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AHIA strongly protests CASA’s mismanaged regulatory reform process!

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AHIA strongly protests CASA’s mismanaged regulatory reform process!

Old 9th Nov 2015, 20:24
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AHIA strongly protests CASA’s mismanaged regulatory reform process!

This thread has been started to keep our members and the helicopter industry abreast of the struggle the AHIA has had in attempting to release the stranglehold our regulator is having on any progress in our aviation industry. For example, there has been few ATPL (A) issued since September 2014 – and it is believed no ATPL (H) from the helicopter pilot segment. And of course, there are so many others, we cannot list them here.

After months of frustration resulting from the continuing delays by CASA with the release of Part 61 Flight Crew Licensing Manual of Standards (MOS); the AHIA has sought help from the aviation community; especially The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) and other leading aviation industry groups. The TAAAF was recently reinforced by several associations who have substantial memberships; and also suffering similar setbacks from the current regulatory reform processes now being imposed on industry.

By way of explanation, the helicopter industry has the second largest number of registered helicopters in the Western World, (mostly light to medium types). Unfortunately, the forced change to EASA based legislation does not fit the rotary wing industry in Australia; in fact, other countries are now complaining about the results to date – and some are deviating from the EASA standards to avoid a collapse of local industries.

Although helicopters make up only 14% of the CASA register; we have around 30% of AOCs. The latter reflects the scattered nature of our industry in rural areas, where aerial work is the dominate activity. We have no RPT operations and our fleet is predominately single engine day VFR equipped.

But what is the primary gripe? AHIA/CASA working groups were expecting the re-release of the troubled Part 61 MOS in September 2015, as mentioned at the Senate Enquiry held in May 2015.

It has been delayed well into 2016, according to CASA sources, due to several reviews underway.

Why bother with all this fuss? Although not identified when the new legislation was being written; the helicopter operators are effected more than their aeroplane cousins. The transitions for helicopter folks are very costly; especially with the introduction of Part 61, 141 and 142, etc.

Trigger action for public protest. The recent debacle where two of Australia’s leading helicopter schools had their Part 142 applications rejected cause sever angst in the Board Rooms of Australian operators. It has been alleged the cause was the issued CASA guidance material; claimed to be not suited for the task??. Despite the writing projects running for around twelve months and being assisted by capable CASA regional staff, the applications were rejected. Aeroplane operators are indicating to the AHIA that our problem is not unique and they are suffering too.

More to follow:

AHIA
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Old 10th Nov 2015, 20:31
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Media release 4 Nov '15

On the 4 November 2015 the AHIA released a Media Release as follows:

Regulatory reform leading to troubled pathway

The Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) is concerned with the administrative burden, financial penalties and lack of progress with applications for Parts 141, 142 & 145 Certificates.

It appears CASA has difficulty providing the point of difference between a Part 141 and Part 142 application; leaving the industry confused and unclear as to which certificate applies to their operation.

The AHIA and wider helicopter industry has made representation to CASA to broaden the coverage of the Part 141 to include Type Rating, MCC training and rework of the abinitio syllabuses to accommodate credits for consolidated training. The AHIA believes this would provide industry and the regulator with a much simpler process and leaves the Part 142 certificate for airline and other specialist training streams.

Industry members are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in preparation for Part 142 & Part 145 certificates only to end up locked into a battle with CASA’s regional offices that do not have the ability to approve the applications.

According to AHIA Vice President, Ray Cronin, “It is like trying to find a road across a desert in a dust storm; like the shifting sands, the constantly shifting guidelines make the way forward impossible. As a result the AHIA is recommending its members and others in the helicopter community bunker down and withdraw their Parts 141, 142 & 145 applications until such time as CASA is able to provide completed templates for the industry to use in the application process”.

Ray also said that our industry members need to focus on their operations to ensure continued safe, efficient and financially viable futures in lieu of being dragged into impossible bureaucratic battles brought on by so much unwanted Government legislation.

The AHIA has noted that the Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore has continued his commitment to listen to the industry by travelling around the countryside meeting with a broader section of the aviation community. Whilst the AHIA encourages consultation there is a point where consultation fatigue will take over, and would respectfully suggest that the answers to the industry’s problems may not be in the small number of individuals who turn up to offer their individual perspective but more likely along the lines that associations like the AHIA and other peak industry bodies have previously provided to the DAS.

“We would be encouraged by a change in direction to see the DAS and CASA’s managers focusing on solutions and deal with what has already been raised rather than trying to flush out another range of issues.” Ray said.
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Old 10th Nov 2015, 20:38
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On 5 Nov ’15, AHIA President, Peter Crook, announced enough is enough.

