Tag Archives: Forsyth

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…
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  • 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…
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  • 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…
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  • 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…
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  • 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…
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CASA hiring transparency lost in obfuscation

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 are worried that the incoming CASA board may be bypassed in the selection of a new Director despite the Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR) Panel’s scathing observations on the breakdown of industry/CASA trust and its recommendation that:

“The Civil Aviation Safety Authority changes its regulatory philosophy and, together with industry, builds an effective collaborative relationship on a foundation of mutual understanding and respect.”

To date only one board appointment, former Brindabella Airlines Managing Director Jeff Boyd as Deputy Chair, has been announced; and CASA is still listing its current board membership as Allan Hawke (Chair), Jeff Boyd, Trevor Danos and (Director) John McCormick.

Phil Hurst, Executive Director of the Agricultural Aviation Association of Australia (AAAA), says: “The process that we support is the one that is been outlined any number of times. It is that there should be a clean sweep of the CASA board. There should then be widespread consultation with industry for the appointments to that board. I understand that Jeff Boyd has already been appointed to the board as Deputy Chairman and we fully support his appointment because he is coming from industry and that’s exactly the sort of appointment that we welcome.

“I think that whoever takes the reins at CASA, they must have the trust of industry. That’s the critical issue and with the best will in the world, it’s very difficult for industry to trust people that have never operated in a commercial environment.

“My concern with the lack of transparency in all this is that anything that happens in the current environment is likely to be tainted. If the powers that be don’t understand the importance of transparency in this process, which will set the direction for CASA for the next however many years, then clearly we’ve got more work to do.”

AAAA and other industry groups are now concerned that the findings and recommendations of the ASRR report are at risk of being swept aside in the CEO recruitment process.

ProAviation has been told that the Dr Hawke wrote to one industry association refuting its submission to the ASRR, and that the organisation rejected what it believed to be “bullying” on his part and brought the matter to Minister Truss’s attention.

Ken Cannane, Executive Director of, AMROBA (aviation Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul Business Association), says his group shares AAAA’s concerns.

“We’ve raised the issue with the Minister of our concerns of the involvement of the current CASA board in the selection of the new people, because we see that the CASA board oversaw the industry and the development of the seriously negative issues that have been raised by the ASRR review. If Mr Hawke is going to be there, the remainder of the board should be involved with the selection as well, not just the Chairman.

“Before selections are made for the CEO, I think the Minister needs to be transparent now and either tell the industry he supports the review and its findings, or that he rejects them. If he supports them, it means that the CASA board should then be selecting a person who can implement the review, not a person who is going to continue on in the direction John McCormick has taken.”

Reflecting the same concerns, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia’s submission had told the ASRR it “believes the bulk of its concerns stem from a poor culture in CASA which itself results from poor senior management and governance over several decades.

“If the Government of the day is not to take a more active role in the formulation of aviation policy generally and, through the relevant Department, a more active role in the management of the aviation bureaucracy, it must be prepared to create a more substantial and active Board to oversight CASA’s management.”

Reflecting sentiments variously expressed by many of the 269 submissions, RAAA listed its four prime concerns as:

  • “The unfortunate saga of CASA’s regulatory reform process;
  • “CASA’s increasingly adversarial approach to enforcement;
  • “CASA’s failure to provide prompt and efficient services to the industry; and
  • CASA’s undermining of the “just culture approach to [air safety] data collection.”

RAAA CEO Paul Tyrrell says his Association is now also concerned at the government’s and the Infrastructure Department’s tardiness in publicly accepting the ASRR’s 37 recommendations and transforming them into an action plan under clearly stated and transparent direction:

“The RAAA would welcome the recommendations of the ASRR being implemented as soon as possible. It is essential that the incoming CASA board members play a leading role in the appointment of the new CASA CEO. To do otherwise would make a mockery of the recent review. The new CEO must display a strong cost reflex in that he should exercise stringent control over CASA costs just as all modern aviation businesses must also do if they are to survive.”

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  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss today delivered the long-awaited government response to David Forsyth’s Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR), and also named the three new members of CASA’s board. (The response isn’t yet available for downloading but we’ll add a link when that…
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Review panel report on schedule

The government’s Aviation Safety Regulation Review is all but complete with ASRR chair David Forsyth confident that his panel’s final report will be in the hands of Minister Warren Truss by its end-of-month target date.

Since the review began last December the Panel evaluated over 260 submissions and received input from hundreds of aviation stakeholders. The final draft is being edited and there are a couple of parts of the report still being checked, said Mr. Forsyth:

“I have to say it’s been absolutely fascinating, and a privilege to have spoken to so many people across the aviation industry. There are a lot of people who are concerned about the current situation, and we hope we have captured the key issues for industry. There has been a lot of material which reflects concerns that have been there for many years, but there are also a number of issues that have become worse in recent times.

“But I believe the problems can be fixed and am confident we have made recommendations which will help to ensure it will be fixed. I don’t think it’s an impossible task; it just takes somebody with some (courage) and a lot of effort. That’s what we believe anyway, but of course we are not the people who have to do it.”

The ASRR panel’s review has met the Coalition’s pre-election promise to “establish a high level external review of aviation safety and regulation in Australia,” and implementation of its other promises, if not unduly delayed, will go a long way towards satisfying the industry’s desperate needs. Those promises, which went to the heart of many of the industry’s major concerns, were:

  • abolish the carbon tax and its insidious impact on aviation fuels and aviation businesses;
  • establish a formal Aviation Industry Consultative Council to meet regularly with the Minister;
  • ensure that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is adequately resourced;
  • reform the structure of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority;
  • focus on the better utilisation of Australian airspace;
  • support regional aviation by introducing a new and better targeted En Route Rebate Scheme;
  • recognise the importance of Australian airports to the economy;
  • revitalise the General Aviation Action Agenda;
  • continue to promote aviation liberalisation;
  • enhance aviation skills, training and development; and
  • ensure that aviation security measures are risk based.

Submissions to the review included numerous recommendations for review and revision of the Civil Aviation Act and regulations, the restoration of meaningful ongoing industry consultation, and comprehensive reform of the way the national aviation agency carries out its statutory functions.

For some casualties of former regulatory policy and practice, the return to normal services and workable industry relations will come too late. When the final ASRR report is presented, the ball will be firmly in the court of the Minister and the government to deliver swift, effective and unchallenged implementation of vital reforms – whatever it takes.

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  • 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…
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