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CASA Board – What does it really do?

The following comes from the CASA annual reports. It in particular, defines that the Board has particular functions.

These include: “effective and appropriate relationships with the wider aviation community.”

It is understood that matters taken direct to the Board in recent times are deflected and remain un-answered.

The question is: – Does the CASA Board actually meet these requirements??

To understand the operation, the CAC Act [Commonwealth Authorities and
Companies Act 1997 No. 153, 1997 as amended] overlies the way a Board operates and importantly, at s34

(1A) For the purposes of this Act, the Commonwealth controls a
company if, and only if, it:
(a) controls the composition of the company’s board; or

If the answer is no, then the Minister [Truss] is responsible and should be ensuring that the Board responsibility is met at all times and an option is to remove the Board of CASA.

Instead, there has been an increase in numbers, but the industry is yet to see who these two individuals are and whether they meet the Minister’s requirements.

And even when the current Board composition is seen [with a reliance on legal individuals] and only one person with clear links to the aviation community, how can the following requirement be met??

“..small expert Board of five members appointed by the Minister…”



From the last two annual reports, in part, I have the following [by Hawkes]:

2012-2013 statement by Chair

CASA’s Board has regularly and actively engaged with key industry participants at their board and executive management level to remain up to date with industry issues and to provide the opportunity for direct feedback. In addition, the Director continues his demanding program of visits to operators and certificate holders, particularly in regional Australia.

This level of direct engagement has been recognised by the industry as beneficial to their interests, and has resulted in an overall high level of satisfaction with CASA’s direction and leadership.

2011-2012 statement by Chair

Looking to the future, the Minister has approved CASA’s Corporate Plan for 2012–15. It retains the three central goals from the 2011–14 plan that the Board expects to be a focus of the many safety-related challenges facing both the industry and CASA as the industry’s safety regulator.

The goals are:

 comprehensive, consistent and effective regulation to enhance aviation safety;

 good governance and

 continuous improvement of organisational efficiency; and

 effective and appropriate relationships with the wider aviation community.

While these goals sound simple, the strategies that underpin them are ambitious and will require innovation and strong teamwork to achieve.


The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill improves the capacity and effectiveness of CASA to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex and diverse aviation industry. CASA must have the right structure, resources and legal framework to regulate the civil aviation industry to protect the travelling public, industry participants and the wider community.

The CASA Board created by this legislation will be a small expert Board of five members appointed by the Minister. The Board will strengthen CASA’s governance arrangements, and provide strong support to the Director of Aviation Safety and the Minister. It will also play an important role monitoring CASA’s effectiveness and accountability across its range of functions. The Board will facilitate stronger links between CASA and other government agencies, and allow for more meaningful and constructive input from industry and other relevant stakeholders into strategy.

Circumstances have clearly changed since the decision in 2003 to abolish the CASA Board. Since then, a substantial amount of organisational reform has been undertaken within CASA, something acknowledged by the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport in its recent report “Administration of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and related matters”. The way CASA interacts with the aviation industry and the wider Australian aviation community has also evolved. Importantly, this Bill implements one of the Senate Committee Report’s key recommendations — to introduce a small board of up to five members to provide enhanced oversight and strategic direction for CASA.

The Board will assist CASA to manage the implications of industry growth and trends such as increasing pressures on secondary airports, low cost carriers, and changing aircraft and navigation technology. There is widespread support within the aviation industry for a new CASA Board, and the Board will ensure effective interaction between the regulator and industry.

The new Board will facilitate better relations across agencies with safety responsibilities and also allow for more meaningful industry input into strategy. It is important to be clear that this Board will not be ‘representational’. CASA’s role inherently involves striking a balance between the competing needs of different industry sectors and, when appointing Board members, the Minister must ensure the Board has an appropriate balance of professional expertise.

The Board will operate at a strategic level – to give high-level direction to CASA’s regulatory and safety oversight role, but not blur the clear lines of authority and accountability for day to day decisions. It will be broadly responsible for CASA’s strategic direction, risk management and corporate planning.

The primary duties of the Board will include deciding on the objectives, strategies and policies to be followed by CASA; ensuring CASA performs its functions in a proper, efficient and effective manner; and ensuring that CASA complies with certain directions given by the Minister.

The Director of Aviation Safety will be an ex officio Board member and continue to manage CASA under the Board’s strategic guidance. The Director will retain executive responsibility for day-to-day decision-making, staffing and financial management. The Director of Aviation Safety will be directly responsible to the Board.

CASA needs to be able to use its oversight and enforcement tools in a progressive and effective manner, consistent with contemporary practices and procedures. This Bill introduces a range of measures designed to improve CASA’s ability to take necessary safety actions, particularly in relation to foreign carriers operating into Australia.

2009 – 2010 Annual report

CASA Board

The CASA Board is established under Part VII of the Civil Aviation Act. The Board consists of the Director of Aviation Safety (the Director) and up to four members, including the Chair and the Deputy Chair.
Board members are appointed on a part-time basis by the Minister for a maximum term of three years, subject to possible reappointment. In appointing Board members, the Minister must ensure that there is an appropriate balance of appropriate professional expertise, but need not ensure that particular sectors of the aviation industry are represented.

According to the Civil Aviation Act, the functions of the Board are to:
■■ decide CASA’s objectives, strategies and policies
■■ ensure that CASA performs its functions in a proper, efficient and effective manner
■■ ensure that CASA complies with ministerial directions given under section 12B.
After consulting with the Minister, the Board appoints the Director for a maximum period of five years, subject to possible reappointment. In accordance with the policies, and subject to the general directions of the Board, the Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of CASA and for ensuring that CASA performs its regulatory, safety-related and other functions in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act.

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