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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

Old 19th Mar 2014, 01:24
  #521 (permalink)  
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From the Member for Grayndler, Mr Albanese:
… In conclusion, CASA has always done an excellent job over the years, including in its current configuration with its board, a product of the former Labor government's 2009 reforms. This bill does not change that structure; it simply increases the size of the board. In that context the bill is a continuation of the parliament's bipartisan approach to aviation safety—an approach that has served us well over the years—and I commend the bill to the House.
You see: CASA's always done an excellent job.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 08:30
  #522 (permalink)  
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Laborial rubberstamp on CAA (Board) amendment bill

The following poohtube vid captures the tailend of the Albo speech (18/03/14) that Creamy quotes from. It more than highlights the political dilemma the aviation industry has found itself in for the better part of 3 decades i.e. the Laborial approach to aviation safety regulation:

Albo’s concern on the government considering funding cut backs to the ATsB is extremely laughable and beyond the pale when you consider Senator Fawcett’s press release on 30 May 2013:

It has been revealed in Senate Estimates this week that aviation safety has been given a lower priority than the desperate attempt at balancing the budget by the Gillard government.

On questioning by Senator David Fawcett, the Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB), Mr Martin Dolan, revealed that the substantial cuts to the ATSB budget were imposed on them without consultation and necessarily eroded the capacity of ATSB to complete the range of activities expected of it.

Mr Dolan highlighted that the cuts resulted in reducing staff numbers and choosing not to investigate some matters or constraining an investigation because of the call on his resources.

This is a serious dereliction of duty by the Gillard government given Minister Albanese’s declaration in 2008 that “nothing, I repeat nothing, is as important in aviation as safety”.

The Senate report into aviation safety released just last week highlights the unintended consequences of cutting funds to a safety agency.
“The Gillard government stands condemned for these grossly irresponsible cuts to Australia’s aviation safety investigator,” Senator Fawcett said.
The Albo rubberstamp for the Board amendment bill means that it is then passed onto the Federation Chamber for further 2nd reading debate (which Creamy drew attention to). Including the miniscule there was 4 contributions to the debate (if you can call a ‘no amendments’ Laborial rubberstamp a debate??). The miniscule’s contribution was the typical weak wet lettuce response:
However there was one worthy contribution from the (obviously well briefed) member for Tangney, Dr Dennis Jensen, which was well worth the time to review:
Hmm..onto the third reading... Then the introduction to the Senate....more to follow!

{Comment: Creamy have you got any suggested amendments to the bill that we can pass onto Senator X and the non-aligned Senators before the bill lobs into the Senate??}
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 11:29
  #523 (permalink)  
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Surely the people with the big ideas (some with even bigger mouths) will already have given Senator X their plain-English, industry-agreed amendments to the Civil Aviation Act?

My money’s on the Laborials whipping the Bill through the Senate before 1 July. After all, “CASA has always done an excellent job over the years”, and that’s presumably partly because of “the parliament's bipartisan approach to aviation safety”.

Those two extra Board positions will, finally and once and for all, ensure that red tape is reduced even faster, continuous improvement is embedded into processes and procedures even deeper, the regulatory reform program is completed even sooner, and CASA is the most accountablest and transparentest agency ever! (You should all be standing and saluting by now…).

It’s always difficult to know whether to be sickened by, instead of sad for, the Senate Laborials who conduct the inquiries, identify the problems, make the recommendations and then just acquiesce in the token effort in response, rather than exercise their powers to change things. (But it’s always compelling viewing. Do they feel unclean? What happens at the ‘Big Brother’ Party meetings?)

It’s also difficult to know whether to be sad for, or just contemptuous of, the people who keep putting their faith in the Laborials to make any substantial change to aviation regulation, despite decades of evidence to the contrary. Sooner or later, they have to accept or have forced upon them the consequences of credulous rapture in response vacuous motherhood statements.

My suggested amendments if I wanted good things for GA in Australia to happen quickly? I’d repeal section 8(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and substitute:

“The Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia is established, as an authority called the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, by this subsection.”

I reckon that if the guys and girls in the AAAA took charge, it would have the same effect on the some of the people, processes and procedures in CASA, in about the same timeframe, as some of the chemicals sprayed by the AAAA on bugs and crops in the real world. I’d pay folding money to see it.

