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Australian Safety Downgrade ??

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Australian Safety Downgrade ??

Old 29th Mar 2010, 11:58
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Australian Safety Downgrade ??

I am not sure whether this has been posted yet, but Sandilands has his information correct here. What an embarrassment and a farce. Although the FAA has a lot to answer for itself as its own backyard is a sloppy mess, but one has to wonder where things are headed in AUS? Lockhart River, Brasilia’s, Westwind’s, next ???
And the amazing thing is that even though the FAA and ICAO have shone a mighty large torch on the AUS Regulator, they still have maintained a line of inaction and sat on their hands! The government has not offered up one extra cent of funding, Fort Fumbles training for employee’s remains almost unheard of, and they are trying to cut back on FOI training and currency, they are cutting staff numbers by the week and those that aren’t made redundant are bailing faster than they can replace them, and there has been nil stable management leading the ship for years. Focus is not based on safety but is based upon budgets.

Oz aviation keeps rolling the dice on air safety
by Ben Sandilands
US Federal Aviation Administration audit of airline safety oversight in Australia that CASA welcomed last November has not gone smoothly, and could see this country downgraded by the American agency to the same untrustworthy category as parts of the third world.
In fact the results in November were sufficiently adverse to require further examination by the FAA in this country in coming weeks, this time without the spin evident in the only press release to come from CASA on this topic.
When asked to comment on reports by Washington DC sources that the FAA audit process had found insufficient progress had been made in fixing the deficiencies identified in a damning 2008 audit of Australian safety oversight by ICAO:
“The United States Federal Aviation Administration is conducting a review of Australia’s air safety systems. This review began late last year and is continuing.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration visited Australia late last year and are scheduled to visit Australia again soon.
The review is looking at aspects of Australia’s aviation safety regulation and safety oversight framework. It is part of the United States’ routine international audit program of all nations whose airlines fly into US airspace.”
The CASA response doesn’t address the issues.
The original ICAO report, leaked to Crikey last May, found that CASA was under funded, was out of touch with its obligations under international aviation treaties, was incapable of identifying or understanding critical issues involving air safety, and was in part reliant on staff who were inadequately trained or otherwise incapable of dealing with key safety compliance matters.
As then reported, the final draft of the ICAO audit, the one that was waved around as a rapturous endorsement of Australian safety oversight by the Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, was in fact a negotiated summary of satisfactory outcomes that were contingent on extensive remedial work by CASA to a timetable that expired at the end of last year.
The appendices to the report, which outlined the incompetency of CASA, made grim reading, and while some of the ICAO mandated remedies were made as required, the FAA was always going to insist, whether invited or not, on finding out whether the nitty gritty of competent and comprehensive safety oversight had been achieved in full in Australia.
As yesterdays report on the ATSB failure to prosecute Jetstar for a blatant and determined refusal to comply with the law on reportable safety incidents illustrates, safety compliance and its oversight in Australia is non-existent by US standards.
We’re all flying in the lucky country, and the dice just keeps being rolled, again and again, on safety failures that attract serious penalties in the developed aviation world.
If CASA isn’t as lucky with the FAA as it was with ICAO, and it deems our safety oversight to be diminished, it will be the Australian carriers who are punished, as they will then be blocked from increasing their services to the US until their regulatory oversight is upgraded, and their flights and ground operations will come under ‘enhanced’ surveillance in America.

They will also, inevitably, be labelled in the US media, as less safe than US carriers.

Last edited by gobbledock; 29th Mar 2010 at 12:15.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 12:12
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Surprise, surprise.

Twenty two years and no complete, workable Civil Aviation Regulations, demoralised and incompetent CASA staff and a proliferation of K Mart airlines.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 12:36
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Nuthin to do with a reg rewrite, Air Ace...The root cause??? Affordable Safety and the bastardisation of the Bosch report. What constitutes safety and what is exempt from cost rationalisation. Methinks the yanks are going to hand it out in spades.

