The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) has called for substantial reform of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) through a major review of the Civil Aviation Act 1988.
The call came in the 2019 TAAAF policy released yesterday in the lead-up to the 18 May Federal Election. The policy is signed by TAAAF chair and former CASA Chairman Jeff Boyd, and TAAAF executives Paul Tyrrell from the Australian Helicopter Industry Association and Michael Monck from Recreational Aviation Australia.
"This policy is aimed directly at strengthening and improving the operational and strategic output of the regulator so that it is more effective and efficient while still remaining focussed on continual improvement in safety and risk management," the policy states.
"While there are many other issues relevant to aviation policy, the primary focus should remain on ensuring CASAs
commitment to modernise and innovate in order to deliver safe and pragmatic objectives through prudent and responsible management while not obstructing the industry’s efforts to do the same."
TAAAF wants to see the lapsed Civil Aviation Amendment Bill re-introduced to parliament with amendments that bring about legislative changes to CASA. Those changes include:
- Amendments that address safety issues and High Court challenges to the primacy of the Civil Aviation Act
- addition of cost and sector risk approaches
- CASA board to have full powers over strategy, operation and administration
- CASA board to be comprised of people with relevant and significant aviation experience
- Director of Aviation Safety (DAS) to be ex-officio member of the board
- revision of CEO/DAS position to increase accountability to the board
- establishing formal consultation with peak aviation bodies.
The TAAAF policy also outlines structural changes to CASA that the forum believes are necessary to reflect aviation industry expectations, such as removing internal bottlenecks, fair and equitable decision-making and consistency across regional offices.
"Action is required to ensure that industry requirements are met in a timely manner in accordance with published service delivery targets," TAAAF states. "Consistent delays in delivery of regular items (medicals, licence processing, etc.) along with regulatory reform, consultation, investigations and other CASA responsibilities create uncertainty for industry and constrain investment."
Other actions outlined in the policy include an improved approach to sector risk management, a recruitment policy based on experience and knowledge that fosters a culture of competency, consultation and co-operation; an aviation training initiative that aligns training with desired outcomes and a continuous improvement program for CASA.
TAAAF is an industry forum with 13 member groups representing 12,500 individuals and companies from all sectors of aviation in Australia. It reviews and releases its aviation policy just prior to each Federal Election.