As the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approaches its 25th anniversary, CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody has issued a statement saying that the regulator has got more things right than wrong since it was founded.
In the June CASA Briefing newsletter published yesterday, Carmody reflected on the path CASA has taken since 6 July 1995 and admitted that not everyone would be breaking out the party balloons.
"I realise not everyone will be rushing to celebrate, but never-the-less this is a time to reflect on where we have come from, the many challenges faced and overcome by the aviation community and the progress we have all made," Carmody said.
"Being a regulator is challenging but, on balance, I believe that over the last 25 years CASA and its people have got far more right than wrong. Australia’s aviation safety record is arguably one of the best in the world and we have a widely respected aviation safety system.
"According to the International Civil Aviation Organization we are currently ranked sixth out of member states for an effective national safety system."
CASA was formed when the Federal Government split the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the wake of the Seaview and Monarch tragedies, creating CASA and Airservices Australia. The move was made to increase the focus on safety and limit opportunities for conflicts of interest.
Among the achievements Carmody has attributed to CASA over the past quarter of a century are:
- introducing ADS-B
- adopting a risk-based approach to surveillance
- establishing the Basic Class 2 medical standard
- formalising industry consultation
- establishing an Industry Complaints Commissioner
- taking over the Office of Airspace Regulation from Airservices.
One of the people not celebrating is Ben Morgan, CEO of the AOPA Australia. Morgan told Australian Flying that he was not particularly impressed with Carmody's comments and believed the aviation community might not share CASA's evaluation.
"The viewpoint put forward by Mr Carmody is exactly that: his viewpoint," Morgan said. "It's not the viewpoint of the many thousands of people who work and rely on aviation and have participated in the industry over the past 25 years.
"There are many things in his list of achievements that, had it not been for the extremely vocal and in some cases highly-aggressive advocacy of industry bodies, those things would not have been done.
"It appears to me that CASA continues to live in an alternate universe."
Morgan concedes that everything CASA has done since its inception has not necessarily been wrong, but believes the overall impact on the aviation community has been very detrimental.
"There are some things that CASA gets right; it would be unfair to say that they don't get anything right. But on the whole, over the past 25 years, the organisation has implemented policies and changes in regulation that have all conspired to create a significant period of economic decline for the aviation industry."
Morgan said that CASA has been publishing comments such as this for many years without any supporting evidence.
"This is marketing; it's rhetoric. Marketing like this is put in front of the industry and the government, but the truth is they wouldn't know if they're doing a good job or not.
"It's about time they backed-up the rhetoric with statistics to show what the facts are."