Ken Cannane, Executive Director of the Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA) this week said the Statement of Expectations (SoE) issued to CASA shows that someone in Canberra cares about general aviation.
Deputy Prime MInister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce issued the SoE in mid January, outlining CASA's obligations as a regulator for the next 18 months.
The SoE contained several initiatives and directives that are thought hold significant benefits for general aviation, which Cannane believes is a landmark moment in aviation advocacy.
"Australia Day 2022 will be remembered by our members as the day the government at long last took affirmative action and provided a Statement of Expectations that addresses most issues that AMROBA has raised over the last decade or so," he said in a communique to AMROBA members.
"The DPM’s staff need a bit of support from industry for their effort. They listened. Considering past SoEs issued by ministers, this is the best SoE that I have seen. It is based on getting the matters we–and other associations–raised, actioned and properly addressed plus a lot more transparency.
" ... somebody within government does care."
Cannane went on to say that the SoE removed excuses for bureaucrats to do nothing.
"Government, the Department and CASA’s Board need to understand, adopt and implement these expectations, as elucidated in the Explanatory Statement, for general aviation and the engineering disciplines of design, maintenance and manufacture so we may partake in both the domestic and global aviation market," he said.
"CASA’s CEO Pip Spence now has no external impediment–except her own staff–to not change the regulatory philosophy under these expectations."
Cannane highlighted some of the positive aspects of the SoE including:
- requiring the CASA board to publish meeting minutes on the website
- maintaining consistency with international obligations, including ICAO
- establishing regulatory oversight of airport development
- providing the minister with a work plan
- publishing exposure drafts of regulation before presenting it to the minister.
"It is not a hard task to reduce the regulatory burden on aviation participants," Cannane said, "it is simply a matter of following the FARs and removing silos and economic restrictive regulations. Most have been created over the last 30 years.
"We must at least say well done to the bureaucracy involved in developing this Statement of Expectations and Explanatory Statement.
"We now know clearly what we expect from CASA this year, let’s hope they can deliver."
CASA is expected to reply to the minister with a Letter of Intent in April.
The Statement of Expectations can be downloaded from the Federal Register of Legislation website.