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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

Old 4th Jun 2014, 07:25
  #761 (permalink)  
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Oz Aviation...

ASRR calls for cultural and structural change at CASA

Item by australianaviation.com.au at 5:29 pm, Tuesday June 3 2014

A federal government-commissioned report into aviation safety regulation in Australia has called for substantial cultural and structural changes at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and for better leadership of and coordination between Australia’s aviation safety agencies.

The long-anticipated Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR)’s report, released by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss on Tuesday, makes 37 recommendations, noting that while Australia has an “excellent” airline safety record and an “advanced” aviation regulatory system, that “there are opportunities for the system to be improved to ensure Australia remains a leading aviation state”.

Those opportunities revolve primarily around improving the relationship between the regulator – CASA – and the aviation industry, which it describes as, “in many cases, adversarial”.

“Leading regulators across the world are moving to performance-based regulation, using a ‘trust and verify’ approach, collaborating with industry to produce better safety outcomes and ensuring the regulator stays in touch with rapidly advancing technology and safety practices,” the report’s executive summary reads.

“Due to the present adversarial relationship between industry and CASA, Australia lacks the degree of trust required to achieve this important aim. Sharing safety data is a fundamental principle of good safety management.”

The report sees the recruitment of a new head of CASA – current Director of Aviation Safety (DAS) John McCormick is standing down at the end of August – as an opportunity to reform the culture of the organisation. It notes: “Many have argued that the DAS should be a pilot, or at least experienced in aviation operations, suggesting this experience is necessary to understand the industry. The Panel, however, is of the opinion that the most important qualification for the DAS is leadership and management experience and capabilities in cultural change of large organisations.”

The ASRR also calls for structural change at CASA to “align its organisation with CASA”.

"Countries such as Canada and New Zealand have largely structured their safety oversight program to align with the industry, and have specific groups dedicated to industry sectors (eg GA, airlines, aircraft certification, maintenance, airports and air navigation services),” the report says. It recommends that CASA should adopt a “client-orientated output model” organisational structure similar to that used by the New Zealand CAA.

“Many variations of such a model are possible, and the proposal is not prescriptive. However, the key intention is to clarify accountability and improve the points of contact for the aviation community.”

As for CASA’s ongoing Regulatory Reform Program, which “has led to widespread ‘reform fatigue’ within the industry”, the report recommends the adoption of “a more manageable (but regular) process of periodic maintenance”. It also recommends “returning to a third tier of regulation, removing as much detail as possible from regulations, and using plain language standards in the third tier.”

Other recommendations for CASA include re-establishing small offices at major airports, developing an industry exchange program, that the CASA complaints commissioner report to the CASA board, and publishing key performance indicators for service delivery functions.

More broadly the report calls a more active role in aviation safety policy from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, noting that: “No single agency is responsible for the overall performance and health of the aviation safety system.

“ It recommends that the ICAO-mandated State Safety Program (SSP) be used as the basis for a strategic plan for aviation safety in Australia.

“Over time the Department’s policy coordination role and policy leadership authority has either eroded or not been utilised to its full potential, and as a consequence, its governance and policy responsibility needs to be re-established and reinforced. The Panel considers this could be done under the authority of a reinvigorated forward-looking SSP.”

Such an SSP, the report says, should be developed as a “strategic plan for the aviation safety system”.

In releasing the report Minister Truss says the “government will commence consideration of the report in detail without delay.”

The report’s release has been welcomed by the aviation industry, but at least one figure has warned that the report must now be followed up by action.

“The key issue will be Minister Truss’s response, which looks like it may take some time,” a senior industry figure has told Australian Aviation.
“We will have a closer look at the detail of the report – but at the end of the day it is just a report – until Truss acts.”

Minister Truss has invited industry and public feedback on the review by June 30. The report, which was authored by former Airservices chairman David Forsyth, Don Spruston, former Director-General of Civil Aviation at Transport Canada, and Roger Whitefield, former Head of Safety at British Airways, can be downloaded from the Department of Infrastructure’s website.

FNQ Wazza on the ASRR..
Writing on the wall for CASA ineptitude

Posted on Tuesday, 3 June, 2014

LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the findings of a review into Australian aviation safety, saying it has put the spotlight on CASA’s “toxic and vindictive” culture and practices.

“It’s the best report relating to CASA that I’ve seen in a long time,” Mr Entsch said.

“I congratulate David Forsyth and the panel that reviewed this because I see this as the first opportunity we’ve had to really lift the veil of CASA and deal with the inappropriate practices, the vindictiveness and the bloody-mindedness of those within the organisation.

“There’s going to be a level of accountability that I suspect is going to send a bit of a shiver down the spines of some of those CASA officers.”

Mr Entsch said that most of the 37 recommendations related to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and were common-sense – from CASA needing to have a more collaborative approach to regulatory oversight, to recommending that non-executive directors possess a background in aviation and safety management.

“In addition, the new Director of Aviation Safety will have to take a leadership role and have management experience and capabilities in cultural change at a large organisation like CASA. These recommendations are really no-brainers.

