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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

Old 10th Apr 2014, 14:53
  #581 (permalink)  
 
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MQ and skeletons

I think MQ has already put himself out there, balls and all. No fear of retribution. Good play! He made a submission to a senate inquiry in 2008 which made total sense for the way forward. Unfortunately, back stabbed and white anted by those looking for the key to the throne. I'll paste the 2008 senate speech after I try and update my reg knowledge. Could be a year or so!
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 00:02
  #582 (permalink)  
 
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Devil Murdoch MSM catching up..well sort of?

Not sure where Creedy has been lately but the fill in bloke is actually starting to (occasionally) jump the fence to provide a slightly more balanced view than the usual QASA diatribe..

Last week in Friday's Australian the MMSM reported on parts of the AFAP (& ALAEA) WLR submissions with the headline: Pilots call for less ‘arbitrary’ screening
THE Australian Federation of Air Pilots has labelled screening processes for passengers at many of the nation’s non-major airports as “illogical or unnecessary” and claims they are conducted with no regard for the costs involved.

In a submission to the federal government’s aviation safety review — which is expected to report later this month — it also describes screening processes for pilots as “arbitrary and unnecessary”, saying: “Continually screening pilots before they go airside so that their tweezers are detected before they take control of a jet aircraft with an axe in the cockpit seat beggars belief.”

In November, Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss announced the Aviation Safety Regulation Review to examine the effectiveness of aviation agencies, look for overlap, and to determine the suitability of Australia’s aviation safety regulations compared to those abroad.

The inquiry, chaired by aviation veteran David Forsyth, has not made its 150-odd submissions public, claiming many authors wished for them to remain confidential. However, it will draw on them in filing its report.
Mr Forsyth was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The AFAP says the federal government’s Office of Transport Security “appears to operate without any regard” to the costs it imposes on the industry through screening requirements.

“While there may be a clear need for such screening at major airports, the rationale for (it) at smaller regional airports is questionable at best,” it says.

“The operations of the Office of Transport Security are an excessive cost burden on the industry ... many security screening processes are illogical or unnecessary”. The federation — the largest pilots’ association in Australia, with over 3500 members — also says many of the screening and security measures “appear to be driven by political and public relations concerns”.

The Office of Transport Security had not responded to the claims by deadline yesterday.

In a separate submission the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association raises a number of concerns with the operations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and calls for the introduction of a US-style whistleblower protection program to protect employees raising safety concerns.

The ALAEA claims CASA is not properly policing maintenance operations and takes disproportionate action against “soft targets”, such as when it “very strongly pursued minor operator Tiger Airways over safety breaches and poor systems”. CASA has denied both allegations.

The AFAP has also raised concerns over CASA. “The perception of CASA by our members is one of constant change, characterised by high staff turnover and low morale from within,” it says in its submission.

It says a Senate inquiry into aviation accident investigations handed down a report more than two years ago into the effectiveness of CASA and the Air Traffic Safety Bureau. “(That report) made 26 recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the relationship between CASA and the ATSB. To date it appears that few, if any, of these recommendations have been carried out.”

It requests that the review “revisit the findings of that inquiry and recommend (their) implementation” as a priority.

It also wants aviation regulations to be “rewritten in plain English”, and “targeted at and comprehensible to the industry”.
Normally the miniscule's dept doesn't partake in any trivial aviation media matters. So it is somewhat surprising that this particular article has actually provoked a response from Kingcrat & crew, where we see (ironically) that the ICAO compliance card has been played..:
Government rejects screening complaint

THE federal government has hit back at claims from the nation’s pilots’ association that many secu*rity checks are “illogical and unnecessary”, claiming they are in line with the risks.

The Australian revealed last week that the Australian Federation of Air Pilots viewed screening processes for passengers at many regional airports as unnecessary and screening pro*cess*es for pilots as “arbitrary and unnecessary”.

A spokeswoman for the *Department of Infrastructure said the level and type of screening was appropriate.

“The Australian government is aware of the social and economic importance of a vibrant and competitive regional aviation sector,” the spokeswoman told The Australian.

