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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

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Truss: Aviation Safety Regulation Review

Old 5th Jun 2014, 10:53
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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.
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 22:04
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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.
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 22:53
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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, 23:28
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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.
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 23:54
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What Sunfish said.
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 00:01
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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, 06:56
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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
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Old 7th Jun 2014, 00:50
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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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Old 7th Jun 2014, 09:27
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The BASRA heralds the new AASA!!

I have given the caustic relationship between CASA and the industry some thought. I note that the review committee has not come up with any real plan to go forward. More about incremental changes in a bureaucratic world with a new DAS with a brief to engage industry. Could there be another revolutionary way that the committee could have suggested?

I am presenting the Burden Aviation Safety Regulatory Agenda (BASRA) for discussion. It’s a simple plan. It’s modelled on JAA continuing on in Europe while EASA ramps to became a better and stronger authority. It is based on best practice as informed by change management specialists like John Kotter. It will cost $5m in the first year but this will be recovered in the near years from the current Government funding allocated to CASA. And the result will be a world class safety regulator for Australia. How you might ask? Impossible you might say? Unachievable might you shout? Well listen up!

CASA continues in its current form and enforces the current regulations. No further changes will be made to the current regulations except in cases where there is a critical safety case. Every activity will be scrutinised and real reductions in activities based on a revised role will be made. Domestic and international travel will be slashed.

A new agency, the Australian Aviation Safety Agency (AASA) will be created using Project Management Principles and a very flat structure. The CEO will be responsible for industry consultation but the objective will be to develop a small and workable set of regulations drawing on the work of overseas aviation safety regulatory agencies.

In the first three years it will be a part of the Department and rely on it for support services. Five Departmental staff will be provided for dedicated support for administrative support.

In the first year it will have 20 outcome focused operational staff, in the second year 50 and in the third year 100. The operational staff will be supplemented by specialist from industry to work for it part-time to assist it. The industry representatives will be paid sufficient money to attract high quality and knowledgeable aviators.

The Government will give the new regulations priority in its processes.

At the end of the three year period, AASA becomes the regulator and slowly builds to being a self administering agency over the next two years. It has a maximum of 300 staff.

What about CASA? It continues for three years, the staff are drawn down each year to pay for AASA plus a dividend to the Government and no CASA staff can go to AASA unless it can be established that they are open minded and outcome focused individuals.

Are there wrinkles? Yes. But a good plan starts with a vision. The details can be worked out by those who understand how to manage these things in a contemporary world.

I offer BASRA to the Australian people as my contribution to aviation safety in this country.
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Old 7th Jun 2014, 10:00
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I will join, but can I please have just one trip to Montreal?
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Old 7th Jun 2014, 11:42
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The ASRA Heralds the New AASA

Mike, sorry 004, in regard to:

I will join, but can I please have just one trip to Montreal?
Just put your surname at the end of your next post and you are included in the Last Tango in Montreal Group Tour.
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Old 7th Jun 2014, 12:13
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Ok, appreciate that Frank!

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Old 7th Jun 2014, 22:36
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Gone- by the board.

Rather than repeat, at length, the half dozen calls for the CASA board and the DAS to be 'stood down', the succinct quotes from AAAA

"AAAA believes the position of the current CASA Board and the senior management of CASA is simply untenable in the face of such stinging criticism regarding culture, values, performance, processes and outcomes.

“The CASA Board should immediately resign to clear the way for a completely new approach in line with most of the report’s findings.

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.
and Sunny will suffice.

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:

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.
They pretty well sum up the situation. Perhaps the 'department' could take up the slack during the hopefully short period between now and being 'under new management', and a new DAS taking up the reins.

Someone needs to halt the ludicrous posturing on CVD; and prevent several vicious 'pay-back' and intimidation plans being rolled out as we speak. Embargo any and all CASA proposed action against operators or individuals until a fair and reasonable assessment can be made of the proposed actions. I'm sure, that as a country boy, Truss has seen the damage a pack of dogs can inflict on a mob of sheep.

The blood-lust is a dog-phase that has never been quite understood. Every station-owner knows that sometimes the house-dogs are liable to take a sudden fit of sheep-killing. Any kind of dog will do it, from the collie downward. Sometimes dogs from different homesteads meet in the paddocks, having apparently arranged the whole affair beforehand. They are very artful about it, too. They lie round the house till dark, and then slink off and have a wild night's blood-spree, running down the wretched sheep and tearing their throats open; before dawn they slink back again and lie around the house as before. Many and many a sheep-owner has gone out with a gun and shot his neighbour's dogs for killing sheep which his own wicked, innocent-looking dogs had slain.
The recently published letters to aviation medico's (DAME), to operators of aeronautical business (AOC holders) and pilots related to Colour Vision are an exemplar of 'how' CASA operate. No matter who wrote or signed the letters, ultimately the DAS and by extension the board have approved the tactics. As the minister Truss is potentially vulnerable; common or garden political savvy should see where the blame for the CVD train wreck is going to finish up. Any of the Senate Pel Air committee or the Forsyth panel could explain the many situations which could, if allowed out of hand will destroy not only credibility, but destroy any chance of a smooth transition period.....

