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AHIA monthly newsletter

Australian Helicopter Industry Association Limited      

PO Box 462 Carina Qld 4152 Australia

Mob: 0415 641 774 E: robsrich@austhia.com

 AHIA’s week that was – ending Sun 10 Jan ’16.

 TO: Helicopter Industry.      

 Welcome to our first newsletter for 2016. It looks like a busy year for us all as we help CASA’s regulatory reform and internal restructuring processes. We are now geared up to ensure you are kept up to date on key issues as they are revaluated over the next six months. (By 30 Jun ’16).

Chair of CASA’s Board speaks out on unintended problems. Australian Aviation Magazine, January/February 2016 Edition, Prefight Comment feature. In part, article stated: Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Chairman, Jeff Boyd, recently stated the implementation of CASA Part 61 licensing regulations had been “a debacle”. Boyd was named chairman in July 2015 after joining the board a year earlier. The report stated the nation’s aviation safety regulator has formed a full-time task force and an industry advisory panel in an effort to resolve issues raised by Part 61, which covers pilot ratings, licenses and endorsements, as well as a number of other licensing regulations.

Boyd said the Part 61 regulations were written up without adequate communication with industry and he had lobbied against their introduction before he joined the CASA Board. “We knew Part 61 was never going to work. It got put in a drawer for 12 months and instead of being reworked and rejigged unfortunately the very last day that our previous CEO was in the organisation he promulgated Part 61 as it was 12 months previously,” Boyd said. The results have been horrendous for the organisation and for industry. It’s a debacle.

The rewriting of CASA licensing suite is just one aspect of the reforms currently underway at the organisation.

In November, CASA also unveiled a corporate restructure that sought to improve service delivery and operational efficiency, part of its response to the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review, and due to be completed by the end of 2015/16. I know we are copping flak at the moment because we are not implementing things fast enough in this ASRR report,” Boyd said. “No one more than me would like to see things happen quicker than it is but it’s happening.”

There would be three main groups under a restructured CASA, comprising aviation, stakeholder engagement and sustainability. The restructure would be conducted in stages and was expected to be completed by the middle of 2016. Boyd said the new-look organisation would reduce the number of executive managers from 10 to 5 and save $5.2 million in management salaries. “I think we are well on our way to a new, invigorated organisation,” Boyd said

Part 61 Solutions Taskforce. Established by CASA’s DAS (CEO) Mark Skidmore on 6 Dec ’15. The inaugural meeting of the task force was held in Canberra. CASA information suggests this task force will consist of 26 of subject matter specialists supported by around a dozen representatives from industry. Attendees have been advised the project will run for approximately six months, with a completion date by 30 Jun ’16. AHIA is awaiting confirmatory notes or minutes from this meeting in order to advise their members. No doubt the Christmas holidays has slowed things little.

AHIA teleconference with helicopter schools. On Tue 12 Jan ’16, Peter Crook (President) and Ray Cronin (Vice President) will host a teleconference to give schools a briefing of progress so far and get suggestions and advice for a united way forward. Peter conducted an extensive telephone campaign over the Christmas break and noted enormous interest from schools about the activities the AHIA is about to undertake. The telephone conference will involve well over 60% of approximately thirty schools. This figure would have been much higher; however, a lot of folks are still on annual leave.

AHIA representative at regulatory reform projects. Vice President, Ray Cronin, has been appointed to the Part 61 Solutions Taskforce. AHIA’s Colin Clarke has been nominated as the AHIA representative on the General Aviation Action Group. President, Peter Crook, has been appointed to the Aviation Industry Consultative Council. All these committees are working with the regulator to improve the regulatory reform process.

Rotortech 2016. Fri 27 to Sun 29 May 2016. Organisers are back at helm this week. More exciting news soon about event and updates on three new major sponsors. The interest from international exhibitors is a clue that the Asia-Pacific Region is booming both from airline and rotary wing perspective.  But we have to nail the Part 61 issues as a first priority.

Kindest regards,

Rob Rich

AHIA Events Organiser

PO Box 462

CARINA  QLD  4152