“Screening measures at Australia’s security-controlled airports are commensurate with risk and threat levels, as determined through information provided by Australia’s security agencies.”

In a submission to the federal government’s aviation safety *review — which is expected to report later this month — AFAP, which has said security measures appeared to be implemented “without any regard” to the costs imposed on industry through screening requirements.

“Continually screening pilots before they go airside so that their tweezers are detected *before they take control of a jet aircraft with an axe in the cockpit beggars belief,” AFAP said in the statement.

The Department of Infrastructure said the national prohibited items list (which guides screening at airports) reflected standards developed by the International Civil Aviation Org*anisation and was accepted internationally by other foreign aviation security regulators.

“The screening processes are *neither arbitrary nor unneces*sary,” the spokeswoman said. “All people entering the sterile area of an airport and boarding an aircraft are subject to the same levels of screening.”

She said screening reduced the risk of a person knowingly or unknowingly bringing a prohibited item into the “sterile area”.
Hmm..pity those same ICAO standards weren't applied when it came to the VH-NGA ditching investigation..

Moving on remember this??


“Do not be dismayed by our vocal but largely uninformed minority of critics; they are symptomatic of other ills in society. I prefer ‘facts’ when engaged in discussions; not hearsay and tautological rubbish that some others seem to regard as promising material.”

Well it would seem that the " vocal minority" is starting to become a majority and they're camped in the miniscule's office waiting room with some hard 'facts':
Airport fee rises ‘choking growth’


THE nation’s airline lobby group has called for Australia’s major international airports to slow the aggressive ramping-up of fees, which it claims risks “choking” future growth.

The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, which represents 29 international *airlines operating in the country, said prices charged by the *nation’s major international *airports had doubled in real terms over the past 12 years, from about $10 to $20 a passenger.

In a report into infrastructure of the nation’s major airports, to be released today, BARA says charges at Sydney and Brisbane airports are now “well above” the Asia-Pacific and European averages. “If the industry is to maintain airfare affordability, it is not possible to sustain the trend of rising investment levels funded through continued increase in airport prices,” the BARA report says. It says the industry needs to ensure the cost of meeting growth does not end up chocking the very growth it is intended to foster.

The report highlights the very high investment returns being delivered to the nation’s airports, with pre-tax returns soaring from below 6 per cent annually in 2003 to above 12 per cent at present and averaging 11 per cent over the past five years.

A key to the growth in that revenue was the government’s 2002 moves to *remove price controls set by the Australian *Competition & Consumer Commission and *replace them with “light-*handed” economic regulation, placing more control in the hands of operators.

The result of this *light-*handed regulation has led to *unnecessary “protracted negotiation processes between international airlines and airport operators”, BARA says.

The report comes after the ACCC findings last week that the nation’s four *biggest *airports were continuing to ramp up fees despite most *delivering no real increase in *service quality.

The ACCC, which delivers an annual report on the performance of the Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports, found all but Brisbane had delivered only “satisfactory” performance over the year to June 2013.

Brisbane’s average quality of service was lifted from satisfactory to “good”. Sydney delivered the worst quality of service, *despite charging the highest “aeronautic *revenue” per *passenger at $15.53.

The lobby group for the Australian Airports Association challenged the ACCC’s findings and said they presented a *“historical snapshot” as they *related to data that was already nine months old. “The ACCC’s findings provide an historical snapshot of the state of our major airports, given the extremely dynamic nature of the aviation industry and the ongoing investment being made in better airport infrastructure,” said AAA chief executive *Caroline Wilkie.

BARA notes the ACCC’s *service quality monitoring has been criticised by the AAA.

“It is notable, however, that the industry has not developed more sophisticated service quality measures and included them in agreements with airlines,” the BARA report says.

The airline body calls for the government to commission research into the productivity of the nation’s aviation industry and the “rate of return across *infrastructure providers”.
If only the miniscule could see behind the 2000 pound elephant (called Fort Fumblenese..) constantly parked in his office...