“I’m also pleased to see the recommendation that CASA conduct surveys every two years to assess their relationship with industry – at this stage I would have to say their relationship is toxic and non-existent, so it can only improve from here.

“These are absolute fundamentals, but are things that CASA has been missing for a long time. It’s because of this you have fabulous general aviation businesses like Barrier Aviation driven to the wall.

“It’s very good to see that the review panel has had the courage to state things as they are and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing these 37 recommendations implemented.”

Last edited by Sarcs; 4th Jun 2014 at 08:17.
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 08:56
  #762 (permalink)  
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If only Mr Entsch, Mr Truss, Senator Fawcett, Senator Heffernan, Senator Nash, Senator Macdonald etc were members of the government. They could pass legislation to give immediate and substantial effect to their strong opinions and the recommendations of the Review.

If only they were in government...
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 10:45
  #763 (permalink)  
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From Wazza the FNQ Hog rider;
“There’s going to be a level of accountability that I suspect is going to send a bit of a shiver down the spines of some of those CASA officers.”
Tease!!! Really? Have I missed something? Has accountability been incorporated overnight into CAsA's framework?
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 12:13
  #764 (permalink)  
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Do the math!

So the ASRR makes 37 recommendations and the Senate AAI makes 26. Most of which are significant. 63 serious safety recommendations regarding a goverment safety system in one year!!!! How many safety recommendations by the ATSB.....?
If you Google "ATSB Safety Recommendations" it comes up with "no results"!

63 reasons for serious concern. Senators Fawcett and X need to stay strong on the case.

IOS, don't give up hope. Write to Truss again. Patience is a virtue!
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 13:34
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A new DAS! How about a new Chairman of the Board?? Not discussed?? Is he part of the CBR gentleman's cigar club?? Get rid of the Board! Massive cost saver. There is no legal reason why CAsA needs a board. Good Riddance!
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 15:28
  #766 (permalink)  
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For the total number of inquiries, judicial inquiries, Royal Commissions and what have you into CASA and its predecessors, you need to go to the Parliamentary web site. From memory, adding the latest two, you will find close to 30 over the last 30 or so years, including the Morris Inquiry, the longest running inquiry since Federation.

The significant fact is, little has changed, the iron ring has never been seriously breached.

The two matters that will make certain that the present inquiry will have no long term serious impact is:

(1) No changes to the Act, including no change to S.9
(2) No commitment to up front cost benefit justification, risk management based, as required by the "guidelines" of the Office of Best Practice Regulation, and more recent policy of the present government. The report only mentions the RIS, that comes at the end of the process, as CASA does it, not the front.

Given those two, the rest hardly matters.

No matter how good a new CEO and Board might be, if they seriously start to make change, the CEO will be set up by the "iron ring", just as Leroy Keith was set up.

I sincerely hope all the above turns out to be wrong, but the odds are against change.

Tootle pip!!

CASA's very expensive vacant secure office at YSBK looks like it is still vacant, how many times will this be now, move from the city to the airports, then move from the airports to the city, cycle after cycle.
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 15:44
  #767 (permalink)  
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I'm sure when the new DAS arrives people will start asking for their complaints to be re looked at. This might be the first and perhaps only opportunity to highlight the issues.

“There’s going to be a level of accountability that I suspect is going to send a bit of a shiver down the spines of some of those CASA officers.”
A couple maybe made sacrificial lambs?

Leadie, I love the move into city large offices, move back to airports, big R small r regulator, easa fan FAA fans, board no board. All gives the impression of change.

Doesn't casa own the Bankstown office ?

Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 4th Jun 2014 at 15:56. Reason: The more things change the more they stay the same.
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 20:19
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Tea and biccy's with the Minister.

It seems to me that 'industry' has failed to see what Forsyth did. In part this is due to the submissions not being publicly available during the review. This has been remedied and with a little effort, the pieces of jigsaw puzzle can be fitted together and a clearer picture will emerge; the one the WLR panel sees. Much like the Senate inquiry, each piece of the puzzle does not make much sense, stand alone, but put it all together and a clear picture emerges.

So, here we have the minister tabling the WLR and releasing the submissions, then issuing an open, kindly invitation to 'have your two bob's worth' – before serious, long term measures are put in place. Will he do it?, keep the faith and make good on the promise?– well that's between him and his conscience – perhaps we and the Senate team can help him stay on the straight and narrow. (on the wagon as 'twere).

The WLR panel, with a complete picture have properly realised, that any regulatory reform, without a reformation of the CASA 'culture' will be, like it's predecessors, doomed. The WLR has gone to the radical value and recommended, not serious immediate changes to the 'law' as it stands, but to those responsible for administering it. In short they have correctly identified, exactly, the 'dogs breakfast' the current administration has become; and, provided government the tools to sort it out, before we pour another huge pile of money into the farce we have called - regulatory reform.