AHIA strongly protests CASA’s mismanaged regulatory reform process!

From: The President AHIA.
To: Helicopter Industry Colleagues,

It is time to take a stand against the unfair treatment of our industry by the Regulator and stop the distraction caused by the mismanaged regulatory reform process. To achieve this, we need to unite. We have been working hard to protect the industry's existence but it seems CASA is not listening, heeding our suggestions or accepting our offers of assistance.

Attached for your information is a Media Release prepared by the AHIA in support of our Industry. Excerpts of this release were published in The Australian, Friday 6 November 2015, together with comments from other associations including the RAAA and AAAA and the TAAAF (The Australian Aviation Associations Forum), of which the AHIA is a member.

The Aviation Industry has been overburdened with regulatory change and is crippled by the inability of the Regulator to process applications in a timely and proper manner. Some companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with still no end in sight.

It’s time for us all to protest by withdrawing from the application process for Parts 142 and 145 particularly, and Part 141 if this is also a problem. If the industry removes their applications as a protest, it will do two things; firstly show CASA we are united as an industry and object to the treatment we are receiving and do not intend participating in the conversion process and secondly; save you considerable time, effort and money that is going nowhere! We suggest you use our template to send a letter to CASA to withdraw your applications and conserve your resources for the day CASA eventually gets its house in order. We cannot continue, it’s time to act!

Could you review the template, copy and paste the relevant information, pertaining to your operation, onto your letterhead and forward to CASA.

All associations, individually and through the TAAAF have offered expertise from within their individual sectors of the industry to assist with the regulatory change processes. Our proposed action should accelerate that process for the benefit of CASA and the Industry.

Whether you are a member of AHIA or not, it is in your interest to support this initiative for the good of a united industry.

Please call me, 0407 638 811, or Ray Cronin, 0419 962 373, if you have any questions.

Regards, Peter Crook, President, Australian Helicopter Industry Association.
Mob: 0407 638 811 Email: president at austhia dot com.
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Old 10th Nov 2015, 20:47
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5 Nov ’15. Template attached to Peter’s email to industry.

To CASA from operator.

Intention to withdraw from Part 142/145 certificate application

In light of the difficulties experienced by our industry to have applications effectively processed under this part we consider that it would be more prudent to withdraw our application at this stage and focus on our core responsibilities of operating our business.

In the future should CASA be able to demonstrate that a process has been established that will create a way forward which includes minimum disruption to our day-to-day affairs then we shall reconsider our position.

In creating an effective pathway it would be our expectation that CASA provides such assistance in the form of templates in lieu of guidelines and moves away from the burden of the current bureaucratic process.

Our three core priorities are;

1. Maintaining a safe operation.
2. Provide our clients with the service they expect.
3. Maintain a financially viable company.

We have no objection to government regulatory reform as long as it is in the best interests of the aviation community and is based on sound principles of need and safety, not just the desire to align with other international bureaucratic doctrine.

Our desire to co-operate in regulatory change is limited by our ability to firstly maintain our three core priorities as listed above then to ensure that we have the financial wherewithal to participate.

We look forward to further contact with CASA when the appropriate environment exists.


Yours faithfully,
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Old 10th Nov 2015, 21:08
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6 Nov ’15. Steve Creedy, award winning aviation editor, The Australian, commented.

CASA reforms: Rex says Order 48.1 will force routes to close.

Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell says CAO 48.1 if implemented would cost Rex more than $4m a year. Regional Express has warned that new rules about flight time limitations will cost it more than $4 million annually and could make some routes unviable as angst about regulatory reforms continues to spill out into the public arena.

In a strongly worded letter sent to Civil Aviation Safety Authority boss Mark Skidmore earlier this year, Australia’s biggest independent regional carrier warned that Civil Aviation Order 48.1 was seriously flawed and was introduced with no real representation from regional aviation.

It also argued the new rules did not meet a directive issued by Mr. Skidmore calling for regulatory changes must be shown to be necessary as well as justified on the basis of safety, do not impose unnecessary costs of hinder participation in aviation and its capacity for growth.

“The new prescriptive rule sets of CAO 48.1 if implemented would cost Rex over $4 million annually,’’ the letter from Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell said. “The impact on the 5 Queensland regulated routes that Rex services would represent an additional cost in excess of $2.25 million annually for transporting only some 30,000 passengers a year.

This impost would need to be passed to the passenger and would effectively render the service untenable, and would close the services to these remote and isolated communities who depend heavily on the access they receive for medical, legal, government and social activities.”