Last edited by Sarcs; 12th Apr 2014 at 01:52.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 03:18
  #583 (permalink)  
 
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There are none so blind as those that will not see.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 03:23
  #584 (permalink)  
 
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Yup Sarcs,

our airports are doing a wonderful job, world class.
Some questions I would love to see answered in Parliament or Publicly?

1. How many airports have been constructed in Australia in the past 10 years compared with China?

2. How much revenue has Sydney airport earned since it was privatised.

3. How much tax has Sydney airport paid since it was privatised.

4. What is the ratio of money Sydney airport has spent, since it was privatised, on improving airport infrastructure, by that I mean directly involved with aviation, compared with non aviation infrastructure such as car parks, terminal shops, hotels and supermarkets?

5. How much public money was spent by CAsA to provide a 72 year old senior manager with an A380 endorsement?

6. For what purpose is the endorsement to be used by CAsA?

7. When will the senior manager be retiring?

8. How will the A380 endorsement impact on the senior managers entitlements on retirement?

anybody got some to add?
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 05:32
  #585 (permalink)  
 
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No Craigs in CAsA.....

He could use the HSU credit card to get some....
CaSA has for many years been unable to organise even a fcuk in a brothel. And the place is one

The corrupt there in, are just using the convoluted machinations of bureaucratic financial jiggery-pokery to slurp in the taxpayer funded troughs.

Should be some forensic accountants put nto CAsA to go thru the books....they'd find some "documentary fraud" in spades

One hears about complaints of the " migration industry" or whatever.
CAsA dwellers have made a lucrative "safety" industry for themselves...and it will continue to thrive until there is an Agency or MINISTER, not a miniscule, with backbone, balls and BITE...who gets in there with the axe.
Faint hope, I fear.

Hey I'm over 72, next pension day I'll put in an application for an A320 endo.
Shouldnt be a problem. Oink oink.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 07:03
  #586 (permalink)  
 
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Nearly every airport in Australia was paid for by the Taxpayer.


They were then given to the ratepayers and private enterprise who started to rely upon government grants after the initial grants ran out. Then the public either didn't pay landing fees or caught a train or gave other blokes they hate registrations to avoid paying for something they already owned.


We the got ASIC cards and a plethora of other "safety" measures which further cost industry. Meanwhile, the regulatory review process continued, the public service grew logarithmically to the needs of that "service" and self funded to the point where a private company would have been guilty of trading whilst insolvent.


We now have GA "feral fly-in's because everyone is scared $hitless of ramp checks at organized events and aircraft not intended for paddocks are operated there. WAC charts not current are a criminal offence despite the same mountain being there for millions of years. Bugger me, most single seaters in RA-Aus use freekin BP road maps because they only go 50nm without a piss stop. But you still need to know how to do 1:60 calculations when a force 5 gale is blowing through the canopy.


Yes, safety. Say it often enough and it becomes a mantra. Say this often enough and you become a Buddhist pilot.


I recently had to get into flying to get out of flying because I needed a BFR to deliver my aeroplane when I sold it. Then I did an IFR trip as a passenger where I was looking at the RPT goings on in a 10 seater in class G airspace that varied between 7000ft and 10,000ft to get over and around clouds. I regularly flew at those mid altitudes VFR. What happened to hemispherical levels? Poor old Dick is forced to fly low with these blokes and me in his jet because some prick doesn't like him.


Christ! Why won't they just leave everyone alone to kill themselves as they see fit?


I'm over it. They can all get fkuced! I'm going sailing while it's still legal.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 09:24
  #587 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Zealand
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CAsA, AMSA, sailing and safety first!

I'm over it. They can all get fkuced! I'm going sailing while it's still legal.
Careful Frank, at least one ex CASAsexual legal type now works for AMSA. He is probably promulgating some of Fort Fumbles evil incompetent arse covering methods and tricks into the minds of the maritime folk as we speak
Who knows, maybe the Skull, the 72 year old A380 pilot and the Witchdoctor will head over as well?
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 10:49
  #588 (permalink)  
 
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Not one to deal with the CMT involved but which one is in the 70's? The ones I am aware of are at worst would be 60.....
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Old 13th Apr 2014, 02:11
  #589 (permalink)  
 
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Angel Sundy QASAtation: Kudos to Robin Speed (ROLIA)

Sundy drift with WLR relevance...