There is an ugly rumour I keep hearing that a couple of the IOS had attempted to contact the board, through 'normal' channels and being repeatedly ignored, launched a small campaign to open a line of communication. Perhaps, to be fair, the board may have been 'unhappy', being badgered; allegedly the use of CASA legal was sanctioned not only to rebuff the assault, but to intimidate and threaten. If this is ever proven true, it is inexcusable behaviour. But both pudding and proof are, thus far, missing.

Having got off to good start, it would (IMO) be a shame to see that effort, credibility and kudos damaged by the manic thrashing and vindictive behaviour of a dying beast. It is Sir, all so very real and if 'your' hounds are not brought to heel the damage bill will be yours to meet.

Highly –recommended- Sunday reading. A. Banjo Paterson. (Short story).

Last edited by Kharon; 7th Jun 2014 at 22:42. Reason: Frank - thank you, still smiling
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 01:53
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I am presenting the Burden Aviation Safety Regulatory Agenda (BASRA) for discussion.
Exactly my thought. Even if it is not a new organisation the new DAS can follow that process, the only way in my opinion.
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 11:22
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no need for any organisational change at all. honestly.

....just shoot all the current staff. the replacements will be much less desirous of being shot I can assure you.

(I feel a ban coming on.....) :-) :-) :-)
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 22:44
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Aside –

Sotto voce: Well minister, if ever you needed more empirical evidence after the ASRR report, or a firm position on 'safety' after Pel Air, or solid ground on which to stand whilst wielding the axe; the internationally embarrassing, despicable actions of the regulator in the CVD matter should provide it. Now then Sir, will ye have nuts or a cigar?, those are the only two choices; we have no other options available.

Toot, toot, bloody toooooot. Well, we can't hang about here all day – busy, busy, busy......

Last edited by Kharon; 8th Jun 2014 at 22:44. Reason: Good housekeeping day.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 02:14
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Devil Contrary to CAsA (FES) opinion the world is actually round.

Definition: FES- Flat Earth Society

Biccy at post #169...
Performance Based Regulation. http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201...R%20online.pdf Under this framework of managing risk looks like the CVD issue could be managed. Australian evidence certainly supports there not being an issue.
...of the ESB thread draws attention to an interesting parallel with the Poms and their current RRP :
The CAA has commenced a business transformation programme to become a performance based regulator

Performance based regulation means developing a comprehensive risk picture with the organisations we regulate and building our knowledge and data to make sure we target our regulation in the areas where it will make the biggest difference.

For more information about performance based regulation and the CAA transformation click here.

The transformation programme and what it means in practise was introduced to our industry stakeholders at a major conference at the London Gatwick Hilton on 19th May 2014. Over 130 senior industry leaders and accountable managers from across the industry were in attendance. The conference gave the delegates the opportunity to debate the concept and practicalities including the likely benefits and the challenges to both the CAA and themselves. The conference agenda and the conference presentations and speeches can be found here.

We are currently producing a report of the proceedings and the feedback from the delegates giving the industry views and identifying the next steps that CAA will take in response in delivering performance based regulation. The report is due for publication in early July 2014 will be available from this web page.
Quote from the first provided link (CAP 1184)..

"...Performance-based regulation (PBR) is central to EASA's and ICAO’s future plans. The CAA is working closely with our international colleagues to shape how PBR works in practice. The UK industry has fed back that it believes PBR should make the CAA more proportionate and targeted, have a greater degree of commercial awareness and be more transparent about how money is spent..."

Now although the main stated aim is to bring the Pom's regs in line with EASA & ICAO future plans, PBR is also complimentary, especially in the GA sector, to the UK government's policy of cutting red tape.

Quote from CEO of UK CAA (link here:
General aviation (GA) makes an invaluable contribution to the UK’s aviation community. In its wide variety of forms it is a recreational pastime enjoyed by many, whether through participation or as spectators; it creates many jobs for those who build and maintain the aircraft; and is often the first step for pilots who wish to fly commercially.

