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Aviation Policy and Administration in Australia - Some interesting facts

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Aviation Policy and Administration in Australia - Some interesting facts

Old 12th Aug 2010, 01:56
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Aviation Policy and Administration in Australia - Some interesting facts

Apart from the minor flurry about airspace and Launcestion generated by Mr Smith. which Air Services had to fix, the major political parties have been very quiet for some time (some say about two decades) about policy and the administration of the aviation industry and its future in this country. Seems no one cares or is it all too hard? Well when you look at the reality of what is happening and combine this with a little bit of delving into official reportage we can see why.

The Minister for Sydney Airport and bad brown suits continues to ensure that Aviation policy is directed at the NSW local labour constituencies via the last Federal budget where millions were made available for airport security (Boy Osama sure has cost the western world and us a fortune), yet more grand plans and consultancies for more plans for Sydney Airport and the fuel excise raised to pay for the return of the CASA empire (According to the Treasurer Swanny Boy). Regional airport "improvements" got a miserable allocation of about $3M, CASA another $23M per annum guaranteed for the next four years (To take their annual budget with direct allocations to over $147M) and nothing else for anything else, so that was the sum of the Labour effort on Aviation. Apart from the odd dorothy dixer in Parliament over the last year it rated not a mention. So I guess that is what takes the form of aviation in this country these days.

Reasons for the fuel excise increase? First - there has been a calamitous decrease in the sale of AVGAS in OZ and only a moderate increase in the sale of AVTUR (AVGAS sales have decreased by 38% from their peak of several years ago and AVTUR sales have increased by only 10% - source BTE). Second - with this stark reality looming and the return of the Evill Empire planned how to pay for it? Drag out the shibbiloth of Safety, have a Minister for don't give a stuff about the winged stuff but don't crash em'' and hey presto it is all good. It's a bit like the law and order stuff state politicians are so fond of only federally with aviation, yes what we need is stronger enforcement more of it and more of them to do it - that will sovle the problem and make us all look good.

Aviation statistics again from the BTE show GA is flatlining, the Regionals are on the decrease and only the Domestics and Aerial AG (thanks to some timely changes in the weather) show any real increase and none for any really over the past decade. Despite the spin of increased activity coming from CASA and the Govt about the industry the fact is it is going nowhere and is decline. Have'nt quite worked out yet who is flying all those extras hours they report given the dramatic slide in AVGAS fuel sales - maybe microlights use a lot of the go go stuff.

And finally here is what was not mentioned or is even asked about:

51 % of CASA's budget officially goes on salaries. Nearly 4% of the salary budget was used to pay the top 20 fat cats including the DAS or to put it another way the top 20 staff in CASA give themselves about 8% of the funding for salaries or 2% of the staff at CASA take 8% of the money on offer - that is a pretty good racket by any meaure, the rest make do on about an average of $100,000 per annum. Now about another 5% of the sundries and services allocation went to? You guessed it 'more staff' and services to the CASA HR area so another $6M towards the actuall number of personages engaged or paid by CASA on behalf of the taxpayer.So the real figure for CASA staffing is about 56% approaching 60% of their annual budget, so you can see why they needed another $23M per annum to hire another 90 odd souls because they had no money to do anything else. "They are very busy Minister and sorely over worked".

All in all about 46 % of CASA's total budget went on paying "suppliers". The lion's hare of that actually went on computers, computer systems and IT services, more than $26M (27%)- boy that is some computer system they must have there and that does not count the millions more buried in the sundries and services of their annual report for computer services and other IT and techinical what nots.