It's a good start, very good. But it's a long road back to a point where both government and industry may have faith in the regulator. Once this is achieved, true regulatory reformation may be considered with some confidence. The WLR (IMO) has provided a solid foundation for future building– one small, positive step at a time. Sort out the regulator, then sort out the regulations. Cause and effect if you will.

The WLR has identified some of the core issues relating to the abject failure of the regulatory reform saga and published them. Lead Sled and Creamy have already shown the way – they believe the Act needs some attention. No doubt those two fine gentlemen will, before the end of the month, make reasoned, sensible submissions. The immediate concern and I believe primary objective is to have the regulator 'back in it's box', so my submission will include the areas where (IMO) the WLR has missed some of the 'latitude' (wriggle room) allowed, which has been seriously abused in the past; then, I think it's absolute frog pooh to say that the NZ 'style' of regulation cannot be adopted; also, I hate the notion of a three tier system of legislation (sorry Ken) – but that's my two bob's worth. It's freely available to all and sundry in a very nearly democratic system. So, you get the picture.

We, the IOS should (must) accept the ministers kind invitation to tea; and, in a sane, rational, polite, professional manner put the icing on the offered cake. This game has just started, referee Forsyth has had the captains shake hands, blown the whistle and the ball is in play (the opposition have had one player red carded already). So get off your arses and in the words of bard – "don't screw it up".
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Albert Einstein.
Toot toot

Last edited by Kharon; 4th Jun 2014 at 20:37. Reason: In the county of Kerry, a farmer did dwell. He had a daughter and her name was Nell.
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 20:34
  #769 (permalink)  
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CAsA = good for the economy

I just realised that the recommendation to place CAsA folk at airports is brilliant!!! Can you imagine the boost to the economy as well as airport profits? We are talking about seasoned government employees with a penchant for bludging, drinking copious amounts of coffee and eating cucumber sandwiches and using the corporate credit card for 'entertaining business clients' over lunch. This is brilliant! Plus they will no doubt demand 'x' amount of carpark spots for their staff very close to the terminal, thus another opportunity for the airports to charge a hefty fee, to be absorbed by the taxpayer of course, this further boosting airport stakeholder profits.
Perhaps a 2% slice of this additional revenue could then be taken and invested back into GA?

$ Cha Ching $
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 21:26
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It's probably worthwhile visiting – ProAviation – over the next few days. Just hope Phelan can manage to develop the whole story. There is a lot of tacit (and some not so tacit) support for the CASA board to resign. Anyway – FWIW today's offering – HERE -.
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 05:48
  #771 (permalink)  
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serious issues...

review recommendations ...not all the tough nuts have been cracked..
And many of the recommendations are not HARD enough.

NO mention about the compliance and enforcement MO now in use.... Bang yre dead. An AAT might resurrect you...but not if we can guide/help it.

The quality of some so called "investigators", makes CAsA a complete (bad) joke.
No way should CAsA even be in the "investigation" and prosecution business.
Its supposed to be a "regulator" ffs.

Breaches severe and deliberate should obviously dealt with, BUT by an independent agency and AFP...and all the other minor nit-picking things that have SFA to do with real safety should fall by the wayside. But that's the bread and butter for some of these investigator/tossers...whats to do then ??

At least there is an ask that CAsA persons will come under the APSC code of conduct does have criminal provisions. Unlike the current meaningless CAsA joke doc that nobody takes any notice of.
A get out of jail free card if ever there was one. Just ask the screamer
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 09:27
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An Interesting article in Wed Australian by Janet Albrechten that we could perhaps draw parallels with what is happening here in Australia.

It would seem that EU citizens are voting with their feet, because they are increasingly P..sed off with being "ruled by the regulator".

In Europe, much the same as here, Bureaucrats are circumventing the "Law" and ruling by regulation, in much the same manner as a dictator rules by decree.

When people start to realize that democratic processes are being bastardized by unelected bureaucrats the seeds are sown for revolution.

Not perhaps a "roll out the tumbrils" type revolution, although there are many here who would take up knitting if the Skull or Wodger were in the tumbril, but there have been calls for civil disobedience on these forums and as Aviation as a rule is terribly conservative there must something seriously wrong for anyone to suggest such a thing.

So perhaps our political masters should take heed of what has happened in Europe, push us too far and maybe Clive might end up PM.
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 09:53
  #773 (permalink)  
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As promised from ProAviation...

Phelan has been pheverishly.. working over his phone and keyboard to produce the following...

A health-giving dose of reality – Opinion
In common with many others, ProAviation had been a little cynical about the fate of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR) panel’s report after it left the Review Panel’s office. Maybe we were reading too much into the way interacting government agencies managed to shrug off the most significant recommendations of the Senate References Committee enquiry into the management of the investigation into the Pel-Air ditching at Norfolk Island.

Plenty of time, we thought, but let’s not waste it. We began by collecting ASRR submissions from industry representative groups, operator, manufacturer and maintenance organisations, professional associations, training and educational organisations, private and commercial aviators, lawyer groups and individual practitioners, trade unions, aggrieved individuals, and even commercial operators of the burgeoning unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) industry.

