Category Archives: Regulatory Ructions

Welcome back Minister, now let’s get on with it!

The Australian Aviation Associations Forum has welcomed Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester on his reappointment to what he  describes as “this critical ministerial position for Australia’s economy, job creation and the aviation industry.” Continue reading

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  • Submission to Aviation Safety Regulation Review ProAviation, updated February 21, 2014 Index We havn't been able to make the automated index function work in this post. Following are the principal headings in the correct sequence. We're working on a fix for that. Meanwhile the ten case studies which were part…
    Tags: casa, aviation, industry
  • At least eight peak aviation industry bodies are now presenting a united front in demanding government action over the ever-worsening interface between industry and regulator. In meetings in Sydney on November 13, the Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) developed a multi-faceted critique headed, “Now is the time for Government to…
    Tags: casa, industry, aviation, training, forum, board, taaaf, review, regulatory
  • Comment - Paul Phelan, April 24 Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has provided an interim Statement of Expectations to the not-quite-finalised CASA Board, effective until June 30, 2017. A ring-around industry sources found everybody frankly pretty cheerless about the apparent lack of any urgency on some of…
    Tags: casa, aviation, industry
  • April 2. 2015 A forum comprising Australia’s leading aviation industry representative groups has demanded that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority tightens its belt, becomes more efficient, and reviews those of its activities that contribute little to aviation safety while imposing new levels of regulation that industry is describing as "botched…
    Tags: aviation, casa, industry, regulatory, forsyth, review, taaaf, forum
  • Trust restoration checklist An impressive number of industry’s elder statesmen attended the rally at Tamworth on May 6, and witnessed the growing concern that only deeds, not words, can set aviation back on the long track towards a restoration of some of the mutual trust that has been squandered over…
    Tags: casa, aviation

CASA change too little and too slow

The Aerial Application Association of Australia is calling on all political parties to commit to major change to Australia’s aviation regulator to fix ongoing problems that are damaging productivity and fuelling uncertainty. Continue reading

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  • The Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia, one of the most energetic critics of the regulator's recent performance, has warmly welcomed Government’s response to the Forsyth Aviation Regulation Review and the Deputy Prime Minister’s appointment of an additional three experienced aviation people to the CASA Board. AAAA CEO, Phil Hurst, said…
    Tags: casa, aaaa, aviation, industry, agricultural, association, australia, aerial
  • The Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia (AAAA) has welcomed the report of the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review (ASRR) as “a useful step forward in fixing Australia’s aviation safety system," but says industry focus has swiftly moved onto urgent Government action to address the problems. “Industry feels vindicated in its criticism…
    Tags: casa, industry, aviation, minister, culture, australia, will, association, agricultural
  • Submission to Aviation Safety Regulation Review ProAviation, updated February 21, 2014 Index We havn't been able to make the automated index function work in this post. Following are the principal headings in the correct sequence. We're working on a fix for that. Meanwhile the ten case studies which were part…
    Tags: casa, aviation, industry
  • Industry representative groups are alarmed at recent events suggesting that the 12 current candidates for the CASA CEO appointment may now be discussed between executive recruiters and CASA Chair Dr. Allan Hawke next week, before a new board can be nominated and briefed to participate in the recruitment decision. They…
    Tags: casa, industry, aviation, association, australia, agricultural, forsyth
  • Regulation of Australian General Aviation and Low Capacity Airline Transport Volume 1: Enforcement - Why is it failing? Paul D Phelan September, 2000 The original version of this analysis was circulated electronically to all members of Federal Parliament, industry identities, aviation writers, other selected media outlets, industry associations, CASA Board…
    Tags: casa, aviation

Dick Smith recommends mass industry exit

Dick Smith has widely circulated the letter below among his aviation associates, and we’re publishing it here without comment in case any reader has missed it.

