On joining the dots and making of dashes.

The Iron Ring & the Hooded canary - Confused  

Quote from this week's SBG: Speak softly; yonder, as I think, he walks.

 "...The opening gambit is readily seen in the media – see: there’s Hood, doing a Geoffrey Thomas (he of Sunrise fame). This is not a top quality act, but ‘twill suffice. Firstly, we must examine the ‘props’ used, the title for a start will impress – ‘top dog in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and a natural performer. Always seen looking ‘windswept’ and interesting, dressed in his canary yellow vest, wearing his ‘courage’ wrist band. The ‘shrinks’ would have a field day with that little lot, no matter. The long suffering public will not know the lack of qualification, or the association with some of the most disgusting ‘Acts of bastardy’ which hover about the ‘windswept’ visage. They will have no concept of conflicted interest or even ‘departmental’  manipulations. No; they just see the ‘fluff’ and hear the soothing words, reassured; they happily hop on the cheapest flight and toddle off to booze in Bali..."

 &.. from SBG post #95:

"...The main reason being that while HVH was the CASA Executive Officer ultimately overseeing the enforcement actions against both PelAir and Dominic James I also have, on good authority, information that HVH was the designated co-ordinator/liaison officer dealing with the FAA audit team and therefore the consequential cover-up of the actual FAA findings that could have led to the possible Cat II IASA rating..." 

So with interest piqued the BRB have tasked me to re-examine the HVH crumb trail with the intent to join some further chronological dots & dashes on the PelAir cover-up timeline (i.e Pel-Air: A coverup: a litany of lies?)... Huh

To begin let's revisit the HVH CV up till the time he started with CASA:

[Image: AAEAAQAAAAAAAAayAAAAJDdjOWQ2MTc5LWE4ZDUt...ZTY1Zg.png]Air Traffic Controller

Company Name
Royal Australian Air Force  

Dates Employed
1980 – 1990  

Employment Duration
•10 yrs  

East Sale, Sinai Desert, Darwin, Townsville


Air Traffic Controller

Company Name
Airservices Australia  

Dates Employed
Jan 1990 – Apr 1993  

Employment Duration
•3 yrs 4 mos  

Melbourne Adelaide Alice Springs


Instructor - Centre for Air Traffic Services - University of Tasmania (Launceston)

Company Name
Airservices Australia  

Dates Employed
Apr 1993 – Dec 1994  

Employment Duration
•1 yr 9 mos  



Team Leader, Group Leader, FIR Manager

Company Name
Airservices Australia  

Dates Employed
Jan 1995 – Mar 2002  

Employment Duration
•7 yrs 3 mos  

Brisbane ATC Centre


Manager Melbourne Centre

Company Name
Airservices Australia  

Dates Employed
Apr 2002 – Dec 2005  

Employment Duration
•3 yrs 9 mos  

Manager National Towers and Regional Services

Company Name
Airservices Australia  

Dates Employed
2006 – 2008  

Employment Duration
•2 yrs  

Canberra, Australia

As can be seen HVH had all the right pedigree and Quals to continue a long career with progression up the gravy train at ASA. However inexplicably HVH leaves ASA to take up a lesser/nothing position at CASA Huh :

[Image: 3705424.png]

Group General Manager Personnel Licensing Education and Training

Company Name
Civil Aviation Safety Authority  

Dates Employed
2008 – 2009  

Employment Duration
•1 yr  

Canberra, Australia

However with the arrival of McComic in 2009, it would seem HVH's obvious talents (??) were noted by the new DAS and once again Hoody's star was on the rise.

Extract from CASA Corporate Governance webpage 2013: https://www.casa.gov.au/standard-page/co...vernance-4
Quote:Operations Regulations Implementation
[Image: greg_hood.png]
Greg Hood
Executive Manager (Program Director)
Phone: 02 6217 1118
Email: greg.hood@casa.gov.au

Mr Greg Hood is a glider and fixed-wing private pilot. He commenced his career as an air traffic controller in the Royal Australian Air Force. His nine years in the military included postings across Australia, and he served with the Australian contingent to the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Desert.

From 1990, Mr Hood spent 17 years with Airservices Australia, in roles including Manager of the Melbourne Air Traffic Control Centre, Manager National Towers and Manager Regional Services.

In 2007, Mr Hood joined CASA as Group General Manager for Personnel Licensing Education and Training, prior to moving to Brisbane to lead the General Aviation Group. In 2009, he was appointed Executive Manager of the Operations Division. In April 2012, he took on the role of Program Director for the newly established Operations Regulations Implementation Division.

Operations Regulations Implementation is responsible for the development, planning and oversight of the regulatory implementation program.

Now remembering that HVH was both the ultimate executioner in the DJ embuggerance case while at the same time the designated liaison officer schmoozing the FAA IASA audit team (till their return in April 2010), the following Oz Flying article on McComic's 1st deckchair shuffle in April 2010 provides some intriguing dots begging to be joined:

Quote:...The restructure stems from organisational improvements the regulator commenced in 2009.

At the top of the list, Terry Farquharson has been appointed acting Deputy Director of Aviation Safety, where he’ll support Director of Aviation Safety, John McCormick, in a range of strategic and executive functions. Farquharson will also be directly responsible for a number of areas including accident investigation liaison, the CASA safety management system and Australia’s state safety program.

As part of the restructure, CASA has created the new position of Associate Director of Aviation Safety, which has been given to CASA’s former executive manager, legal services, Jonathan Aleck. Aleck will work with Deputy Director Farquharson to oversee the further development of regulatory and governance policies and practices.

The final changes see Greg Hood appointed as executive manager, operations; Peter Fereday as executive manager, industry permissions; and Gary Harbor as executive manager, corporate services.

McCormick said the changes will form the basis for the further enhancement of safety and regulatory capabilities into the future.

“We now have a strong and focussed leadership team in place which is committed to the goals and priorities which have been established for CASA and its workforce,” said the CASA boss.  “Senior managers and staff alike understand the need to deliver on CASA’s core activity of regulating aviation safety, while strengthening safety oversight and surveillance and completing regulatory reform.  

“At the same time we are continuing to work on developing more robust governance procedures and practices.”

On another note, CASA has released its latest corporate plan, setting out priorities and initiatives for the next three years.

Goals established in the plan include:
* An enhanced focus on regulating aviation safety;
* Enhanced governance and operational efficiency; and
* Enhanced relationships with key aviation participants.

