This in today’s Australian by Paul Cleary ( @pgcleary) does not get to how Carmody really operates.
This is a letter to the editor of The Australian sent to me today:The Editor,The AustralianIn Paul Cleary’s article today, support is made for Shane Carmody as the next casa head. Over the past few years the industry has complained of a vindictive and obstructive regulator. I saw that at its worst yesterday when Carmody ordered me from Aviation House when I was in a public area talking to the Industry Complaints Commissioner. No reason was given. I travelled from North Queensland to Canberra to coincide with the casa board meeting, with whom I had two years ago, been promised a meeting and had three serious matters in front of them currently. Carmody is an ex officio board member. This is a public disgrace and demonstrates how out of control the regulator is and why a judicial inquiry is immediately required.
The federal government has begun the process of recruiting a permanent air safety supremo, prompting influential figures to push for a candidate with broad commercial experience.
At a time when general aviation in Australia faces increasing cost and regulatory pressures, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has told The Australian it has initiated the recruitment process to fill the position vacated last October by Mark Skidmore, who left after less than two years in the job.
Industry insiders say the pressure on this key executive will be immense.
The CASA chief executive is also known as the director of aviation safety
“CASA is preparing an updated position description in anticipation of a search being undertaken to identify the preferred candidate. In the interim, Shane Carmody has been appointed as acting director and CEO on a term of up to 12 months, to October 2017,” a CASA spokeswoman said.
Mr Carmody previously worked in a senior role in CASA as part of a long public service career that has included stints in defence and veterans affairs. He was a deputy secretary the Department of Infrastructure prior to stepping into the acting role last year.
Influential aviator Byron Bailey said the CASA board should “stay away from ex-air force guys”, noting that past three chiefs had started their careers in the RAAF.
“These guys are great leaders but they do not deserve to be in civil aviation. All these air force guys bring in more regulation. You don’t want an air force guy who doesn’t know about being profitable.”
Former CASA chairman Dick Smith said the appointment of former RAAF personnel had led to over-regulation of the Australian aviation industry.
“I think it is excellent they are advertising.
“(In the past) they’ve gone for military people who haven’t had to pay for anything, or from the bureaucracy,’’ he said.
“In the military you just dial up what you want.”
Before Mr Skidmore’s appointment, CASA was run for five years by John McCormick, who began his career in the RAAF. His predecessor was Bruce Byron, who had spent a decade in the RAAF and the former Department of Aviation.
But Regional Airlines Association of Australia chief executive Mike Higgins said former pilots were “the wrong stuff” for the role.
“I have been in aviation all my life,’’ he said.
“I worked at CASA for nine years. We do not need another commercial airline pilot. What we need is someone who has experience in managing a large organisation, preferably in the public service, and preferably as a regulator.
“Aviation skills and qualifications are not mandatory because (the CEO) should be surrounded by experts who have that subject matter expertise.”
Mr Higgins said Mr Carmody would be an “excellent candidate”.
“I’m very, very happy to continue working with Shane. He’s got off to a great start,” he said.
After coming into the role Mr Carmody has had to juggle some complex regulatory reforms that were initiated by his predecessor. A key one is fatigue rules that regional airlines say put addtional costs on their operations.
Last month, CASA announced a review of the rules, which is due to report by September this year. The review was launched in response to pressure from regional airlines.
Mr Skidmore had sought to address problems with CASA regulations by introducing a 26-member internal group known as the Part 61 solutions taskforce.
The taskforce released its final report this week which in part urged the regulator to use plain English in all of its regulatory statements.
A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Darren Chester said it was up to the CASA board to run the recruitment process.
However, the government would be consulted prior to the new CEO being awarded the position, she said.