From a dozen of these, we selected an equal number of sample paragraphs which, we believed, represented a good cross-section of industry problems. We’d then measure the ASRR recommendations against industry’s hopes and expectations when the report finally become available.

Then on June 3, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss took everybody by surprise by tabling the entire 170 page ASRR report and simultaneously publishing it on his Department’s website. For good measure, he announced that “written submissions to the Review will be made public over the coming days except for those provided in confidence and a number of others about which the Government is seeking legal advice,” and inviting further public submissions deadlined for a month later.
Anybody scanning through the 169 submissions to the ASRR Panel is likely to observe frequently recurring threads and themes, most of which the panel has also identified.

The first of these is that the mutual trust and respect that normally form the cornerstones of viable industry regulation have all but disappeared. “Been trashed” is their commonest way of expressing this.

The second is the events that have already laid waste to countless jobs and businesses, leaving in their wake the bleakest imaginable investment landscape for any aviation business seeking to recover or grow in the current regulatory environment. The concerns and grievances range through every area of industry/regulator interface and include the regulatory review program’s one-way consultation processes, regulator micromanagement and its related costs to business, a legal office that seems obsessed with treating aircraft operators, pilots and maintainers as though they were dealing with bikie gangs, the charging regime for mandated regulatory services, and the endless paperwork delays in processing applications for the permissions, approvals and certifications they are required to obtain to go about their businesses.

And the third is that the damage has already been so sustained and savage in so many industry facets as to be unrepairable without immediate acknowledgement through resolute remedial action. A dominant theme among the submissions is the premise that only a root and branch reorganisation can achieve what is essential for recovery.

A feature of the ASRR process is the depth and diversity of most of the submissions, and in particular the range of solutions that have been put forward.

ProAviation has reviewed a large proportion of contributions to the review, and has also spoken with numerous industry figures about what outcomes they hope for to reverse the collapse of mutual trust.

The following selected comments, each one from widely differing individuals and organisations, are characteristic of what industry observers are saying about those problems. The numbered paragraphs are the dozen individual issues raised in the various submissions, and relevant comment from the Review is in blue typeface:

1. “The [CASA ] legal department can only cause the troubles they do if they’re allowed to by the senior management and the board. So if your outlook on the world is a legalistic view where you invert the 80/20 rule and say that only 20% of people are trying to do the right thing so we must prosecute the crap out of everyone else – if you’ve got that fundamentally stupid blinkered approach in management; forget about whether it’s aviation or not, you will then never build an organisation that has the trust of industry. That’s a headline that CASA hates and yet it’s backed up by every independent assessment of CASA; they are a low-trust organisation driven by legal priorities, not by safety outcomes.”

ASRR:The Panel concludes that CASA and industry need to build an effective collaborative relationship on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. Therefore, CASA needs to set a new strategic direction. The selection of a new Director of Aviation Safety should concentrate on finding an individual with leadership and change management abilities, rather than primarily aviation expertise. Other jurisdictions have appointed leaders without an aviation background, who have been successful in changing the strategic direction of the safety regulator.

2. “The first and vital conclusion the review must draw is that CASA has lost the trust of the industry – all else follows from that, starting with the obvious immediate requirement to restore trust. If that conclusion is not drawn, then nothing the review can recommend, nor the government mandate, will make the slightest bit of difference to the current situation and further decay is inevitable.”

ASRR:In the Panel’s view, CASA is falling short of the standards it ought to attain, judged by the ANAO’s [Australian National Audit Office] six principles. Based on industry’s perception, CASA falls short on Transparency and Openness, being seen by industry as closed to engagement. CASA’s Leadership also appears wanting, with a failure to translate good procedures and policies on paper into effective behaviours across the organisation. While CASA appears to be trusted by many in government, the industry’s trust in CASA is failing, compromising CASA’s Stewardship, and industry perceives CASA’s Accountability as being compromised.

3. “Where the system can break down is when there is friction between the relevant surveillance officers of CASA and the operator and/or its chief pilot, with the result that trust is eroded and the communication and feed back necessary for both parties is diminished.”

ASRR: All regulators face the challenge of keeping up-to-date with technology, and must acknowledge that industry holds higher levels of expertise, especially for new generation aircraft like the A380 and B787. Some regulators, such as the UK CAA, advised the Panel that a collaborative working relationship with industry assists in keeping them across the latest technology and developments.

The Panel also examined options used in other countries for Airworthiness Inspectors (AWIs) and FOIs to maintain currency in their areas of expertise. The Panel considers there would be merit in CASA and industry jointly developing a model for an industry exchange program. This program would allow CASA to access expertise, and it could be used to facilitate the finalisation of CASA’s Regulatory Reform Program, as discussed in Chapter 5.

The Panel discussed this proposal with the Chief Pilots of Australia’s major airlines and other industry representatives, who were supportive of the proposal in principle.

An industry exchange program needs appropriate probity frameworks, to ensure that secondees to CASA are not in positions that could influence decisions related to their employer, or could allow access to confidential information relating to their employer’s competitors.

