Terms of Reference
Regional airspace and procedures advisory committee (RAPAC)
The Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committees (RAPAC) are primarily state based, coordinated and facilitated by CASA for discussion of matters relating to airspace and procedures within the Australian Flight Information Regions (FIRs)
1. Purpose and objectives
The primary role of Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committees (RAPACs) is to enable airspace users and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) at regional level to give effect to CASA’s safety-related function of promoting full and effective consultation and communication with all interested parties on aviation safety issues(1), as well as CASA's strategic goal of enhancing relationships with key aviation participants(2).
The objectives of the RAPACs located regionally are:
- to provide a forum for civil and military airspace users, government and private aviation organisations, air navigation and communication service providers, and other stakeholders to discuss any aviation matters, including airspace and procedures of a regional and/or national importance;
- to provide advice, recommendations or comment to CASA and other stakeholders on policies, procedures and programmes relating to airspace or procedures;
- to provide a mechanism for airspace users and stakeholders to raise airspace and procedural issues, and, submit for discussion proposals for change;
- to promote safe, economic and efficient airspace management; and
- to inform, primarily through electronic distribution, national industry associations and organisations of matters coming to its attention which may have national application or implication.
2. Scope and Authority
RAPAC is a forum to provide civil and military airspace users, government and private aviation organisations, air navigation and communication service providers, and, members of the wider Australian Aviation community to discuss any aviation matters, including airspace and procedures of regional and/or national importance.
Agenda items for discussion and review are submitted by participating stakeholders or their nominated representatives to the RAPAC Secretariat. Items submitted must have relevance to airspace users and relate to matters of airspace and procedures on a regional and/or national basis.
As a consultative forum, RAPAC may only provide advice, general comment and make recommendations. The committee does not have authority to regulate or make determinations on matters under discussion, regardless of the authority of any individual member.
Recommendations may be general for consideration by all or a number of members may be directed at a specific member organisation or may be directed at a party external to the committee through a nominated member.
Recommendations arising from RAPAC meetings will be documented in the minutes and relevant outcomes of those recommendations reported in subsequent meetings.
3. Membership and Roles
RAPAC is a committee consisting of airspace users, aviation organisations and other relevant stakeholders. Membership to RAPAC is open to all significant airspace users through their major industry associations/organisations or independently.
Additional representatives may attend in support of an organisation/stakeholder’s nominated representative for specific issues. Additional representatives will have observer status at the meeting.
Non-airspace users with specific interest in an agenda topic can be invited to attend as observers.
CASA will provide a Chairperson for each meeting. In the event that CASA cannot provide an officer to chair the meeting, and the meeting cannot practically be rescheduled until such time as a CASA chair can attend, the Industry Convenor or Secretariat can act as Chair.
3.3. Committee Representatives
Committee representatives table issues on behalf of the organisation and/or stakeholder they formally represent. Responsibilities include:
- acting on behalf of their organisation/stakeholder;
- communicating outcomes back to the organisation/stakeholder they represent;
- actioning as necessary items specific to, or affecting, the organisation/stakeholder they represent; and
- liaising as necessary with the relevant Industry Convenor.
3.4. Industry Convenor
At the first meeting of each calendar year the committee representatives of each RAPAC elect one member to act as industry convenor. This is only necessary if the convenor for the previous year does not wish to continue in the role.
The primary responsibility of the industry convenor is to represent industry and act on their behalf without prejudice. The convenor’s responsibilities also include:
- chairing industry only meetings;
- following up committee recommendations as required;
- acting as a liaison officer between committee members and the Secretariat as appropriate;
- compiling and aggregating industry responses and presenting these to the Secretariat.
CASA provides secretariat services for all RAPAC meetings, including production and distribution of minutes, correspondence, working papers and similar material.
The CASA secretariat prepares and disseminates the minutes of each RAPAC meeting. All registered members, their parent bodies and meeting attendees will receive notification on the availability of the minutes by email.
Minutes will be posted on RAPAC page of the CASA website.
4. Conduct of meetings
4.1. Meeting Frequency and Schedule
The RAPAC meeting schedule for each region will be coordinated nationally through the CASA RAPAC secretariat. The schedule is published at the end of year for the following year on the CASA website. Notification on the availability of the schedule will be sent to RAPAC nationally by the RAPAC Secretariat via email.
The industry Convenor may hold an industry-only meeting prior to the scheduled RAPAC meeting. The industry-only meeting excludes government agencies. CASA secretariat support is not available for these meetings.
Extraordinary RAPAC meetings may be convened in addition to the published schedule. CASA and the regional industry convenor must agree to the timing of such meetings.
4.2. Notification and Agenda
Notice to members of an upcoming meeting will be disseminated approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date. The initial meeting agenda will be attached to the notice.
Discussion papers and agenda items should be sent to the CASA RAPAC Secretariat as early as possible, or at the latest, 1 week prior to the scheduled meeting. A final agenda that includes papers submitted for discussion and information relevant to a particular item will be disseminated to members via e-mail, approximately 2 days prior to the scheduled meeting. Printed copies of the final agenda will be provided by the secretariat at the meeting.
Short notice items may be included in general business, however where possible the secretariat should be advised before the meeting. Agenda items or discussion papers submitted to the meeting must contain information relating to the proponent, description of proposal, justification and desired outcomes.
Meetings may be held in any venue nominated by CASA, having regard to its practicality for the majority of regular attendees. Where necessary, CASA will cover the cost of hiring a venue.
4.4. Meeting Procedure and Operation
Agenda items will be discussed in an informal manner. Wherever possible, consensus of members on each topic will be sought. Each agenda item will conclude with a recommendation, action item and/or general comment.
All agenda items will be deemed closed or ongoing. Issues subject to an action item will include the name of an individual or organisation tasked with the action. Results of actions will be included in the agenda for the following meeting.
If there is any issue where consensus cannot be reached, the resolution or recommendation may note representatives' dissention or abstention to the majority view.
All items on the agenda should be discussed before any item may be raised for discussion that is not on the agenda. Such ad-hoc items should only be considered with the consent of the chair and the majority of attendees.
4.5. Tracking and reporting of outcomes
Those tasked with an action may receive a reminder notification by the regional secretariat. However it is the responsibility of the actioning officer to complete the task allocated.
Attendees tasked with an action item should be prepared to report against that action item at the next meeting and subsequent meetings until the item is closed.
The minutes of each meeting act as a mechanism for tracking and reporting of outcomes.
5. Working Parties
RAPAC may establish working parties to examine problems or proposals requiring specialist input or detailed analysis.
The committee will provide each working party specific terms of reference appropriate to the task, and an expected time for its completion.
RAPAC will appoint its own coordinator for the working party.
On completion of each task the working party shall report to the RAPAC proposals and/or recommendations. Dissenting views may be noted in the final report.
CASA secretariat support is not available to working parties.
6. Relationship to other committees or key stakeholders
Contents of meeting minutes are posted on the CASA website. This allows information presented and records of discussion to be utilised or referenced by other committees or organisations.
7. Terms of Reference Review
The TOR will be reviewed by CASA, RAPAC Secretariat and Industry Convenors. This process should be completed every 3 years at a time agreed to by all participants.
- Paragraph 9 (2) (b) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988.
- CASA Corporate Plan 2009-10 to 2011-12.