The letter emerged after aviation groups last week called for an industry task force to deal with the continuing damage caused by regulatory and urged CASA to withdraw CAO 48.1.

Umbrella group The Australian Aviation Associations Forum expressed concern at the slow pace of reform and the ongoing cost of new impositions from new regulations.

The forum warned that recently introduced CASA regulations were threatening the viability of the industry, particularly general aviation, with millions of dollars needed to be invested with no particular safety gains.


It singled out CAO 48.1 and parts 61 (pilot licensing), 141 (recreational, private and commercial pilot training) and 142 (integrated and multi-crew pilot training and checking) as areas which needed urgently addressing.

Industry players gearing up their campaigns for the next federal election subsequently cautioned CASA not to ignore the TAAAF call.

Regional Aviation Association of Australia chief executive Paul Tyrrell said regional airlines had urged Mark Skidmore to accelerate the authority’s reorganization.

“We were trying to inject a sense of urgency I guess into the CASA hierarchy about what we see as some of the low-hanging fruit from the Forsyth Review,’’ he said.

Aerial Application of Association of Australia head Phil Hurst said the communique was a plea for help.

“It is a genuine heartfelt concern for the welfare of an industry that has been damaged directly by CASA regulations,’’ he said. “The problems currently experienced with firefighting training are a direct result of poor planning and appalling implementation of regulations.

“The best way forward is to get fresh eyes from industry to identify practical exemptions and amendments to address the very real issues.’’

The Australian Helicopter Industry Association is advising its members to withdraw their applications to protest “the administrative burden, financial penalties and lack of progress with applications for parts 141, 142 & 145 (maintenance) certificates’’.

The AHIA is particularly concerned about the high cost — sometimes more than $100,000 — its members are paying for documentation and what it says is confusion among CASA personnel about parts 141 and 142.

“It is like trying to find a road across a desert in a dust storm; like the shifting sands, the constantly shifting guidelines make the way forward impossible,’’ AHIA vice-president Ray Cronin said.

“As a result, the AHIA is recommending its members and others in the helicopter community bunker down and withdraw their parts 141, 142 & 145 applications until such time as CASA is able to provide completed templates for the industry to use in the application process.’’

Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association executive director Ken Cannane said the proposals should be dropped in favour of a system based on the US Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Mr Cannane said general aviation design, manufacture and maintenance had all suffered from the inability of CASA to maintain pace with the modernisation of the FAR system that once underpinned general aviation in Australia.

He said general aviation supported the FAR system and AMROBA believed the current system was unworkable. The CASA board needed to urgently move towards a FAR-based system for the sector.

“Since the commencement of the CAA in 1988, the industry has promised reforms to reduce red tape and regulatory requirements to enable improved safety and productivity,’’ Mr Cannane said.

“However, like all other associations, all we have seen is the opposite happen as regulatory reform has been changed to regulatory development resulting in increased red tape and requirements.

“CASA has ignored governments’ regulatory reform best practice guidelines for over a decade.’’

CASA has said it was actively consulting with the aviation community on a range of issues and this would continue. Changes had also been made to rules to address particular issues such as firefighting operations, it said.
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Old 10th Nov 2015, 21:21
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10 Nov 15. CASA extends time lines by 12 months.

Transition period for flying training organisations extended to 31 August 2018

CASA has announced a 12 month extension for flying training organisations to transition to new aviation rules.

Organisations who were undertaking flying training activities before 1 September 2014 will now have until 31 August 2018 to transition to the new rules, contained in Parts 141 and 142 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.

The extension will give CASA more time to provide the aviation community with additional support through the provision of improved guidance material, sample manuals and example syllabuses to minimise costs associated with transition.

During the extended transition CASA will continue to address valid issues associated with the new Flight Crew Licensing Suite and will provide the aviation community with greater knowledge and understanding around the new rule set.

CASA will continue working with flying training organisations to help facilitate a smooth transition before 31 August 2018. Flying training organisations may anticipate being contacted personally by their respective Regional Office to discuss transitional arrangements in the coming weeks.

More information about the transition process is available on the CASA website.
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Old 10th Nov 2015, 21:31
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Sorry - could you give it to me once more buddy? Not quite got it first pass?
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Old 10th Nov 2015, 22:27
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10 Nov ’15. Later CASA follows with the following announcement:

New taskforce to implement licensing suite solutions.

A special taskforce is being set up within CASA to address outstanding issues with the new licensing suite of regulations.

The 26-person taskforce will work full-time on finding solutions to issues identified with Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Parts 61, 64, 141 and 142.