They actually spent bugger all on anything of any real substance to do with aviation but they spent a lot of money on all sorts of legal stuff. Now be aware that the number of infringements issued to the average aviation punter has effectively tripled in the past few years but gratefully the number of successful prosecutions (where they are actually put to the test in a Court) represents a miserable failure rate of 4 in 10, yep effectily 1 out of 2 prosecutions initiated by CASA fail. Boy the Commonwealth DPP must be fed up with CASA, the CDPP has a 99% success rate in all cases and about 73% in the local courts (where CASA stuff goes)[Source CDPP Anuual Report] and their strike rate would look a lot better if they did not have CASA stuff no doubt. hardly value for money but that is what we the taxpayer and long suffering participants in this industry pay for, for CASA to harass and us and then fail. The outside contracted lawyers and legal firms also did very well providing advice to CASA on yep, IT contracts etc, to the tune of many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So the rest probably was spent on the usual junkets and travelling about in those shiny Boeings and Airbuses, business class of course, staff and other sundries, get togethers and trying to find a way to reform the regulations without reforming anything yet looking like you do and lets face it after 21 years who really cares any more? Anyway you can always blame the AG's department for the delays incurred in them having to re-write the crap they get from CASA into a legally acceptable form and trying to explain to CASA that no you can't still hang people for not filling in forms properly or failing to understand the gobbledigook that are the regs.

So now given the Skull principate, who would be the leading dark prince at CASA? my money is on HR given the gigantic amount of money they control so it makes sense given the recent CASA reorganisation under the Skull that the head of HR is now in charge of finance, might as well give the fox the hen house! Still with the Cathay boys in charge of Ops and Legal driving the rest you can see where it is all going anyway - More of the same but only sterner!!

So you can guarantee however that untold millions has been spent on SMS for CASA with little effect, it is there in their numbers in their reports if you care to dig a little and we can be sure the ANAO has found that too.

Ain't life grand in OZ aviation.
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Old 12th Aug 2010, 08:22
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Memo for both parties; a good start would be a Minister for Aviation.
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Old 12th Aug 2010, 10:27
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Uh oh

Oh dear. The cat is out of the bag !
So now given the Skull principate, who would be the leading dark prince at CASA? my money is on HR given the gigantic amount of money they control so it makes sense given the recent CASA reorganisation under the Skull that the head of HR is now in charge of finance, might as well give the fox the hen house!

HR rules supreme. Only department in any organization that I know of where you can write your own PD, set your own executive salary, make up your own rules and throw due process out the door, screw/destroy/hamper another person’s career while remaining untouchable and unaccountable !

‘It's good to be the king’
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Old 12th Aug 2010, 12:16
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HR.......the most unproductive department in any organisation, often with the most power!

Managers love HR because they can give them the dirty work...hiring and firing, as well as all that boring IR stuff.

The two most important tasks a manager has is to employ the right people and to get rid of the ones who are not shaping up, so what do they do? Give those tasks to an HR person. Go figure!
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 00:27
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there has been a calamitous decrease in the sale of AVGAS in OZ
Proves CASA are good at something. Like eliminating GA from the face of the earth.

Oh, and I think everybody has overlooked Office of Legal Counsel, who, account for heaps of expenditure, basically only provide exemptions to keep airlines running because they can't complete a Regulatory Review process that has dragged on for years and years and would probably give aviation the means to understand what they did wrong in the first place and eliminate 75% of the hoops and hurdles and show precisely where the goal posts are.

The fox is already in the hen house.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 06:13
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because they can't complete a Regulatory Review process that has dragged on for years
Should have mentioned the other thread: 22 years actually. It's a bloody disgrace.
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Old 14th Aug 2010, 00:15
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Are you talking singular or plural?

There are thousands of Prince's in the CASA Principality. The whole lot would have to fall over before anybody noticed.
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Old 14th Aug 2010, 11:00
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Good gripe Grip-Pipe!
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Old 15th Aug 2010, 00:08
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Gripe-Pipe said:

51 % of CASA's budget officially goes on salaries and that all in all about 46 % of CASA's total budget went on paying "suppliers". The lion's hare of that actually went on computers, computer systems and IT services, more than $26M (27%)- boy that is some computer system they must have there and that does not count the millions more buried in the sundries and services of their annual report for computer services and other IT and techinical what nots.

i was speaking to the know all drunk in the Exchange Hotel in TSV who told me that there is more back office staff in CASA than those that are supposedly the guardians of safety. I knew he was making it up when he told me that one in six support the computer systems. Must be a bloody big bank of crays with more capacity than IBM. Maybe CASA is plotting to take over from Apple as the computer masters of the world.

