Significant judicial decisions
On 2 October 2009, the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia gave judgment in the matter of Civil Aviation Safety Authority v Central Aviation Pty Ltd  FCAFC 137, allowing an appeal by CASA from a judgment of a single judge of the court (Perram J) which had been given on 6 February 2009. The initial appeal heard by Perram J was an appeal from a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal setting aside CASA’s decision to cancel the Certificate of Approval held by Central Aviation.
CASA had appealed from Perram J’s judgment on the grounds that, having determined that CASA should succeed on its appeal, his Honour decided not to set aside the tribunal’s decision, but rather to refer the matter back to the tribunal for it to provide further written reasons for its decision. CASA contended that the tribunal’s decision should have been set aside and remitted to the tribunal for rehearing.
CASA also appealed on the ground that Perram J had misconstrued the proper meaning of r. 30 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988.
Although CASA was unsuccessful in its argument on the r. 30 issue, the Full Bench accepted CASA’s contention that Perram J erred in failing to set aside the tribunal’s decision and remit it for rehearing. The court ordered that the tribunal’s decision (setting aside the cancellation of the Certificate of Approval) should be set aside and remitted to the tribunal for rehearing.
Federal Court prohibition orders
In accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 1988, CASA may suspend a civil aviation authorisation for five business days where there is a serious and imminent safety risk. Such suspensions then cease unless CASA applies to the Federal Court for a prohibition order before the expiry of the five-day period. CASA made no applications to the Federal Court for a prohibition order during 2009-10.