In realising these goals the regulator says it will strengthen its specialist surveillance staff, determine key safety risks through analysis of data, actively manage delegates and authorised persons to ensure ongoing competence and compliance, take a proactive approach to the shortage of skilled aviation staff, review new regulations and develop and refine appropriate enforcement strategies. Other initiatives cover continuing airspace reform and safer management of flight approaches to aerodromes.

Say what you will about McCormick, but he's clearly keeping busy in the job.

Read the full CASA corporate plan here

Read more at http://www.australianflying.com.au/news/...6wK8Q0d.99
Now fast forward to April 2012 where apparently HVH's job description changed and he became the.. 

..Program Director for the newly established Operations Regulations Implementation Division..

At the same time he mysteriously departed the scene (MIA) as the ultimate executioner/decision-maker in the DJ embuggerance case:

Quote:[Image: DJ-11.jpg]
[Image: DJ-12.jpg]
Less than 12 months later (again seemingly inexplicably) HVH leaves CASA to return to ASA... Huh

Via Oz Flying:

Quote:[Image: greghood_web.jpg]
Greg Hood has left CASA for a position at Airservices Australia, (CASA)

Greg Hood Resigns from CASA
31 January 2013

A key member of the CASA executive team, Executive Manager Greg Hood, is to leave CASA and return to Airservices Australia.

No date has been set for Hood's departure, but CASA has described it as "imminent". His new position at AsA will be as General Manager, Demand and Capacity Management.

In announcing the move, CASA Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick said: "Greg has been an integral part of CASA’s Executive Team over the last six years and I have personally valued his contribution, energy and enthusiasm and I know his management and leadership capabilities have significantly benefited CASA."

Greg Hood is highly thought-of within the general aviation community as a champion for GA, and it is expected his expertise will be missed at the regulator.

Read more at http://www.australianflying.com.au/news/...7IhhbIh.99

MTF...P2 Cool

Three-peat: The Empire (CASA Iron Ring) strikes back.

To follow on from my last with a few more breadcrumbs of intrigue and wonderment.. Rolleyes

Referring to the PDF link & excerpt pic from this week's SBG: Lost – perhaps in translation.

Quote:...Rather than ramble on, for the serious student I shall provide just one, solitary link. Fair warning, there are some 37 pages to digest – however; the first dozen or so may be skipped past as they are the written Questions on Notice (QoN) and are repeated as part of the intriguing answers. The questions, standing alone, are incisive; IMO the answers are incredibly revealing...

[Image: DUlyLVhUQAIcgog.jpg]

From two posts above, you may recall that another significant event also occurred on 7 December 2009:

Quote:7 December 2009: FAA/ICAO brief on 'next steps' after poor results/findings in the ICAO USOAP 2008 Australian audit. (ref links - #53 & WikiLeaks cable PDF: http://auntypru.com/wp-content/uploads/2...ileaks.pdf
And prior to that date and also in relation to the FAA audit, the Iron Ring (et.al powers to be) successfully managed to muzzle the minister of the Crown responsible for the oversight of aviation safety. The effective muzzling of Albo was only revealed when WikiLeaks leaked the following US Embassy cable nearly 2 years after the event:


Quote:¶2.  (SBU) Terry Farquharson, head of the host delegation from
the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA),
alerted Econoff November 25 that the office of Minister
Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional
Development and Local Government, which oversees CASA) had
decided, against CASA's recommendation, to carry out a press
release regarding the upcoming FAA assessment.  In the coming
day, CASA will post the statement (a draft of which
Farquharson read to Econoff) on its website and will conduct
an interview with a reporter, with a strong possibility that
an article may appear in the aviation section of "The
Australian" newspaper's Friday edition.  It should be noted
that the draft release did not contain anything controversial
and points out that the assessment visit is being conducted
at the request of CASA.

¶3.  (SBU) CASA's view is that the press exposure may
unnecessarily complicate the conduct of the assessment, given
that at its core, the assessment is an attempt to clear the
record from a previous audit in which several shortcoming
were identified (see reftel).  The Ministry's office
preferred to carry out the release for the sake of
transparency and in order to preempt after-the-fact
questioning of what the Minister knew or did not know prior
to the FAA teams arrival.

¶4.  (SBU) Comment:  We are in close contact with both FAA and
CASA and are facilitating final coordination of the visit.
We do not anticipate this media release will become a
problem, but do expect questions from the press.  We would
appreciate press guidance from the Department and/or FAA.
Therefore IMO it would be safe to expect that, as a topic of conversation at least, the very troubling revelation that Australia was (at that point in time) 3 steps away from possibly losing it's Category 1 IASA rating should have figured somewhere in the meeting agenda:

Quote:1. (C/NF) Summary: The FAA team concluded their audit (reftels) and gave a brief assessment of preliminary findings. While the team recognized improvements on previous shortcomings and commended many areas, a few problems remain. Australian officials seem committed to overcoming the shortcomings before a second and final FAA visit within the next three months, but the possibility of a category downgrade does exist and is being taken seriously. The team outlined the sequence of events going forward and agreed to work closely with Embassy Canberra. End Summary.
Now apparently the whole purpose of the CASA Board is to provide independent, effective governance of CASA (the agency) and therefore provide oversight of the administration of aviation safety regulation in Australia. With that in mind you would have thought with the seriousness of the situation, the Board might just have made a press statement in regards to the FAA findings?

Passing Strange - However to this point in time I have not been able to find any evidence that the CASA Board was even aware that the FAA had conducted and completed an audit of CASA 3 days before the 7 December 2009 Board meeting... Huh

And despite mentions in dispatches by former DAS McCormick in his 2009-2010 AR review...

(ref: Pg 10-14)
Quote:Technical training was identified as an issue by the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) in its 2008 audit and in the US Federal Aviation Administration’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) audit. We have responded by developing a comprehensive technical training and professional development program to enhance staff capability in areas such as leadership, regulatory skills and technical expertise.


An audit of Australia’s air safety system by the US Federal Aviation Administration’s IASA program confirmed that Australia has retained its Category 1 IASA rating. The FAA was invited by Australia last year to conduct the audit of aviation safety regulation and oversight. Australia’s overall system of aviation safety oversight was found to meet applicable international standards.

...it was not once touched on in the 'message from the Chair', by then Chair Allan Hawke.

Although he did mention the extra funding facilitated by government in the 2010-11 Budget by gouging an extra 4 cent per litre fuel levy from industry, supposedly provided to fix the FAA issues. 

Extract from Hawke's message (note the 'cop out' Bureaucratese weasel words - Dodgy ) :

Quote:..The Board of CASA has now been in operation for the full year covered by this report. Appointed by the Minister and charged with the principal responsibility of ensuring that CASA conducts its business in a proper, effective and efficient manner, I believe that the Board has partnered and supported the CASA executive team and staff to deliver the
demanding agenda set for the Board by the government.