But I’m just a wheelchair-bound, acne-stippled geek from Hicksville USA. Good luck Australia!
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 11:59
  #524 (permalink)  
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But I’m just a wheelchair-bound, acne-stippled geek from Hicksville USA. Good luck Australia!
And so are most of CASA. They suffered acne as teens, went on high doses of Roaccutane for extended periods of time and by the time the side effects kicked in they were old enough to be let loose in the CASA funny farm...it explains a lot really.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 12:04
  #525 (permalink)  
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What are the specifics of your proposed solution, P337?

Or will you continue to merely criticise?
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 12:16
  #526 (permalink)  
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What are the specifics of your proposed solution, P337?
Or will you continue to merely criticise?
Hmmm, I thought we finished this Tango the other night off line? Does this mean the music has started up once more and we are yet again holding hands, hip to thigh, legs angled inwards and commencing the dance? Hopefully not.

My 'specifics' have been submitted on two occasions to two seperate inquiries, plus I have spent many hours lobbying local Ministers in an attempt to elicit change. That is a sample of the forums I have used to put forth my 'specifics'. As for the PPRuNe forum, well although I post on here it is not in an attempt to change the world. As you know from our discussion 'off line', one person is never going to inflict change upon CASA. Lord knows many have tried, yet many have failed.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 13:56
  #527 (permalink)  
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the wheels of change churn slowly.
listen to what warren actually said in that video clip.
the review reports back in 2 months. that is a milestone on the road.

it isn't over yet.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 20:58
  #528 (permalink)  
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Ah yes, the Report of the ASRR.

No doubt it will be: Peace for our time!

For about the eighth time, won’t it be?
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 22:19
  #529 (permalink)  
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Ginger Beers gain a voice...

listen to what warren actually said in that video clip.
the review reports back in 2 months. that is a milestone on the road.
Despite the wet lettuce delivery by the miniscule, D8 may have a point. I presume that the following is the bit that you are referring to D8....
"...However, there are, as was evidenced from the debate today and yesterday, a range of concerns about the operations of the regulatory system in Australia. We are therefore conducting a safety regulatory review with an international panel, and I anticipate that, arising from that review, significant reforms will be under consideration. The panel is due to report to the government by the end of May 2014. Once the government has considered the report it will finalise an updated strategic direction for CASA, which will enhance the authority's role as Australia's independent aviation safety regulator.

The shadow minister reported a little on the history of civil aviation regulation during the time he was the minister. As usual, he looked at it through somewhat rose-coloured glasses. But I am sure that even he must acknowledge that there is widespread concern in the industry about the way our regulatory system is working, the difficulties in managing and dealing with the new rules that are currently being developed and the widespread acceptance that there needs to be a simplification in the way in which we administer safety issues in the aviation industry. Also, there needs to be a substantial improvement in the relationship between the regulator and the industry. There needs to be confidence on both sides and also a willingness to work together to achieve a satisfactory outcome..."

Maybe it is all just typical "blow it out your ar#e" political rhetoric.., I guess (as D8 says) time will tell...

Coming back to the, well briefed by Max Scorer , Dr Jensen debate speech.... Part of that speech
...Mr Scorer had recently retired from CASA—at the end of June 2013—after just on 30 years of service with CASA and its predecessors as an airworthiness inspector. Prior to his appointment in 1983 to the then Department of Aviation, he worked in the field of aircraft maintenance as a licenced engineer on large airline aircraft, light aircraft and corporate jet aircraft. He also spent some time as a flight engineer and in his younger years he served with RAAF City of Melbourne 21 Squadron. So to say he is a person of great experience would be no exaggeration. Mr Scorer approached me with a view to offering his services to the aviation industry to give something back to an industry that has provided him with a living for many years. In January 2014 he clocked up 50 years of service in aviation.

Mr Scorer gave me a presentation with regard to the recently implemented Civil Aviation Safety Regulation 1998 part 42. It is my belief that more of the aviation community should be aware of the situation as it now exists under part 42. One would obviously realise that the intricacies of government legislation can be complex, so I will try to explain the requirements as briefly as possible and attempt to give you some idea of what changing safety legislation could mean for the general aviation sector.

