Swinburne University Aviation Seminar
A summary of the advances in CASA since 2009 and CASA's regulatory reform agenda
Thank you for the invitation from Dr Peter Bruce to speak to you today.
Since 2009, there is a long list of programs, initiatives and activities that have been successfully concluded that benefit both aviation safety and the improved performance of CASA.
These include the making of the maintenance suite of regulations, changes to procedures at non-towered and Class D aerodromes, retaining Australia's category one rating by the United States, finalising an agreement that gives general aviation parts manufacturers easier access to the United States market, establishing a branch to support the management of industry delegates and strengthening our safety oversight of key sectors.
Important projects, such as the ageing aircraft program and the review of pilot proficiency records are also significant achievements.
All of this activity is on top of our day-to-day business which is vital for the continued safe operation of the Australian aviation system.
But today, I would like to focus on the internal reform that has been taking place in CASA to make us a more effective regulator and to give you an overview of CASA's regulatory reform program.
Since joining CASA it became clear to me that the organisation had lost its focus from its core functions as set out in section 9 of the Civil Aviation Act.
Organisationally, we have restructured CASA to align with the Civil Aviation Act.
CASA must be a regulator that is focused on its legislated safety-related functions and responsibilities and on delivering a consistent message to industry on safety and related regulatory matters.
We have re-established a Standards division within CASA to be the focal point for the development of our regulations, standards and regulatory policies.
This change has already started to provide dividends however, in terms of achieving progress with regulatory reform - which I will address later.
CASA has recently undertaken a number of reforms to strengthen its governance including the development of an overall governance manual, the clearer documentation of policies, processes and procedures, targeted training to improve workforce capability, an enhanced accountability framework and the deployment of more resources to surveillance and oversight.
There have been changes to the senior management structure, with a Deputy Director who is focusing on the development of key aspects of Australia's State Safety Program and CASA's Safety Management System, and an Associate Director who oversees the further development of CASA's regulatory and governance policies and practices.
We have created a dedicated Safety Education and Promotion Division.
They use a range of professional communications and marketing techniques to develop and deliver safety promotion campaigns.
These campaigns result in the dissemination of safety information and promotional materials to the aviation community, via the most effective and timely communication methods and channels.
Safety Promotion also produces Flight Safety Australia magazine, which is available to aviation industry professionals nationally and internationally.
Safety Education and Promotion is also responsible for CASA's regulatory and technical training which is delivered through a National Training Framework for CASA regulatory staff and industry delegates.
I am committed to ensuring that CASA staff have the training they need to be the most effective they can be, and that the aviation industry has the education available to it that it needs.
We have created a new Central region, covering South Australia and the Northern Territory. This will allow staff in the Western region to focus on Western Australia and people in the Northern region to concentrate on North Queensland.
The change will mean CASA can provide better safety oversight of areas of growing aviation activity, such as flying associated with the mining boom, as well as continuing to have a strong presence in North Queensland.
In addition to this we have strengthened our presence across northern and western Australia - with CASA offices now in Broome, Gove, Horn Island and Kununurra.
At the same time we are maintaining our assistance to our international neighbours in Indonesia, PNG and the Pacific.
Consistent with our expectations of operators, we recognise that it is important that we better utilise data to drive our risk-based approach to surveillance.
To achieve this end, we have created a Safety Systems Office. Safety Systems will form the core area that provides the standardised methodologies, models, and, importantly, essential analysis and coordination functions that will enable CASA to perform the most effective safety oversight of the Australian aviation industry.
While we do have a strong history of aviation safety, we cannot rest on our past achievements.
The establishment and implementation of the Safety Systems Office is an important development towards CASA's achieving its goal of improved aviation safety outcomes for Australia.
The Safety Systems Office, together with the associated Regulatory Safety Management Program, will further improve CASA's ability to deal effectively with both immediate safety issues and longer term strategic safety considerations.
