Dear DPM Truss, Chairman Boyd & the Board

14 Sep

CASA_HQ_Canberra_34A177E0-8025-11E4-B80702E039DC10A6

Time gentleman & ladies..time!

We understand the dilemma when several ‘preferred candidates’ who met the Forsyth recommended criteria..

7. The next Director of Aviation Safety has leadership and management experience and capabilities in cultural change of large organisations. Aviation or other safety industry experience is highly desirable.

..ended up pulling the pin or being systematically white-anted by M&M & Doc JA, so the Skidmore appointment was always going to be a long shot. However sadly the appointee has fallen under the spell of the Iron Ring and there is now no possible hope of redemption.

After the week that has been the overwhelming opinion put simply, is that Skates does not have the skill set required to clean out the dross from executive to middle management at CASA and set a clear path for reform as guided by the Forsyth Report:

Reference from – Skimore Corner:

P9..It is tiresome to read some of the first class submissions made to the Rev. Forsyth in good faith, when clearly Skidmore has not.  It is beyond reason that the ‘directive’ of a crown Minister is to be first ignored then eroded, whittled away to nothing.  The answers have been provided; Skidmore has either not read them; or, chooses not to believe them.  But why then ask (nay, beg, for he no way to pay) for that same assistance from the same people – AGAIN…

thornbird..Those in the “Iron Ring” of CAsA will not care, their retirement is secure regardless of the industries fortunes.

Them pulling their strings are earning more than the PM anyway and considering 15% super, doubt they are worrying about having to live on the pension, besides there will be the “rewards” of directorships etc. for services rendered.

Why would any of them give a shit if the industry survives? ..

Gobbles – ..It’s time for action and Skates cannot deliver. He has proven that. The one true test on Skates integrity, ability and balls was a simple one – accept and implement everything in the Forsythe review. Sadly he dismissed that work as just being ‘one mans view’. Enough said, you’ve lost me Skates. Time for you to go as we need a leader who will command, not bow down to the Iron Ring. It’s actually quite sad..

P7 – ..This endless wittering and glad handing may be acceptable to other industries, although I doubt it.  But it is unacceptable for aviation.  If Skidmore wants to slide about the country towns, pressing the flesh, kissing babies and sweet talking the local Council, that’s fine if he wants to run for parliament.  But to run the aviation industry, he needs to know and deal with the problems – all writ large, neat and tidy, presented to the Hon. Rev Forsyth.

Second the motion for resignation – failing that, propose a motion to terminate his contract; make that two – one for the Doc, just to cover all bets…

Or if you prefer, from one of Skidmore’s previously more optimistic supporters Steve Hitchen:

..On my arrival here I was greeted with some sad news: a well-known aviation identity is selling up his aeroplane and getting out of aviation all together because he’s had enough of CASA. This is only one example of many people who the regulator has chased out of aviation in the past few years. Yes, we have been promised reform, and the recent corporate plan does show intent to implement the Forsyth Report recommendations, but I have to wonder if Canberra really does understand the damage poor culture at the regulator has done to general aviation. My fear now is that no amount of reform can help us. Is it possible that general aviation is jaded beyond any recovery? I’d like to think we are not; that our spirit for flying is stronger than the apathy-driven badgering that has come out of Canberra over the past 20 years. I agree that change takes time, but that’s something that GA is running low on..

Hitch also had a chat with the DPM – Off the Yaffa: Truss Hitched at AusFly :

Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Developement Warren Truss has said he will not accept any attempts to de-rail the recommendations of the Forsyth Report.

 Speaking with Australian Flying at Ausfly today, Truss said that he had expectations that both CASA and Airservices would comply with his direction.

“Many of the recommendations have their own timeframe in them,” he said, “and we expect those timeframes to be honoured. So in each of the plans I have given in my ministerial instructions to Airservices and also to CASA, I have highlighted the need to address all of the recommendations in the Forsyth Review.

“I am expecting from them regular reports on progress. Some of them have been implemented in full; others still have some distance to go. I won’t accept any pushbacks; we’ve got to get on with it, and I know the industry has expectations that these things will be delivered and I share those expectations.”