Dear All
It’s not the slow pace of Reform at CASA, it’s the fact that they are still heading towards adding to costs.
For example, we know the disaster of Part 61 when in a little over a year’s time every single aircraft that flies IFR will have to have ADS-B fitted.
No country in the world has such a requirement. Even in the USA where there is a requirement for ADS-B from 2020, that’s another 4 years away.
There is no requirement for ADS-B to be fitted for aircraft below 10,000 feet in D, E or G airspace unless the aircraft is within 30 nautical miles of a Class B zone, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. This clearly means that most small aircraft that operate either IFR or VFR will not need ADS-B in the USA.
I was lucky enough to have an hour with the CASA Board on Thursday, 15th October 2015 and even though the Board seemed keen on getting a delay with this ADS-B mandate, it was quite clear that Mark Skidmore has no intention of giving any type of delay or dispensation.
Remember, there is no measurable safety issue being addressed because we have never had two aircrafts in cloud collide in this country.
Please pass on this email to everyone you can. I absolutely recommend that people get out of aviation as quickly as they can, sell up their businesses and close down because any damage now will be minimised compared to the damage that is going to happen because of the dogmatic attitude of CASA between now and the next 4 years. The damage will be horrendous, far more businesses will go broke and lots more people will be out of work.
It is quite clear with Mr Skidmore, because of his military background, that there will be no measurable reforms in relation to removing unnecessary costs. There is no suggestion that the Minister will put any pressure on to allow a viable General Aviation business and even if the Minister does not stand again, I have not seen the slightest suggestion that his replacement has an understanding that major cost reductions must take place if the General Aviation industry is to remain viable.
AOPA have asked for a delay in the introduction of the mandate for ADS-B for all aircraft that fly IFR and they have got nowhere.
On my recent flight in my Citation to Longreach, I was forced below flight level 290 on the last 300 nautical miles of the flight, even though the controller told me there was no traffic that could require the change in altitude – I was flight planned and operating at flight level 400.
As you can see, it is nothing to do with safety it is all about sheer bastardry and destroying an industry. The people at Airservices are worse, they have no understanding of how their costs for unique requirements can effect General Aviation.
I have presently got my Citation on the market and plan to sell my other aircraft. I would suggest everybody does the same if they don’t want to lose very large amounts of additional wealth and resources.
Regards
Dick

Related Posts

  • Comment - Paul Phelan, April 24 Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has provided an interim Statement of Expectations to the not-quite-finalised CASA Board, effective until June 30, 2017. A ring-around industry sources found everybody frankly pretty cheerless about the apparent lack of any urgency on some of…
    Tags: casa, aviation, safety, will, industry
  • Submission to Aviation Safety Regulation Review ProAviation, updated February 21, 2014 Index We havn't been able to make the automated index function work in this post. Following are the principal headings in the correct sequence. We're working on a fix for that. Meanwhile the ten case studies which were part…
    Tags: casa, aircraft, aviation, industry
  • Trust restoration checklist An impressive number of industry’s elder statesmen attended the rally at Tamworth on May 6, and witnessed the growing concern that only deeds, not words, can set aviation back on the long track towards a restoration of some of the mutual trust that has been squandered over…
    Tags: casa, aviation, will, safety
  • An impressive number of industry’s elder statesmen attended the rally at Tamworth on May 6, and witnessed the growing concern that only deeds, not words, can set aviation back on the long track towards a restoration of some of the mutual trust that has been squandered over the past 26…
    Tags: casa, aviation, will, safety, industry
  • Regulation of Australian General Aviation and Low Capacity Airline Transport Volume 1: Enforcement - Why is it failing? Paul D Phelan September, 2000 The original version of this analysis was circulated electronically to all members of Federal Parliament, industry identities, aviation writers, other selected media outlets, industry associations, CASA Board…
    Tags: casa, safety, aviation