In the Friday Oz newspaper's legal section there was an article titled 'Rule of Law wants governments to play by litigant rules':
New laws are needed to ensure governments do not abuse their power in litigation, according to the Rule of Law Institute.
The call for legislative change comes after the Productivity Commission this week found compliance with the Model Litigant Rules, which required governments to uphold the highest standards of fairness, honesty and integrity, was patchy.

R.O.L.I. chairman Robin Speed said stronger enforcement was needed to ensure government agenciues did not crush their opponents by unfairly using the resources at their disposal.

“There can’t be anything more intimidating than the commonwealth as an defendant, be4cause what it can do in resources is kill you in one way or another, or drag things out or not enter into fair negotiations,” he said.
R.O.L.I has handed a legislative blueprint to Attorney General George Brandis that would allow the courts to enforce model litigant guidelines.
Mr Speed said the Productivity Commission’s draft report had shown new enforcement measures were needed, and there was not enough incentive for agencies to comply with the rules.

“Clearly, the present system of internal review has not worked effectively or consistently, ” he said.

The Attorney general’s department appears not to want the job of monitoring other departments.”

Mr Speed met with Senator Brandis before Christmas to discuss possible changes to the existing framework and sent a proposed Bill to the Attorney general earlier this year.

He said if the Bill were adopted, it would be up to the courts to decide on an appropriate remedy for any breach of the model litigant rules.

The productivity Commission has sought advice on whether the model litigant rules should apply in other cases where there is a power imbalance, for example those involving large corporations or self represented litigants.
Opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus said in his experience the commonwealth had a high level of compliance with model litigant guidelines.
Now I know the subject of the MLR, in regards to CAsA, has been done to death on here but this could be an opportunity to highlight the middle finger approach FF takes to their obligations to act as a Model Litigant, Stan seems to think so..:
COMMENTS:

Stan van de Wiel,
…..there was not enough incentive for agencies to comply with the rules…. What kind of incentive are these creatures after, praise, payment on top of their bloated salaries. What about professional conduct. …….."Mark Dreyfus said in his experience the commonwealth had a high level of compliance with model litigant guidelines”…… The commonwealth should have an absolute level of compliance. If Surgeons or Pilots were to conduct themselves in such manner there would be deaths. Why are Judges condoning such methods, can’t they recognise them from professional conduct or is it because all judges have come up under a similar system and regard this behaviour as the ethical norm.
And PAIN suggests referring to the ProAviation WLR submission for some classic examples: PAIN_NET
@RoLAustralia cont/- For examples on @CASABriefing MLR abuse look no further than #Proaviation #ASRR submission here ProAviation?s submission to the ASRR | Pro Aviation
Food for thought for those aggrieved IOS members amongst us??
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Old 13th Apr 2014, 05:14
  #590 (permalink)  
 
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Sarcs, sounds good in theory. And the IOS would be supportive of such changes, however there is no incentive for Government to even contemplate Mr Speed's suggestions. Government like being non accountable. They have no conscience nor do they accept that its constituents have the right to be treated honestly and fairly. It will never ever happen. Can you imagine someone like the ATO acting fairly? Not charging 200% interest penalties on some poor small business owner who is going broke thanks to some ridiculous unethical compliance law suddenly thrust upon the business owner out of the blue? He loses his business plus gets to pay up to 200% interest rate! What is that figure based upon? Why so much? How can that be justified?

No, Frank has the right idea - civil disobedience. It would only take a few hundred thousand people to tell the government to stick its silly rules up its a#s, or to force the laws around speed cameras to be repealed (or the vans torched), to remove politicians outrageous salaries and perks or to kick the PM of the day out of his opulent special palace overlooking the harbour and put a hundred poor homeless souls in there.

