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CASA, SeaView and the lessons for the ASRR

2014 is a new year, but a read of the SeaView report should be compulsory reading for every person involved with aviation.

The terms-of-reference for the ASRR should be reviewed and the SeaView TOR implementing similar to below:

Because, the 32 recommendations of Justice Staunton still have not been properly implemented, if at all.

SeaView occurred on 2nd October 1994

This has some significant likely effects on the current ASRR inquiry and it’s effectiveness.

From the Seaview report:

and this still is happening – Senate Inquiry 2012 – PelAir, with the withholding of the “Chamber’s report”.

It has also happened in the prosecution of pilots, such as Quadrio with CASA being non-compliant in the provision of summonsed material for the AAT hearing.

The following extension to the SeaView inquiry was requested as J. Staunton was concerned that matters would not be properly aired.


Pages 2 and 3 need to be read as well.

The issue here is that the industry has come to 2013, with the ASRR [Aviation Safety Regulatory Review]

One that must move to a firm change to regulations that takes Australia to a proper focus and the removal of the current mish-mash of regulations to one that is focussed on the NZ regs or the US FAA style regs.

Both of which meet the requirements for a new direction for the industry, without the issues that have been problematic for us over a long period, where the regulator takes improper and reactive strikes at the industry.

This is demonstrated by the following notes:

14 December 1995

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructure produced the Plane Safe Inquiry into Aviation Safety: the Commuter and General Aviation Sectors report that concentrated on the regulation of a competitive aviation industry by an organisation in conflict, CASA. It said that a combination of poor management and internal battles were counter-productive to aviation safety over the period since 1988.

The report contained an extensive set of recommendations pertaining to the operation of CASA and the need for promulgated safety statistics.

The Government Response of 5 December 1996 largely agreed with the recommendations and noted work on aviation safety indicators and the creation of an independent advisory panel to review regulations.

On the whole, it would seem that the recommendations were implemented, in terms of subsequent reports issued by CASA, the Program Advisory Panel (Kimpton inquiry) and other agencies, as detailed below.

Note that a change of government and ministers occurred on 11 March 1996.

The “reactive” nature of CASA to the industry is shown with the following:

16 November 1994

The CAA grounded four airlines Seaview Air, Yanda Airlines, Newcastle Aviation and Uzu Air after intense surveillance.

They were able to resume once deficiencies were rectified.

Meanwhile, Qantas Airlink was the subject of media attention on safety concerns.

The Parliamentary inquiry into air safety received a submission from a CAA officer claiming that 200 Australian aircraft including commuter planes could lose wings, from structural fatigue.

This is still happening.

The ASRR must finish this off and finalise the way forward.

We cannot have a regulator that is “half pregnant” and 25 years later [after SeaView] is still making the same mistakes.

It is even further shown with the ICAO/ FAA audit of CASA in 2008/2009, with thousands of non-compliances found with international standards.

These can be met as shown by Singapore, for example, without resorting to reporting “differences”.

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