Under Civil Aviation Regulation [1988] 30, the regulation under which GA maintenance organisations presently gain approval, the norm has been for the operator's chosen maintenance organisation to control all the pending maintenance requirements for their aircraft. In other words, the maintenance organisation would keep concise records of what is required to safely maintain the aircraft and comply with all CASA legislation. Much of this is provided to the customer as part of maintenance services and as a normal function of aircraft maintenance. It is called continuing airworthiness control or continuing airworthiness management.

CAMOs are granted approval under part 42G. The RPT sector, which used to operate under CAR 30, now operates under part 145—the actual physical maintenance function—and part 42G—airworthiness management—two different approvals. Part 42B, specifically 42.040 (2) says that the registered operator of an aircraft operating under an air operator's certificate 'must' have a contract with a CAMO or form their own CAMO.

The requirements relating to gaining approval as a CAMO are very costly and difficult for the GA sector to achieve. For instance, a small maintenance organisation consisting of a chief engineer—quite often the owner—hangar foreman, and licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, unlicensed personnel and quite often a couple of apprentices will not be allowed to utilise any of those personnel to form a CAMO. It will not be acceptable for them to carry out the two roles as they have done in the past. The CAMO must have a management structure consisting of an accountable manager, responsible manager, quality manager, continuing airworthiness manager, airworthiness review manager and so on. All of these personnel have to have formal qualifications to be acceptable to CASA to fill these positions. For instance, to fill the position of continuing airworthiness manager you would have to be a LAME or equivalent. There are not enough LAMEs in Australia to carry out aircraft maintenance as it is; pulling them out of the system and putting them into a CAM role would severely hamper the industry in available personnel and impose a huge increase in cost to the operator.

At this time CASA has not approved any independent CAMOs. All approvals have been granted within the RPT sector. There are thousands of aircraft in Australia that are affected. There are many private aircraft owners who make their aircraft available to operators under leasing agreements. This helps in two ways: it lessens the cost of ownership where maintenance costs et cetera are concerned and it makes aircraft available to operators who would otherwise not be able to finance the purchase of the aircraft. If any such aircraft are operating under an AOC then the owner will have to contract the services of a CAMO to gain an ARC—no ARC, no flying. The maintenance organisations will not be able to issue a certificate to release the service following the maintenance unless the aircraft has an ARC.

These requirements will have far-reaching implications where the GA sector is concerned. The Royal Flying Doctor Service, for instance, will have to comply with the CAMO and ARC requirements. At the moment the operation of the ESSO helicopters in Victoria ferrying workers out to the oil rigs is a 'private operation'. This operation, by the way, rivals the airlines in terms of departure and arrival frequencies. Via the new operational regs, this operation will be under an AOC.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is funded largely by donations. The requirement to either contract a CAMO or gain their own 42G approval will entail the use of some of those vital funds. The adoption of the European Aviation Safety Agency legislation, which is what the new legislation is based on, is all very fine for airline-type operators, such as Qantas or Virgin. However, it is a bit ludicrous to expect an organisation that is operating a couple of piston-powered Robinson R44 helicopters, carrying three passengers to a remote site to view cave paintings, to provide the same infrastructure as Qantas does for the Boeing 747s. As Mr Scorer pointed out, that needs to be back at the heart of law making...
Now IMHO if more concerned industry stakeholders (IOS members) were to follow the example of constituent Mr John Janssen, to Max Scorer and took the time to properly consult with their local MP, like Dr Jensen, then the all pervading, strangling Fort Fumble mystique of aviation safety can be broken down. Even though the Laborial (bi-partisan) 'hands off' philosophy to aviation safety is in effect suffocating the GA industry, IOS members should be using this bi-partisan approach to their advantage.

The Dr Jensen speech is one example of how this can be done, your local MP is obliged to convey his/her concerns, across party lines, to the government of the day. So get engaged or sit on the sidelines and winge..

The clock is ticking..TICK TOCK!