Aviation forum’s manifesto seeks urgent action

Paul Phelan, Oct 9, 2015

After a two-day conference The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF), representing an influential group of peak aviation bodies, has released a communiqué expressing “considerable concern” at the slow pace of reform of CASA and the ongoing cost impositions from new regulations.
The communiqué urged the CASA Board to persevere with its clear, government-mandated cultural change agenda, saying it believes the recently introduced CASA regulations are threatening the viability of industry and especially general aviation operations, where millions of dollars will otherwise be required to be invested for no commensurate safety gains.
The Forum says it fully supports CASA Director Mark Skidmore’s Directive 01/2015 which launched the development and application of risk based and cost effective aviation safety regulation, and asked that it be applied to all of the recently introduced CASA regulations.
However TAAAF says it believes effective implementation of the directive will require “cultural change” within CASA and encouraged the CASA Board to persevere with its clear, Government- mandated cultural change agenda.
“The TAAAF recommends the CASA redouble efforts to urgently:

  • “Abolish Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 48.1 – industry rejects the limited science it is based on, the ignoring of decades of safe operations, the massive costs it will impose and the complexity that will inevitably lead to non-compliance.
  • “Establish an industry task force to propose urgent exemptions and amendments to Parts 61, 141, 142 and revised transitional arrangements to allow the industry to function, especially for firefighting operations and ATPL licences.
  • “Reform Australian aviation manufacturing regulations to copy the modernised US Federal Aviation Agency system and undo the damage caused by the loss of three TAFE skill providers.
  • “Undo the damage caused by new maintenance training regulations that resulted in the loss of three TAFE skill providers.

“TAAAF believes that now is the time for definitive action before the new regulations cause irreparable long-term damage and the loss of jobs and businesses.”
The group’s sentiments are a haunting reminder of the findings and recommendations of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Panel led by industry veteran David Forsyth, which delivered its damning report in May 2014.
The ASRR warned that:
Although opinions differ, the Panel estimates that the [Regulatory Reform Program] will take at least another five years to complete. Furthermore, the final product of regulatory reform will not meet the aviation community’s needs and will not be consistent with the ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organisation] principles for plain language, easily understood, safety rules. Nor will the final regulations be harmonised with those of any foreign jurisdiction.
The 25-plus year history of regulatory reform has been consuming the industry, and distracting the aviation community from the objective of managing safety in its operations. On this basis, the Panel concludes that continuing along the current path is not in the interests of aviation safety in Australia and that a new approach must be developed for regulatory reform.
The ASRR Panel had also warned that “While trusted by many in government, the industry’s trust in CASA is failing, compromising CASA’s Stewardship, and industry perceives CASA’s Accountability as being compromised.”(The Panel’s highlighting.)
Elsewhere in the report the Panel also observed:
“CASA and industry need to build an effective collaborative relationship on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. Therefore, CASA needs to set a new strategic direction.”
CASA has more recently begun engaging with alarmed industry groups and these contacts appear to have alerted Mr Skidmore and others that the trust issue was becoming more and more central to developing a lasting solution.
On September 16, the Director finally published a new statement titled CASA’s new regulatory policy – a ten-point outline of intended reform, which bears at least the potential to begin reversing the distrust that had now been growing insidiously for a quarter of a century.