While CASA’s functions are specified in the Civil Aviation Act 1988, its direction has been set by the 2009 National Aviation Policy Statement (the White Paper) and the 2010
Australian Airspace Policy Statement. The White Paper makes the explicit statement that: ‘…the government is committed to ensuring that it [aviation] remains as safe as it can be. Safety remains the number one priority of the government in aviation’. The Board has therefore approached its tasks mindful not only that safety is the paramount aviation priority of the government, but that the industry must also have this priority as the foundation of their sustainability and future growth.

The Minister has made it clear that CASA needs to be a firm, fair and effective regulator. The announcement of additional funding in the May 2010 Budget was welcome and will be used to strengthen oversight of the industry. CASA’s organisation is now settled and aligned more closely with the Civil Aviation Act and the Board is satisfied that resources are appropriately directed toward CASA’s core functions. The Board has also noted that through the leadership of the Director of Aviation Safety and his executive team, there are now improved governance arrangements designed to provide the foundation for more consistent action and advice to industry concerning the
interpretation and application of legislation...

A subject that I wish to highlight this year is CASA’s achievement in regulatory development. Australia already has exacting aviation regulations, but these must be
continually reviewed, refined and enhanced. This year the Board has reported substantial progress to government in a number of regulatory areas, including the requirement for safety management systems, human factors training for regular public transport operations, drug and alcohol management plans, and the preparation of a new suite of maintenance regulations. We are pleased with these achievements but also aware that the task of ensuring that Australia’s aviation regulations are relevant, effective and aligned with international best practice is an enduring and challenging responsibility. What we consider to be the optimum means of achieving the best possible safety outcomes today will no doubt be succeeded by better approaches in the future...

And an extract from Albo's speech:  http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/category/m...hes/page/9

...CASA, the nation’s independent aviation safety watchdog, will recruit almost 100 additional frontline staff with the $89.9 million in new funding provided by the Budget. This extra investment in safer skies will be funded via a small increase in the aviation fuel excise, from 2.8 cents per litre to 3.5 cents per litre. The Government considers this to be a reasonable and responsible step considering the industry’s continued growth depends on the public’s ongoing confidence in its safety standards. Following the ICAO and FAA audits this investment in CASA’s staff and training is critical, and will strengthen the organisation’s oversight of the industry. Aviation safety should be bi-partisan, and the Government puts the safety of passengers ahead of other interests...

Reading that load of old codswallop and keeping in mind this extraordinary 'power shot' statement from McCormick in the (above) No.27 AQON...

"...Consistent with the functions of the Board and it's relationship with the Director of Aviation Safety, who has statutory responsibility for all regulatory decision-making, at subsequent Board meetings the Director has continued to keep the Board informed of the high-level changes and internal reforms he had initiated, or intended to initiate, to address operational and organisational improvements, including those cited in the answer to question 25..."  

...you begin to get an impression of the untrammelled power that both the Board and the Minister had gifted McCormick, all apparently in the pursuit of achieving the government policy of 'all care but no responsibility' for aviation safety... Dodgy

Now fast forward to 'here & now' with a different government, a new minister and a professional bureaucrat for a CASA CEO.

Q/ Then ask the question what has changed? Answer: Not much - Confused

Q/ Now ask what happened to the money ($89.9 million back then) that was gouged and continues to be gouged (reportedly +$120 million & climbing) from industry, supposedly to fix the deficiencies discovered in the FAA IASA 2009 audit?

Hmm...sounds like a question for Senate Estimates... Rolleyes

MTF...P2 Cool

Barnaby’s little conundrum.

P2 – “Q/ Now ask what happened to the money ($89.9 million back then) that was gouged and continues to be gouged (reportedly +$120 million & climbing) from industry, supposedly to fix the deficiencies discovered in the FAA IASA 2009 audit?”

Amazing is it not; when you think about it. CASA make a total pig’s ear of running ‘aviation’ and the grown ups want it fixed; or else. Yet it is the industry they are buggering up which has to pay for them to fix the major problems. I wonder did CASA contribute to the ‘fix’ by reduced salary and entitlement cuts; or, did the same sad, sloppy, ignorant, arrogant crew just keep doing what they do best (same old) and even manage a salary increase?

Even more amazing is that the Board, still, to this day have no control. In the corporate world a CEO running an organization which had received a shocking audit report would be on the carpet, with the board of directors kicking seven bells out of him. But not in CASA; the grandiosely named DAS can, with impunity, tell the board to sit down, shut up and mind their own damn business. The board must have either have ‘proper’ power and control or; be disbanded, which is favourite - save us all a few bucks. The board is nugatory and therefore redundant. The 'director' has unlimited power - without any tenable checks and tangible balances, it is time that changed.

The whole P2 post above simply demonstrates the depths to which CASA will stoop, their skills in misdirection and subterfuge amply demonstrated and their inflexible reluctance to change. Total power etc. The barn door is wide open, horse has bolted, it’s time to shut the paddock gate.

Can Barnaby reach the gate before it’s all too little, too late. Has Barnaby got the sand to call a Commission of Inquiry; a one where those being looked at do not write the terms of reference; or, will we have another period of Darren6D do nothing?

Toot- toot.

From the CASA website:-

“Our Board

The Minister appoints the Board and provides the Board with a statement of expectations. The Board is responsible for deciding the objectives, strategies and policies to be followed by CASA and for making sure that CASA performs its functions in a proper, efficient and effective manner.”

Obviously the Board has been incapable of causing CASA to “perform....in a proper, efficient and effective manner.” That is, neither the present Board nor in years past.

If nothing else, CASA’s inability to rewrite the rules after 30 years and counting, would be sufficient for a responsible government to at least question whether there is a structural or systemic problem in the regulation of aviation in Australia. But add to this extraordinary fact the possibility of our aviation world being downgraded by the FAA then surely a new Minister would have reason to make changes. NZ seems to manage it’s international aviation standing pretty well on a fraction of the money we spend on CASA, upwards of $150million pa.

The call for an independent inquiry I understand but do not support. Years ago perhaps, but the Can’tberra dynamic is so incestuous, its become an inquiry factory that generates far more heat than light. The Government appointed “independent umpire” concept, much loved in Australia as a sure fire method of fixing anything is a myth, a comfort blanket approach which diverts responsibility to those who legally cannot exercise it.