The Panel recommends that:
9 The Civil Aviation Safety Authority develops a staff exchange program with industry.

4. “I have observed a change in the policy of the role of the regulator from one which directed its experienced officers to communicate directly with members of the GA (general aviation) industry on operational and regulatory matters to provide advice ‘one-on-one’ to enhance the members’ knowledge and understanding of the rules and operational/maintenance issues which may affect air safety, and to foster good relations with the industry so as to encourage valuable feed-back; to the regulator of today, which appears to be focussed on an inflexible policy of strict compliance and penalties. This has had the regrettable result that many members of GA have expressed a reluctance to talk to CASA out of fear.

The Panel recommends that:
21 The Civil Aviation Safety Authority changes its organisational structure to a client-oriented output model.
22 The Civil Aviation Safety Authority establishes small offices at specific industry centres to improve monitoring, service quality, communications and collaborative relationship

5. “The changes now incorporate a new ‘Area Approval’ process through CASA for ‘each and every individual flight operation’. [For regulated UAV operations] The new process incurs the same processing fee of $160 per hour and an estimate is provided by CASA after initial application. Both CASA & Airservices state they cannot process an application for these new ‘Area Approvals’ inside of 21 days minimum. Most applications however are running into several months and hundreds of dollars.”

ASRR: Industry complained to the Panel about the timeliness and quality of CASA services, particularly when issuing approvals. Delays can affect the livelihoods of individuals and the viability of businesses. Delays of months or even years were reported in some instances, particularly relating to licence and Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) approvals.

The Panel recommends that:

8 The Civil Aviation Safety Authority:

a. reinstates publication of Key Performance Indicators for service delivery functions;
b. conducts a stakeholder survey every two years to measure the health of its relationship with industry;
c. accepts regulatory authority applications online unless there is a valid technical reason against it ;
d. adopts the same Code of Conduct and Values that apply to the Australian Public Service under the Public Service Act 1999;.

6. “There can be little doubt that the decline of Australian aviation as a world class aviation nation over the past decade has reached nadir within the past five years. The endless, costly determination to be seen as ‘technically’ compliant with ICAO whist arrogantly remaining outside of the ‘real’ spirit and intent of ICAO compliance underpins a significant portion of the issues with which the review panel must come to terms.”

ASRR: Although opinions differ. the Panel estimates that the RRP would take at least another five years to complete. Furthermore, the final product of regulatory reform would not meet the aviation community’s needs and would not be consistent with the ICAO principles for plain language, easily understood, safety rules. Nor would the final regulations be harmonised with those of any foreign jurisdiction. The 25-plus year history of regulatory reform has been consuming the industry, and distracting the aviation community from the objective of managing safety in its operations. On this basis, the Panel concludes that continuing along the current path would not be in the interests of aviation safety in Australia and that a new approach must be developed for regulatory reform.

NOTE: The above has been slightly re-worded in consultation with the ASRR so the grammar won’t be misinterpreted in a way that suggests retaining the status quo was still an option.

7. “Australia’s aviation industry, like all other industries in Australia, is seen as ‘overregulated’ and stifled by red tape. Regulatory development over the last couple of decades has not adopted the principles contained in the government’s Best Practice Regulation Handbook and now part of Government policy – regulatory reduction and reduction in red tape. This reform has failed on both accounts.”
ProAviation Comment: See the response to point 5 above. Regarding the remaining five points, each referes in its own way to various apparent aberrations in policy and practice. we believe the following extracts from the report reflct discussion and recommendations that are relevant to necessary changes in the areas of leadership, governance, attitudes and praacctices including closer government and board involvement:

* A simple Statement of Expectations might be adequate where the agency is operating effectively. In the current situation, more in-depth guidance is required, similar to the 2003 Charter Letter. The Panel considers the new Board should have a clear and unambiguous mandate from government.

* While a number of skills are required amongst CASA’s senior management, they do not all need to be held by one person. The DAS should have a supportive and complementary team of deputies and senior executives. The DAS should have an understanding of aviation, but does not need to be an operational expert. If CASA is structured and staffed appropriately, it should have sufficient subject matter expertise within the organisation, or be able to obtain that expertise from industry

* A change in philosophy at CASA will be critical to make the recommendations in this report effective. A philosophical change requires a cultural change and this must be driven by the DAS.

8. Aviation should be encouraged by CASA as part of its formal charter. Having its charter limited to ‘Aviation Safety’ encourages negativism, which is widely seen in practice. There is no settled standard for ‘air safety’. This leaves CASA with a poorly identified obligation, a completely subjective mantra, and no obligation to act for the benefit of Australian aviation this is unsatisfactory on its face and should change. Perhaps the roles of regulation and administration should be separated, and the regulator given the dual roles of promotion of aviation as well as safety?”

The Panel recommends that:
6. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Board exercises full governance control. The non-executive directors should possess a range of appropriate skills and backgrounds in aviation, safety, management, risk, regulation, governance and government.