{Question for Creamy: Even though the CAA (Board) amendment bill is the subject of the current debate on the Act, is it possible (because the Act is being amended) to put forward amendments for other parts of the Act or are the non-aligned Senators restricted to the confines of the current proposed amendment??}

Last edited by Sarcs; 19th Mar 2014 at 23:31.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 23:47
  #530 (permalink)  
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Any Senator can move any changes they like (except to change it into a tax Bill). If a majority of Senators support the changes, the Bill is changed. It then goes back to the HoR with those changes.

The Senate could, for example, add a clause amending the list of CASA’s functions in section 9 of the Act. (Perhaps delete ‘developing and promulgating appropriate, clear and concise aviation safety standards’? CASA is manifestly incapable of performing that function, so why leave it in section 9? Perhaps insert a clause about fostering aviation? Surely all the people with big ideas out there are already pressing their Senators to do this. Surely they are not sitting with their thumbs in their mouths hoping someone else will do all the work for them.)

The Senate could, for example, add a clause inserting a classification of operations scheme into section 27 and kill, once and for all, the regulatory atrocity that is reg 206.

The Senate could, for example, add a clause inserting clear legal obligations and constraints in relation to CASA’s interactions with ATSB.

The Senate could, for example, add a clause inserting a clear legal obligation for CASA to respond, in a specified way and within a specified time, to recommendations of coroners, the ATSB, etc.

The Senate could, for example, change the Bill so that the CASA Board is abolished (again).

The Senate could, for example, change the Bill so that CASAs name is changed to Bob.

Now ask yourself: Why don’t the Laborial Senators who were on the aviation accident investigation inquiry Committee put their Senate power where their mouths are? Surely they are in a position to know what needs to be done, and to convince their lower House colleagues of the merits of the changes. Surely.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 01:43
  #531 (permalink)  
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Angel The Senate could, for example…??

Okay Creamy got it!! So if we take your repeated statement..”the Senate could, for example” and apply it (for example) to some of the recommendations for Act changes from the AMROBA ASRR submission (ref: pg 23-26 of AMROBA submission):
Recommendation 1:
Amend 9(1)(c) to read:
(c) promulgate appropriate, clear and concise civil (delete-aviation safety standards) specific operating rules;
(i) consistent with the standards and practices contained in Annexes to the
(ii) comparable with North America and Europe aviation requirements; and
(iii) have minimal differences with New Zealand aviation requirements.

Amending Section 9(1)(c) of the Civil Aviation Act will empower CASA in a similar manner as their counterparts in other mature aviation countries (EASA, FAA, TCCA).

Clarifying aviation safety standards as Civil Aviation Operating Rules also meets global principles.

Recommendation 2:
Amend 3A to read similar to the NZ Objectives: e.g.
a) CASA to undertake the government's functions in a way that contributes to the aim of achieving an integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable aviation system; and (b) to ensure that Australia’s obligations under international civil aviation agreements are implemented.
And then the enabling component:
Subsequent Act Changes

To enable these two provisions to function correctly, Section 98 of the Civil Aviation Act would need to be completely modernised so CASA can be properly empowered – many regulations should direct CASA to promulgate CASSs.

Section 98 of the Civil Aviation Act should include the requirements of Articles of the Convention that CASA has government responsibility to manage compliance and enable the making of regulations that also direct CASA to promulgate CASS (Specific Operating Rules).

If the Government is to realise their aviation policy then there will need to be a change of thinking and attitude of not only industry but CASA personnel as well.

Everyone recognises that we are ‘over-regulated’ but do we understand what we mean by stating “over-regulation is stifling industry”.

Nobody will agree to lower ‘safety standards’ but it is possible to improve safety standards whilst de-regulating the non-airline sectors. The “language” of Acts of Parliament & Parliamentary Regulations are not akin to the ‘language’ of technical standards as used in EASA and FAA Regulations or the TCCA Standards.

Adoption of ICAO terminology that is used globally would also make the Act and Regulations more readable by those in aviation both in Australia and internationally.

Balanced Approach to Control and Supervision

ICAO Safety Oversight Manual states:
“A balanced safety oversight system is one in which both the ‘State’ and the aviation share responsibility for the safe, regular and efficient conduct of civil aviation activities. This relationship should be established in the primary legislation, regulations and requirements and put into practice as a matter of policy and methodology of the CAA.”
Hmm it would seem that Ken & Co have the hang of this re-writing legislation thing....maybe we can start a list of recommended amendments with explanatory notes for the non-Laborial pollies to consider??