Hope the share holder enjoys that dividend that should have rightfully been spent on a SAFETY SERVICE...
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 12:41
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Check out the 1:50 thread on the CC forum.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 14:51
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Time for ANOTHER name change maybe? that will chew $$$ therefore it MUST be contributing to safety!
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 20:31
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There is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of affordable safety. It is simply the efficient and safe economic review, rationalisation and risk management within what should be a regulated environment. "Affordable Safety" and risk management has been occurring in Australian industry for at least two decades during which OH&S and corporate legislation has been continually increased, including increased employer responsibilities and liabilities. The end result is that Australian industry remains competitive in a global market place.

CASA can not claim responsibility for the safety culture within Australian airlines and the aviation industry. After twenty two years CASA still can not provide a clear, simple and concise set of Regulations and their operational personnel are vastly inferior in qualifications and experience to their airline pilot peers whom they are supposed to be regulating - read the ICAO audit report and now the FAA report.

Australian airlines are intrinsically safe due to internal expertise and long term safety culture. But what will occur as those older, more experienced employees leave or retire? The number of incidents involving Australian Air Transport category aircraft in recent years is a stark reminder that the airlines are generally operating in a regulatory vacuum and that an airline tragedy of major proportions is becoming increasingly probable.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 22:10
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As yesterdays report on the ATSB failure to prosecute Jetstar for a blatant and determined refusal to comply with the law on reportable safety incidents illustrates, safety compliance and its oversight in Australia is non-existent by US standards



The ATSB has no power to prosecute or to enforce compliance, only to investigate.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 22:25
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Perhaps not, but CASA and DoT have the power to prosecute.

The airlines operate in a protected regulatory vacuum. The Launceston prosecution is one example, pilots prosecuted whilst the AOC holder, ultimately responsible, is protected.

An airline prosecution would destroy Australia's unblemished airline safety statistics.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 22:26
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Australian airlines are intrinsically safe due to internal expertise and long term safety culture. But what will occur as those older, more experienced employees leave or retire? The number of incidents involving Australian Air Transport category aircraft in recent years is a stark reminder that the airlines are generally operating in a regulatory vacuum and that an airline tragedy of major proportions is becoming increasingly probable.
I don't see the risk as coming from the retirement of of the older and more experienced employees because they will have influenced those following him. I think the biggest danger to airline safety is cost-shaving CEOs' who will erode the safety margins that have been built up over the years to increase their return on capital.

QANTAS got a wake up call in Bangkok but as soon as there was a change at the top the erosion started again. Look at what O'Leary is proposing with a single flight crew option. Many would say he is being tongue in cheek but I think he is testing the waters given his past record and the abysmal T & Cs' applying at Ryanair.

As for CASA, it is in serious need of a complete overhaul. The regulatory reform program is a joke but more serious is the lack of transparency and uniform standards in their regulatory function. It doesn't need a CEO who will stand up for the employees, it needs one who will rip out the dead wood.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 22:29
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As for CASA, it is in serious need of a complete overhaul. The regulatory reform program is a joke but more serious is the lack of transparency and uniform standards in their regulatory function.
......................
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 23:10
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The ATSB has no power to prosecute or to enforce compliance, only to investigate.
The relevant Act suggests otherwise Anthill.

Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003
Act No. 18 of 2003 as amended
Part 3—Reporting of accidents etc.
Division 1—Compulsory reporting
  • Penalty for failure to make an immediate report: Imprisonment for 12 months.
  • Penalty for failure to make a written report within 72 hours: 30 penalty units.
  • Penalty for a responsible person to fail to comply with Chief Commissioner's notice in writing to give the Chief Commissioner a written report: 30 penalty units.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 23:40
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Section 7 of the TSI Act clearly states that it is not the object of the Act to:

•apportion blame for transport accidents or incidents;
•provide the means to determine the liability of any person in respect of a transport accident or incident;
•assist in court proceedings between parties (except as expressly provided for in the Act); or
•allow any adverse inference to be drawn from the fact that a person is subject to an investigation under this Act;
An ATSB investigation is purely aimed at determining the factors which led to an accident or safety incident so that lessons can be learned and transport safety improved in the future. The ATSB's ability to conduct an investigation with this objective would be compromised if it sought to lay blame, as the future free-flow of safety information could not be guaranteed. ATSB investigation reports cannot be used in criminal or civil proceedings. Release of sensitive safety information obtained by the ATSB is strictly regulated.

