From my post off – CASA meets the Press:
Quote:While we are on AOPA etc. “K”, Gobbles & Thorny, may find the following of interest from the new Prez De Stoop…
The follow on post – see here – from the AOPA CEO Aaron Stephenson is also interesting as he gives his personal impressions of DAS Skidmore:
“..All in all, I found Mr Skidmore quite responsible. He is happy to communicate with us at any time and welcomes any ideas we have.
Unfortunately it does not appear as though he will make any of the immediate, bold, decisions that are required to turn GA around here in Australia..”
Who’d of thought?? You could be right “K”, AOPA may be about to enter a “Renaissance of relevance” – God knows the GA industry certainly needs it
Which got me thinking where do other industry stakeholders see the current progress of CASA in implementing most of the ASRR recommendations & the Coalition Government’s aviation policy.
For starters lets take a quick look across at KC & the AMROBA Band’s latest newsletter… – Volume 12 Issue 6 (0615)
ICAO Regulatory Oversight Manual, Part A.
2.2.3. Article 37 of the Chicago Convention specifies that States [Australia] must collaborate in securing the highest practical degrees of uniformity in regulations, standards, procedures and organisation in relation to aircraft, personnel, airways and auxiliary services in all matters in which such uniformity will facilitate and improve air navigation. To this end, ICAO has adopted Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) dealing with practically all activities concerning the operation of an aircraft. However, it is the integration of such SARPs into the national regulations and practices of Contracting States [Australia] and their timely implementation that will ultimately achieve safety and regularity of aircraft operations worldwide.
1. CASA Consultation & Attitude
Some members have commented on an improved attitude from local CASA field office staff whilst others state that nothing has changed. There has always been CASA inspectors (operations and airworthiness) that understood safety and would work with industry to improve safety even if a non-compliance was identified. When members of the industry do not trust CASA staff once they are aware of a safety issue that, if known to CASA, would assist others to improve safety, we end up with lower standards brought about by excessively harsh “enforcement action”. ICAO states:
3.9.2. Should the surveillance and inspection programme and related inspection reports reveal that the licence/certificate/approval holder has failed or is unable to meet or maintain the required Standards, the CAA technical expert primarily responsible for the surveillance of the operation must promptly advise the licence/certificate/approval holder of the deficiency observed. Once the cause of the deficiency is determined, the CAA should provide deadline for corrective action to be taken and initiate appropriate follow-up to determine the effectiveness of the corrective action. Additional inspections should be conducted whenever problems in particular areas repeatedly occur.
In other words, enforcement is not considered unless the licence/certificate/approval holder does not meet the deadlines or refuses to take corrective action. Notice ICAO expects the Inspector to work with licence/certificate/approval holder to correct the issues — just like it was once done by CASA’s predecessors who knew how to survey industry and had the right safety outcome attitude.
CASA developed a “dictatorial consultation/attitude” process and an autocratic enforcement approach because they were led by people who did not understand the role of a regulator, even though many of their Inspectors had made similar mistakes when employed in the industry. ICAO “oversight” warns against the approach CASA has followed. Attitude is crucial for a good safety regulator to work together with industry to improve safety without being “captured” by industry just as other mature regulators have been, and are, doing for many decades.
CASA DAS Skidmore has started reforming the consultation process used by the SCC & its committees and the regulatory reform staff in CASA. We have been involved in these consultations and hopefully we will move towards the FAA consultative process. The ‘expertise’ is in industry, not in CASA. CASA’s role should be to facilitate what industry recommends so that the industry can grow — it is not their role to dictate to industry their perceived requirements.
Regulatory requirements are a mess — they are over prescriptive and need to be changed. Performance based regulations will improve safety. It is time to return to the “rule of law”.
A big impact on future regulatory development is the Government’s guide for better regulation, regulation reduction policy and red tape reduction. The first question: What is it we need to regulate? then ‘Do we need the Regulation’? The last one is do we need a Standard? You do not need to regulate what is safely happening.
Basically, industry consultative groups, properly instructed in government policy to reduce regulatory impost and red tape, facilitated by a CASA subject specialist, should be lowering regulatory imposts and costs leading to an increase in jobs in aviation with improved safety outcomes.
EASA woke up to the problem of having a regulatory development group within EASA, they become very good at creating more and more regulations. The new Head of EASA has disbanded its dedicated regulatory development division because they developed too many rules. CASA has done worse, instead of compliance with the “rule of law” CASA has returned to the distant past and has created compliance with “standards” approved by CASA in “expositions” and many other documents. The reform that started in the late 1980s by Parliament was to change so industry only had to comply with the Act, Regulations and other “standards” tabled in Parliament.
Why did it generate into the over regulated system that is coming out of CASA today?