Another inquiry would be welcomed by Can’tberra all and sundry with heaps of overtime in the offering, lots of meetings to decide who will represent whom and how. By the time The Inquiry has finished spending and enriching itself and government mulls over the results, forwarding to Directly Involved Persons, the routine, etc., where are we then? Just about where we were one year after the ASRR Forsyth report.

The shocking malaise that infects aviation in this country can only be cured by politicians. There is no substitute for political action, this is the hard yards. Going to meetings, writing, ringing newspapers and MPs. Talkback radio, magazine and article comment. Anything that will give publicity to educate the public and give reason for MPs to want change.

[Image: AMROBA-GA-Meeting.jpg]

Dear Sandy - Wink

I agree about the Parliamentary inquiries and government reviews. The effectiveness of such inquisitions is completely undone by bureaucratic obfuscation and procrastination, all designed of course to wait out and wear down the significance and urgency of the current inquiries/reviews latest findings and recommendations.

[Image: Untitled_Clipping_013118_093436_AM.jpg]

However I believe if the minister/government had the political will to cauterise the CASA Iron Ring and it's malevolent loyal lieutenants, then I think some kind of Judicial inquiry will be required to build a legal case for prosecution of what amounts to decades of ingrained bureaucratic malfeasance that has cost 100s of millions of dollars for no discernible safety benefit to either industry or the air traveling public.

Of course such an inquiry would still take time and money but it is probably a necessary evil if you are to ensure the cancer within has been fully cauterised. After all isn't that exactly what the Kiwis did? 

From P7 on the AMROBA thread: post #95

Quote:ATSB and CASA must be disbanded; the Kiwi’s did it very neatly and have never looked back. They reformed the regulator; then the regulations and have set an enviable bench mark for sanity, economy and a way forward ever since. Can anyone see CASA agreeing to that?


Quote:But at the end of the shift – you still have to convince a basically uninterested politician to tangle with CASA and make some radical changes. That politician must be persuaded that ‘the Act’ as it stands is unconstitutional; that CASA is an escaped lunatic and that the blood is not on his hands.

And from your post in response Sandy:

Quote:Secondly it behoves all of us to share and refine our thoughts on what is wrong and to reach some consensus on the method of reform. To this end it is clear that only by a change to the Act can reform occur. In the variety of diverse opinions about specifics, one would be hard pressed to obtain clause by clause complete agreement. Therefore the focus must be on the necessity for legislative change by demonstrating that the current trajectory is one of failure.

Because such an inquiry is being conducted does not mean that the legislative solution (that most believe is required) could not be acted on by the government and parliament, as such legislative changes are a parliamentary process and not subject to Judicial review or the ultimate findings of such an inquiry.

MTF...P2 Cool

The beginning of the end for the ATSB - Undecided

Recently an associated PAIN member with considerable expertise in such matters as Human Factors in Aviation Accident Investigation (in particular FRMS) was tasked by the BRB with reviewing the bollocks PelAir MKII final report. Still a work in progress but the following quote from this associate's DRAFT summary report caught my attention  Confused :  

Quote:   Communication-misunderstandings: 

- The responsibilities of CASA and the ATSB were never resolved, even though the ATSB had become a separate statutory agency in July 2009. As a result the ATSB did not collect sufficient information from Pel Air.
Personally I had never even contemplated joining the dots on the real implications of the ATSB becoming a 'statutory agency' in July 2009... Huh

Here is a link for the amendment changes to the TSI Act which came into force in July 2009: TRANSPORT SAFETY INVESTIGATION AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2009 (NO. 1) (SLI NO 149 OF 2009)  

However it wasn't till I stumbled across the former Minister for Non-aviation Albo's explanatory speech, for the introduction of the amendment, that the penny dropped that this was nothing more than Albo creating further 'degrees of separation' between himself, the government and anything remotely resembling responsibility and oversight of aviation safety - read it and weep... Dodgy  

Feb 12, 2009

Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill 2009

The second Bill I introduce to the Parliament is the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill 2009. As I stated when I introduced the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill, the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill fulfils undertakings in the Government’s National Aviation Policy Green Paper. The Bill will amend the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and enhance the independence of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) by establishing it as a statutory agency within my portfolio. The ATSB will have a Commission structure and the new body will come into being on 1 July 2009.

Australia has an impressive safety record and the ATSB’s accident investigation role is a fundamental part of Australia’s transport safety framework. Under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003, the Executive Director of the ATSB already conducts systemic ‘no-blame’ investigations into aviation, marine and rail accidents and incidents with the objective of identifying contributing safety factors. The lessons arising from those investigations are used to prevent future accidents and incidents through the implementation of safety action by the industry and the Government. By making the ATSB a separate statutory agency, public confidence can be strengthened in Australia’s commitment to advance transport safety.

While I am confident that the ATSB has operated successfully as a Division of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, I believe that the future safety of Australian transport will be enhanced by this measure. In 2007 Mr Russell Miller AM was tasked by the then Government to review the relationship between the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the ATSB. In finding there was room for improvement in the way the agencies interact, Mr Miller addressed the ATSB’s governance structure and recommended that the Government move to clarify the ATSB’s independence as the national safety investigation agency. The Government accepted this key recommendation, which received strong support from industry.

Investigations that are independent of transport regulators, government policy makers, and the parties involved in an accident, are better positioned to avoid conflicts of interest and external interference. Consistent with international standards, this Bill leaves no doubt that investigations will be conducted without fear or favour and findings will be transparent and objective. Standard 5.4 of Annex 13 to the International Convention on Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention) states:

The accident investigation authority shall have independence in the conduct of the investigation and have unrestricted authority over its conduct.

Enhanced independence will result from a combination of factors. The ATSB will alone be responsible for administering the functions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and exercising its investigation powers. There will be the capacity for the Minister to provide notice of his or her views on the strategic direction for the ATSB, to which the ATSB must have regard. However, other than the ability for the Minister to require the ATSB to investigate a particular matter, the ATSB will not be subject to a direction from anyone with respect to the exercise of its powers and functions.

The creation of a statutory agency will also give the ATSB discretion and responsibilities in its own right under the Public Service Act 1999 and Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 with respect to the management of its staff and resources. The ATSB will, therefore, have operational independence with respect to the exercise of its investigation powers and functional independence with respect to the administration of its resources.

The ATSB will consist of a full-time Chief Commissioner who will also be the Chief Executive Officer of the agency, and two part-time Commissioners. Commissioners will be appointed by the Minister and they will have an appropriate mix of skills and expertise. Additional Commissioners can be appointed as necessary for major investigations or where a particular skill or expertise is required. The powers in the Act will be vested in the ATSB for overarching responsibilities such as determining which transport safety matters to investigate and publishing reports. Powers relating to day to day investigation activities such as entry to an accident site premises will be vested in the Chief Commissioner. Both the Chief Commissioner and the ATSB will have the ability to delegate powers, as appropriate, for the purpose of carrying out investigations.