9. Our members are often negatively impacted by their dealings with CASA. Reasonable requests that should receive immediate and fair attention/approval fall into regulatory “black holes” where either no-one at CASA can provide an answer or where the applications just go missing altogether. The impression we get is one of a regulator where the majority of officers are extraordinarily afraid of making a decision lest they be wrong and their heads end up on the chopping block. As senior inspectors have retired, we have also noticed a distinct drop in the level and breadth of experience amongst CASA’s FOIs, leading to a complete unfamiliarity with our operating requirements. There are also several cases where these officers have approached their roles with a pre-existing bias which interferes with their obligation to give our members fair and timely consideration on their individual applications.”

ASRR: The Panel concludes that CASA and industry need to build an effective collaborative relationship on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. Therefore, CASA needs to set a new strategic direction. The selection of a new Director of Aviation Safety should concentrate on finding an individual with leadership and change management abilities, rather than primarily aviation expertise. Other jurisdictions have appointed leaders without an aviation background, who have been successful in changing the strategic direction of the safety regulator.

10. “Guidance material on CASA’s enforcement policy which guides CASA decision makers should be legally binding and itself enforceable under an Ombudsman-type arrangement akin to the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman.”

ASRR: The message that CASA presents to industry is not always consistent with the message in its manuals. The DAS outlined CASA’s regulatory philosophy in a presentation to a Senate Estimates Committee in 2009:

Similar announcements of CASA’s firm regulatory philosophy have been made in other presentations to the industry, and appear to be evident in the trends in CASA enforcement action. Although the rationale for ‘firmness’ in regulatory oversight is understood, and clearly has a place, the industry’s assessment is that CASA takes an overly aggressive position, which is having an overriding and consuming influence over the aviation community and damaging trust. Combined with concerns in other parts of the safety oversight program as described later in this chapter, the result is an industry that has retreated from open dialogue and participation.

11. “In the matter of [a flight training organisation], the applicant paid to CASA an ‘up front’ fee of $8,000 ………to assess its application for the issue of an Air Operator’s Certificate. The assessment by CASA of the key personnel and other aspects of the AOC application was mandatory by legislation. A serious problem existed in this case in that although CASA demanded and was paid the fee for the assessment, the officers of CASA had already determined that the application for the AOC would be refused on the alleged grounds that its CEO and proposed chief pilot/CFI was not a fit and proper person to hold the chief pilot/CFI position. Despite CASA having determined that the applicant’s application for an AOC would be refused, CASA refused to stop its assessment, retained the $8,000 and demanded that the applicant pay another $1,600.”

ProAviation comment:
These allegations are unsurprising to anybody who is familiar with the complaints of random aberrant behaviour and the absence of effective avenues for its timely redress. In fact our own submission details how an operator (now our publisher) paid $20,000 in advance as an initial application fee for a low capacity regular public transport AOC. Later examining the CASA deliberations he came into possession of a string of in-house CASA emails that blatantly discussed various “tactical” options for delaying the progress of the application including flat refusal, deliberate delays in exchanging correspondence, or barraging him with requests for further information.

The review committee does not directly address these and other apparent abuses of power. However, throughout its report its comments and recommendations related to management and governance which if implemented could be expected to put such events behind us. Among those comments and measures are:

ASRR: Several concerns were raised regarding the timeliness and effectiveness of the ICC [Industry Complaints Commissioner], Including ‘the current system of the ICC reporting direct to the CASA CEO is seen by industry is largely ineffective and, again, discourages some industry complaints due to fear of retribution, and it is essential that there is a reliable, robust and transparent Complaints process that is managed in a timely manner.’

The panel recommends that:
37: The Civil Aviation Safety Authority amends the current Terms of Reference of the Industry Complaints Commissioner so that:
a. the ICC reports directly to the CASA Board
b. no CASA staff are excluded from the ICC’s jurisdiction
c. the ICC will receive complaints that relate to both the merits and the process of matters
d. on merits matters, including aviation medical matters, the ICC is empowered to convene an appropriately constituted review panel, chaired by a CASA non-executive director, to review the decision
e. while all ICC findings are non-binding recommendations, the original decision-maker is required to give reasons to the CASA Board if a recommendation is not followed.

Commendably, item (b) removes a controversial restriction which immunised various senior officials from complaints to the Industry Complaints Commissioner.

12. “When industry first heard of the shift of CASA to being a ‘Big R’ regulator, industry accepted that clearly that was the right of the regulator and, industry assumed, was being done with the support of the CASA Board and the Minister. What industry did not anticipate was that the move to a ‘Big R’ regulator was code for the introduction of a bullying and intimidatory culture that would lead to a breakdown in relationships between CASA and industry, a significant reduction in the focus on innovative safety programs and increasingly shrill policing activities that are not delivering real safety improvements.”

ASRR: A hard-line regulator creates an environment in which regulated entities, be they air operators, maintenance providers, airports, or even air navigation service providers, may withhold information. Industry consultation has highlighted that many in the Australian aviation industry now actively avoid engagement with CASA unless absolutely necessary.

