• Aviation House: CASA's headquarters in the Canberra suburb of Woden. (Bidgee)
    Aviation House: CASA's headquarters in the Canberra suburb of Woden. (Bidgee)

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has told the Senate Inquiry into the General Aviation industry that complexity in regulations has not had a significant impact on stakeholders, according to a statement made public yesterday.

The statement comes in a reply to a question on notice asked by Senator Glenn Sterle in the inquiry in November regarding regulation complexity and the burden on operators and pilots.

"Does CASA acknowledge that the cost impact expressed by many aviation stakeholders is referenced to and due this complexity of regulations and standards, and that the time wastage and lost economic activity resulting is a significant cost impact to their activities?", Senator Sterle asked.

"CASA acknowledges that complexity in regulations and other aviation safety standards will in some cases have an unavoidable cost impact on stakeholders," the response said. "However, CASA does not agree that this impact is generally of a significant nature or that time and economic ‘loss’ is fairly attributable to compliance with unnecessarily complex regulatory requirements."

Several submissions to the inquiry complained about the impact of complex regulations in terms of time and cost, including John McDermott of McDermott Aviation, who stated that the industry was operating safely even though in many cases it was unknowingly working outside CASA regulations.

Senator Sterle also queried CASA about how it assessed the cost impact of regulations on operators and how that was considered in the rule-making process.

"CASA prepares a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for any new or amendment regulation or standard that may have a significant cost impact on stakeholders," CASA replied. "The RIS outlines the total cost impact of the new or amended regulation, including the cost of lost time for business to comply with the regulatory requirements.

"This involves estimating the time that affected businesses are required to devote to complying with the new or amended regulation. RIS and the incorporated estimates for cost of lost time are reviewed and assessed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet."

The senate inquiry is ongoing and all submissions and replies to questions on notice are on the inquiry webpage.

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