A new power that the ATSB will have to assist with its function of improving transport safety is the power to require responses within 90 days to any formal recommendations that it makes. This requirement will provide confidence that the ATSB’s safety recommendations are being properly considered and addressed.

In addition to the function of improving transport safety through investigations and communicating the results of those investigations, the ATSB will have a function involving cooperation. The ATSB will be required to cooperate with similar agencies around the world to ensure there is coordination when investigating a transport accident or incident in cases where another country is in some way connected. Domestically, the ATSB will be required to cooperate with Commonwealth and State and Territory agencies having functions concerning transport safety, or who are affected by the ATSB’s function of improving transport safety. Other agencies, such as the police or a transport safety regulator, are likely to have an interest in conducting investigations into some accidents or incidents that the ATSB is investigating. It is intended that those agencies should continue to be able to conduct their own separate investigations and that there be cooperation to allow this to occur. However, the ATSB will need to preserve the ‘no-blame’ nature of its investigations.

The Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 already states that it is not an object of the Act to apportion blame or provide the means to determine liability in relation to a transport accident or incident. With the translation of the objects of the current Act into the functions for the ATSB, the Act will state that apportioning blame and determining liability is not a function of the ATSB. Investigations that may result in punitive action will not necessarily have safety information freely flowing to them because there is an apprehension of a penalty by the persons subject to the investigation. This is recognised internationally by Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention and similar International Maritime Organisation instruments.

If the ATSB is to conduct systemic investigations, in the overriding interest of improving future safety, it must have access to all the available information. To preserve the free-flow of information to its investigations, the ATSB will need to maintain an appropriate degree of separation from processes that could result in a punitive outcome, an award of damages to one party against another or an adverse inference being made about a person subject to an investigation. The existing provisions in the Act for the protection of safety information, such as aviation cockpit voice recorders and witness statements, provide part of the framework for the ATSB to prevent itself being involved in the apportionment of blame or the determination of liability. Commissioners, ATSB staff members and consultants will be subject to the requirement to protect this type of information.

The Bill provides for transitional provisions so that investigations commenced under legislation existing before the new laws come into effect on 1 July 2009, can be continued by the ATSB. For investigations already completed, the ATSB or the Chief Commissioner, as required, will be able to exercise powers in relation to such things as the disclosure of information. The Bill also provides for the ATSB to perform the functions of the Executive Director under other legislation such as the Inspector of Transport Security Act 2006 and regulations made under the Navigation Act 1912 and the Air Navigation Act 1920 establishing confidential reporting schemes. With respect to the confidential reporting schemes, the Bill provides for a regulation making power to consolidate those schemes under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 in the future.

The introduction of the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill 2009 will serve to maintain and improve the already excellent safety record of the Australian aviation, marine and rail transport industries by establishing the ATSB as a separate statutory agency. Strengthening the independence of the ATSB in this way will facilitate better interaction with the transport industry and other agencies and demonstrate the Government’s strong commitment to ongoing and important improvements in Australia’s transport safety framework.

Now contemplate that with those ministerial weasel words and then the 'inconvenient ditching' of VH-NGA, how the exact opposite has occurred with the establishment of the ATSB as a 'statutory agency' - Undecided  

Is it any wonder that Albo went scampering away from all responsibility for addressing the damning findings of the Senate PelAir inquiry prior to the 2013 Federal election.

Here is a reminder from the late Ben Sandilands of Albo's gutless obfuscation tactics in responding to the PelAir cover-up Senate report:

Aug 28, 2013

Pel-Air on prime time TV snares Minister’s false statement

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking     

The Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese was caught out on 7 News tonight in a report by Chris Reason on the festering sore that is the proven hush up by CASA and the ATSB of all of the circumstances that were relevant to the crash of a Pel-Air operated air ambulance flight near Norfolk Island in 2009.

Albanese said he was unable to take action over a damning Senate committee report on lies and deceits of Australia’s two air safety authorities because parliament went into caretaker mode.

Minister, this is total unmitigated rubbish. Caretaker mode began on 5 August.

On 29 May after consultation with your department Plane Talking published this story as to the urgency with which you and your departmental head Mike Mrdak were claimed to be responding to the unanimous report of the Senate Committee inquiry into aviation safety investigations with particular reference to the performance of the ATSB (the safety investigator) and CASA (the safety regulator).

At that inquiry the Director of Safety at CASA, John McCormick, admitted to withholding an internal audit by CASA that found that the accident was preventable if CASA had actually carried out its duties and obligations in law in relation to the oversight of Pel-Air.

Mr McCormick also apologised for his actions, which the committee has referred to the Australian Federal Police to resolve whether or not it was action that constituted an offence under the Transport Safety Investigations Act of 2003.  (If the words in the act mean what they say, McCormick broke the law.)

The committee went on to devote an entire chapter of its report into its lack of confidence in the testimony given by the chief commissioner for the ATSB, Martin Dolan.  The committee’s findings, made by a panel drawn from Labor, the Coalition and the Greens, was unanimous in its findings.

It also recommended, among other things, that the ATSB reconsider its final accident report and in the process retrieve the data recorder from the wreckage of the jet, which lies at a recoverable depth on the sea floor near Norfolk Island where it came to rest after being ditched immediately before it ran out of fuel. (All six persons on board were subsequently rescued by a fishing boat in the middle of the night).

The ATSB has deliberately chosen not to recover the data, which carries the distinct possibility of proving that the pilot did not receive correct meteorological information before flying the jet to a position where it could no longer divert to an alternative airport in Noumea or Fiji should it be unable to land at Norfolk Island for a refueling stop.

The ATSB failed to honor its international obligations to make safety recommendations in relation to the failure on board the ditched jet of all of the safety equipment to perform as intended.  It regarded the eventual discovery that CASA had found Pel-Air to be in breach of dozens of safety requirements at the time of the crash as ‘immaterial’, and it framed its final report to visit the entire blame for the accident on the captain Dominic James, who was central to the 7 News report, which should be readily found by a search query on the internet later tonight.

As Mick Quinn, the former deputy chief executive officer of CASA told Chris Reason on 7 News tonight, this corrupted and untruthful circus performance by the safety bodies in relation to the Pel-Air investigation has destroyed Australia’s reputation as a first class nation when it comes to the administration of air safety.