Long live the IOS
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Old 13th Apr 2014, 21:04
  #591 (permalink)  
 
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Para377, there is a rather large incentive for Government to enforce model litigant rules on itself. Its called trust.

As Francis Fukuyama wrote in his book : "Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity", without trust the economy is poorer because transaction costs of doing business skyrocket, often to the point where no business can be transacted at all.

I would argue that if the lack of trust of CASA is as endemic as PPRuNe folk would have us believe, then look no further for the cause of the decline of the Aviation industry.

You cannot invest, employ and grow any business if you cannot manage the business risks involved and one of those risks is capricious action by CASA. The only way to mitigate that risk is through a robust defence in an unbiased Court of law, but CASA has already shown itself, if PPRuNe is to be believed, that it will not play by the rules.

To put that another way, what person in their right mind would want to start an airline let alone manufacture a certified aircraft in this country?
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Old 14th Apr 2014, 02:20
  #592 (permalink)  
 
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You cannot invest, employ and grow any business if you cannot manage the business risks involved and one of those risks is capricious action by CASA.
Sunfish,
Addressing this situation, the dearth of sources of capital for investment in small aviation enterprises was one of the issues to be addressed by the PAP/CASA Review in 1997, it was well recognised at the time, and the problem was addressed in the then Government election policy: Soaring Into Tomorrow.
There have been at least two more studies, of which I am aware, on this subject since, I have looked for but have not found copies.
However, they all make the same point, that the CASA arbitrary and capricious interpretations of very unsatisfactory aviation regulation, and the lack of avenues of reasonable redress at affordable costs, seriously undermines any potential for investment in aviation.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 14th Apr 2014, 02:50
  #593 (permalink)  
 
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Oh well Leadie and Sunny, since our Guvmint seems not to want industry in OZ, can always move to Kiwiland. It would appear their aviation industry is booming.
Wonder Why???
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Old 14th Apr 2014, 04:37
  #594 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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I would argue that if the lack of trust of CASA is as endemic as PPRuNe folk would have us believe, then look no further for the cause of the decline of the Aviation industry.
Well there you have it really. An organisation awash with bullies and sycophants, an ICC that is stacked, an AAT that is as useless and pointless as Australia's ACCC, acts of victimisation, successive governments putting their heads in the sand, utter incompetence by the regulator and waste of taxpayer money on failed programs, ventures and regulatory reform, for starters......
Yes Sunny, I can see how government is embracing its incentive to 'do the right thing'. And I'm sorry mate but the litany of hangers-on, advisors, more advisors, policy writers, PMC and so forth have and are achieving jack shit.
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Old 14th Apr 2014, 08:49
  #595 (permalink)  
 
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Goodbye GA...

If there are persons in CAsA that believe that the air over Oz should be traversed only by F18s and B 737s A 320s etc...then the paper re anything else must have been titled "Sawing Off Tomorrow".

The other two study papers were titled.. "Lets Fcuk over GA".. and.. "Time to Finish It Off". Its all a 25+ year old 'work in progress'...can't cut off the trough too soon.

Post May...when the Truss ASRR is bound and basted, industry and individual submissions sidelined and any REAL action/fixes watered down to homeopathic concentrations,then we the people/the IOS/ the victims (JQ et al) really will have to get somehow serious.

The survival of GA, and the sanity of its participants, will depend on it.
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Old 14th Apr 2014, 11:04
  #596 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Downunda
Posts: 559
Gary the goat unveiled?

Gary the goat actually Gary Harbor? Just asking the question.
Gary Harbor joined CASA in April 2005, with an extensive private sector background in human resources. He has been a personnel manager for Toyota; General Manager, Human Resources, at Email Metals; and head of human resources at the pharmaceutical firm Sigma Company. He has degrees in arts and economics and an MBA.
My quote taken from the below link:
Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Part 1 CASA's people
Now that's a trip down memory lane! Wonder where geni-talia is these days? What a motley crew!
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Old 14th Apr 2014, 11:25
  #597 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Don't goats like lettuce?