Frankly, I don't give a damn.
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Old 15th Aug 2010, 01:17
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Don't call me Frankly!

BTW, as I understand things, millions are spent on "external" consultants that supplement the already underburdened office of legal counsel. And have we forgotten one of the past Directors of Aviation Safety "commuting" to work in Canberra from Melbourne.
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Old 15th Aug 2010, 06:41
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Frank A,
The original comment, from the then new head of CASA in 1995, Leroy Keith,was:

"CASA is a Principality with 700 Princes".
Now, there was a bloke who worked the organization out in double quick time.

Tootle pip!!

Last edited by LeadSled; 16th Aug 2010 at 04:47.
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Old 21st Aug 2010, 23:35
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Bob Katter Jnr to be next Minister for Transport in minority Govt.

Well this is a rumour network and the idea of shoving a fox like Bob into the hen house would sort CASA out once and for all.

What are the other obvious candidates with any capabilities?
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Old 25th Aug 2010, 23:16
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IATA thinks it's time for us to get our act together!

Agenda to Strengthen Australian Aviation Key Policies for the Next Government

(Sydney, August 25, 2010) -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today outlined an agenda for Australian aviation that addresses infrastructure, training, environment and liberalization.

"Aviation contributes 500,000 jobs and A$6.3 billion to the Australian economy. It is critical that the next Australian government has a solid aviation policy to reap the broad economic benefits that aviation can generate," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO in an address to the Australian National Aviation Press Club.

"Australia's regional neighbors-India and China-are engines of growth, helping Asia-Pacific's carriers to lead the industry's recovery from the global financial crisis. With a coordinated national policy that builds on the key elements of last year's National Aviation White Paper, much can be achieved," said Bisignani.

Bisignani singled out infrastructure, training, environment and liberalization as priorities for the next Australian government:

--Sydney Airport costs: Since 2000, Sydney airport went from being the 34th most costly airport in the world to the ninth in 2009. That same year, the airport reported an EBITDA margin of 82%, even as the world's airlines lost US$10 billion. "We need profitable airport partners. However, they must be effectively regulated so that they do not abuse their monopolistic position. The Productivity Commission's review of Sydney Airport charges is an opportunity to re-balance the situation to deliver higher quality with greater cost efficiency," said Bisignani.
--New Sydney Airport: "We have had over 50 years of studies on a new airport for Sydney. Whether you believe Sydney Airport will run out of capacity in 10 years or 20 years, a decision is now critical. Even 20 years is a tight timeline to build a new airport and the infrastructure to connect it to the central business district. Already 6% of the New South Wales economic activity is connected to the airport. We need a decision on a plan to maximize the capabilities of the current airport and to determine a location and timeline for the new airport. It is essential to ensure that the airport has the capacity to continue to effectively play its important role in the economy," said Bisignani.
--Air Navigation: Bisignani noted that Eagle Award-winning Airservices Australia (ASA) has raised high industry expectations with their past success in pioneering the introduction of new air navigation technologies and the five-year pricing plan for 2005-2009. Both were done in close consultation with the industry. Bisignani challenged ASA to continue raising the bar by taking the same approach with new capital expenditure projects and the next long-term pricing agreement. "The 2005-2009 pricing agreement sets a new industry benchmark. The next agreement must be equally significant and should include three key elements: (1) cost reductions to airlines made possible by ASA's successful management through the crisis; (2) an agreed capital expenditure program and (3) an approach to regional operations in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) principle of equality of opportunity and without international airlines subsidizing regional operations," said Bisignani.
--Training: Bisignani encouraged Australia to enhance its leading role in providing training to support Pacific Island nations, India and China. "To maximize the economic benefits of these opportunities, Australia needs better coordination on strategy and standards. For this, government and industry must be on the same page," said Bisignani.
--Environment: The White Paper supported a global solution to environment coordinated through ICAO. "Australia is facing a difficult debate on the issue of emissions trading and carbon taxes. The industry is committed to cap emissions with carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and to cut them in half by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. But Canberra must remember that aviation is a global industry. Domestic or regional solutions for aviation and climate change cannot deliver effective results. In line with the White Paper, Australia must take a leading role to ensure that aviation emissions are managed on a level playing field in a global framework under ICAO," said Bisignani.
--Liberalization: Bisignani encouraged Australia to remove outdated ownership restrictions for international aviation. "Historically, airlines have profit margins of less than 1%, that is not sustainable. To fix this, we need to run this business like a normal business. Australia is a leader in aviation liberalization. The open aviation area with New Zealand has achieved what the US and Europe could not in their open skies discussions. And the removal ownership restrictions for domestic Australian operations benefited consumers with greater choice and lower prices. These results make the 49% foreign ownership cap for international operators very difficult to understand," said Bisignani.