And in case that hasn’t sunk in, elsewhere in the report:

ASRR: The Panel is concerned by the dichotomy between industry’s and CASA’s perceptions of their relationship. While CASA is clearly aware of specific instances of industry dissatisfaction, it does not appear to fully comprehend the level or breadth of ill-feeling across all industry sectors. This lack of comprehension is especially apparent at the senior leadership level, including within the CASA Board.

The Panel considers CASA should take steps to better understand the issues of concern to industry and enhance the level of dialogue, both through a more productive two-way relationship, and also through initiating regular, anonymous stakeholder surveys to gauge industry’s perceptions.

ProAviation comment
Considering its timeframes and its task, the ASRR panel has performed a remarkable service to the industry and presented it in an erudite way. While it may appear at first glance to have overlooked or glossed over some specific issues, it has produced a set of findings and recommendations which, if all were heeded and implemented, would resolve those issues in any case, by re-directing or replacing people as necessary and replacing the structures, philosophies and attitudes that bred the issues.

The ASRR report should be mandatory reading for everybody in industry including those regulatory employees who hope still to be regulatory employees in six months; and also for the incoming CEO and Board.
The remaining challenge for the Minister will be to protect the ASRR recommendations from being watering down that was inflicted on the Pel-Air/ATSB/CASA investigation.

There are still people who need to understand that even you if know you’re right and everybody else is wrong, you still have a problem.
Sarcs is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 21:04
  #774 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Myth busted.

Can't wait for the Senate crew to have their run, now that the scrum half has very neatly passed the ball to backs and the defence is in disarray. Sometimes, I even have daring notions that lead to contemplation of such thing as discrimination and constitutional rights eventually being looked at.

Mentioned earlier, the dangers inherent in allowing dangerous animals to roam in the playground, frightening the children. The -"letter"- issued to AOC holders is an example of why it's not a good idea.

The frenetic pushing of the CVD barrow provides a perfect snapshot of why Australian operators and airmen (Cocks and Hens) must respond to the Truss invitation encouraging the Minister to continue with the reform of CASA. The Minister will need courage and encouragement to take on the mythical national aviation safety monster, 'we' must provide that comfort zone, through our support. Truss MP – Myth buster, has a catchy ring to it; don't it??.

Toot toot.
Kharon is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 21:53
  #775 (permalink)  
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Location: sydney
Posts: 1,383
I agree Kharon, where once we had non, there is a glimmer, just a tiny glint that some sort of real reform may occur. The barrier to real reform is the act, written no doubt by those crafty unelected mandarins, it cements the notion of rule by regulation, as opposed to Law and denies accountability.

The act must be changed or any reform that may occur now will simply be eroded by the bureaucrats, a simple example of that is the 3 or 4 hundred million $$ wasted on alleged reform up to now. Reform originally started out on track well back in the eighties then was deliberately knocked off the rails.

The fight must be to get the act rewritten to favour rule by law.

I've always wondered how the Kiwi's did it, they had a very similar system to us where aviation and its regulation grew out of the military. Did they rewrite their act then get on with new regulations?

Whatever they did has certainly worked, pity Australia is too arrogant to learn from them.
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 22:28
  #776 (permalink)  
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 7,300
I am speculating again after reading the ProAviation commentary on the review and its recommendations. My view is that if ever the Abbott Government needed an example of what needs to change in Australian Government, then the review has just handed it a fresh and steaming one on a plate.

I hope that the Prime Minister and Cabinet give Minister Truss Carte Blanche to take an axe to CASA and implement every one of the recommendations and a few more of his own, with the only stricture that he will have failed if within the year every Federal Public Servant doesn't shiver in fear at the mention of CASA and what was done to it.

To put that another way, CASA is a perfect example of everything that the Abbott Government and its supporters have been complaining about in Public Administration and vowed to destroy:

- Over regulation.

- Extremely poor value for taxpayers money.

- Lack of industry trust and zero customer focus.

- rotten customer service.

- Capriciousness bordering on corruption, pettiness, vindictiveness.

- Unjust.

- A monumental barrier to more investment, more growth and more jobs in an important industry sector.

Make no mistake Minister Truss, the reformation of CASA is a litmus test of your Governments Bona Fides in respect of your dislike of "Big Government". Never again will you be handed such a small and juicy morsel as CASA on which to practice what you preach.

- Small enough to be "do-able" and if handled properly and publicly, an exemplary warning to all Public servants of the standards of Public Administration they are now required to attain.
Sunfish is online now  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 22:54
  #777 (permalink)  
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What Sunfish said.
SIUYA is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2014, 23:01
  #778 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Great Southern Land
Posts: 74
In February, 2012 the following was presented to the readers of PPRuNe. The ASSR report to the Honourable Warren Truss MP, the Senate Pel Air inquiry, the Chambers report and the recent AOC 'letter' all support and vindicate the submissions made to the ASSR. Congratulations Mr Forsyth and the panel, on a long overdue job, well done.