So how has CAsA improved since 'Lockhart'? Well we have had Pel Air, Canleyvale, regulatory reform..........not to mention the ATsB slipping from a separate entity to CAsA to now being its bitch!!
MARTIN FERGUSON, OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN: If CASA had have been doing its job, the Lockhart River accident, which saw 15 Australians lose their lives, could have been avoided.

KAREN BERKMAN: The inquiry found that CASA had not properly followed its own procedures and guidelines.

BRUCE BYRON: Yes, I saw that, and that's definitely an area of concern. I would say that across the board CASA’s surveillance needed improvement across all areas.
Full article below:
Lateline - 04/04/2007: CASA under fire over Lockhart River crash

CAsA got slapped with the wet lettuce leaf over Lockhart, and it's been slapped again with a wet lettuce leaf over Pel Air. What will be the catalyst for the next wet lettuce slap? A380 down? A330? Maybe a 737? Why doesn't this ridiculous WLR Team look at the systemic issues that date back? Go talk to some of the victims of Pel Air, or some of the families of the deceased from the Transair accident? No, of course they won't, and why:
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Old 14th Apr 2014, 20:19
  #598 (permalink)  
 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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UITA, and I note that Trig transponders are no longer on the list.

What a cluster**** ADS-B is.
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Old 15th Apr 2014, 11:41
  #599 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Zealand
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Junior Ministerial oversight required for aviation portfolio?

So if there is any truth in Mr Abbott's announcement about Badgery, this would be the biggest aviation related event this country has seen in some time. When it comes to the infrastructure portfolio, some of the following areas will require ongoing oversight;
• Completion of/or scrapping the current regulatory reform program and getting the job done, correctly, once and for all.
• The dismantling of CASA and creation of a new aviation safety body.
• The clean up and rebuild of the ATSB.
• The building, planning and structure of Badgerys. Yes to be structured in a way that ensures the taxpayer and government reap some financial gain out of the the asset, not just somebody like J.P Morgan.
• Revamp and streamlining of the Office of Transport Security.
• Improvement and greater oversight of ASA.
• GA assistance. GA has been neglected, misunderstood, undervalued, ignored and trashed for too long by successive governments. The turnaround of this sector is vital and critical.
• To do all this there needs to be the appointment of a Junior Minister for Aviation. Someone who actually knows, understands and has 'tasted' the industry (not someone who only has QF Chairmans lounge experience)

A Junior Minister for Aviation is a justifiable role which must remain separate to the current Infrastructure portfolio. Aviation in this country is far more important than what the Nupty's in power realise. As an example a robust GA sector, properly managed Sydney airport and efficient aviation safety regulations would dovetail to make a quality industry with the spinoff being more jobs and a solid revenue stream. Somebody like David Fawcett would absolutely be the man to implement the changes desperately needed. He has experience, vision and the balls to do it. But it won't happen without our support.

It's time for change. We are a laughing stock and an embarrassment. We are decades in arrears. We are truly a third world outfit in more ways than one, and it has to change.
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Old 15th Apr 2014, 22:17
  #600 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
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Hawaiian pineapple vs miniscule wet lettuce

Ben let's fly on FAA vs FF comparison...

Hawaiian proposed safety penalty sets example for Australia

America’s FAA- its safety regulator and equivalent of Australia’s CASA- has proposed a fine of $US 547,500 be paid by Hawaiian Airlines for among other things ignoring advice that one of its 767-300s did not comply with an airworthiness directive by flying it a further 14 times after its record keeping error was discovered.

This persistent failure to comply with US safety laws might be explained by inadequate management skills, a basic failure to understand simple English, or arrogance, or an operational contempt for the safety rules.

There is no acceptable excuse for what Hawaiian did. Hence the proposed penalty.

It wants to talk to the FAA about this issue in private. This is surely unacceptable. There is nothing private about the consequences of airlines ignoring their obligations to the safety rules and Hawaiian ought to seek a public hearing, so that it’s position can be better understood and its fitness to fly better assessed by members of the public before they find themselves inside its airliners.