While on the subject of AMROBA I notice an article of interest in their latest newsletter that should be read in support of the AMROBA submission by the WLR panel:
New Industry Approach

If there was ever a time in aviation for an urgent and contemporary approach to re-directing the government’s policy for the future of civil aviation, it is NOW. In 1988, CASA’s predecessor was created with expectations that have never eventuated. Unlike NZ, who had the Swedavia—McGregor Report in 1988 to guide them, CASA misguided and ever changing regulatory development has seen a decline in aviation. Access the NZ Swedavia-Report and see what we expect. A new approach to aviation.

The Minister Truss’s ASRR Report must rival the recommendations of the NZ Swedavia-McGregor Report that brought about major changes in NZ for the betterment of aviation.

Since the regulatory re-write started back in 1991, the number of individuals, AOCs and AMOs participating have drastically declined as continual changes are made to the environmental and regulatory requirements. Business bankruptcies swelled by more than half in the depths of the recession, a statistic that masks a world of heartache for the owners of the many businesses that didn’t make it.

The whole regulatory system being developed does not overlay a sustainable small business environment.

Aircraft are a mode of transport (people or freight) whether they are used privately or commercially.

Air transport is also a safe form of transport and the reasons why there is a decline in the use of air transport in rural Australia need to be identified and reversed.

Obviously the growth of regulations, not just aviation regulations, has affected businesses. To rebuild this industry it is not recommended that the current system be re-written, a new system is required.

What basic regulations should apply to a private operator of an aircraft?

• The ‘rules of the air’ controlling airspace must have clarity like road rules.
• Pilot licensing standards — harmonised with NZ & USA.
• Aircraft airworthiness standards — harmonised with NZ and USA.
• Maintenance personnel licensing standards — harmonised with NZ and USA.

Adoption of the FAA/NZ approach for private and small specified commercial operations should be implemented, within 12 months, including adoption of the US Fixed Based Operator (FBO) for private and specified commercial operations.

Commercial operators, such as charter and small airline operations need a complete new approach to encourage a complete revival in the use of aircraft, especially as a rural air transport system.

Australia has always had entrepreneurs that are willing to invest in aviation if the pilots, LAMEs and engineering support can be found to support the venture. Irrespective of how you look at the current environment, regulatory imposts are turning many entrepreneurs away from aviation.

At what stage of a declining industry do you reach a position where recovery is not possible or is extremely hard to accomplish? Are we at that stage with private aviation?
Why isn’t the same standards applied to all aircraft irrespective who registers the aircraft?

All aircraft, pilots and maintenance personnel should meet the same standards in private as well as the various commercial sectors of aviation. The USA and Canada can do it, why not Australia.

Most private owners and aviation participants would welcome is a complete new system—the current & proposed changes have not seen a safe growth in the non airline sectors.

The current aviation Acts, regulations and other requirements are from the past. New regulations are from another region of the world that has no similarities with Australia.

We need NEW aviation Acts and regulations suitable to Australia, especially our rural and remote areas.

Many of these rural and remote areas should be tourist locations serviced by appropriately sized aircraft and aircraft should be more commonly used by more rural and remote locations. It will only happen if a complete new approach is taken to regulatory development, not only in aviation, but also small business requirements.
Link for NZ Swedavia-Report

Wow....the WLR panel have sure got their work cut out for them…

Frank Addendum! "Even The Greens agree to a certain extent along these lines..."

Well at least Senator Rhiannon:

Last edited by Sarcs; 20th Mar 2014 at 02:27.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 02:05
  #532 (permalink)  
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The Senate has a duty to inform The House of Representatives via Minister Truss that the aviation Industry has lost all confidence in the CASA. Even The Greens agree to a certain extent along these lines. A succession of DAS' have inveigled our elected representatives into believing there is no problem and this lie is the basis for which Industry will not trust the CASA ever. It would indeed be a good idea for the senators to send a bill back with an amendment that the name be changed to Civil Aviation Authority, (CAA), as the word "safety" is now an abuse of the definition.

