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Old 30th Aug 2011, 15:40
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Sunfish
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,998
FAA Views On CASA - Via Wikileaks

Well well.

The FAA has some reservations about CASA.

A downgrade to "Category 2" was on the cards, which would have meant termination of the Qantas code share deal with American Airlines.


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CANBERRA 001081

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/ANP, EEB/TRA/OTP (JONATHAN WEBSTER),
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (ELIE NASR, INTERNATIONAL
TECHNICAL SUPPORT BRANCH/FLIGHT STANDARDS SERVICE)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2019
TAGS: EAIR AS
SUBJECT: AUSTRALIA: FAA COMPLETES ASSESSMENT, NEXT STEPS

REF: A. STATE 119313
¶B. CANBERRA 1040

Classified By: Political-Economic Counselor Edgard Kagan, Reasons 1.4 (
b)(d).

¶1. (C/NF) Summary: The FAA team concluded their audit
(reftels) and gave a brief assessment of preliminary
findings. While the team recognized improvements on previous
shortcomings and commended many areas, a few
problems remain. Australian officials seem committed to
overcoming the shortcomings before a second and final FAA
visit within the next three months, but the possibility of a
category downgrade does exist and is being taken
seriously. The team outlined the sequence of events going
forward and agreed to work closely with Embassy Canberra.
End Summary.

¶2. (C/NF) The FAA team gave a preliminary assessment of
their November 30 - December 4 audit to Australian Civil
Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) officials and separately
to DCM Dan Clune. The team explained the
significant shortcomings, discussed potential scenarios,
outlined the sequence of events going forward and agreed to
work closely with Embassy Canberra.

Problem:
--------

¶3. (C/NF) While the team recognized improvements on previous
shortcomings and commended many areas, there
remain a few shortcomings, principally a shortage of
properly-trained inspectors and excessive delegation of
regulatory functions to carriers.

Approximate Timeline:
---------------------

¶4. (C/NF) Based on our conversations with FAA team members,
following is a rough sequence of events going forward:

-- Two weeks: Informal letter FAA team to CASA (through
State/Embassy Canberra) delineating specific areas from
their assessment that need to be addressed. This is meant to
aid CASA to swiftly focus efforts on overcoming
shortcomings.

-- 30 days: Formal State front-channel cable with official
report of the week-long assessment, constituting official
notification from FAA to CASA under ICAO. According to the
FAA team, this cable will most likely state that Australia
does not/not comply with ICAO standards and indicate that, if
the problems are not remedied, it would be downgraded to
Category 2. The cable will also request further
consultations, which would include a second visit to
Australia within 65 days after the first visit.

-- 65-90 days: Second visit to Australia, probably by the
end of February 2010, by a smaller team. This would be a
shorter verification trip which would determine whether or
not to recommend a downgrade to Category 2.

-- Mid-March 2010: Approximate timeframe when FAA would
publish official notice of a Category 2 downgrade, in the
event this were to happen.

Preventing Worst-Case Scenario
-------------------------------

¶5. (C/NF) A downgrade to Category 2 would be the worst-case
scenario, which would entail measures such as
freezing Australia-U.S. flight operations to current levels
and terminating code-sharing arrangements, such as the one
between Qantas and American Airlines. CASA officials are not
taking this possibility lightly and seem committed to
resolve the shortcomings in order to avoid a downgrade.

¶6. (C/NF) Comment: FAA team members were extremely satisfied
with CASA officials' openness and eagerness to
make constructive improvements based on the assessment. FAA
Qmake constructive improvements based on the assessment. FAA
and CASA clearly have a good working relationship and
we will monitor progress toward maintaining Category 1
status. We will also monitor that CASA's efforts enjoy
adequate support at the ministerial level as well as from ...
Cable Viewer

Last edited by Sunfish; 30th Aug 2011 at 15:54.
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