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Disallowance Motion

Old 19th Mar 2015, 08:31
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Disallowance Motion

Nick Xenophon - The surrogate Minister for Aviation??

Have I missed something, or is there no thread on the subject of last night's dissallowance motion on a large Part 145 MOS amendment?
Tootle pip!!
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 09:12
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Hard to believe that an amendment such as this that would reduce the level of safety being applied to aircraft maintenance was even put forward. What were they thinking? "I'm from CASA and I'm here to help"
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 10:10
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Kudos to Mr Xenophon for actually getting to the heart of this, realising the potential outcomes, and not just rubber stamping a law change under advice.

What concerns me is where was the seed of the idea planted? To my reading, it may have been CASA who proposed the rule change. But CASA are meant to be there to enhance and uphold air safety, not dilute it. There is a common conception in EASA-land that it is the airlines and MRO's pushing for the downgrading of the licenced engineer and licencing system, and not NAA's. Whoever or wherever this idea came from needs a serious review of their position or intention. Maybe the next suggestion could be any pilot could fly any aircraft with minimal training (to use a sarcastic analogy).
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 11:18
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Is that you Wino?
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 13:14
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If it was Madame, there would be empty post followed by another
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 04:22
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What concerns me is where was the seed of the idea planted?
Industry lobbying maybe?
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 06:00
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Great to see Mr Xenophon really getting involved in Aviation matters.

I do like how Mr Xenophon states that we have to go back to the old system we had implemented. It was a great system and everyone knew there privileges. The Current system is a absolute joke, Airframe/Engine Personnel working on Avionic systems that they don’t have experience on compared to a Electrical/Instrument/Radio personnel.

So does that mean:

Abolish the Category A License System?

Removal of Electrical Privileges from the B1 license?

Bring back the Airframe/Engine and Electrical/Radio/Instrument Categories.
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 07:03
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There has been a long, well crafted attempt by the airlines, particularly one starting with Q, to fraternise with CASA to dilute the effectiveness of the LAME. It is nothing more than an IR exercise, guised as an advance in world leading aviation maintenance work practices.

It meant cheap labour could be minimally trained to perform and certify aircraft maintenance with complete disregard to the 'whole of knowledge' approach we use to undertake maintenance and certification.

No doubt it's a setback for Nasty, one of the reasons why he was contracted for another year, but he'll be up to another trick soon.

Fortunately, Nick and many sensible pollies nailed this one where it belongs.
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 08:25
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Part 145 MOS Guidance Material

For those interested here is the actual Part 145 Guidance material. Its a short document and a 2 minute read will show clearly how the amendments CASA made to the CASR Part 145 MOS were completely contradictory. Bear in mind that this Guidance material is STILL CURRENT!

MOS GM 145.A.30 (f) — Specialist Maintenance Certifying Employee
The provision that permits authorisation of specialist maintenance employees as certifying employees with specialist maintenance qualifications does not replace the requirement for Part 66 (or equivalent) maintenance certification licence holders, for the performance of maintenance or maintenance certification for maintenance that could normally be carried out by that individual.

The intent of a Maintenance Certification made for the Specialist Maintenance task is to provide assurance that the Specialist Maintenance was carried out to the standards required.

Specialist Maintenance personnel are trained and qualified in the specialist field and may not have a holistic understanding of the interrelationship of an aircraft’s systems, or airworthiness implications, such that a Maintenance Certification Licence holder should have. For this reason, the Maintenance Certification for Specialist Maintenance work will only be for the scope of the specialist maintenance and is not intended to cover work normally performed and certified for by a Part 66 Maintenance Certification Licence holder who is a Certification Authorisation holder. Additionally the AMO may not authorise an employee to issue a CRS predicated on the Specialist Maintenance qualification.

Following Specialist Maintenance tasks, where an airworthiness determination is to be made regarding an aircraft, such an airworthiness determination and related Maintenance Certification should be made by the holder of an appropriate Part 66 Maintenance Certification Licence who is a Certification Authorisation holder, based on the Specialist Maintenance results and ICA including Maintenance Data.