Bearing in mind a Camel is a Horse designed by a committee, adding extra Board members to the existing trough can only exacerbate a problem that wouldn't exist if we had no Board at all. If The Senate lets this through without a struggle we indeed have reason for concern as it would appear all hope is lost.

What's a dis-allowance motion?

Without "laboring the point" that all political party's are somehow the same with new definitions, we should hold those with election promises to cut the bullshit and waste be accountable. The Liberal/Nationals made this promise, Labor didn't, so it is they that are accountable lest they be tarred with the same brush that Labor now live with over the carbon tax lie.

Last edited by Frank Arouet; 20th Mar 2014 at 02:09. Reason: mad font and paragraphing problem.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 02:39
  #533 (permalink)  
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At the risk of being a wet blanket, the ASRR will add to the already large pile of Parliamentary inquiries and a few Royal Commissions into CASA and its predecessors, over many years, all without much change.

This includes the Morris Inquiry, the longest running inquiry since Federation.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Library has a consolidated list of all the inquiries, and where appropriate, nominates the air disaster that prompted the inquiry into the "regulator" of the day.
Without a reformist and activist Minister (as was John Sharp, for an unfortunately truncated period) nothing much will happen.

Without a effective new Civil Aviation Act,successfully written in the full knowledge of the shortcomings of the current 1988 Act, no changes will stick.

There is no easy way do dismantle a culture of control and micro-management that has imbedded itself over many decades.

I am glad I am not just starting out on a career anywhere in the Australian aviation sector (as opposed to foreign companies that operate in Australia).

Tootle pip!!
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 07:12
  #534 (permalink)  
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But surely you’ve already sent your proposed new, effective Civil Aviation Act to the ASRR Panel and Senators, old bean? You know all the shortcomings in the existing Act and know how to fix them.

Help all those just starting out on a career in aviation!
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 08:38
  #535 (permalink)  
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ka boom !!

Yes , we have sent our submissions, with constructive ideas for change

There's no arguments about what's required to "fix" it, Puffy. Blind Freddie could put his hand on it. Its the methodology of getting the change.
We have "democracy" (sic) versus entrenched bureaucracy.

Even politicians and ministers are saying that any policy can be usurped /delayed/side-tracked/obfusticated by bureaurats who dont like any idea that doesnt suit THEIR agenda.
And with CAsA we've had this in spades.

How to FIX IT?. FIIK. !!!

There are overseas "methods"..... but they are unacceptable here.

Perhaps we should send an email to Vladimir Putin for a few tips. Or just invade the rotten place. Da!

Now there's an idea...perhaps we should do a citizens take over of (Non) Aviation House.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 08:46
  #536 (permalink)  
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the core of the problem is that people who fly and own aircraft can see the problem because they understand the aviation environment.

the ordinary man in the street, or back of the room, hasn't much of a clue about aviation at all. you just have to listen to all the half understood tripe that they think is aviation.

a minister who isn't a pilot will not really have a clue.
he has to weigh up the message from the government's experts (with all the deep sincere looks and deep confident voices) with the disjointed voices of all the industry players.
I think the message that all is not well is slowly seeping through but it must be hard for ministers to understand which of the voices is to be believed.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 12:14
  #537 (permalink)  
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State of play

I know Sarcs has posted this Poohtube clip in the senate thread, but it is worth a guernsey here as well;

Excellent work Nick, 3 x chocolate frogs are in the post
Although he did sound like he had a cold? Hope he feels better soon

It's a shame the senate was empty, devoid of other interested parties, media or even pot plants! Nick called this whole charade for what it is. The ATSB is a joke, CASA is a joke, and successive governments are a joke. It was easy to note in the tone of his voice his dislike for the watered down scope of Truss's limp wristed review, and he also reiterated that Doc Voodoo's finely manufactured MOU between Fort Fumble and the ATSB is a load of pony pooh. I liked the praise that Nick bestowed upon his quiet achiever Hannah Wooller, and I think Nick is right, Hannah herself has become a learned scholar when it comes to accident investigations Maybe a motion could be raised to have her become Commissioner of the ATSB? She would be more knowledgeable than his Royal Beakship. Hannah, 2 x chocolate frogs for you. (Please don't tell 'K' as he will be very upset that I am giving away all his frogs )