The taskforce will work closely with a new advisory panel made up of people representing a wide range of sectors across the aviation community.

Key aviation representative organisations have been invited to take up positions on the advisory panel.

These include The Australian Aviation Associations Forum, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, the Australian Helicopter Industry Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Australian Business Aviation Association, the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia and the Aerial Application Association of Australia.

Representatives will also be included from the regular public transport and mustering sectors, along with key people from flying training schools and the tertiary education sector.

CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore, said the Part 61 Solutions Taskforce and the advisory panel will work intensively to address unintended consequences in the licensing suite.


“CASA has already addressed many concerns that have been identified in the new licensing regulations but I understand more needs to be done,” Mr Skidmore said.

“This is a priority and that’s why I need a dedicated team of people within CASA working full-time on the issues.

“Just as importantly we need advice and guidance from the aviation community to prioritise actions and verify that successful solutions have been found.

“The advisory panel will meet formally as required and at other times I expect its members to be in close contact with the CASA taskforce as work progresses.

“I require real solutions to the issues with the licensing suite as quickly as they can be delivered.”

It is expected the taskforce will begin by reviewing transition arrangements and then prioritising issues.

The taskforce will begin work immediately.

The taskforce will ensure known or likely safety risks continue to be effectively addressed by the licensing regulations.

At the same time it will make sure unnecessary costs are not imposed by the regulations and that they are not an impediment to participation in aviation or potential future growth.

To date 98 issues with the licensing suite have been raised with CASA through feedback and input from the aviation community. More than half of these have been addressed, with work well advanced on the balance.

Action taken to date includes publishing legislative instruments, extending the 14 day dual check requirement for student pilots to 30 days, R22 and R44 helicopters no longer classified as type-rated aircraft, information sheets have been produced to provide clearer guidance and information, instruments are in place to ensure CAR 217 organisations are properly authorised to conduct flying training activities during the transition period, authorisations are in place for check pilots to conduct operator proficiency checks, changes have been made to English language proficiency requirements and an exemption in relation to low-level rating requirements.

CASA has also announced an extension of the transition period for Parts 141 and 142 of the licensing suite.

Transition for these Parts – which cover flying training – was scheduled to be completed by 31 August 2017.

This has now been extended by 12 months to 31 August 2018.

The additional transition time will give CASA more time to arrange a smooth transition by providing additional guidance material and for identified issues to be resolved.

Media contact: Peter Gibson. Mobile: 0419 296 446. Email: peter dot Gibson at casa dot gov dot au

AHIA: At long last our industry segment, which has the most to loses is being heard! The joining of a wide range of professional bodies has proved that industry does have the capacity to help a regulator drowning in red tape. Good news after all - but there is an enormous amount of legislation to be sorted and made user friendly!
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Old 12th Nov 2015, 18:23
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Aviation industry groups wary over CASA revamp on rule changes - Creedy

Further developments.

The Australian Award Winning Aviation Editor, Steve Creedy, wrote the following in the Fri 13 Nov '15 edition:

Aviation industry groups wary over CASA revamp on rule changes

CASA director of aviation safety Mark Skidmore is working on a revamp of controversial rule changes. A Civil Aviation Safety Authority move to put more resources behind revamping controversial rule changes and set up an advisory panel representing key aviation groups has been cautiously welcomed by the industry.

CASA director of aviation safety Mark Skidmore announced this week that a 26-member taskforce would work fulltime on addressing issues with controversial rule changes that have troubled the industry. Mr Skidmore also invited aviation groups to nominate members to take up positions on the advisory panel, which will work with the taskforce to sort out the problems.

The authority said the taskforce would begin work immediately, reviewing transition arrangements and prioritising responses while making sure safety issues are addressed. It would ensure the regulations did not impose unnecessary costs or impede the ability to participate in aviation or future growth.

Flight training organisations have been given a 12-month extension to August 31, 2018 to the switch to new rules.

The moves come after The Australian Aviation Associations Forum issued a strongly worded statement expressing concern at the slow pace of reform and the ongoing cost of new impositions from new regulations.The forum warned that recently introduced CASA regulations were threatening the viability of the industry, particularly general aviation, with millions of dollars needed to be invested with no particular safety gains.

It singled out Civil Aviation order 48.1 and Civil Aviation safety regulations parts 61 (pilot licensing), 141 (recreational, private and commercial pilot training) and 142 (integrated and multi-crew pilot training and checking) as areas that urgently needed addressing.