Following the performance of a Maintenance Certification for Specialist Maintenance a CRS must be issued by an appropriately licensed and authorised Certifying Employee in accordance with CASR Part 42.
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 09:18
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There has been a long, well crafted attempt by the airlines, particularly one starting with Q, to fraternise with CASA to dilute the effectiveness of the LAME. It is nothing more than an IR exercise, guised as an advance in world leading aviation maintenance work practices.

It meant cheap labour could be minimally trained to perform and certify aircraft maintenance with complete disregard to the 'whole of knowledge' approach we use to undertake maintenance and certification.
I like the way you think.
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 10:58
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The Facts Behind the Disallowance of CASR Part 145 MOS

In response to Senator Xenophon's disallowance of the Part 145 MOS Minister Truss has released one of the most vitriolic and simply wrong Press Releases I have ever seen - containing one incorrect (and unsubstantiated) assertion after another. What a contrast to Senator Xenophon who made a considered disallowance speech that fully justified each of his criticisms of CASA’s amendments to Part 145 MOS.

Minister Truss characterised the disallowance as simply industrially motivated (as did Senator Cash in her reply speech in parliament) rather than the clear safety issue it was. They have clearly been very poorly advised (or are relying on their staff or CASA who are probably trying to save themselves once the incompetence of the delegated legislation or management of the negotiation with the LAMEs started to become evident...).

Both the union representing LAMEs (ALAEA) and the union representing Special Maintenance workers (AMWU) opposed the amendments to Part 145 MOS on safety grounds, so it was hardly an industrial issue. It didn’t benefit or particularly disadvantage ether group; it simply removed a vital level of safety oversight and directly contradicted the existing Guidance Material for the MOS.

In her rebuttal speech Minister Cash said LAMEs and their union oppose Special Maintenance (SM). This is simply untrue, LAMEs or their union have never opposed the skilled and critical support functions of SM that they often rely on. In his speech Senator Xenophon clearly highlighted the skilled role played by SM personnel. And as for the Minister Cash’s claim of the union simply wanting a monopoly on certification, well she is [kind of] right, but for the wrong reasons; they do favour certification monopoly but for all licence holders, not just for engineers...

Safety certification must remain a professional privilege restricted to holders of a State issued licence across all safety critical domains such as medicine, engineering, aviation or many others. A licence holder is a “delegate of the State” and the licencing regime a key methodology with which government controls risk by establishing appropriate professional standards, experience, accountability and performance.

Neither the Minister in his ill-informed PR rant or Senator Cash in her shallow Senate speech rebutted a single technical point made by Senator Xenophon. Both simply asserted that the amended regulations met ICAO and EASA standards (without explaining how they did – in contrast to Senator Xenophon who explained clearly how they did not).

I’m surprised they though they could get away with this - compliance with ICAO SARPs is a simply verifiable fact and Annex 1 gives very clear guidance on who has the “privilege” of certifying airworthiness (maintenance being classified as anything that affects airworthiness). It beggars belief that the Minister (and CASA) can claim the amendments met ICAO Standards when it can so easily be verified independently that they do not. Annex 1 Ch 4 is only a few paragraphs – a 10 minute review shows clearly that SM personnel who are not licenced by the State (or meet equivalent training/knowledge/experience requirements) are not eligible for the privileges the amended MOS (CASA) gave them – and which have now been removed.

Only a licence holder who has met the training requirements and experience levels specified in Annex 1 (or a person trained to the same standards) may be granted the “privilege” of certifying airworthiness or signing a maintenance release. A Special Maintenance person – despite their acknowledged skill and necessary function – simply DOES NOT meet this requirement. How can they, there are not even any ICAO compliant training standards for Special Maintenance in the Australian regulations! If they did [somehow] meet the ICAO standards these personnel would be able to demand a licence from CASA! And if CASA couldn't give them one [which of course they couldn't] it proves they aren't ICAO compliant! Similarly, if as CASA (and now the Minister) maintain, SM personnel can certify for airworthiness then they can also defer maintenance. Where in the amended regulations was there anything about this massively unintended consequence? What a minefield... But the problems didn't stop there:

Bret Walker SC, one of the most senior legal counsel in the country, believes that SM personnel do not have the authority to certify the airworthiness of a special maintenance task and also that a LAME could not rely on such a certification as proper basis to issue a subsequent CRS. He also said that if a normal LAME task was reclassified as Special Maintenance” (which is what the MOS amendment did by listing SM categories such as "on-wing maintenance" and "surface finishing" and other tasks that are clearly part of normal LAME functions) then a specific SM approval would required to conduct that task. This meant that if a LAME who did not have that specific approval (as the vast majority do not) would not be authorised to conduct the [newly reclassified] SM task – even if it was something he had been doing safely and legally for years. The company would have to arrange for this authorisation, SM training and rewrite its MOE to facilitate that – a huge cost and administrative burden on business.

So might Australia’s LAMEs have been acting illegally when doing some of their normal work between 3 October last year (when the amendments came into force) and Wednesday afternoon when they were thrown out of the parliament by a large majority (it was not just the ALP that disallowed them Minister!)? Bret Walker SC thinks they might well have been? If LAMEs had a radical industrial agenda I would have expected them to leverage that information six months ago Minister not endlessly try to get CASA (and your office) to understand what the amendments really meant?

Special Maintenance personnel clearly conduct skilled and necessary tasks – but they must be “special.” To be “special” they must be tasks LAMEs generally cannot do and are outside the normal licencing training regime. For example, new technology processes that arise from time to time (until normal training absorbs them), specialised skilled tasks such as NDT or welding – tasks that are a trade in themselves. These are vital and necessary support activities.

But certifying airworthiness, as Annex 1 and the existing CASA Guidance material explicitly recognise, requires a wider knowledge and understanding of the complex interactions BETWEEN aircraft systems rather than specialised knowledge of a particular stand-alone system or process. This is why we have licencing regimes (as noted above); to develop and demonstrate wider competence.

There were a multitude of ancillary problems with the CASA amendments to the 145 MOS. However, the main problems were that by reclassifying normal LAME tasks as “special” they transferred the certification authority of licence holders (for these tasks) to unlicenced (even if skilled) persons who are do not meet specific ICAO training Standards. This is a direct breach of ICAO Annex 1. In doing this the amendments redefined the traditional Quality Assurance declaration of a Specialist Maintainer as an ICAO level airworthiness certification.

SM personnel provide a QA declaration that a licence holder is entitled to rely on when issuing the subsequent airworthiness certification. The QA declaration confirms the SM task has been conducted to an approved quality standard and that the maintainer is qualified, authorised and approved by the Part 145 organisation to conduct the SM support task. The task must, however, be conducted under the wider airworthiness oversight of a licence holder who is responsible for its airworthiness and interaction with other systems that the SM's knowledge/experience/authority does not cover.

This creates a certification chain wherein the SM maintainer provides a QA declaration for the support task, which is passed up the chain to the the LAME certifying the airworthiness of the wider task of which it was a component. Lastly, that individual maintenance task airworthiness certification by the LAME is passed further up the chain to the licence holder issuing the CRS.

This preserves the professional responsibility chain as the individual maintenance task LAME takes personal responsibility for that task based upon his/her knowledge and the QA declared input of a SM (where this has been required). The CRS LAME does not take responsibility for the individual maintenance task as is the case in the EU. In Australia the CRS LAME may sign the CRS remotely from the aircraft and have had nothing to do with the maintenance tasks performed. His role is more like a professionally knowledgeable auditor, ensuring all the individual maintenance task airworthiness signatures are complete as per the work requested.

The MOS amendments potentially removed the middle airworthiness certification by the individual maintenance task LAME when the SM QA declaration was passed directly up to the CRS as the maintenance airworthiness certification. This DOES NOT meet ICAO standards and Bret Walker SC' agreed completely and provided further advice that the CRS cannot be issued on the basis of an inappropriate certification by a SM. CASA are still trying to say that it can.

Luckily Senator Xenophon called them out on this and the rules permitting it have been thrown in the rubbish bin where they belong. LAMEs standing up for Australia's aviation safety standards are now being accused of running an industrial campaign and the ALP of shooting down safety! NO Minister, you have been badly misinformed.

