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CASA in Senate estimates hearing McCormick tries to justify slowness

Approval process – Part 145:

Senator Fawcett has put a series of very serious concerns to CASA and the lack of standardisation of people giving approvals, especially Part 145 and slowness.

Barrier Aviation:

He asked why CASA were so severe on Barrier Aviation. General Counsel, Anastasi denied that CASA were not responsible for the delays. McCormick said “Barrier had lots of opportunity to “…go to the Federal Court…”

McCormick admits that AWI’s put “spin” on their decisions. The industry can always complain to the AAT says McCormick.

Senator Fawcett kept at McCormick, saying that CASA is split in it’s ideas. McCormick says they can “…turn someone around in a couple of weeks…”

Says that things can be resolved in their standards division or through ICC.

Criag Jordan says the Bankstown lease had not been sorted prior to shift to the city. Senator Heffernan asked if the harbour views were good. Jordan admits CASA not in front financially with the shift.

What resources were used to “audit” Barrier?? asked Sen Fawcett – was it 3 to 4 people for 1 to 2 days?

The Sen said it was “4 people for 2 weeks twice was actually used to audit Barrier”

McCormick was not satisfied originally as to Barrier being grounded. He says: Further “facts” came to hand and Barrier was grounded.

Was an “outbrief” used after Barrier audit??

Sen. Fawcett asks for the meeting notes.

What type of problem was there really there?? Not enough information that would support a grounding.

PelAir:

Senator Xenophon asks about PelAir, McCormick says CASA’s view was prepared for Albanese some time ago. Gave advice to Truss in September 2013.

McCormick said “senate report was “useful””. Still avoids the questions.

We provided technical input to the Departments response to the Minister [Albanese], which gave our opinion which was about how the Senate reccomendations would mean to CASA.

CASA reply to Senate [PelAir]:

Asked McCormick to provide advise to the Department secretary. Mrdac was in room and asked Mrdac for the CASA report – Mrdac would take on notice. Alleck then further moved away from agreeing to provide “advice to Department”.

Sen X asked for formal tabling of CASA’s response – McCormick tries to deny this going for legal advice.

Fatigue management:

Sen. X asked for the FRMS to be for public scrutiny, McCormick tries to deny operational limits for fatigue.

McCormick waffles around and says will educate inspectors to make it work.

Sky Sentinel [SS]:

Range of questions by Sen. Sterle which shows a cost blow-out to $1.2m in SS. Original cost of SS was $35,000, but $2.47m for re-writing manual, training etc according to McCormick – says its is really good.

No claims or litigation involved in use.

Sen. Fawcett Does “Venta” have a claim of IP breach.

Rewritten into SQL database – code was not like original code.

McCormick – CASA may have a problem with IP breach.

CASA review of Air Services:

Loss of seperation problems identified, with problems with Defence over Loss Seperation.

This review is blaming the military and CASA has no juristiction [Head of Power] says McCormick and Mrdac. CASA/ ASA seem to be at odds with ATSB.

Mrdac shows how intimately he is micro-managing the Department and telling McCormick what to do/ say, as happened in previous hearings.

Sen. X perserveres with questions that direct to problem and that it is a serious safety matter. Airspace person just goes past any questions – says advice was sought for east/ west Sale airspace vs. Defence requirements. No head of power over provision [quality] of services, but do over air-space.

ASA licence [172 process] granted on a conditional basis by CASA.

 ATSB/ CASA MOU:

Did you keep ATSB up-dated with progress [of ASA investigation]? Sen. X

McCormick vacilates on answer and goes for “QON” regarding ATSB information flow.