Some Divisions will have direct responsibility and accountability for performing the safety-related functions as prescribed by the Act. They are:
- Office of the Director of Aviation Safety
- Standards Development and New Technology Division
- CASA Operations Division
- Safety Analysis and Education Division
- Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation Division
- Industry Permissions Division
- Legal Services Division.
A Corporate Services Division, whose role is to provide the necessary support functions to enable the above Divisions to perform their safety-related functions, has also been created under the new structure, and includes CASA's Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology functions.
Stronger governance will underlie CASA's new structure, delivered through the CASA Board and a number of strategic and governance-related functions that sit in the newly created Office of the Director of Aviation Safety.
CASA's total forecast revenue for 2009-10 is $152.77 million, comprising:
- $46.36 million from ordinary government appropriations
- $81.35 million from special appropriations (excise revenue on aviation fuel used in domestic air travel)
- $15.00 million collected for regulatory services provided to the aviation industry
- $7.50 million from other cost recovery and purchaser-provider arrangements
- $1.75 million from interest
- $0.80 million from other income.