We have also continued the transformation of the Operations Division from where they were - divided between the RPT and General Aviation as separate groups which limited flexibility and resource usage towards a certificate management team approach.
Certificate Management Teams (CMT)
One of our obligations, both under the State Safety Program and in accordance with s.9 of the Act is to conduct comprehensive industry surveillance.
I consider it imperative that CASA adopt a standardised approach to surveillance and planning across the traditional Air Transport and General Aviation operational areas.
CASA is introducing a new organisational structure at the regional office level utilising the Certificate Management Team (CMT) approach.
The CMT approach focuses on surveillance and regulatory services to industry in a multi-disciplinary team-based approach and contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of regional office management. Responsibility and accountability is strengthened through the empowerment of Certificate Management Team Leaders.
Following a review of the trial documentation, supplemented through my own discussions with staff involved in the trial in Melbourne, and more broadly around Australia, I have decided that the CMT approach will be adopted as a way to structure and work within our regional offices around the country.
The adoption of CMT in regional offices will include the implementation of the CMT structure and the introduction of a standard working methodology.
CMT will allow the adoption of nationally standardised and more efficient planning processes, for the conduct and review of allocated certificates (both AOC and COA) by a dedicated multi-disciplinary team.
The CMT structure better utilises CASA's Safety Systems Inspectors and provides an enhanced support network for decision making.
The CMT framework provides a meeting structure whereby resources can be managed on a daily basis and activity can be better allocated through the identification of surveillance priorities by individual CMTs.
This will move CASA further towards risk-based surveillance and will assist Regional Managers through the devolution of responsibilities and decision-making.
The CMT structure also further minimises the traditional AT/GA divide and promotes a one-CASA approach and improved consistency in decision-making.
CASA have been making significant progress in the regulatory reform program.
We have established a taskforce between CASA and the Attorney General's Department.
The taskforce comprises CASA staff who develop and instruct on our regulatory policies and legal drafters from the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing (OLDP) who turn these policies into legislation.
Finalising and implementing the outstanding CASR suites involves a huge amount of work and considerable resources for CASA and the OLDP.
We are also aware that it can be a challenge for industry having to review and comment on our consultation documents and draft regulations.
In addition to drafting the legal text of the new regulations, we also have to ensure that we publish adequate advisory and guidance material, supported by training and education materials, for both industry and CASA staff.
Since 2009 we have made a number of key advances in the regulatory reform program.
- New maintenance regulations, CASR Parts 42, 66, 145 and 147.
- CASR Part 21 M, new regulation for designs of modifications of, and repairs to, aircraft, aircraft engines, propellers and appliances,
- CAR 166 & 166A, amendments for circuit procedures at, and carriage and use of radio at, or in the vicinity of non-towered aerodromes,
- MOS Part 172, changes to GAAP, Class D and miscellaneous air traffic procedures,
- CASR 22-35, amendments to airworthiness standards to bring them in line with FARs and EASA CSs, and
- CAO 82.5 and 82.3, implementation of safety management systems and human factors training for RPT operators.
CASA's priorities in regulatory development include:
Part 91 will form a complete set of operating rules for current 'private' operations, and will supplement the operating rules applicable to corporate/business, air experience, aerial work, and air transport operations.
The requirements of Part 91 form the basis for safe aviation operations (which are not repeated in other operations parts) so all pilots will need to become familiar with the Part 91 regulations.
It also prescribes the basic requirements for aircraft emergency equipment, weight and balance and radio and navigation equipment carriage.
Key points in Part 91 include:
- Making minimum height rules requiring aircraft to be flown at such a height that would enable a forced landing without undue hazard.
- New provision for fitness of crew members for duty.
- Performance and flight crew training requirements for larger helicopters.
- Incorporating new a new requirement for 'risk' briefing of passengers before boarding non-air transport flights.
- Adding requirements for in-flight fuel management.
Part 119 relates to the issuing of Air Operators Certificates to Australian air operators.