"No country knows better the importance of global linkages than Australia. Aviation has played a key role in linking this vast continent internally and to the rest of the world. This agenda for aviation will build a more competitive platform for aviation to deliver even greater benefits to the Australian economy and secure an even more important regional and global leadership role in driving the industry forward," said Bisignani.

Source : IATA
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Old 26th Aug 2010, 00:28
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Someone really needs to get into the feds and balance the books. Back of the drinks coaster calculating..Aviation injects something like $2billion right back into consolidated revenue every year. GST, Company taxes, Excise and Income Tax...not including fees and charges from AirServices going back to the Fed coffers as a dividend.

For a dieing industry operating below critical mass..the taxman does pretty good out of aviation and gives **** all back...the money is already there, it just needs to be spent in the right places
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Old 30th Aug 2010, 12:14
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This should make grip-pipe happy. Mr. Aleck has just been officially appointed the role of Associate Director and Mr. Farquharson appointed the role of Assistant Director. Mr. Harbor has also shuffled his own deck to leverage more power for himself as he has picked up HR and Finance combined.

How short the memories are?? Below is an older article from Paul Phelan, and worth a re-visit.

Who’s investigating whom?

Paul Phelan , 22 October 2009 – 1:03 pm

Industry identities this week were dismayed at a reported CASA decision to establish an in-house “Ethics and Conduct Committee,” apparently either bypassing or replacing the regulator’s Industry Complaints Commissioner (ICC).
CASA will not comment on details of the new group, understood to have been instituted by order of CASA Director John McCormick,
We asked CASA today: “I am aware that the Director has ordered the formation of an ‘Ethics & Conduct Committee’ within CASA and that the committee’s membership includes Messrs:
  • Terry Farquharson, who has recently been appointed Acting Executive Manager of the Office of the Director of Aviation Safety;
  • Jonathan Aleck, currently Head of Legal Services; and
  • Gary Harbor, Executive Manager, Corporate Services.
CASA advised it “can’t offer anything.
We had also asked for missing details which would have defined the committee’s total membership, terms of reference, reporting lines, responsibilities in terms of published CASA policy, and means of ensuring its decisions will be able to be made independently of the committee members’ employers.
AviationAdvertiser holds ample documentation that reveals that at least two of the committee members we’ve named are the subject of numerous grievances currently under the scrutiny of the ICC, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Court, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and possibly other agencies – as well as a small mountain of even more unresolved issues.[/font]
Complainants cover the entire spectrum of industry activity within CASA’s responsibility. However we’re not identifying any of these at the moment because of the need to confer with each of the many victims, some of whom fear further adverse reactions from the regulator or from individual officials. They cover aircraft maintenance & overhaul services, aircraft and parts manufacturers, airworthiness issues, flight operations, AOC and workshop approval holders, and individual licence and approval holders.
Other victims of alleged CASA abuses whose businesses and lives have been damaged by over-zealous and/or inadequately overseen, trained and supervised officials, say they are watching one of these matters – the events surrounding Polar Aviation’s lawsuit with great interest. See: Mouse in the House of CASA
In 1996 the Attorney-General’s Department provided CASA with a legal opinion that (in part) warned that in relation to various legal actions which may be brought against CASA – such as negligence, including negligent misstatement, breach of confidence, injurious falsehood or misfeasance in public office – the government indemnity will not apply in favour of a CASA officer, where that officer is guilty of serious or willful misconduct. “The likelihood that such actions would be brought, not only on the grounds of defamation, appears very high,” said the advice.
The Polar Aviation lawsuit, which was scheduled to be the subject of a directions hearing today, seeks unquantifed damages from three named CASA officials including Mr. Farquharson, from three former officials, and also from CASA itself.
Industry figures believe the environment for generating further complaints is now increasing and that the risk exists, that members of the new committee may find themselves investigating complaints against themselves, many of which are already published documents.
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Old 31st Aug 2010, 05:10
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No better time to consolidate the ill gotten gains achieved by the trashing of a good senior team and the impetus of the previous adminstration to drag CASA into the twenty first century than that which falls during the interval betwen federal elections and government. The never ending waste and failure to reform anything is now cemented in place as we return to the future. It seems that with these all these changes public accountablity went out the window and ethics with it, what passes for aviation administration is the hubris and arrogance of a malevolent fool attended by syncophants and hangers on.