Minister, you are personally responsible for this. You allowed commitments to be made on your behalf, which were not honoured, and you have demonstrated contempt for the Senate of Australia by not responding to the committee’s recommendations within 90 days.

This means you have not acted in a timely manner to correct or restore the integrity of the aviation safety authorities, and that means the safety of Australian air travellers, and those of foreign airlines and their passengers using our air space and airports, is no longer a given.

On 30 May Plane Talking reported on the intention of the department of Infrastructure and Transport to ‘ride out’ the controversy over the disgraceful report issed by the ATSB into this accident.

Minister, surely you are not a party to ‘riding out’ critically important air safety issues? The world is unlikely to let Australia get away with such a poor attitude, as explained in this more recent report.

If the Minister can say so during caretaker mode, what was he thinking when he gave his misleading answer about his inability to repond to these matters in the Chris Reason interview?

Was it amnesia? Or did he think no one would notice that what was broadcast tonight was in conflict with his position at the end of May? & Ref - CH7 Chis Reason link: https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/18694051/pilots-scathing-attack-on-air-safety-agencies/

Fast forwarding to today's incarnation of the ATSB and we can see why it is that Greg Hood feels so emboldened to threaten singing like a canary if anyone dares to threaten his 6D Chester gifted fiefdom -  Dodgy

MTF...P2  Cool

P2 – “However it wasn't till I stumbled across the former Minister for Non-aviation Albo's explanatory speech, for the introduction of the amendment, that the penny dropped that this was nothing more than Albo creating further 'degrees of separation' between himself, the government and anything remotely resembling responsibility and oversight of aviation safety.”

The following – combined with the ICAO and FAA audit; the cosy ATSB – CASA convenient MoU, the ‘lacklustre’ primary report on Pel-Air spell out only one simple solution to P2’s cryptic crossword puzzle.

"- The responsibilities of CASA and the ATSB were never resolved, even though the ATSB had become a separate statutory agency in July 2009. As a result the ATSB did not collect sufficient information from Pel Air."

Abrogation of ministerial responsibility and a perfect system for both ATSB and CASA to be responsible to no man. The CASA board may be seen an being completely inutile, ATSB answer to no man. Both may, with legally approved, ministerial sanction tell the world and it’s wife to go and ‘boil their bottoms’. And they do, repeatedly and often. O'Sullivan's next for the pot, if he don't get a shift on and catch up.

When you add the ‘Act’ to the untrammelled power bestowed on the incumbent ‘Boss’ of either department there is a clear picture of total separation from question, inquiry, responsibility and governmental control. A free hand with a lovely big circuit breaker between them, the DoIT, the minister, the Senate or even the gods themselves.

It is no wonder the Estimates committee, despite some pretty good efforts, cannot lay a glove on these free of constraint or accountability government sanctioned, publically (one way or the other) funded, completely autonomous, self regulating agencies.

What a pity it is that ‘government’ focus on BJ’s little contretemps far outweighs any attempt to rein in a satellite arm of government – to protect an industry – and by default the safety (physical and financial) of the travelling public. Maybe they just don't care, provided they are 'screened' from responsibility.

Albo – arrogant, callous, deviant and beneath contempt; safe as houses from any and all responsibility – and yet he still holds out his hand and takes, without qualm, the money paid to him for accepting that very responsibility to the Australian public.

Where do I sign up?

P2 - "Is it any wonder that Albo went scampering away from all responsibility for addressing the damning findings of the Senate PelAir inquiry prior to the 2013 Federal election?"

“No, and  Oi – this glass is empty.”

[Image: Untitled%2B2.jpg]

Dear Lachie - Rolleyes

Correspondence from the Department of Infrastructure etc..etc:

Dear P2,
In responding to this chain of correspondence I have tried to summarise some questions for ease of reading.
For questions on the provision of accident reports, the ATSB remains committed to meeting its international obligations in providing reports to ICAO, noting it has already acknowledged the circumstances relating to previous delays.  The ATSB requested a full audit from ICAO in relation to their implementation of Annex 13 which was conducted in April 2017.  This resulted in no findings relating to its reporting processes.  ICAO is not currently awaiting any further reports from the ATSB.
In relation to the recruitment of Australia’s nominee to the Air Navigation Commission, this was advertised publicly.  As per Departmental policy this was advertised on the APS Jobs website as well as the Seek website from 16th May to 2nd June.  The nominee to the ANC is a non-ongoing employee with the Department.  There is no conflict of interest in the role, as they are providing Australian expertise to an international aviation body which focuses on defining global standards to facilitate safe and efficient international air services.
For comments on filing of differences, as per Article 38 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), of which Australia is a signatory, we file a range of differences with ICAO. Airservices Australia regularly publish these in the Aeronautical Information Publication available on their website.  Australia takes a proactive and conservative approach, updating its differences often and reporting any point of difference to allow operators the information they need to conduct safe operations.
Due the subjective nature of filing differences, the comparison of numbers of differences is not regularly used as a measure.  State’s safety oversight arrangements at ICAO are benchmarked through an assessment process leading to an effective implementation score.  Australia was assessed in October 2017 by ICAO auditors and while the results are yet to be made public it places Australia in the top 10 States for safety oversight compliance. 
An earlier email refers to a trigger of 20 aviation fatalities for an audit, however this is not the case.  ICAO maintain their own risk profile for conducting audits and accident rates are compared, particularly relative to air traffic volumes.  This is one factor along with outcomes from recent assessments, State’s level of updating differences, responding to ICAO correspondence, aviation growth, political stability and maturity of safety systems amongst others.
Lachlan Phillips
Director International Standards
Aviation Environment Branch | Airports & Aviation Division
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
T: +61 2 6274 6869 | M: +61 432 756 844 

& my reply...  Shy

Dear Lachlan,

Thank you for responding to my questions which were originally addressed to our permanent representative to ICAO Sam Lucas to be forwarded to the ICAO Secretariat. For your ease of reading, and in order to properly summarise what we (PAIN) require from the department, I have attempted to address each of your ‘summary points’ in an abbreviated Q&A paragraph format. 

To begin you said: 

“..For questions on the provision of accident reports, the ATSB remains committed to meeting its international obligations in providing reports to ICAO, noting it has already acknowledged the circumstances relating to previous delays…The ATSB requested a full audit from ICAO in relation to their implementation of Annex 13 which was conducted in April 2017.  This resulted in no findings relating to its reporting processes.  ICAO is not currently awaiting any further reports from the ATSB…” 

Q/ When you said - ‘circumstances relating to previous delays’ - did you mean the ATSB response to Karen Casey in the DIP process to the VH-NGA re-investigation final report? (See attached at ATSB response to K3)

Your response and the ATSB DIP reply comment fails to address the identified safety concern that was relayed to Sam Lucas in PAIN’s supportive report for and on behalf of Karen Casey (see attached).