- Part 119 will provide a single standard for regular public transport and charter operations and require identification of key personnel as defined in the Civil Aviation Act.
- Establishment of a Safety Manager.
- Making the CEO accountable for the safety system and regulatory compliance.
- Requirement to develop and maintain a Safety Management System.
- Requirement to provide for crew training and checking (or arrange for Part 142 Training and Checking organisation to carry out the function).
Part 121 will set the minimum acceptable standards applicable to larger aeroplanes (over ten seats) that are conducting passenger or cargo transport operations, regardless of whether charter or regular public transport operations are involved.
Part 121 will consolidate into one CASR Part the regulatory requirements that will apply in addition to, or in substitution for, the general operating and flight rules prescribed in Part 91 when using larger aeroplanes for air transport operations.
The Part will replace all affected CARs and CAOs.
It will largely cover the same regulatory areas as now, but with a few additions,, mostly to give effect to ICAOs Annex 6 Part 1 SARPS.
Key Points that will be in the consultation draft include:
- More comprehensive provisions for fuel carriage requirements and alternate aerodrome requirements with respect to operations outside Australia.
- Another change will be for flight and cabin crew members to be subjected to more comprehensive training and checking requirements.
Part 129 will prescribe the requirements for foreign operators operating foreign registered aircraft to, within or from Australian territory on air transport operations that are not regulated domestic flights.
Key Points that will be in the consultation draft include:
- Implement a standard that mandates a common crew member language and that requires flight crew members to be able to communicate with air traffic control in English.
- Use of Operational Specifications as a schedule to the Air Operators Certificate.
- Refinement of maintenance and airworthiness requirements applicable to aircraft operated by Part 129 operators.
Australia is one of several nations that issues Air Operators Certificates to foreign operators and Part 129 will harmonise with other overseas regulations where appropriate.
Part 133 applies to the operation of a rotorcraft for an Australian air transport operation.
The proposed regulations will introduce a single standard for air transport operations, whether unscheduled or scheduled.
The applicability and standards of Part 133 are aligned closely to Australia’s obligations as a member State of ICAO and to CASA's hierarchy of priorities within the Classification of Civil Aviation Activities Policy for rotorcraft.
Key points that will be in the consultation draft include:
- Link requirements under VFR at night to be more directly to the requirements for IFR operations.
- Safety-based outcomes for overwater flights: establish procedures, training and recency.
- Rotorcraft performance standards based on ICAO requirements.
The proposed regulations will set the minimum acceptable standards applicable to small aeroplanes (9 seats and below) that are conducting Australian air transport operations.
They will set in place a common level of safety for operators who are authorised to provide 'Air transport operations' - an amalgamation of current charter and regular public transport operations and standards - in order to carry passengers in small aeroplanes.
The common level of safety will apply irrespective of whether an operation is scheduled or non-scheduled as described by ICAO in Part I of Annex 6.
Key points that will be in the consultation draft include:
- More comprehensive provisions for fuel carriage requirements.
- Take-off alternates within 60 minutes to align with ICAO requirement.
- Operations beyond 25nm to have safe forced landing area when over water.
- Aircraft under IFR with 6 or more passengers to have TAWS (B).
- Training and checking requirements in line with complexity of operation.
The proposed regulations will be a re-establishment of the requirement for a dedicated set of operational regulations for rotorcraft aerial work operations.
The Part will bring together requirements affecting aerial work operations that apply in addition to or in substitution for those required under Part 91 and will also establish the general standards for aerial work for both rotorcraft and aeroplanes.
Key points that will be in the consultation draft include:
- It will establish a modernised aerial work classification and certification basis.
- Operators will be required to have an appropriate training and checking system to conduct the training and checking programs called up by the operating rules.
- All flight crew, safety critical ground support personnel and task specialist crew members will be required to be trained and checked to an appropriate level for the complexity of the operation.
- Allowance for the carriage of passengers in certain aerial work operations.
- A significant upgrade of specific aerial work operational regulations based on the measurable risks of the operations.