EASA rules provide for SM as well (other than NDT they are not listed as categories as was done in the Australian MOS). If you need SM you can apply for approval which will be provided if the task is "special." However, the EU rules accord with Annex 1 and do not allow non licenced persons to certify airworthiness - EU OPS 216/2008 and the associated Implementing Regulations permits only persons meeting Part 66 [licencing] standards to certify maintenance – except in exceptional circumstances. This easily verifiable fact also contradicts the CASA (and the minister's) claim that the MOS amendments met EASA standards.

I could go on further with numerous other problems with these very poorly considered amendments that have thankfully been disallowed by Senator Xenophon, who took the time to understand these issues. Suffice to say the regulations were fundamentally flawed and any single one of the above issues alone was a cause for their disallowance. Taken together they represented an overwhelming basis for disallowance. The amendments were quite simply bad law.

These flaws would have arisen over time and would have caused chaos; Senator Xenophon has not only saved vital safety outcomes he has also saved CASA from themselves...

Last edited by Gingerbread; 21st Mar 2015 at 09:38.
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 11:55
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Not sure the agree with opening paragraph. Having a licence doesn't mean an engineer knows the aircraft back to front etc. That comes from knowledge. A lot of non-licenced engineers have vastly more experience. In a past life in Europe operators use non-licenced engineers to sign a CRS for tasks that they have been trained on and demonstrated proficiency with. They are issued an approval by companys QA department.

Airworthiness of the aircraft wasn't compromised as a licenced engineer has to conduct the training and approve the paperwork prior to the approval being given by the Quality department. It reduced costs as fewer licenced engineers Meant a lot of airlines use a shift of nearly all non-licenced engineers and just a couple of B1 and B2's.

I think the terminology of "Special task" may be a contributing factor.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 01:19
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Spot on Gingerbread!

"LAMEs standing up for Australia's aviation safety standards are now being accused of running an industrial campaign and the ALP of shooting down safety! NO Minister, you have been badly misinformed."

On a much smaller scale of course this is happening throughout the industry. I have heard of a certain jet operator, having been called out on several safety matters by it's pilots and engineers, simply shrugged it off as industrial-CASA bought it.

Seems we are in a world where it is expedient to blame unions and industrially active staff for placing roadblocks in the way of unsafe laws and practices.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 03:03
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Clearly CASA has it's price and major airlines in Australia know exactly what that price is.

It is a shame that our airlines push these agendas on the one hand while on the other rattle on about safest records blah, blah, blah.

CASA is where the rubber hits the road and Airline agendas should not influence CASA in the slightest - CASA's function is to regulate and police aviation standards in Australia to the standards set by ICAO (and EASA as our system is modelled on theirs).

Shame on you CASA. I hope Mr Skidmore has more integrity than the last bloke!!
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 06:53
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Minister Truss characterised the disallowance as simply industrially motivated
How someone can treat a matter of air safety with such contempt leaves me utterly gobsmacked.

Thanks Nick Xenophon, and those politicians that had the sense to see through such idiocracy.

Seems we are in a world where it is expedient to blame unions and industrially active staff for placing roadblocks in the way of unsafe laws and practices.
Totally agree. I heard the vote was something like 35-30 which I find disturbing.

Last edited by Ngineer; 21st Mar 2015 at 07:15.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 07:11
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Was the legislation itself NOT industrially motivated? Of course it was all about enhancing safety, any associated cost savings were purely coincidental!

Public Relations 101 says accuse your opponent of precisely what you, yourself are doing.