Waiting for any improvement in the competent and accountable administration of aviation in Australia and for the regulations to be aligned with and adopt world best practice is like waiting for Godot!

Last post, ever, on the issue - lost interest completely except to nominate them for the Gruen Transfers 'Golden Turd' Award.
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Old 31st Aug 2010, 08:53
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Angry

grip-pipe.......

Best post ever if unfortunately that's your last one!

But:

The never ending waste and failure to reform anything is now cemented in place as we return to the future. It seems that with these all these changes public accountablity went out the window and ethics with it, what passes for aviation administration is the hubris and arrogance of a malevolent fool attended by syncophants and hangers on.
could possibly have been more meaningful if reworded:

The never ending waste and failure to reform anything is now cemented in place as we return to the future. It seems that with these all these changes public accountablity went out the window and ethics with it, what passes for aviation administration is the hubris and arrogance of a malevolent fool attended by syncophants and hangers on in their unrelenting race to the bottom for a gold medal in the competition for the world's most incompetent aviation regulatory authority.

The fact that the idiots in CASA can't even achieve/understand basic concepts like ensuring compliance with standards and recommended practices of the ICAO Annexes defies belief. For the doubters, refer to the last ICAO USOAP Audit and see how CASA have (mis)managed some pretty basic issues with respect to identified non-compliances.

Look at the way it issues AOC's and associated operations specifications for starters. It's not bloody rocket science to get that right for heaven's sake! But no, they've even fcuked that up. Idiots.

And yes, we will be waiting till hell freezes over before there are any meaningful improvements in CASA I suspect.
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Old 1st Sep 2010, 02:19
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Angry Thanks

Siuya, could not agree more.

By last post ever I meant as far as CASA is concerned. The organisation is the equivalent of a failed state and beyond repair or resurrection. It's managment and senior staff beyond contempt and the unadorned self interest and self serving actions that they continue to exhibit are stupifying to those in the industry who actually make and do something and have to turn a dollar on those talents.

CASA will continue to do what it has not done and done badly, basically until it is abolished and the weasels that inhabit it are sacked. I for one can only surmise; as the Pollies don't listen or care, the Public Service mandarins don't listen or care, the young guns in the industry don't listen or care and the rest of us are worn out or have been so screwed by CASA over the years that one is left to the conclusion that reasonable discussion and debate is simply a waste of time and effort.

Now for someone who has sought to avoid Courts and Lawyers all my life it pains me to say this BUT for those actively involved in the industry from day to day a word of well intentioned advice - make sure you have the services or telephone number of a good lawyer handy, in time you will surely need them as that is the only way you can defend yourself from the corrupt and malevolent forces now at work!
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Old 1st Sep 2010, 08:14
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What choice of Government do we have that may instigate a Royal Commission into the whole $hitbox outfit?

Just thinking??.....waste of bloody time. Better just going to the pub.
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Old 1st Sep 2010, 15:03
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Folks,
You have to give Australia some credit, we are the world leaders in aviation regulation --- either by weight or volume, take your choice!!!
Tootle pip!!
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