As the CAA recognised in our response to last year’s GA red tape challenge, the sector has been subject to a disproportionate level of regulation, both at the UK and European level, which is stifling participation and innovation. In our response to the red tape challenge I made a public commitment to change radically our approach to GA regulation.
I guess then it is no surprise that the ASRR report very much highlights the attributes of PBR and suggests this methodology as the way forward for reg reform down under...

A legal perspective:

The following is an excellent article/summary from the legal fraternity (Lexology) on the ASRR report and further draws attention to PBR..:
The Forsyth Report: Challenging times ahead for CASA and the aviation industry
06 June 2014

On 3 June 2014, the Honourable Warren Truss, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, presented to Parliament the report of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review.
The report can be accessed here.

The report praised the standing of Australia’s regulatory safety system noting that it was among the most widely respected in the world. However, despite this, the Review panel found a significant disconnect between the industry and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) as the regulator, which, if left unchecked, could put both the safety and reputation of the industry at risk.

In view of this, the report makes 37 recommendations.

Ultimately, passengers who travel on regular public transport operations and those who engage in general aviation activities will be the winners.

Arguably, CASA and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will understandably feel that a lot is being asked of them, given that all but four of the 37 recommendations require some action on the part of CASA, the ATSB or both.

Extensive public consultation was conducted as part of the review process. Meetings were held with over 200 individuals. Approximately 269 formal submissions were received by the Review panel, about one third of which were provided on a confidential basis. The Review panel found that CASA’s hard line approach has distanced itself from the industry, contrary to the approach taken by many leading aviation regulators around the world.

Those foreign regulators adopt a performance based system with a focus on a ‘just culture’, and an approach that places more trust in the operators to carry out their activities in compliance with the applicable regulatory scheme. The regulator monitors and takes appropriate action on any breaches of that system. In comparison, many in the industry would argue CASA’s approach requires the operator to proactively prove that they have not done anything wrong.

The proponents of a performance based regulatory system argue that it supports a more open discourse between the regulator and the industry, leading to better safety outcomes and less intrusion on the day to day operations of the industry operators.

The report identifies the need for CASA to set a new strategic direction; one focussed on establishing a collaborative rather than an adversarial relationship with the industry. The addition of two extra directors to the CASA Board along with the upcoming vacancy of two positions provides CASA with the opportunity to create a leadership team with experience and skills across not only the aviation field, but also the fields of regulation and human factors.

One of the recommendations that will be most welcomed by the industry is that CASA attempt to realign its organisation with the industry, taking such steps as re-establishing offices at major airports and engaging in an industry exchange program to allow its staff to gain a better appreciation of the day-to-day issues faced by those at the coal face.

Other steps, such as the devolution of medical renewals to designated aviation medical examiners and the adoption of public service key performance indicators for CASA staff, will also arguably assist in promoting a regulator that is more understanding of the industry’s activities.

The ATSB has faced significant criticism following its report into the 2009 ditching of a Pel-Air Westwind off Norfolk Island. The Review acknowledged that the Pel-Air report was considered an aberration when compared with the usual standard of the ATSB’s investigations, and that measures had been put in place to ensure that it was not repeated.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board is currently completing a review of the ATSB, and will provide its report shortly. However, the report recommends that the ATSB appoint an additional commissioner with specific expertise in aviation, a measure that those in the industry will no doubt agree will assist in the investigations into and reports of the highly complex and technical accidents.

Other recommendations that will be welcome by industry include that CASA:

  1. change the current two-tier regulatory framework, consisting of the Act¹ and Regulations², to a three-tier structure, with the new third tier comprised of Standards drafted in plain language, and the Regulations drafted in a succinct style, containing provisions for enabling standards and other necessary provisions such as the high-level offence and penalty provisions;
  2. review all existing Parts of the Regulations, in consultation with the industry, to determine if they should be redrafted in the three-tier structure;
  3. use third party commercial audits as a means of supplementing its surveillance program, to better identify and target rogue operators;
  4. utilise the memorandum of understanding with ATSB to accredit CASA observers to ATSB investigations;
  5. delegate its responsibility for the day-to-day operational management of air space to Air Services Australia, including the designation of air routes and temporary changes to the classification of air space for operational reasons;
  6. continue to provide appropriate indemnity to all industry personnel with delegations of authority, such as chief flight examiners;
  7. demonstrate a philosophy of just culture in which individuals involved in reportable events are not punished for actions, omissions or decisions made by them that are commensurate with their experience and training, but in which actions of gross negligence or wilful violations are not tolerated;
  8. reintroduce a discretionary procedure that allows operators or individuals the opportunity to discuss with CASA and, if necessary, remedy a perceived breach prior to CASA taking an informal action, save where CASA identifies a serious and imminent risk to air safety;
  9. change its organisational structure to a client oriented model;
  10. introduce grading of non-compliance notices on a scale of seriousness; and
  11. reassess the penalties under the Regulations.
The report is open for comment Public until 30 June 2014.