Whatever the explanation, the buck in America stops with management, while in Australia, the notion of such transparency in air safety regulation has been anathema when it comes to actual practice in successive governments, including the current one.

Safety is run by department heads, and the managers of the safety authorities, and Ministers appear to shut up and do what they are told, which above all, is not to rock the boat, to mix a metaphor.

This attitude implies an Australian unwillingness to be responsive in the US manner to the public interest, which is that gratuitous or incompetent breaches of the aviation regulations should be punished, like they are when banking or investment fraud or misconduct comes to the attention of our financial regulators. (Oops, another bad metaphor.)

This is what the FAA says in its media statement.
LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $547,500 Civil Penalty against Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. for operating a Boeing 767-300 that was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA alleges Hawaiian operated the aircraft thousands of times when it was not in compliance with a July 2000 Airworthiness Directive (AD) that required inspections of certain engine thrust reverser components. The purpose of the AD was to prevent a portion of the thrust reverser from coming off in flight, which could cause a rapid decompression of the aircraft.
The AD required initial and repetitive inspections of the components to detect damage and wear, and corrective actions if necessary. It required replacement of the components with new and improved parts within four years of the AD taking effect.
During a July 2012 inspection, the FAA discovered that some of Hawaiian’s records erroneously showed the AD did not apply to one of its Boeing 767 aircraft. The FAA alleges Hawaiian operated the aircraft more than 5,000 times – mostly on passenger carrying flights – between July 2004 and July 2012 when it was out of compliance with the AD. The FAA further alleges Hawaiian operated the aircraft on 14 passenger flights after the agency alerted the carrier that some of its records erroneously indicated that the AD did not apply to the aircraft.
Additionally, the FAA alleges Hawaiian failed to keep required records of the status of the AD for the aircraft in question.
Hawaiian has requested an informal conference with the FAA to discuss the matter.
The contrast with Australia is alarming. As the Pel-Air crash disclosures in the Senate and elsewhere have shown, our safety regulators are obsessed with confidentiality and cover ups, putting the notion that Australia is a country with robust and effective safety regulations into the realm of the ridiculous.

Pel-Air, Barry Hempel, and Transair, are key words which will yield legally privileged court documents and Hansard recorded proceedings that shown that CASA has been a shamefully inefficient and indifferent organisation when it comes to safety administration which can’t even manage today urgent mechanical inspections in Cessnas in a timely manner never mind act in the public interest when known unsafe operations put lives at risk.
We have had a lot of words of contrition at the top of CASA when it has been cornered, but we haven’t had effective or timely action.

CASA doesn’t tell the public that dangerous airlines like defunct Transair are in fact known to be dangerous as a matter of policy. It ignored according to the Queensland coroner the evidence that Barry Hempel was unfit to fly paying members of the public on aerobatic joy rides. It has to be dragged into court, or before Senate committees, to tell things that the public should have been told before blood was spilt, not after.

Which is why examples like the proposed Hawaiian penalty are so important, because they tell us aviation administration in this country is fraught with the risks that come with secrecy in public life. The FAA regularly punishes in public US carriers that fail to adhere to the law. It’s a policy that was given lip service by former Coalition transport Minister John Anderson, but which he failed to deliver on. As have his successors also failed.

The risks of ministerial administrative capture need to be shut down in Australia, before they become the focus of a Royal Commission into a preventable disaster.

The current aviation administrative embarrassment for this government is Transport Minister Warren Truss’s otherwise welcome and commendable Aviation Safety Regulation Review. This review, which is due to report next month, has kept all of the supposedly public submissions made to it un-public by not following western democratic practice and making them accessible in a privileged place.

These submissions include a number that are not just severely critical of CASA, but come with detail and allegations.

This amounts to suppression by a Coalition government (which is in full and welcome pursuit of wrong doing in opposition and union ranks) of similarly serious disclosures about the conduct and effectiveness of Australia’s air safety regulator.

It is very poor optics, and it doesn’t serve the public right to be informed, in advance of the release of a review which will inevitably have its legitimacy criticised.

Don't hold back Ben...
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