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An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.

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Another amazing statement by #casa and Mark Skidmore

Well Mr. Skidmore, I am amazed that you can say that you are listening to industry.

The aviation industry is angry at being ignored. The industry, in one of the best answered inquiries [David Forsyth’s ASRR] where there were over 260 individual submissions.

There have been many follow ups by industry bodies including AMROBA, AOPA, RAAA, AHIA, AAAA and others, which have been less than positive in their critique of how #casa has gone about the implementation of new regulations and the overall #casa response to the #ASRR.

The AHIA has advised members to refuse to take part with #casa in Parts 141, 142 and 143.

The classic is Part 61, which cannot be complied with and exceeds 2000 pages in length. The entire FAA regulation suite is under 500-pages. perhaps the importation and buy of these regulations is a viable option or the NZ-regulation set. AFAP has been extremely strident in their opposition to Part-61, which increases cost and complexity of compliance.

Currently, Mark Skidmore has a new recruit “Jason” moving around Australia telling the industry how they [#casa] will listen to the industry with the rest of the “new” regulations.

In fact, #casa, in deference to directions by the #casa Board and it’s chair, Jeff Boyd, who wants to see the back of Part 61 as does the industry.

Cairns – 4th September 2015

Cairns – 29th October 2015

Annual report – 2015

Cairns –

#casa tells us that in 2014-2015 that another loss was incurred in its operating budget.

 


 

CASA boss Mark Skidmore: safer skies a long-haul process

CASA boss Mark Skidmore.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority boss Mark Skidmore has urged the industry to keep working with him as he moves to restructure the regulator by the middle of next year, addresses problems with existing rules and introduces new regulations.

As he heads to a crucial meeting with an industry advisory panel next week, Mr Skidmore told The Australian this week that his first year in one of aviation’s most controversial jobs had involved a steep learning curve that had seen more flak than his time as an RAAF pilot.

“It’s a rather interesting environment to be operating in — exciting and challenging at the same time,” he said. “I’ve found over the course of this year that there’s a lot of very passionate people out there, which I really appreciate — their passion for aviation safety.

“What I need to do is try and make sure that my organisation knows how we can help those people actually comply with the aviation regulations more than anything else.”

CASA has been under fire in recent months for failing to act more quickly on the flawed introduction of regulations promulgated under Mr Skidmore’s predecessor. It also has been criticised for the pace at which it has adopted recommendations by the Aviation Safety Regulation Review chaired by industry veteran David Forsyth.

Criticism continued even after Mr Skidmore announced last month that CASA would streamline its operations into three groups — aviation, stakeholder engagement and sustainability — in a bid to improve its regulatory services and better promote interaction with the industry. The reforms are due to be completed by July next year with the stakeholder engagement group the first cab off the rank.

Defending his track record, Mr Skidmore said he had been travelling extensively to listen to the aviation community’s experiences and this was shaping what CASA would do in the future.

He said people arguing the authority was not taking action were “not seeing what we actually do” and the authority had completed about 11 of the 32 ASRR recommendations that applied to it.

He pointed to developments in the past year that included the renewal of the CASA board, new reporting arrangements for the industry complaints commissioner and the establishment of a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

He also had announced a new regulatory philosophy that would look at issues such as the cost to the industry of safety regulations and issued a directive about the need for consultation in future regulatory reform.

“So I get disappointed when I hear that we haven’t done anything. I think we’ve actually been working quite hard; perhaps a lot of it is behind the scenes,” he said.

And it hadn’t just been criticism: Mr Skidmore said there had been feedback from some within the industry indicating they were seeing changes in how the authority consulted and engaged.

“I know we still need to fix some of our communication, I know we still need to fix the time limit in regards to our response on some things,” he said, noting it took time to make cultural changes and likening CASA to a turning aircraft carrier.

CASA also has set up a 26-member internal group, the Part 61 solutions taskforce, to address problems with new regulations already introduced.

Mr Skidmore said the solutions taskforce would sit down with the industry panel to prioritise what actions needed to be taken to address problems with the new rules, although he warned he would not be able to do everything straight away.

He said CASA would issue exemptions to help the industry if they were needed and would move towards legislative change, if needed, by the end of next year.

“If I’ve got priorities for the next year, my priorities are fix up (parts) 61, 141 and 142,” he said. “Let’s make sure we‘ve got those resolved.”

At the same time, he said, there were still 12 regulations out of 55 that needed to be implemented and CASA had been asking industry about a timeline and priorities

There was some low-hanging fruit with new regulations in areas such as Part 129 (foreign air transport operators) and Part 149 (self-administrating sports organisations) and Part 138 (aerial work operations) that could be rolled out.

“My hope is that we’ve learnt out of this and we’re doing the right thing by consulting with people and actually working through the process better,” Mr Skidmore said, adding that the Part 61 taskforce would look at existing processes to make improvements and ensure mistakes were not repeated. “Part of that is making sure that we get the right education process for ourselves, for CASA, before rolling out regulations, and that potentially we test run a regulation with some industry folk.”

Mr Skidmore inherited many of the problems upsetting industry and said it took him a while to understand the extent of the problem and what he needed to do.

“And it was a case of finding resources for me to do that as well because you can’t just suddenly set something up — you’ve got to know where you’re going to get the resources from and how you’re going to apply them,” he said.

“I haven’t buckets of money, in fact I’ve got a big hole I’m trying to dig myself out of next financial year.”

Asked to summarise the major thrust of his strategy, the CASA boss said it was to have “a more effective, efficient capability in CASA engaged with the aviation community in understanding how we can work together on the future of aviation safety”.

The message to staff was that CASA was going to be a modern regulator that would engage and educate people and only enforce the rules when it had to.

He said he wanted to find a carrot “more than use a stick”.

“And basically, let’s work together,” he said. “Let’s not be adversarial in all of this — if there are problems let’s talk about it and work together to resolve (them).”

“So I want to set safety regulations that allow you to operate within a framework, a safe framework, and if you step outside we’ll have to do something. But let’s define that framework so that we can all work within it.”

And while cost pressures could tempt some people to take short cuts, he had found in his travels that operators wanted to comply and understood that they were carrying the risk.

He said CASA needed to be aware of this and help operators by driving complexity out of regulations and communicating better.

But will that mean reaching the long-held goal of simple, easy-to-follow regulations?

“If I can crack the code I’d love to,” Mr Skidmore said. “But it is one of those things. We get caught up in the complexity of the regulations whereas it would be nice to come out with something pretty simple with regards to understanding and … and I will work towards that.”

 

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