To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled. Your petitioners, undersigned, support a statement of no confidence in the current senior management of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

1) Your petitioners from the Australian aviation industry request that the Senate record our statement of "no confidence" in the Director of Aviation Safety and senior management of the CASA.

a) Petitioners have serious concerns that the oversight of aviation operational safety, regulatory reform, incident investigation, immediate and subsequent enforcement actions, their impact on the well being of the industry and the cost of these actions are a public and legal embarrassment to the Government and industry domestically and internationally.

b) Petitioners believe that current mismanagement is producing negative safety outcomes, detrimental to the concept of 'just culture'; inhibiting the industry from freely, and in concert with the 'Authority', developing superior outcome based safety management, compliance and enforcement protocols.

2) Your petitioners request that the Senate initiate a transparent judicial enquiry; supported by independent aviation industry experts into the actions of the CASA which resulted in proceedings against companies and individuals from industry.

a) Your petitioners ask that the Senate request and require the enquiring body to accept, consider and investigate evidence provided under statutory declaration from interested parties, under terms of reference to be decided by the Senate Estimates Committee, allowing wide consultation with, and submissions from industry as part of the due process.
P7 a.k.a. TOM.
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 05:56
  #779 (permalink)  
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Location: australia
Posts: 1,185
what Sunfish said....

Too kind, you are Sunny....

capriciousness BORDERING on corruption, pettiness, vindictiveness.

Sorry, the border was crossed by many CAsA persons, many years ago, and since neither senior management would deal with them, or Depts of Transport do any governing /disciplining of their bastard child, the rot now goes right through to the top.

The list. And Im sure other folk can add some more....

Abuse of power
Failure to abide by....
Model litigant obligations
Investigation processes
Compliance and Enforcement rules
Defamatory imputation
Gross wastage of public monies

If ever there was an example of a "public service" agency morphing into a self serving Soviet, then this is it.

In the latest US AOPA mag 75th anniversary edition there is a prophesy made by a past AOPA president in 1973 which rings one helluva bell for OZ/us IOS
" I see on the horizon the destruction of GA, and it will be the fault of the Dept of Transport and the FAA."

Are we there yet?? Or is GA in Oz going to survive by a whisker.

Digitus extractus
aroa is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2014, 23:50
  #780 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Posts: 1,732
Industry feedback on ASRR report cont...

Other threads are covering the latest example (here & here) of the sheer bastardry & open contempt the current CAsA Board, DAS (& by default PMO) and Iron ring have to the whole industry (not to mention the good Senators ably led by Senator Fawcett), by victimizing yet another minority group of the Oz aviation industry...

Meanwhile behind the white noise (more like avalanche) of open IOS disgust... (Hmm..thought bubble....maybe that's the whole point of those disgusting, litigious CVD letters..)

Like the Arthur Pape POST and CVD Bill's POST (which IMO are two of the best PPRuNe posts for '14), the somewhat more rational real industry aviation safety experts are quietly making their thoughts known on the Minister's release of the ASRR report...

Ken & Co from AMROBA: ASRR Report
The Minister's review panel has completed their review and handed the report to DPM Truss. The Minister must be congratulated for releasing the report so quickly and will be looking for comments on the 37 recommendations contained in the report. The major issues are:
  • change the regulatory philosophy of the safety regulator; (much needed)
  • complete the regulatory reform program utilising a 3 tier regulatory system; (should have kept CAOs)
  • improve the performance of the Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development; (more involvement in aviation)
  • make the CASA Board more accountable; (well overdue)
  • Restructure CASA to client based model;
  • improve the performance of ATSB & CASA; and
  • enhance governance mechanisms and frameworks;
  • 3 tier the whole regulatory system;
  • make the Industry Complaints Commisioner reportable to the Board.
Though these are the major points, many recommendations address the issues raised by AMROBA in our submissions.
This is one report that the aviation industry must support; the Minister must accept and direct implementation of the recommendations and utilise the processes spelt out in the report.
Setting up a 'streering committee' with industry members to make the regulatory system happen is important.

The report does identify that flying training should utilise thhe use of flight instructions without the need to have an AOC. In our opinion; adopt FAR Part 61 system and GA will start to grow safely.

The change to the Industry Complaints Commisioner (ICC) process so the ICC reports to the Board is positive.
Many of our members and others will welcome this change.

The greatest doubt to implementation, if the Minister supports and directs implementation of the recommendations, is the personnel in key positions of CASA, the new Board and their commitment to implement a cost effective safe aviation system. 20 years of regulation chnage has not seen GA grow. GA is the foundations where most new pilots once came from. This has to be reversed for support businesses like maintenance and design to foster.

Minister Truss, you must accept the report and direct implementation once you find the right people to lead CASA and the Board. More detailed analysis is being sent to our members.

We wonder where they will find the right people to fill the vacant Board positions and the DAS.

Considering the Board and CASA Executive were responsible for all the negative findings in the Report, the Minister will have a challenge finding the right people to implement the philosophy of these recommendations. Once started, CASA staff will need retraining to meet the (communication) standards required by this report.

The next few weeks will be monitored carefully.
OK back to the Fort Fumble siege....
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