 Due to the Norfolk inquires, serious investigations began in 2015. This revealed that a ‘modified’ PDF copy of the preliminary Pel-Air ditching report did exist on the ICAO data base. Tracking of the document shows no changes were made. It appears that the document was ‘on-file’ within the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) from ‘created’ date - 15 January 2010; but, was not provided to the ICAO before 10 November, 2015.
Further investigation of preliminary and final reports between 2009 to 2015 revealed that almost every report entered between 2009 and 2011 was uploaded by an ATSB officer during the same week the ‘modification’ of the Pel-Air ditching took place.
There exist four (4) examples of the 2009/2010 reports which were, apparently, submitted to ICAO ADREP in the first week of November 2015, presumably by an ATSB data input officer.
These are attached as PDF copies. To allow a determination of when the PDF copy of the [i]occurrence report was actually created, click on FILE, go to 'Properties' in the drop down box and click. Then view date 'created' date.[/i]
Research indicates a ‘selective’ approach to reporting and categorising of incident and accident.
The PAIN data base reflects the manipulation of categorisation and subsequent lack of reporting clarity – even where an investigation as actually been carried out. ICAO reporting aside, the significant, progressive reduction in SR made since the fatal accident at Lockhart River, 2005 is of grave concern to the industry.     
For your information PAIN has access to both the ICAO iSTARS ADREP and ECCAIRS databases, to which there is considerable evidence that these reports are not being properly disseminated to industry.
Now it could be, as you say and have obviously been led to believe, that these ICAO reporting aberrations have been addressed from the ATSB/Australian end. This would then suggest that the disconnection of Australian AAI reports being made publicly available could be somewhere in the downstream communication with ICAO. Therefore the ATSB excel file (see attached), containing 108 ATSB completed investigations between November 2015 till November last year, could provide a valuable reference for both Australia and ICAO to cross reference to check the integrity of the ADREP system and the downstream dissemination of these valuable air safety reports.
You said:
“..In relation to the recruitment of Australia’s nominee to the Air Navigation Commission, this was advertised publicly.  As per Departmental policy this was advertised on the APS Jobs website as well as the Seek website from 16th May to 2nd June.  The nominee to the ANC is a non-ongoing employee with the Department.  There is no conflict of interest in the role, as they are providing Australian expertise to an international aviation body which focuses on defining global standards to facilitate safe and efficient international air services…”
Comment: Thank you for that, I guess I didn’t go back far enough inside of the Seek website to which I regularly refer. On the comments on COI I guess I’ll have to agree to disagree but PAIN will be actively monitoring the performance of Mr Tiede in both his roles. Especially in light of the ongoing ATSB/Coroner investigation(s) into YMEN B200 DFO accident and it’s tie in with the Senate Inquiry into the Airport Amendment Act 2016 and the 41 pages of Australian notified differences to ICAO Annex 14 Vol 1 (see attached pic).
You said:
 “…For comments on filing of differences, as per Article 38 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), of which Australia is a signatory, we file a range of differences with ICAO. Airservices Australia regularly publish these in the Aeronautical Information Publication available on their website.  Australia takes a proactive and conservative approach, updating its differences often and reporting any point of difference to allow operators the information they need to conduct safe operations. 

Due the subjective nature of filing differences, the comparison of numbers of differences is not regularly used as a measure.  State’s safety oversight arrangements at ICAO are benchmarked through an assessment process leading to an effective implementation score.  Australia was assessed in October 2017 by ICAO auditors and while the results are yet to be made public it places Australia in the top 10 States for safety oversight compliance…”  

Comment: I am fully cognisant of the Airservices AIRAC publication but disagree with some of the premises and assumptions that you make in the above paragraphs.
To begin here is the link for the latest ASA notified differences AIRAC: http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/...7-h136.pdf
I guess it could be argued that the AIP SUP does allow operators the information they need to conduct safe operations ?? However whether that information can be easily disseminated when you consider the many 100s of pages and thousands of notified differences that AIP SUP links to is an entirely different matter.
In comparison please refer to the five pages of GEN 1.7 of the Singaporean CAAS AIP:  https://www.caas.gov.sg/docs/default-sou...1feb18.pdf
The following is a quote from the KC_ICAO_1 PDF (see above or attached) which we believe summarises why it is that we have such a huge number of notified differences to ICAO and why we think this is a significant safety issue concern:
“.. In general, it must be stated that the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has an unique approach to ICAO compliance, with record number of ‘notified differences’. Many of the notifications may, at face value, seem insignificant. It is our opinion that the noted differences are structured to support the complex, contradictory, flawed rule set in place. Reform of this rule set has been in train for thirty years, with successive government ministers and directors of civil aviation promising to complete the task ‘within the next three years’. This is an important consideration as it reflects on the operational approach taken to both open reporting of ‘incident’ or event; and, the tangible fear of prosecution. Australia’s Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) are founded on the ‘criminal code’ and ‘strict liability’; this, standing alone, provides a strong disincentive to openly reporting safety related matters. This attitude is reflected in the government safety bodies approach to ICAO compliance and reporting…”
PAIN understands that the department policy is to place very little importance on notified differences being a ‘measure’ on aviation safety standards of ICAO signatory States.
Reference: 1.2 Supplementary to submission 1 (PDF 60 KB) 
Did the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development collate and analyse the differences lodged with the ICAO by Serbia and Vanuatu when their respective Memoranda of Understanding and proposed Air Services Agreements were being negotiated?
No. Air services arrangements provide an economic framework in which airlines can consider serving a market. Differences lodged by States, among other more pertinent kinds of safety-related information, may be taken into account by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in the assessment of applications for the operation of foreign aircraft into and out of Australia.
Gilon Smith
Director (a/g), Air Services Negotiations
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
gilon.smith@infrastructure.gov.au Ph: 02 6274 6634

However the above departmental answer to the QON would seem to have been contradicted in the other supplemental submission:  1.1 Supplementary to submission 1 (PDF 78 KB) 
“..The process of notification of differences provides a structured way for each State to communicate its aviation rules by measuring itself against the neutral framework of the ICAO standards…”
Q/ Given this conflict in interpretation of notified differences as a ‘measuring’ stick of aviation standards and the fact that the department was obviously responsible for creating the Serbia/Vanuatu/Australia 10696 notified differences table, for the benefit of the Senate RRAT committee and industry stakeholders, would it not be possible for the department to collate a similar table for say the top 50 ICAO signatory States?
Q/ For the benefit of the committee would it be possible (in camera if required) for the department to forward the:
a/ 2017 ICAO audit report of the ATSB;
b/ The 2009 FAA IASA audit report of the CASA;
c/ The 7 December 2009 CASA Board minutes;

Finally, considering the positive feedback the department has received from ICAO’s October 2017 audit, would it be possible for the committee to view that report prior to it’s public release? Would it also be possible for the department to suggest that CASA invite the FAA IASA auditors back to audit and compare whether all the 2009 FAA IASA audit findings have been properly and proactively addressed? 