Related Posts

  • Comment - Paul Phelan, April 24 Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has provided an interim Statement of Expectations to the not-quite-finalised CASA Board, effective until June 30, 2017. A ring-around industry sources found everybody frankly pretty cheerless about the apparent lack of any urgency on some of…
    Tags: casa, aviation, safety, will, industry
  • Trust restoration checklist An impressive number of industry’s elder statesmen attended the rally at Tamworth on May 6, and witnessed the growing concern that only deeds, not words, can set aviation back on the long track towards a restoration of some of the mutual trust that has been squandered over…
    Tags: casa, aviation, will, safety
  • An impressive number of industry’s elder statesmen attended the rally at Tamworth on May 6, and witnessed the growing concern that only deeds, not words, can set aviation back on the long track towards a restoration of some of the mutual trust that has been squandered over the past 26…
    Tags: casa, aviation, will, safety, industry
  • The Aviation Safety Regulation Reform (ASRR) Panel delivered its report and recommendations on time at the end of some four months of exhaustive and far-reaching consultation with all aviation sectors. The Minister presented the Panel’s work for public review promptly, providing another 30 days for further comment, which expired on…
    Tags: will, casa, aviation, safety, industry, regulatory, panel, reform
  • April 2. 2015 A forum comprising Australia’s leading aviation industry representative groups has demanded that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority tightens its belt, becomes more efficient, and reviews those of its activities that contribute little to aviation safety while imposing new levels of regulation that industry is describing as "botched…
    Tags: aviation, casa, industry, safety, reform, regulatory, will, taaaf, regulations

Getting it wrong – AAT blasts CASA processes

Paul Phelan, June 1, 2015

In a comprehensive rejection of CASA’s decision to cancel a WA private pilot’s licence Administrative Appeals Tribunal Senior Member Egon Fice has bluntly told the authority:
The decision under review is set aside. The Applicant’s Private Pilot (Aeroplane) Licence and Student Pilot Licence remain valid and must be treated as never having been cancelled.
The decision is all the more notable because the pilot conducted his AAT appeal and subsequent responses without legal representation and because the Tribunal was highly critical of several aspects of CASA’s management of the case, explaining why “…….. we have concerns about the way in which this matter was investigated and dealt with.”
The Tribunal also declared:
“Having examined the evidence with some care, we find that CASA’s decision to cancel Mr Fadlalla’s PPL on the ground that he was not a fit and proper person to have the responsibilities and exercise and perform the functions and duties of a pilot licence was not the preferable decision. In fact, we find that the evidence does not establish that he is not a fit and proper person to hold a pilot licence.” The decision did briefly discuss the arrival after last light, it also briefly mentioned possible contributing factors such as changes of altitude to meet ATC requirements, re-routing and variance between actual and forecast winds. ProAviation has discussed the fit and proper person issue with numerous pilots over the past 60 years and our perception has been that arriving two minutes after last light does not rank highly among available infractions in their minds, in terms of relative safety significance.
The AAT’s decision identified several erroneous statements by CASA employees, deficiencies in its evidence gathering and processing, its avoidance of independent witnesses, references to regulations that were not in force at the relevant times, relationships between and within the training organisation and CASA officials, and CASA’s well-recognised use of the “fit and proper person” process to back adverse administrative decisions. CASA was also taken to task for repeating untested allegations by College staff of larceny [of an iPad], later shown to be untrue, but which were repeated in CASA correspondence and in any case were irrelevant to air safety issues:
“The fact that CASA treated the information regarding the theft of the iPad given to it by WAAC as if it were true without making any further enquiries is deeply disturbing. In fact it appears in its Statement of Facts and Contentions as if that had been established as a fact. It causes us concern about the relationship that the investigating officers from CASA have with RACWA/WAAC. No such relationship has been disclosed in any of the evidentiary material.
Mr Fice delivered a comprehensive analysis of “fit and proper person” concepts which if heeded, might have been expected to reverse numerous CASA decisions ProAviation has researched in the past.
Nagid Fadlalla, a Sudan-born Australian citizen living in Perth, had held a private pilot (aeroplane) licence since July 2013 and had obtained an endorsement on Mooney M20. He arrived back at Jandakot about two minutes after official last light after a round trip to Geraldton.
The pilot was enrolled in a 150 (flying) hour commercial pilot training course conducted by Western Australia Aviation College (WAAC), the flight training content of which was provided by the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia (RACWA) at Jandakot.
CASA’s action against Mr Fadlalla was based on the fact that he did not hold a night VFR rating, and he was issued a notice of proposed action to vary, suspend or cancel his PPL and SPL (a “show cause” notice.)
The pilot responded to the notice in detail, but although it noted his response, CASA informed him on 16 June 2014 that it had cancelled his PPL and SPL on the grounds set out in CAR 269 (1) (c) and (d).
The relevant parts of that regulation are:

CIVIL AVIATION REGULATIONS 1988 – REG 269
Variation, suspension or cancellation of approval, authority, certificate or licence
(1) Subject to this regulation, CASA may, by notice in writing served on the holder of an approval, authority, certificate or licence (an authorisation), vary, suspend or cancel the authorisation if CASA is satisfied that one or more of the following grounds exists, namely:

(c) that the holder of the authorisation has failed in his or her duty with respect to any matter affecting the safe navigation or operation of an aircraft;

(d) that the holder of the authorisation is not a fit and proper person to have the responsibilities and exercise and perform the functions and duties of a holder of such an authorisation;

The AAT noted that CASA had said in its “Statement of Facts and Contentions” that “at no time was Mr Fadlalla authorised to operate the [Mooney] M20J aircraft because he did not hold any special design feature endorsements.
The CASA Statement had then added:
Although the application has claimed that prior to 19 February 2014 he undertook the training necessary to be endorsed upon the M20J and to operate the special design features of that aircraft type, there is no evidence presented in support of that contention.
In fact, there was ample evidence, which people intent on harming the pilot’s reputation appear to have either deliberately ignored or negligently overlooked.
Following a total of 7.5 hours of endorsement training including a check flight by RACWA Grade 1 flying instructor James Sturrock, Mr Fadlalla qualified for a “special design feature” endorsement allowing him to fly the Mooney M20J in which he conducted the return flight to Geraldton,. The AAT deemed that following the check flight, Mr Fadlalla had met all the requirements for a Mooney endorsement and that the flying training organisation (RACWA) should have entered the endorsement in his personal log book and on his PPL.
Despite that, CASA apparently failed to identify significant matters that didn’t support its decision, including a statement in its “show cause notice regarding the alleged larceny.
The AAT also noted there was no evidence from Mr Sturrock, nor did CASA produce any of the documents which related to Mr Fadlalla’s endorsement training and check flight:
“In fact, despite Mr Fadlalla stating in his response to the Show Cause Notice that he believed he was endorsed to fly the M20J having completed a check with a Grade 1 senior instructor, in its notice of cancellation CASA simply noted that he flew the M20J aircraft………..without being appropriately endorsed: “There was no evidence that CASA had attempted to ascertain or to obtain documents from RACWA to the effect we have described above,” said the Tribunal.
The Tribunal also commented on another bizarre CASA assertion in its “Statement of Facts and Contentions”:
“CASA contended that it would be open for the Tribunal to conclude that Mr Fadlalla’s cancelling what was supposed to be a solo flight in a Cessna 172 on 18 February 2014 and instead conducting the flight in the M20J aircraft on 19 February 2014 with his three friends was simply a social event and to show off.”
Why could his motivation not be to broaden his experience base by flying a newly-authorised type?
In any case Mr Fadlalla denied that was the case. He asked, rhetorically, why would he pay $5000 per month to show off to his friends?
As readers can see from the complete report, the interactions between CASA and the training organisations also leave us open to question whether a student pilot caught up in matters such as this can expect those bodies to act primarily in their interests. In his closing summary, Mr Fice commented:
By way of a postscript to our decision, for Mr Fadlalla to complete his flying training for the CPL, he should enrol with an approved flying training organisation other than RACWA/WAAC. His flight training records from RACWA/WAAC should be transferred to the new training organisation in accordance with reg 141.280(2) of the CASR.
CASA officials and FTO staff might find some useful guidance by reading  the the entire AAT decision, as might anybody who is contemplating an action that might identify them as unfit and/or improper. The Director may also find it informative if one of his trusted lieutenants draws it to his attention.

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