A crowdfunding page under the name of the Australian Pilot Training Alliance (APTA) has been set up fund a legal challenge to CASA.
APTA and its owner Glen Buckley have been in a drawn-out battle with the regulator over the ability of APTA to trade under the original Part 142 approval. The fight has so far cost Buckley close to $1 million and has prevented APTA from earning an income.
Set-up by APTA Assistant Finance Officer Cale Johnston, the GoFundMe page hopes to raise $50,000 to enable a court challenge to CASA's for what APTA believes is a case of misregulation and violations of CASA's own regulatory philosophies.
"On the 23rd of October 2018, Glen Buckley, the owner of the Australian Pilot Training Alliance (APTA) was issued with a notice to cease all operations within 7 days by CASA," the GoFundMe preamble states. "This unconscionable Administrative Action was never formally acted upon by CASA nor amplified by any supporting documentation.
"CASA's actions was not taken on any safety concerns, and after 7 months, CASA still has been unable to state any specific breaches, although they have tried repeatedly to fabricate unsupported innuendo and avoid acknowledging the simple truth that they made a grave error in judgement.
" ... the veracity of the CASA assertions are clearly unsupportable and need to be tested in a court of law."
At the time of writing, the fund level had reached over $2600.
CASA issued APTA with a Part 142 approval that permitted the group to add new member flying schools that would share common managment and safety systems under the one AOC. After a change of Certificate Management Team at CASA, APTA was issued with the seven-day notice for infractions that were later shown to be incorrect statements. The seven-day notice was later amended to three months whilst CASA tried to determine if the model was legal or not. During that period, CASA stopped processing APTA requests, which plunged the company into finanical strife.
The full story is told in the September-October print edition of Australian Flying.
More information on the crowdfunding campaign is on the GoFundMe website.