PAIN and associates look forward to your response and welcome the dialogue the department has opened up with industry.
Kind regards,

P2 Tongue


Wagga Summit - Let's not do the 'timewarp again'.

Extract from this week's SBG... Wink : A rustling – in the bushes? 

Quote:...I ramble: – point is there needs to be a healthy tension between parties in the lower house. No problem at ‘committee’ or inquiry level, where they seem to be able to focus on a narrow ‘band’ in the true spirit and intent of a bi-partisan ideal; but elsewhere, it is not too good a thing methinks. But, the silence of those reading the wind and sniffing the breeze was more than concern for politics – they sense a danger lurking in the bushes, the stealthy approach of something unwholesome. They are right to be apprehensive; no matter what comes into reality at Wagga. The creatures of the deep swamps and denizens of the Sleepy Hollow dark lagoons will not willingly embrace change which they have not generated – not  if it don’t suit ‘em. Some call this the grip of Iron Ring; which many believe will never be broken. It is not in the nature of the beast to simply roll over and say OK minister; we’ll do just as you ask. Gods know, history is loaded with fact that proves categorically that ministers, senators, even top dog mandarins have been bully-ragged into submission by this element.... 
In the lead up to the Wagga Summit the underlined statement from "K" should be firmly branded on the psyche of all industry stakeholders that truly give a fig about arresting the decline of the GA sector of the Aussie aviation industry... Rolleyes

However if industry participants of the Wagga Summit feel they need historical point(s) of reference, to remind them how the aviation safety bureaucracy has been taking the 'Mickey Bliss' out of Federal government from both sides of the political spectrum, the following decade look at the expensive, self-serving, ATP funded, obfuscation of political aviation policy of both Labor and LNP governments is (IMO) a disturbing eye opener... Dodgy 

Quote from the 2007-2008 Dept annual report

Quote:...This year saw the commencement of a major review of the policy settings for Australian aviation and its regulation. The Department assisted in the development of a wide-ranging issues paper, published in April 2008, seeking comments from the industry and general public by the end of June. The Australian Government intends to release a reen paper (discussion paper) later in 2008, as a basis for further consultation, and to release a final policy statement in 2009.

The broad policy review will build upon two reviews of specific aspects of the regulatory framework that were conducted in 2007-08 with support from the Department.
  • A joint industry-government review of reform to the civil aviation regulations examined ways to expedite progress towards an updated and outcome-based set of regulations which are effective in protecting safety standards without imposing unwarranted requirements on operators.

  • An expert review of the working arrangements between the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, as regulator, and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, as independent investigator of accidents and incidents, examined options for legislative or operational changes to improve interaction between the agencies in the interests of the best overall outcomes for aviation safety.

Reports of both reviews were published in the first half of 2008. Some of the practical measures identified have been implemented; others will be addressed in conjunction with the broader range of issues raised in the current review process.

The Department also coordinated the response by agencies to a comprehensive audit of Australia's regulatory arrangements by the International Civil Aviation Organization as part of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP). The final report of the audit is yet to be received. While the results are expected to recognise that the arrangements in Australia are among the most advanced, the cyclical audit process provides an opportunity to identify areas for further improvement...
Now fast forward to May 2014 when the Abbott LNP Govt was just starting to get into it's stride. The following is a copy of a letter from the former DPM/miniscule Warren Truss to the now DPM/miniscule McNobody... Confused :

Quote:[Image: Dear-MickMac.jpg]
Now fast forward to today, a decade after the 2007-8 Dept AR was published, the obvious questions are - What has actually changed? What has been reformed and how has this actually improved the aviation safety standards of Australia? Finally how much has this 'bollocks' bureaucratic charade cost the industry and the ATP? 

So at the Wagga Summit - go in 'eyes wide open'; get a firm commitment from both sides of the political spectrum; and let's not do the 'time warp' again... Undecided 

MTF...P2  Cool

Dots, dashes and holes in the garden…

5 Am, kettle boiling, house quiet and not a canine face in sight – strange; normally a queue at the kitchen door, a ritual – morning pack greetings and things to do outdoors. Softly, I call for ‘big dog’, soft, slow footfalls and a head pokes around the door frame, looking very sheepish – “Wuzup” says I. The amber eyes flick towards the garden, which tell me all I need to know. Jack has been at his midnight excavation work – again. It happens, ‘tis but his nature, out of the stable into the wilds – a hunting he will go. “S’OK” says I, which has the immediate effect of relaxation as the crew turn up, tails wagging for first coffee. Peace will now reign until DT discovers the destruction - unless; I can get out there first and make the necessary repairs. Right then, coffee, boots, shovel = Pax Vobiscum.

I only mention this to describe a similar, occasional event in the AP archives; P2’s gone ‘a – digging and we don’t know where he are. (Nod to Banjo). No damage this time, only a decade of data has been rummaged, dug through and dragged home. The post above provides a sketch of ‘the great black hole’ of aviation reform.

A black hole is a region of space-time exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it.

The sketch provides a timely warning to those on pilgrimage to the Wagga Reform Plate. Millions of dollars, countless man hours, a mountain of paper work and uncountable words have been invested and lost in the great departmental Black Hole. A cautionary tale of how history repeats. We do not have a ‘strong’ minister, we do not have a reform DAS, the Wagga gabfest threatens the Empire and the power of those who dwell in Sleepy Hollow.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” (Sun Zu).

But make no mistake – history does not show the reformers as winning many battles. It would be a cardinal sin to imagine that after Wagga all will be rosy in the garden.

For those looking for security, be forewarned that there’s nothing more insecure than a political promise. (Harry Browne).

At best, at the very best, it is the start of a long uphill battle to force the demanded changes through to conclusion.

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” (Ghandi).

Nothing less than a written, signed, legally binding statement of intent to make real reform happen in real time will do; and even then, that may not be enough.

Toot – toot…..

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