- Requirement for an active safety risk management process to be in place for operations conducted.
Part 61 will prescribe the requirements and standards for the issue of flight crew licences, ratings and other authorisations, including those issued to pilots and flight engineers.
It will also include the privileges, limitations and conditions on such authorisations, and include rules for the logging of flight time.
This will bring flight crew licensing requirements in line with ICAO SARPs.
It will also set pilot licences to be a single licence for each of recreational, private, commercial and airline transport with the provision to have one or more aircraft category ratings attached (as per the US system).
Part 61 will include flight engineers and other flight crew essential to the operation of the aircraft.
CASR Part 64 will prescribe the requirements for the licensing of ground operations personnel including the privileges, limitations and conditions on such provisions.
The aim of Part 64 is to create licensing standards that both conform to ICAO Annex 1 requirements and best international practice, but provide more flexible and streamlined arrangements without compromising safety.
Part 64 is designed to consolidate the existing rules governing the licensing of ground operations personnel into the CASR style and format.
Part 141 will specify requirements and standards for flight training, including those relating to training facilities, aircraft, procedures, management systems, standards/manuals, and personnel/safety operations for training relating to recreational, private and commercial pilot flight training, other than integrated training.
Part 141 will address training for the grant of recreational, private and commercial licences and other single pilot flight crew qualifications (will not extend to integrated training).
It will also address training conducted both in aircraft and in flight simulation training devices.
Part 141 will also:
- Have requirement to develop and implement a Safety Management System.
- Simplified administrative and organisational requirements for operators conducting flight training for grant of recreational, private and commercial licences.
- Require an authorisation in place of an Air Operators Certificate.
CASR Part 142 will prescribe the organisational and administrative framework for issuing Part 142 authorisations for operators to conduct integrated flight training for a Private or Commercial pilot licences and other licences, and ratings required for multi-crew flight operations in addition to contracted recurrent training and checking.
Part 142 will require an Air Operators Certificate for authorised activities conducted in aircraft or an authorisation for activities conducted in flight simulation training devices.
It will also regulate integrated training courses for the grant of a Private or Commercial pilot licence and simplify the administrative and organisational requirements for operators conducting flight training for the grant of private, commercial and other licences required for multi-crew operations.
Key points in Part 142 include:
- Requirement to develop and implement a Safety Management System.
- Requirement for an Air Operators Certificate for authorised activities conducted in aircraft or an Authorisation for activities conducted in flight simulation training devices.
- Simplified administrative and organisational requirements for operators conducting flight training for grant of recreational, private, commercial and other licences for multi-crew operations.
- Regulates integrated training courses for the grant of a Private or Commercial pilot licence, flight training for a qualifications specified in CASR Part 61 that authorise a person to conduct multi-crew operations, including associated ratings and endorsements, flight training for the grant of a transport category aircraft type rating.
It is important to note that making the regulations is only the first step. There are also considerable implementation issues for both CASA and the industry to ensure that these regulations are put in place safely and effectively.
There are many other challenges facing CASA and the aviation industry into the future.
There are potential shortages of safety critical personnel, as the industry is faced with an increasing age demographic and international competition for skilled staff. The mining boom continues to draw people who may have once entered aviation.
New technologies ranging from UAVs to large composite aircraft are entering service, while at the same time the use of ageing aircraft is an increasing feature of the Australian aviation environment.
These are all significant challenges, but we are a different organisation from what we were in the past, and we have a long term commitment to ensuring that CASA is an organisation that
- Provide comprehensive, consistent and effective regulation to enhance aviation safety;
- Strives for continuous improvement and good governance, and
- Endeavours to form effective and appropriate relationships with the wider aviation community.
To achieve this we will continue to focus on:
- Standardisation, consistency and efficiency,
- Continue to build the skills of CASA staff,
- Delivery of regulatory services,
- Successful implementation of new regulations, and of course,
- Ongoing surveillance of the Australian aviation industry.