The Minister is 100% correct when he claims there is an industrial motivation, just not in the way he intends you to interpret it.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 07:24
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........ rather than the clear safety issue it was.
As stated by Gingerbread.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 09:25
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CASR 145 MOS Disalloewance - Who Supported the Motion and Who did not

The vote tally for the Part 145 Disallowance

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the disallowance motion moved by Senator Xenophon be agreed to.
The Senate divided. [17:57]
(The President—Senator Parry)
Ayes ......................34
Noes ......................30

Bilyk, CL (teller) Bullock, J.W.
Cameron, DN Collins, JMA
Conroy, SM Dastyari, S
Di Natale, R Gallacher, AM
Hanson-Young, SC Ketter, CR
Lambie, J Lazarus, GP
Lines, S Ludlam, S
Ludwig, JW Madigan, JJ
Marshall, GM McEwen, A
McLucas, J Moore, CM
O'Neill, DM Peris, N
Polley, H Rhiannon, L
Rice, J Siewert, R
Singh, LM Sterle, G
Urquhart, AE Wang, Z
Waters, LJ Whish-Wilson, PS
Wright, PL Xenophon, N

Bernardi, C Birmingham, SJ
Bushby, DC Canavan, M.J.
Cash, MC Colbeck, R
Day, R.J. Edwards, S
Fawcett, DJ (teller) Fierravanti-Wells, C
Fifield, MP Heffernan, W
Johnston, D Leyonhjelm, DE
Macdonald, ID Mason, B
McGrath, J McKenzie, B
Muir, R Nash, F
O'Sullivan, B Parry, S
Payne, MA Reynolds, L
Ronaldson, M Ruston, A
Ryan, SM Seselja, Z
Smith, D Williams, JR

Brown, CL Scullion, NG
Carr, KJ Sinodinos, A
Lundy, KA Abetz, E
Milne, C Back, CJ
Wong, P Brandis, GH

Senator Cormann did not vote, to compensate for the vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Faulkner.
Question agreed to.

Last edited by Gingerbread; 21st Mar 2015 at 09:36.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 10:23
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It has just dawned me why Aviation Law and regulation is so bad in this country. The so called governments of both political persuasion have never really been looking closely at the law they are voting for it has all just gone through on the nod because apparantly CASA knows best. Looks like here someone has actually understood what the consequences are and challeged CASA. As a result Mr Truss puts out a press release showing he has no idea about what it is he is voting on.

Suprised Leyonhjelm has been sucked in on this one he is supposed to be Small Government and anti bureaucracy.

Here's Warren Truss's thoughts:

Last night Labor bowed to union pressure and walked away from the long-standing bipartisanship approach to aviation safety—voting in the Senate to disallow a regulation put forward by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to improve safety arrangements in aviation maintenance.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the regulation would have allowed specialists to carry out prescribed maintenance tasks, as they do now. However, instead of union engineers (the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association) signing maintenance certification, specialists would undertake the task.

CASA's advice is that the specialist maintainer is the most qualified, appropriate and competent to sign-off on maintenance works that they have completed.

“Labor's decision to vote down the safety regulator's considered position signals a dangerous departure from a long-standing commitment from both side of politics to allow the experts to determine safety issues,” Mr Truss said.

“The Government and Opposition have for many, many years supported the principles of an independent aviation safety regulator that is free from political interference. The Senate apparently thinks it knows more about aviation safety than the expert regulators.

“In one fell swoop, Labor's reckless opportunism has now made aviation safety a political football.

“Adding to the dismay and exposing Labor's base irresponsibility, the specialist maintenance changes that formed the basis for this regulation were initiated, developed and first implemented when Labor was in office.

“Labor has taken sides in a union dispute as to which workers should have responsibility for patching the paintwork and installing the carpet on an aircraft.

“Labor's veto of this measure sets back modernising Australia's aviation safety maintenance and means that we are out-of-step with major aviation industries in the US, Europe, Canada and New Zealand.

“Aviation safety is not—and must not be allowed to become—an industrial or political issue. It must be above party politics and it certainly should never be about what union a person undertaking specialist aviation maintenance pays membership to.

“This Government continues to believe in an independent aviation safety regulator allowed to implement safety improvements when it believes they are necessary.

“While Australia's aviation safety record is world renowned, continuous improvements need to be made.

“Labor is now in dangerous uncharted territory, casting aside independent aviation safety advice in favour of political point-scoring and doing the bidding of their union mates.”
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 11:12
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Neville, of course that entire release you posted assumes that CASA actually know as much as they pretend to....

It's kind of like creating a group called Airline Ratings and being given the title of "Aviation Expert" and everyone assuming that therefore what you're saying MUST be correct....oh wait...
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