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Aviation – Senate Hearing Interim Report

Senate Hearing

The interim report has been released from Canberra. It is quite broadreaching, but does not go to the placement of CA$A into a full Departmental situation, rather than the present “QANGO”.

The Reports reccomendations:

Recommendation 1
3.80 The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) review their cost recovery process to ensure there are clear rules and transparency on how costs are determined. CASA should further consider applying a cap on charges for its services to individuals and organisations experiencing financial hardship, in a financial year.
Recommendation 2
3.166 The committee recommends the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), through the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel and relevant Technical Working Groups, consider the following and report back to the committee with its findings:
1. Whether Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 61 can be simplified;

2. Whether CASR Part 141 and 142 should be combined;

3. Compare CASR Part 66 and CAR 31 to determine the best option;

4. Consider the conduct of Aerial Application and Airwork Operations Proficiency Check and Training by a Chief Pilot from a third-party operator as an option;

5. How to best train regional and remote pilots in basic maintenance of aircraft and permit them to do so;

6. Examine the role of CASA officials when receiving findings of qualified medical practitioners under CASR Part 67 by general practitioners in regional and remote areas;

7. Review the requirement under CASR Part 138 aerial work and Part 133 for helicopter activities to have planned destination landing sites when this is not feasible; and

8. Review the Civil Aviation Order 48.1 Fatigue Management system for GA operators.

Recommendation 3
3.167 The committee recommends that where possible, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority streamline its licencing requirements to avoid duplication and the need for pilots and engineers to acquire multiple licences.

Recommendation 4
3.191 The committee recommends that the Australian Government amend the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to include an obligation to support the Australian aviation sector to develop and compete nationally and internationally.

Recommendation 5
3.192 The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority audit its regulatory framework to ensure that where possible, it aligns and complements the regulatory framework of other jurisdictions, specifically the US Federal Aviation Administration and New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Recommendation 6
3.194 The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority explore opportunities for mutual recognition of Australian and overseas certification, licences and maintenance qualifications.

Recommendation 7
4.85 The committee recommends that the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development instigate an immediate independent review into the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The review should be completed no later than 31 December 2022, with the findings publicly reported.

Recommendation 8
4.95 The committee recommends that a new aviation Industry Complaints Commission be established as a statutory authority. The Commission should sit outside the organisational structure of and be independent from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). In addition to the existing complaints mechanisms available under the current Industry Complaints Commissioner, the new Commission should have the power to investigate and respond to complaints concerning CASA employees, the Director of Aviation Safety and the CASA Board.
4.96 The statutory authority should be supported by adequate financial and staffing resources and be required to table its findings and reports directly to the Parliament.

Recommendation 9
5.75 The committee recommends the Australian Government, as part of its Aviation Recovery Framework, initiates a holistic training review of aviation training pathways. This review should be conducted in consultation with representatives from across the commercial and general aviation sectors, including the General Aviation Advisory Network, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and education representatives.

Recommendation 10
5.78 The committee recommends the Australian Government ensures measures to promote careers in aviation are designed to support both the commercial and general aviation sectors, in recognition of the vital role general aviation plays in the broader aviation ecosystem.

Recommendation 11
6.75 The committee recommends that the Australian Government, through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, establish a legislative framework and associated guidelines for a Regional Aerodrome Infrastructure Fund. The Fund should be accessible to operators of regional and remote aerodromes, and should be provided with ongoing and long-term funding.

Recommendation 12
6.81 The committee recommends the Australian Government ensures that representatives from the general aviation sector are regularly consulted as part of the modernisation of regulations under the Airports Act 1996.

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