The last ten years has put this industry back 25 years — NZ moved on but we are still languishing in the 70s-80s because of adopting a system not compatible with Australia.
If consultation used the last 30 years of Governments’ “Better Guide to Regulation Development”, then our regulatory requirements should have been shrinking — the only time regulatory development worked is when CASA’s legal was not involved with regulatory drafting.
The ASRR recommended a three tier system but CASA does not understand it yet. What the ASRR was referring to is implementing a “Rule of Law” system where all requirements would be in the Act, Regulations and Standards. That is, “meet requirements specified in regulations and promulgated Standards”. Remove “satisfy” CASA and replace with compliance with Standards.
The ASRR also recommended Performance Based Regulations (PBR) such as FAR Part 43.
The outcome of PBRs is that there is always a voluntary higher level of safety achieved.
This has been proven around the world in more than just aviation. Can consultation achieve this approach?
What AMROBA is lobbying for is proper enforceable requirements in Regulations that are true criminal events. i.e. ‘knowingly fit a unapproved part’ ; ‘fly an aircraft without the right pilot rating ’ instead of putting strict liability against technical standards.
Much that has been implemented since the creation of the CAA has to be reversed to get GA back providing the source of entry for the majority of personnel entering the aviation industry. Independent flight instructors based on the FAR Part 61 must be adopted.
AMROBA will support CASA DAS Skidmore and work with his consultation teams in moving back to what should be outcome based regulations such as FAR Part 43:
§ 43.13 Performance rules (general). (a) Each person performing maintenance, alteration, or preventive maintenance on an aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance shall use the methods, techniques, and practices prescribed in the current manufacturer’s maintenance manual or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness prepared by its manufacturer, or other methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator, except as noted in § 43.16. He shall use the tools, equipment, and test apparatus necessary to assure completion of the work in accordance with accepted industry practices. If special equipment or test apparatus is recommended by the manufacturer involved, he must use that equipment or apparatus or its equivalent acceptable to the Administrator.
(b) Each person maintaining or altering, or performing preventive maintenance, shall do that work in such a manner and use materials of such a quality, that the condition of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance worked on will be at least equal to its original or properly altered condition (with regard to aerodynamic function, structural strength, resistance to vibration and deterioration, and other qualities affecting airworthiness).
This FAR based performance regulation is over 60 years old and has kept maintenance safe in the US. In fact, if you follow the ASRR three-tier proposal, the regulation would be basically the ‘Applicability’ clause out of FAR Part 43 and the rest would be in the MoS. If other guidance is needed just reference the FAA AC data base to support the maintenance requirements.
It would replace pages of maintenance regulations in CAR/CASR/MoS. FAR 43 has 12 regulations that underpins maintenance requirements, they are, wherever possible, performance based regulations — they work.
FAR Part 91.409 holds all the regulations that the registered operator/operator has to follow with regards to maintenance. FAR 91 also includes the transponder, etc. requirements.
So why are we writing pages and pages of regulations and standards when the 60 year old FAR system achieves one of the safest aviation systems in the world. We keep hearing CASA state they are adopting world’s best practice during consultation — that is an excuse to raise more regulations, standards and advisory material.
It is doubtful whether the mindset in CASA can be changed to meet government directions. After a decade of creating regulations and standards just for the sake of creating regulations and standards, how do you change their minds.
CASA’s DAS Skidmore has one of the biggest challenges to meet the ASRR recommendations as intended by the writers of the ASRR report. That is, minimum regulations as recommended by the ASRR is about giving a head of power to the technical standards.
Having attended a couple of SCC sub-committee meetings since changes have started to happen, it is clear that the project leaders still do not understand what should be happening.
Next we go to the RAAA Autumn Newsletter.
First from the Director Jim Davis:
Last month saw the Government’s long awaited Statement of Expectations (SOE) for the CASA Board from the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. This was released in accordance with the Government’s response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR) report, now one year old.
As to be expected the SOE reiterated the Government’s commitment to safety as the number one priority but it also contained an expectation that the CASA Board take up a proactive leadership role in fulfilling its obligations under the Civil Aviation Safety Act . There may be nothing new in this but it is something that has been sadly lacking for the past 6 years. Recent history has demonstrated just how critical it is to appoint board members with relevant background and experience who are prepared to get proactively involved in CASA affairs. The new CASA Board will finally be fully constituted by 30 June 2015 and while there are still two appointments to be made, the RAAA feels that the right people will then be in place to ensure that the Minister’s expectations are fully met.
The SOE made specific reference to the Government’s response to the ASRR and the requirement that CASA implement this response in an effective and timely manner. All well and good but there must be no bureaucratic distortion or interpretation of the ASRR report’s intentions.
