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AVMED and CASA – Who makes the decisions??

The following is a compilation of the current CASA AVMED head and the McSherry case in the AAT should be reviewed with the following issues raised as a query:

  1.  Honorary, Adjunct and Visiting Appointments

Victoria University (‘Honorary, Adjunct and Visiting Appointments’), is clear about when and how the title can be used, namely:

• during the term of the appointment;
• when carrying out any activity that forms part of the person’s contribution to
the university;
• for ceremonial and courtesy purposes only;

VU’s policy also states that the person carrying the title of ‘Adjunct Professor’ ‘does
not have the authority to represent or hold him/herself out to any third party that he/she acts as agent, employee or partner of the University or has power or authority to directly or indirectly to [sic] bind the University’

The ANU policy could not be found, but the above should be considered in the use of the term by Dr. Pooshan.

Dr. Pooshan also has a position at Otago University at which he calls himself  ‘Clinical Senior Lecturer, Aviation Medicine’, which is quite different to the ‘position’ claimed at ANU, while full-time at CASA.

2. Adjunct Associate Professor Pooshan Navathe

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Epidemiology & Population Health


02 6217 1005




Areas of expertise

  • Medical Physiology Not Elsewhere Classified
  • Environmental And Occupational Health And Safety
  • Medical And Health Sciences Not Elsewhere Classified

Research interests

Clinical aviation Medicine

Aeromedical decision making

Risk management and uncertainty management in medicine


Pooshan Navathe is the Principal Medical Officer at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority(CASA), and leads a multi-disciplinary team at CASA’s Office of Aviation Medicine, located in Canberra. Dr Navathe is a highly experienced aviation medicine and occupational medicine consultant, having spent over two decades in the military as a flight surgeon, and a decade in regulatory aviation medicine in New Zealand and Australia.

Dr. Navathe is an acknowledged authority on spatial disorientation, with his work being extensively quoted in standard text books on the subject. He has also worked extensively on training fighter crews to improve acceleration tolerance (and studying the effects and improvements following training), by imparting special techniques in the human centrifuge. He was involved in the development of oxygen systems for high altitude helicopter operations, and he gained his Ph D by studying the effects of acclimatisation on psychomotor performance in high altitude aircrew. While having remained a practitioner throughout his career, he has participated in the preparation of more than 175 articles and scientific presentations to professional societies.

In the area of civil aviation medicine, Dr Navathe is one of a group of regulators with a passionate belief in evidence based risk management as the cornerstone of regulatory aeromedical decision making. He has been involved in setting up the paradigms for evidence based decision making in New Zealand, and leads a team that is working towards them in Australia. He has taught, and continues to teach clinical aviation medicine, and is a respected practitioner in the field. He is currently undertaking a study to evaluate risk and uncertainty management in aviation medicine.

Dr Navathe is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, a Member of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. As an active fellow of the Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, he continues to be actively involved in the assessment and mentoring of occupational physicians.


The following is a list of the associated publications of this person, related or apparently related to aviation, with all publications [except one in 2002] being prior to 1995 in his own name and principal author. The rest, listed below are with other authors.

So since 2002, there has only been two publications that Dr. Navathe has been involved in, with only [of all the publications] submitted to an Australian Journal.

As a person who is well associated with the research requirements in Australia, I would ask as to if Dr. Navathe is adequately qualified for the position he has at CASA, with only [Med J Aust. 2010 Oct 18;193(8):469-71. ] one publication in the recent past:

Dr. Navathe publications as lead author:


Recent Associated Publications [not lead author]:

[I note that the following are all employees of CASA – David J. P. Fitzgerald , Pooshan D. Navathe , and A. Michael Drane]

The following is attached to the paper, where reliance is made on AAT decisions – most unusual I would say nad only one other paper!!!:

Competing interests
None identified.
Author details
David J P Fitzgerald, MBBS(Hons), DipAvMed, FAFOEM(RACP), Senior Medical Officer
Pooshan D Navathe, MBBS, FAFOEM(RACP), PhD, Principal Medical Officer
A Michael Drane, MBBS, MAvMed, FRNZCGP, Senior Medical Officer Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Canberra, ACT.
Correspondence: David.Fitzgerald@casa.gov.au
1 International Civil Aviation Organization Air Navigation Bureau. Aviation medicine section. What is aviation medicine? http://www.icao.int/icao/en/med/desc.htm (accessed Jan 2010).
2 Cox DJ, Gonder-Frederick L, Clarke W. Driving decrements in type I diabetes during moderate hypoglycemia. Diabetes 1993; 42: 239-243.
3 Serong and Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2006] AATA 1123. Administrative
Appeals Tribunal, Commonwealth of Australia. http://
www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/aat/2006/1123.html (accessed Jan2010).
4 Badaoui and Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2003] AATA 1059. Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/aat/2003/1059.html (accessed Jan2010).
(Received 6 Jan 2010, accepted 17 May 2010)
Prior to 2000:

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