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AMROBA calls on Minister to review DAS selection process

AMROBA calls on Minister to review DAS selection process, which has been based on the previously flawed selection processes. The industry cannot see another DAS who fails to connect with the Australian aviation industry.

All through the ASRR led competently by David Forsyth, the industry has flagged the “..corrosive relationship..” of CASA with the industry.

Senator Ian McDonald told me last July that he was “….dismayed by the attitude of McCormick towards industry..” at Archerfield late in 2012. This relationship has not improved over the past 18 months.

This was highlighted in May 2014, when McCormick lectured the Senators calling s9A of the Civil Aviation Act to support his argument on CVD matters. Unfortunately, this decision is left to the DAS – surely an un-reasonable and exclusive power.

Section 9A says:

CIVIL AVIATION ACT 1988 – SECT  9A 

Performance of functions

             (1)  In exercising its powers and performing its functions, CASA must regard the safety of air navigation as the most important consideration.

             (2)  Subject to subsection (1), CASA must exercise its powers and perform its functions in a manner that ensures that, as far as is practicable, the environment is protected from:

                     (a)  the effects of the operation and use of aircraft; and

                     (b)  the effects associated with the operation and use of aircraft.

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CASA DAS Selection Process

AMROBA has written to the Minister with regards to the process of selecting CASA’s next Director of Aviation Safety (DAS). Many members have raised concerns that the ASRR Report recommendations have not yet been accepted/rejected by the Minister prior to selecting the next DAS.

Considering the Victorian “head hunters” that recommended the last 3 CASA DAS are processing the current selection process, what criteria are they using to recommend their selections to the CASA Board?

If the report is endorsed by the Minister the DAS will need to be a person that understands the kind of regulator that the report recommends. If the report recommendations are rejected by the Minister then we will get a DAS that will serve up more of the same from CASA.

So what criteria are the ‘head hunters’ using to recommend a new DAS to the Board?

There are, we believe, 12 applicants that have made the final selection and the “head hunters” will be conferring with the CASA Chairman of the Board prior to having face-to-face interviews.

If the current Board repeats the selection criteria of the past, then the chance of CASA becoming a mature safety authority as proposed by the ASRR Report will have little chance of becoming a reality.

AMROBA has also written to the Minister and suggested that the Civil Aviation Act will need amending to permanently implement many of the report recommendations if the Minister adopts the report recommendations.

The more time that elapses, the more uncertainity is created in this industry.

Our biggest concern is that the Minister has not publicly stated the he supports his ASRR report recommendations. Therefore One can only assume that the selection criteria being used will be the same criteria that selected the last 3 CASA DAS.  This is a worry.

If the Minister had publicly supported the report’s recommendations, then the selection criteria should have been changed to find someone that can implement the recommendations. However, the selection process started before the report was made public.  Are we being given expectations that wont happen?

Lastly, AMROBA congratulates Mr Jeff Boyd being appointed to the CASA Board – he has a lot of industry experience.