The RAAA strongly endorses the ASRR report and sees its effective implementation as pivotal for the future of aviation safety in this country. It is critical that the CASA Board works closely with the authors of the report to ensure that its intentions are in fact fulfilled. It is of great concern that the Government has agreed to 12 of the ASRR recommendations only in principle. These included some key recommendations.
The RAAA is extremely encouraged to see that the SOE refers to ‘Just Culture’ principles when addressing the sharing and use of safety information by CASA and the ATSB. The push by CASA to have full and unfettered access to Safety Reports and Safety Management System databases threatened to undermine the whole basis of safety management in this country but that has now effectively been constrained.
It is also very encouraging to see reference to reducing the costs of regulation to industry when examining their future funding model. Equally, CASA must now ‘consider the economic and cost impact on individuals, businesses and the community in the development and finalisation of new or amended regulatory changes’. This is welcomed by the RAAA and is in stark contrast to recent practice by CASA where operators have been told that CASA does not need to consider commercial factors when drafting and implementing new regulations.
Finally we have joined the rest of the developed world in acknowledging that putting unnecessary complexity, cost and resources burdens on operators, particularly small regional operators, is in itself a safety risk. A cost/safety analysis must always be a key part in developing new regulations.
One thing that is missing from the SOE is an expectation for CASA to harmonise its regulations with other jurisdictions. There is reference to establishing mutual recognition arrangements but this is very different to having a harmonised rule set. We have seen harmonised regulations established over many different and varied countries in Europe and also in the South Pacific while Australia has steadfastly pursued a course of establishing its own unique set of rules. These then act as commercial and operational constraints when trying to do business with other countries. It is a condemnation of the system that we cannot even harmonise regulations with our neighbor across the Tasman despite successive Ministers over two decades signing intergovernmental agreements stipulating just that. The Single Aviation Market across the Tasman remains as elusive as ever.
Despite this omission, overall the RAAA sees the SOE as being a positive initiative by the Minister once it gets past the stage of being rhetoric and is effectively put into practice. Ironically, at a time when we are starting to see a positive way forward, CASA and the industry are struggling with the nightmare of trying to implement new rules which are often unworkable. CASR 61, CASR 145 and CASR 142, to name a few, have seen unnecessary cost and complexity introduced into the industry. We are long way from ‘turning around the Titanic’ but at least CASA has a new helmsman and the iceberg has been sighted.
Next from the CEO Paul Tyrell:
…On the technical front, the RAAA is heavily engaged on a range of regulatory matters with CASA including Parts 61, 141, 142, 121 and 135. There is also regular follow up on issues relating to the Parts 145 and 42 maintenance regulations. I wish to express my thanks to member technical staff who generously offer their time and expertise to the CASA committees, including the development of subsequent advice to the RAAA membership.
The recent withdrawal by CASA of the draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) is welcome but a stinging indictment on how poorly drafted was this document.
With 90 new charges being planned it was hardly in line with the government‘s policy of reducing red-tape and expense to industry.
Asking the industry to write submissions in response to such a poor document was a waste of industry’s time and limited resources.
To add insult to injury both Airservices Australia and the Bureau of Meterology run long-term pricing consultative committees that regularly engage with the aviation industry in robust financial debates before enacting any pricing policies. It would seem the right model already exists for CASA to use if they had bothered to investigate.
The recent Statement of Expectation (SOE) from DPM Truss to the Board of CASA is unequivocal in his instruction to build a collaborative relationship with industry based on mutual respect and understanding. He also directs CASA to consider the cost impact on the aviation industry before the finalisation of new or amended regulatory changes.
It is also very encouraging that the SOE wants to see a timely implementation plan from CASA for the government’s response to the ASRR. Such action is long overdue given the strong support from industry for the Review’s recommendations. The industry was starting to lose hope on these matters and the SOE instructions are a shot in the arm.
The RAAA will use the SOE as the basis for all policy and financial discussions with CASA. They are the direct wishes of the Minister and specifically mention exploring opportunities for reducing the costs of regulation to the aviation industry.
In addition the RAAA continues to work as a member of the Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) for better industry outcomes. An example is the recent Canberra meeting of Australian airframe and component manufacturers with CASA, sponsored by TAAAF. With some manufacturers already having left our shores due to the cost of over-regulation and others actively considering it, the manufacturing sector has reached a crisis point. The national meeting was serious attempt to give clear examples to CASA as to how the latter’s lack of technical expertise was hurting the industry and curtailing its growth.
As always if members meet other aviation businesses that could be assisted through RAAA membership please forward them and we will follow up personally.
Of course, like the AOPA Prez report, it should be remembered that both of the newsletters (above) were released well before DAS Skidmore’s (last week) disgustingly, betraying missive…