Liability may arise in relation to an ATSB investigation if a responsible person does not report an immediately reportable matter (IRM) or routine reportable matter (RRM), or if a person deliberately hampers an investigation, or releases sensitive safety information without authorisation.
But who is the Delegate to administer that section of the Act - ATSB or DoT? Who is the "Chief Commissioner"? The ATSB appears to have an Executive Director, not Chief Commissioner?

PLovett may know.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 23:53
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But who is the Delegate to administer that section of the Act - ATSB or DoT? Who is the "Chief Commissioner"? The ATSB appears to have an Executive Director, not Chief Commissioner?
Awwwww c'mon Air Ace.

Try LOOKING before you post such nonsense! Got to the ATSB's website and look in the Corporate Information section. Here's a clue:

Organisation Chart

Even a quick Google search using the term ''chief commissioner ATSB'' revealed the Chief Commissioner's name.
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Old 30th Mar 2010, 03:37
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"Affordable Safety" = 'Your Safety Will Be Enhanced and It Will Cost You Less'.....

WE ALL agree that Safety is paramount....and should be managed EFFECTIVELY.

If you cut down TOO much on the 'affordable' bit - in the interest of what I shall describe as a 'Bean Counters Economy Drive', where the overall consideration is favouring the $$$'s - and trying to make a 'name' for themselves and pocketing the subsequent 'Savings Bonus'....

(And this is not necessarily describing nor is it confined to the aviation industry...)

Then try having an 'accident' and see what the difference is............

It seems some 'heads do roll', perhaps some names do change, giving the ILLUSION of progress, then the 'apathy' of the dollar pinching recommences under a different guise, and usually under a different CEO who, before being appointed, showed SOooo much promise.......

And of these, we have had sooo many....

We will wait and see THIS time.......will some 'Common Sense' prevail..??

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Old 30th Mar 2010, 07:34
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Beyond repair?

The question is if CASA is actually beyond repair. You get the feeling that the rot has done so much damage to the institution that it cannot function anymore. The only solution might be to bring the whole lot to the tip and start again fresh or contract it all out.
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Old 30th Mar 2010, 08:32
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Look at Atc in the country. Casa doesn't exist.
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Old 30th Mar 2010, 11:37
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I think the biggest danger to airline safety is cost-shaving CEOs' who will erode the safety margins that have been built up over the years to increase their return on capital.
Spot on Plovett spot on.
It will cost lives in Australia within the next 20 years.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 01:28
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But what will occur as those older, more experienced employees leave or retire?
Nothing will happen; as it has little to do with older and more experienced employees. Superbly reliable automation in today's airliners has led to a far greater safety record than the "old" days and while today some regionals employ CPL cadets as first officers on turbo-props (rightly or wrongly) , the experience level of new first officers joining the major domestic airlines is relatively high.

Go back 45 years ago and GA pilots were getting into Ansett and TAA DC3's with less than 300 total hours and not even an instrument rating -crewing aircraft that were piston engined and nowhere near as mechanically reliable as present day jets.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 09:47
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Jim Irwin,
Answers to your questions as follows:

1) The Minister is not accountable.Why ? Pollies are untouchable. If an Aussie passenger jet pancakes into the ground then at worst,the Minister gets shuffled elsewhere.He is safe.Just take a look at the Tinfoil Fairy and others who have made monumental and epic stuff up's.
2) The Director will only get punted if the Minister looks bad or comes under extreme scrutiny or has to endure never ending bad publicity and a heated anti-Minister campaign,that is the Standard Operating Procedure.
3) The Board.They too are safe. You don't become a board member due to skill and experience, it is a 'reward' role for knowing somebody who has a good deal of clout.This rule is applied in any organisation where a Board exists.
4) Blame predecessor's ? Sure,why not.You have to start the deflection process somewhere. And where better to start throwing the blame than at people who are no longer in a position to defend themselves.

And if all the above fails and somebody does have to fall on their sword, then they need not panic,they always get cut loose only after agreeing to a nicely padded severance package which will see them retire comfortably to Sydney's north shore or an island in the Bahama's.
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Old 3rd Apr 2010, 01:22
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There is a lot of finger pointing at the regulator going on.

The regs are minimum standards only.

Over the last decade we have seen a reduction in experience levels on the flight deck. Do you think that has been a contributory factor?

Airmanship improves safety levels, not regulatory creep.
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