Part 145 approval certificate presentation
by Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick, 24 August 2011
Hawker Pacific Airline Support Services, Cairns
Alan Smith, Jim Pilkington, Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you all for having myself, Peter Fereday and Owen Richards from CASA here today at your facility in Cairns.
I understand this maintenance and repair centre opened in 2005 and cost about $9 million to set up.
That's a big commitment to aviation in this region and a strong indication you believe aviation in Far North Queensland has a vibrant future.
Since opening you have also moved the Hawker Pacific aircraft modifications operations to Cairns, further strengthening this centre.
And this maintenance, repair and modification centre is adjacent to Australian Avionics – a Hawker Pacific subsidiary which is seen as one of the world's leading avionics supply and installation companies.
You have chosen Cairns as the location for these operations because you can serve markets across a wide region.
On your doorstep is northern Australia, where aviation activity is growing across all sectors.
But even more importantly, from this Cairns-based facility you can service the aviation needs of a wide range of air operators across South-East Asia and the Pacific.
This is the fastest growing aviation market in the world, with growth set to continue for many years to come as nations such as China and India grow their national wealth and increase their demands for air services.
To be able to compete in this market is vitally important for the future of the Australian aviation industry.
Australian aviation is strong and does have a proud history, but aviation is an international business and we must look for opportunities on the world stage.
For Australian aviation to be able to complete globally there needs to be a number of foundation stones in place.
We must have a skilled and well trained workforce, aviation organisations with the highest commitment to safety and the flexibility to adopt new technologies and operating practices.
A key part of these foundations is a set of aviation safety regulations that is strong and contemporary.
To the outsider safety regulations are not particularly visible – people see aircraft, hangars, tools and highly skilled people flying and maintaining aircraft.
But to those of us who are part of the aviation industry, we know that safety regulations underpin just about everything we do.
From the day we start our training to establish our careers in aviation until the day we sign off, regulations are our companion.
At times this can seem onerous, yet I think everyone who is truly committed to aviation knows that without the foundation of a strong set of safety regulations the reputation of aviation as the safest and most reliable form of transport would be lost.
Maintaining effective regulations means they must be regularly reviewed, tested and if necessary updated.
That task is one of CASA's core responsibilities - making sure we have relevant, appropriate and up-to-date safety regulations.
We do this in consultation with the aviation industry and we are more than half way through a major program of regulatory review at this time.
In June this year we introduced a new suite of maintenance regulations which brings Australia's maintenance standards in line with modern international practices.
The new regulations cover the maintenance of regular public transport aircraft and aeronautical products – exactly the type of work done by Hawker Pacific Airline Support Services.
There are also new rules covering licensed aircraft maintenance engineers and maintenance training organisations.
In fact, all licensed aircraft maintenance engineers have been issued new licences – a big task for CASA, with more than 7000 licences having to be processed.
With that task completed successfully, the focus is now on transitioning aviation maintenance organisations that carry out work on regular public transport aircraft across to the new regulations.
In total about 250 maintenance organisations will be moved across to the new rules by June 2013.
Today, we are marking the successful transition of the first maintenance organisation to the new regulations – Hawker Pacific Airline Support Services.
This is an important milestone for Australian aviation and I congratulate you for your achievement.
Yet again you have highlighted the leading role of Cairns in Australian aviation.
You have chosen to be the first Australian maintenance organisation to move to the new regulations because there are tangible benefits from the regulatory changes we have made.
The new regulations both enhance safety and offer international competitive advantages.
Safety will be improved because the new rules introduce requirements for safety management systems and human factors training into the maintenance sector for the first time.
This is an important improvement and I am pleased that you recognised the advantages a safety management system could bring to Hawker Pacific Airline Support Services about three years ago and introduced your own system ahead of the regulatory requirement.
Your proactive decisions in this area are to be commended.
For Hawker Pacific Airline Support Services I am sure one of the most attractive features of the new regulations will be operating in a regulatory framework which is recognised across international aviation.
These new regulations will help make your business here in Cairns more competitive in the world aviation market.
The new rules can assist you to win new business, which is good for your company, the Australian aviation industry and the economy of Cairns.
I am very pleased to present you with this approval certificate under Part 145 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
Hawker Pacific Airline Support Services has a place in the history books by being the first maintenance organisation in Australia to receive a Part 145 certificate.