With the government’s response to the Forsyth Report delivered in December 2014, many areas of general aviation are starting to get impatient to see signs of real reform, with communication from CASA often considered window dressing. According to Truss, the reforms are very real.

And this in the Hitch weekly wrap:

..Minister Warren Truss has said he will accept no “pushback” from either CASA or Airservices when it comes to the Forsyth reforms. Most interesting is that the question I put to him didn’t say anything about “pushback” or any resistance. Obviously it has been on his mind, which supports the word around the industry of a middle-management “revolt” at CASA over the impending reforms. Truss did not comment on any revolt, nor did I ask him, but the maths add up, doesn’t it?..

Yet after those strong statements from the DPM we get more waffle from Skidmore – FCOL  – Here we go again??  Angry

Then IMO the final straw for Skidmore was the back handed – obviously Iron Ring scripted & complicit by Skates – reply correspondence to AOPA Prez Marc De Stoop on the original ADS-B RIS & CBA… Dodgy

What makes the Skidmore missive to De Stoop even more damning is that it would appear to be in direct conflict with the wishes of Jeff Boyd & the new Board.

From reference post#71 off CASA meets the Press:

Radical overhaul to deliver safer skies  

[Image: ean_higgins.png]
Reporter
Montreal

[Image: 595217-277fc23e-26a0-11e5-9967-4060475ab86c.jpg]

Newly appointed CASA chairman Jeff Boyd. Photo: Ray Strange. Source: News Corp Australia

After two decades of false starts, Australia will embrace the safer US model of managing the nation­’s skies that will see greater control of airspace in regional areas and allow ground staff to provide pilots with potentially lifesaving local weather and aircraft traffic information.  

The Weekend Australian can reveal the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will also adopt a fundamental change in philosophy and strategy, with CASA managers instructed to employ greater commercial sense and flexibility to bring the industry with them on a path of reform.

The moves follow a sustained campaign by The Weekend Australian and several aviation figures, including businessman Dick Smith, to address longstanding air safety concerns following fatal air crashes in Victoria and Queensland a decade ago.

The sweeping new initiatives were revealed to The Weekend Australian by newly appointed CASA chairman Jeff Boyd in his first media interview since taking up his appointment last week. “We have become inward looking, but we’re just a dot in the world community,” Mr Boyd said. “We need to look outside of Australia.”

The new moves offer a promise to fix an air traffic control system judged by many in the aviation industry to be not as safe as it could be outside the major cities — and by some, including Mr Smith, to be dangerous.

In 2004 six people died when the plane they were flying in from Sydney’s Bankstown Airport to Benalla in Victoria crashed into a mountain, with air traffic controllers being alerted by an alarm that radar had detected the aircraft was off course but not intervening in part because it was flying in airspace not designated as under their control.

In 2005 another accident, which killed 15 people in an aircraft which crashed into a mountain while approaching a small airport at Lockhart River in Cape York, might have been prevented if, as occurs at similar airports in the US, ground staff who were not air traffic controllers had had radio contact with approaching aircraft and warned of bad weather in that direction.

As reported in The Weekend Australian in recent weeks, there are also concerns about uncontrolled airspace at Ballina, in northern NSW, where rapid growth in commercial passenger traffic has led to congestion, and where at least one near miss has occurred.

 Another near collision some years ago above Launceston led to the installation of a new type of aircraft surveillance system, but air traffic controllers still do not direct surveillance controlled approache­s in Tasmania, relying instead on a procedural method which is less efficient and which aviation experts say is less safe.

Australia, unlike the US and Canada, does not have an across-the-board system in which airliners and other commercial aircraft are directed by air traffic controllers almost to the ground.

The federal government had planned to move to the North American model in the early 2000s but the policy wasn’t followed through. Instead, a patchwork of protocols applies, with some areas and some airports designated as being under controlled airspace, but others not.

At many airports, some with substantial traffic, pilots are left to their own devices once under 8500 feet to sort out separation among themselves through radio contact, even though they may still be under radar coverage to much lower levels. Mr Smith had branded this situation as ridic­ulous and unsafe.

