CASA today suspended their 2020 customer satisfaction survey after AOPA Australia posted a direct link to the survey company last week.
CASA sent a one-time link to 6600 participants only, but AOPA Australia last week provided the aviation industry with a direct link to survey company Faster Horses that would allow anyone in the industry to provide input.
According to CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody, AOPA's action compromised the survey by allowing more than the selected 6600 to participate.
“One aviation association has been promoting a manipulated link to the online survey effectively destroying the sampling methodology behind the research,” he said.
“Reluctantly we have been forced to put the survey on hold because we can no longer be confident the survey will accurately and fairly represent the views of all sectors of the aviation community.
“I apologise to anyone who has already legitimately completed the survey for the disruption to the process and can assure them their views will still be heard.”
Accordiing to CASA, the suspension was done on the advice of Faster Horses.
In posting the link, AOPA CEO Ben Morgan accused CASA of deliberately selecting a narrow band of participants to get the results they wanted, and that in posting the direct link, AOPA sought to enable anyone to give their views.
"CASA [has] clearly only sent this survey to a very narrow band of recipients ... I have some very strong views on why CASA would be looking to block a broader participation in this survey, mainly because they just don't want to hear what many people in this industry have got to say; a case of seeking to survey for answers that they want, not answers that they need."
AOPA made it clear that the link they posted was provided by neither the survey company nor CASA, but enabled people outside the selected 6600 to participate as well.
Morgan told Australian Flying that it was not AOPA's intent to stop the survey and slammed CASA for what it says is further proof that CASA is shying away from genuine feedback.
"CASA actions [in suspending the survey] confirm the long-held view of the industry, which is that CASA does not genuinely want to hear genuine feedback. I think for them to have suspended the survey just confirms that position.
"I think its very sad that CASA is incapable of accepting that the views of the industry differ greatly from their own, and if they want to exist in an echo chamber, I believe we're going to see just more of the same from CASA.
"They have to start recognising that the only way they will address their problems is to start listening to the feedback of the industry and stop discrediting the feeback of the industry, and allowing that feedback to guide them."
Morgan also stated that AOPA's action in distributing the link was not intended to have the survey stopped, and that he felt CASA should still proceed.
"There is absolutely no reason as to why that survey cannot go ahead. CASA put the survey out stating they wanted open and frank feedback from those that interact with CASA. I know for a fact that we've got people who have been interacting with CASA AVMED for the past six, 12 or 18 months that have incredible experience dealing with CASA.
"They're wanting to provide their feedback. You've got people who have dealt with all manner of activities inside of CASA who want to provide their feedback. This is an industry that wants to help CASA solve its problems, and yet again here we have another example of CASA playing games.
"This was a political charm offensive launched by CASA."
The last CASA satisfaction survey was done in 2018 by Colmar Brunton. AOPA Australia slammed the survey and subsequent report, calling it biased because it did not include AOPA Australia, AMROBA or the SAAA in the sampling.
CASA says the methodology used for the 2020 survey was chosen so that it could be compared with the 2018 outcomes.
CASA is now seeking further advice from Faster Horses.