The new taskforce will examine Parts 61, 141, 142 and 64 (unlicensed personnel authorisations) and the advisory panel will comprise TAAAF members as well as representatives from flying schools, public transport, tertiary education, mustering sectors and training schools.

Mr Skidmore said he would implement “real solutions to the issues’’ as quickly as they could be delivered.

“CASA has already addressed many concerns that have been identified in the new licensing regulations but I understand more needs to be done,” Mr Skidmore said. “This is a priority and that’s why I need a dedicated team of people within CASA working fulltime on the issues. “Just as importantly we need advice and guidance from the aviation community to prioritise actions and verify that successful solutions have been found.

“The advisory panel will meet formally as required and at other times I expect its members to be in close contact with the CASA taskforce as work progresses.’’

TAAAF chairman Greg Russell welcomed the new developments as “almost in line with the key issues which we put to them’’. He believed the moves were a sign that the CASA board was exercising more influence on the organisation. “Yes, we’ve said some things that needed to be said but I think there’s been a pleasing response so far. There’s more work to do though,’’ Mr Russell said.

But Regional Aviation Association of Australia chief executive [B]Paul Tyrrell was less convinced. “CASA’s policy words have been good for some time,’’ he said. “It’s increased action on the Forsyth recommendations and new senior managers under the CEO that we need.’’

CASA says 98 issues have so far been raised about new rules and more than half have been addressed. It said the move to extend the deadline for parts 141 and 142 would give it more time to provide the industry with more guidance materials, sample manuals and example syllabuses.

END

AHIA - Our thanks to Steve.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 23:48
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CASA restructure: regulator cuts divisions in revamp

Re: The Australian - Steve Creedy - Aviation - Fri 26 Nov '15.

CASA restructure: regulator cuts divisions in revamp


The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is streamlining its operations into three groups in a bid to improve its regulatory services and promote better interaction with the aviation community.

Staff were told yesterday of the restructure, which comes after the authority has been under fire recently for not moving more quickly to fix regulatory changes that have upset sections of the industry. CASA has also been criticised for being slow to adopt government-endorsed recommendations from the Aviation Safety Regulation Review.

The changes are due to take place by the middle of next year and will collapse six existing operational groups into three under the broader headings of stakeholder engagement, aviation and sustainability.

The changes are designed to address recommendation 21 of the ASRR, which proposes that CASA change its organisational structure to a “client-oriented output model’’. The review panel said it was struck by the number of industry concerns about communication and specialist guidance, many of which appeared to relate to the authority’s structure.

It determined that many of these issues could be resolved with a more transparent organisational structure and management focus on specific industry sector operations.

The three main sections proposed by yesterday’s restructure will see six groups consolidated into three with legal services remaining separate.
It is understood the standards, operations and airspace/aerodrome sections will be consolidated into the aviation group. Aviation group functions will include entry control, surveillance, regulatory services and standard setting as well as regulatory development and implementation.

The stakeholder engagement group will include safety, education and promotions as well as functions now in the office of the director, such as media relations. The authority said this would join communications functions into one area to ensure the information it issued was “consistent and delivered effectively’’.

Corporate services and some functions of the industry permissions section will go into the sustainability group.

Materials released to staff said job cuts were not anticipated beyond senior management.

CASA boss Mark Skidmore said an important goal of the restructure was to reduce the time people and organisations spent dealing with the regulator.
He said he understood the way CASA interacted with the industry needed to improve “at all levels’’ and the restructure was a vital step in renewing the authority.

“CASA has been consulting widely and often over the past year and now is the time to start delivering real change,’’ he said.

“Part of this real change will be the introduction of more online services to streamline the application, processing and delivery of as many services as possible.

“The restructure will be done in stages between now and the middle of 2016 so regulatory and safety support for the aviation community is not disrupted.
“These changes will streamline CASA’s senior management and give all staff a clearer focus on CASA’s goals and their own tasks.”

Meanwhile, CASA will push ahead with controversial fatigue- management rules, despite trenchant opposition from some parts of the industry, but it confirmed a previously flagged delay to May 2017, to give operators more time to transition to the new rules. The change to Civil Aviation Order 48.1 has been supported by airline pilots but attacked by associations representing some operators.

Regional Express estimated earlier this month the changes would cost it more than $4 million annually and could make some routes unviable, while umbrella group The Australian Aviation Association Forum urged CASA to withdraw CAO 48.1.

CASA admitted this week that consultation with the aviation community found “both CASA and air operators needed more time to make a smooth and safe transition’’ to the new rules.

Operators who had completed the transition by October 31 would need to submit amended operations manuals or a fatigue risk management application by that date, it said.
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