The Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA) and AOPA Australia have both slammed the make-up of CASA's new Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), saying that it marginalises the bulk of general aviation.
CASA announced the new panel last week, which in time will replace several other consultative bodies currently in place. Initial members of ASAP are:
- Virgin Australia
- Australian Airports Association
- The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF)
- Regional Aviation Association of Australia
- Recreational Aviation Australia
"Once again we have a committee without GA representation," AMROBA Executive Director Ken Cannane told Australian Flying. "I have many comments from our members that the top and bottom of aviation is represented but the nucleus in the middle (GA) is not."
AOPA Australia Executive Director Ben Morgan said ASAP was unlikely to be effective without proper GA representation.
"This is incredibly disappointing," Morgan said. "It doesn't matter how CASA puts this, it's a cheerleading squad. Having an advisory panel that excludes some voices dilutes its effectiveness.
"Consultation should be open and free dialogue with the whole industry, not just some sections of it.
"What does it mean going forward? Not a thing! If this panel is so important, why is it going to meet only three or four times a year?
"It appears to me that Shane Carmody has fallen victim to the same thing that other Directors of Aviation Safety have done: the first thing they do is restructure their industry panels. Carmody has shown that this could just be business as usual."
When asked to respond, a CASA spokesperson said "CASA looks forward to continuing working with all our industry stakeholders.
"Both AOPA and AMROBA are members of the TAAAF and we are confident that the three TAAAF members on the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) will represent all their membership.
"Importantly AOPA and AMROBA and the numerous other aviation associations will continue to have a valuable role in the technical advisory committees that also form part of our new approach to consultation."