It will be a difficult time ahead. Aviation regulatory reform in Australian has been ongoing for over two decades and has changed direction numerous times. This has left many reform fatigued, disillusioned and disgruntled. The Review panel asks those involved in the industry, CASA, the ATSB and the government to leave the past in the past and work together to improve Australia’s aviation safety system for the future.
Hmm...TICK TOCK Miniscule

ps Love it OOW..(post #170 ESB)
Fantastic .... With performance based regulation the UK Cvd pilots should have unrestricted medicals from tomorrow by virtue of the Australian data.
... And pigs get honorary PPLs.

I just wonder if the CASA PMO is under a ton of pressure from his counterparts in foreign countries to align with their restrictive and discriminatory practices.

Last edited by Sarcs; 10th Jun 2014 at 02:31.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 22:46
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Thumbs up All ABOARD! (on the Board)

The TAAAF joins the chorus...

Australian Aviation Associations Forum calls for action on AASR report

TAAAF Calls for CASA Board Change
The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) has called for a new CASA board as part of its response to the release of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review report.

Now being branded as the "Forsyth Report" after panel Chairman David Forsyth, the report was tabled by Minister Warren Truss last week.

"The Australian Aviation Associations Forum has welcomed the independent report into Australia’s aviation safety system," the TAAAF response states.

"In particular, the Forum agrees with the need to reform the current leadership of CASA – both Board and senior management.

"Now that the report has been delivered, the Forum notes that the Government has the opportunity to turn the report into significant action on essential aviation reform.

"The Forum hopes that the ASRR Report is the catalyst for significant and urgent action by DP Minister Truss, including:
  • A total renewal of the CASA Board to realign CASA with the values identified as missing in the report
  • Appointment of an acting Director of Air Safety, to give any new Board the time to recruit to a new DAS
  • Establishment of an Aviation Industry Advisory Council as per Coalition policy."
TAAAF is a forum of peak aviation bodies that includes the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia, Australian Association of Flight Instructors, Australian Business Aviation Association, Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Business Association, Regional Aviation Association of Australia and Royal Federation of Aero Clubs Australia.
AAAA comment...

"....AAAA believes that the position of the current CASA Board and the senior management of CASA is simply untenable in the face of such stinging criticism regarding culture, values, performance, processes and outcomes.

The CASA Board should immediately resign to clear the way for a completely new approach in line with most of the report’s findings..."

BBB (Bye, Bye Board)!

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Old 11th Jun 2014, 00:03
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Three cheers
TAAAF Calls for CASA Board Change
The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) has called for a new CASA board as part of its response to the release of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review report.
Industry is wide awake, good to see. And also good to see that we are drilling down into the "root cause", something that a regulator would be pleased to see, robust root cause analysis.
Most people keep looking at Monsignor Skull as being the root cause of CAsA's woes, not so, he is merely a puppet, he doesn't pull the strings. A deeper look at the beast reveals the breadcrumbs that have lead us to the current parlous state of our industry. What are some of these breadcrumbs? Perhaps these;
- Long term bureaucrats who have had decades in which to polish the current turd
- Long term CAsA executives who have also enjoyed decades of free reign with immunity from accountability and absolute freedom to buff, polish and massage the turd into the shape it is now.

My suggestion to industry is that for real change, not token lip service and bureaucratic bullshit speech, at a minimum you need to do the following;
- Replace the entire Board, especially the Chair
- Replace the DAS (already confirmed)
- Replace the Associate DAS
- Replace the Deputy DAS
- Replace the Secretary Infrastructure
- As has been mentioned by Forsyth, realign CAsA with public service guidelines and introduce accountability, not immunity.

Only then, maybe then, we will have a clean slate.
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Old 11th Jun 2014, 05:40
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you have to admit that if it wasn't so serious the blatant ongoing incompetence from CAsA would be funny.

I had my laughs this morning when I was told of the current new problem they are tackling.
Pilots flying internationally on Australian Licences are finding the security arrangements in other countries a tad difficult when trying to prove to security officials that they are in fact the pilots of the aircraft.
Y'see all our licence endorsements are logbook entries and absolutely no australian carries the precious log book around in case it gets stolen, lost or damaged.

CAsA have put their minds to the problem and are about to issue a NEW LICENCE to help pilots around the problem.
CAsA's best idea so far is to issue a PAPER LICENCE.
can you believe these senile idiots.
in this day and age a PAPER LICENCE.

all it takes is a colour printer, the right paper and everyone can have one!
no more paying 300 baht in bangkok
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