As Sarcs has mentioned numerous times, the clock is ticking and tocking. There is still a few interesting moves to be played out yet, might still be a bit of fun left to run in this game

Again, good work Nick. 10/10
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:37
  #538 (permalink)  
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Cool Alas, the empty Senate

P377 said:

It's a shame the senate was empty, devoid of other interested parties, media or even pot plants!
I'll have a look for the pot plants next time I make it to the front row of the public gallery , but the media and the other Senators all have live video feeds to their offices, normally one for them and one for their advisers, to keep track of what has become a process of reading statements into Hansard and onto the public TV feeds.

Nobody needs to be in the chamber unless they want to participate in the debate or a division is required to vote on a motion. A hell of a lot of meetings and parliamentary work gets done outside the Chamber and sitting hours.

I reckon it is advantageous if the Senate is empty - there is no dissent, points of order, etc and if one of the party hacks is detailed off to refute something, they have to do it separately with fewer surprises.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 14:01
  #539 (permalink)  
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Hansard for Nx & DF 20/03/14

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (15:45): I seek leave for the Senate to reconsider the matter relating to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report into air safety and accident investigations.

Leave granted.

Senator XENOPHON: by leave—I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

At the outset, I would like to acknowledge the incredible work of the committee secretariat on this report. It is a very complex, technical area, and I believe this report should be held up as the gold standard of what a dedicated Senate committee can achieve. At the risk of embarrassing her, I would like to acknowledge my legislation and policy adviser, Hannah Wooller, who did extraordinary work on this, and who probably knows more about air safety investigations and air accident investigations than she ever thought she would want to know when she started work with me.

I fear that I may not be able to say the same about the government response, in comparison to the way that the secretariat has dealt with this. I note that the government has already established its review into aviation safety, and that the ATSB has already invited the Canadian transport safety board to consider its investigative and reporting processes in relation to the Pel-Air incident and other matters. But I do have serious concerns about the Canadian process. Those concerns are not about the integrity of the Canadian transport safety board, but about the fact that it seems that their terms of reference are so circumscribed. They have yet to interview or obtain information from the Senate committee, from the pilot involved in that incident or from experts who gave evidence to that committee.

What is vitally important about the recommendations from this report is that they do not stand alone. They were made in the context of evidence that showed a serious and systemic lack of rigour from both the ATSB and CASA. Any responses from the government that claim that existing policy or procedure addresses the committee's concerns cannot be accepted, because this report clearly shows that existing policies and procedures do not work. Instead, the flight crew of VH-NGA were made scapegoats for regulatory failures.

I note, in particular, the comments from ATSB Chief Commissioner Mr Dolan, who admitted during questioning that he was 'not proud' of the ATSB's report into the Pel-Air incident. The committee even went so far as to state that Mr Dolan's standing as a witness before the committee had been eroded by his evidence relating to the ATSB's failure to retrieve the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. Mr Dolan justified this position by quoting a version of the statement that sets out the ATSB's international responsibilities in this regard—ICAO Annex 13—that was not in force at the time of the accident or investigation. I pay tribute to Senator David Fawcett's cross-examination of Mr Dolan in this regard, which elicited very valuable information. A reading of the current Annex 13 may leave some room for discretion as to whether the recorders are to be retrieved. A reading of the annex that was in force at the time of the incident and subsequent investigation—and therefore should have been the one used by the ATSB to reach a decision—does not provide for this discretion. The committee report states:

The committee does not accept this argument—
that is, the argument of Mr Dolan.

At the time the decision against retrieving the FDR was made the imperative existed for the ATSB to do so. To ignore this imperative by arguing that the benefit did not justify the cost appears disingenuous. To imply that the revised wording in the current version of Annex 13 was the basis for the ATSB's decision in 2009/2010, before this version was in force, is even more disingenuous.

This report also called into question the relationship between the ATSB and CASA, and whether the intention of the memorandum of understanding between them is being met. The purpose of CASA is to ensure Australia's aviation safety regulations are being met and are serving their purpose. Therefore, if an incident investigated by the ATSB reveals a gap in that oversight, it is the ATSB's duty to report it.