In addition to airspace reform, Mr Boyd will encourage CASA management, on a case-by-case basis, to allow exemptions and extensi­ons for aircraft owners to fit a costly new air navigation system known as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-­Broadcast, or ADS-B, if they can make a compelling practical and commercial case and safety is not compromised.

CASA will adopt a more flexible approach to a compulsory and expensive program of inspections of older Cessna light aircraft known as Supplementary Inspection Documents, or SIDS. It will consider making extensions because­ the size of the program has caused a bottleneck in the aircraft maintenance sector.

Mr Boyd told The Weekend Australian CASA had fallen into the trap of becoming “close to a ‘big R’ regulator”.

The organisation’s first priority remained enforcing a safe flying environment, but he would take a second look at any new regulations to determine if they amounted to “change for change’s sake”.

“You have to make sure it’s safe out there, that people are not doing the wrong thing,” Mr Boyd said.

“But you have to ask how the industry can comply with that rule or regulation, and whether, if it is going to cost them a lot of money, is it worth doing in terms of safety.”

Mr Boyd, a practising licensed aircraft mechanical engineer, former creator and owner of Brindabella Airlines, and a light aircraft pilot, is highly regarded.

The federal government appointed him CASA chairman after the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review report, chaired by veteran David Forsyth, called last year for wide reforms after criticising CASA for taking too hard a line and maintaining an adversarial approach to the industry, which had lost trust in the authority.

Late last year John McCormick, CASA’s director of air safety — essentially the authority’s chief executive — was succeeded by former senior RAAF officer Mark Skidmore, who is understood to share Mr Boyd’s view of the need for a new approach. – Yeah right, Iron Ring view more like it – FCOL Dodgy

Mr Boyd said he would encourage a lowering of the floor of controlled airspace, known as cate­g­ory E, at airports on a case-by-case basis. “Let’s see where we can do E where we have reliable air traffic control surveillance,” he said.

Mr Boyd would not discuss spec­ifics, but The Weekend Australian can reveal CASA will recommend such a move for Ballina.

It is expected to recommend that the controlled airspace around Ballina be lowered from 8500 feet to 5000 feet, and that the airport install a radio operator to help pilots with local weather and air traffic inform­ation, something the airport’s management is keen to do.

Mr Boyd said he would sponsor a board directive to management to see if it could free up what the industry describes as absurdly tight rules, restricting what ground staff who are not serving or former air traffic controllers can provide pilots over the Unicom radio in the way of weather and traffic information. “If it’s used as supplementary flight safety information, we have no argument against it,” he said.

Some of the moves, such as liberating ground staff to man the Unicom, have been strongly resisted by the air traffic controllers union Civil Air, and the union is also disinclined to expand controlled airspace unless more controllers are employed.

The chairman of Airservices Australia, Angus Houston, has rejected calls from Mr Smith and others for the firefighters his organ­isation employs at airports without control towers to perform the radio operator function as they do at many regional US airports.

As revealed by The Australian this week, Airservices, the government-owned body which runs the country’s air traffic control and navigation system, insisted two years ago that CASA not grant exemptions or extensions for ADS­B, pulling out of an understanding with CASA, which as safety authority makes and enforces air regulations.

But Mr Boyd said under the new approach CASA would consider doing so if the aircraft owner could provide a solid case based on business, and practicality and safety was not threatened.

“We will look at it on a case-by-case basis to give some relief to these people,” he said.

269 submissions can’t be wrong?
Gobbles said..

“..The one true test on Skates integrity, ability and balls was a simple one – accept and implement everything in the Forsyth review. Sadly he dismissed that work as just being ‘one mans view’…”

So besides that ‘one man’ – the Rev Forsyth – there is 269 submitters representing 1000’s of industry stakeholders, a ‘Minister of the Crown’ representing the Government of the day; and finally the CASA Board itself – yet this Board appointee continues to procrastinate & obfuscate his responsibilities to fully implement the recommendations of the Forsyth review – “Time gentleman & ladies..time!”  Undecided

MTF..P2 Rolleyes

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