I would like to share an email from an ATSB officer to Mr Dolan and Mr Ian Sangston of the ATSB regarding the investigation, which reads in part:

We were discussing the potential to reflect the intent of our new MoU that describes the 2 agencies as 'independent but complementary'. We discussed the hole CASA might have got itself into by its interventions since the ditching, and how you might have identified an optimum path that will maximise the safety outcome without either agency planting egg on the other agency's face. Right now, I suspect that CASA is entrenching itself into a position that would be hard to support. If we were to contemplate an exit strategy, or an 'out', then CASA would need to recognise that it is 'in' something in the first place.

It is important to note that the final ATSB report makes no reference to the officer's concerns. What this email clearly indicates is that there was a belief inside the ATSB that CASA had 'got itself into a hole', and that the ATSB's priority was avoiding conflict between the two agencies, rather than holding CASA to account.

On its own part, CASA concluded a special audit of Pel-Air after the ditching and found multiple significant safety breaches on the part of Pel-Air. A further audit CASA undertook on its oversight of Pel-Air found that CASA had failed in its role as regulator. CASA did not share this information with the ATSB, despite the MoU between them requiring it. As such, the ATSB did not have access to information that showed the broader context in which the incident occurred. What is even more concerning is that, after receiving the information as part of the committee process, the ATSB defended its investigation and stated that access to that information would not have changed their conclusion. Again, this is the report of which the chief commissioner of the ATSB is 'not proud'.

In aviation safety, it is vital to look at the contributing factors to consider the bigger picture in which an incident occurred. For example, were the staff adequately trained? Did the company employing them provide appropriate and continuous access to training and other support? Was there a safety culture in the organisation, or did the operator encourage their staff to take risks and 'just get the job done', so to speak? All of these questions, and more, should be asked so investigators can understand the environment in which an incident occurred. In that way, the environment itself can be addressed to prevent that same, or similar, incidents happening again.

The government should take a similar approach to considering this report. Sadly, it has not. In what environment is the ATSB and CASA operating? What are their cultures like? Are they likely to enforce the systems and procedures already in place, or do changes need to happen? This report gives us the answer to many of those questions. The next question is whether the government will take them into account and act appropriately.

I seek leave to complete my remarks later.

Leave granted.

Senator FAWCETT (South Australia) (15:52): I want to follow Senator Xenophon with a couple of brief comments. I welcome his contribution to this and the role he has played, along with Senator Sterle and Senator Heffernan, in the committee inquiry that led to this report. I welcome the fact that the response to this report from the government has finally come. It is a report that deals with a range of serious safety issues. As a member of the committee, and not of the executive government, I have yet to read the response. I intend to do so and look seriously at how these recommendations, which go to serious safety issues for the aviation community, have been responded to.

Recommendation 7 goes to the issue of competence in terms of the governance of organisations. We saw legislation tabled this week in the lower house and we are here in the Senate today looking at a bill for increasing governance on the board of CASA. The minister commented that he is looking to have people with both operational and technical experience on the board. That was a strong theme that came through this inquiry—the need to have appropriate, competent guidance for both CASA and the ATSB so that we have leadership that recognises what is important and gives appropriate direction to the practitioners.

Recommendation 13 is that a short inquiry be conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport. The government has essentially pre-empted that recommendation with the review being led by Mr David Forsyth into the regulatory reform process. That has been widely embraced by the aviation community. I look forward to the tabling of that in the implementation.

While the response by the former government, and even this one, is far later than should have been the case for something that is so important, I welcome the fact that the response has been tabled and I look forward to reading it in detail. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

{I would just like to make the comment that Senator Fawcett looked positively shell shocked on the video feed and Para I second the motion for Hannah as the next Chief Commissioner..}
Sarcs is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2014, 14:33
  #540 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,863
But surely you’ve already sent your proposed new, effective Civil Aviation Act to the ASRR Panel and Senators, old bean? You know all the shortcomings in the existing Act and know how to fix them
Did you actually think I wouldn't?
They will not be published here.
Tootle pip!!

PS: It does NOT include "promote and foster" in the Act as a duty of CASA, I happen to be one of the ones that believes such conflicts of interest do nothing useful. I prefer the NZ approach to that one.
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