An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.


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Same, same from Pip Spence

Well, Pip Spence (October 2022 Briefing) moves from what she should be doing, to an “…all knowing, all dancing…” eVTOL







How about you just look after GA, AVMED and other important grass roots matters first Ms Spence.

We await your reply and activity.

I note that people have been corresponding with you and like McCormick, Skidmore and Carmody immediately before you, these are being ignored. Wait times for replies can be up to 8 weeks (OR NEVER).


Director of Aviation Safety, Pip Spence (October 2022 Briefing)

The futuristic lines of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are an obvious focal point for the popular narrative around ‘air taxis’ and advanced air mobility.

But equally important is the infrastructure that will support these impressive pieces of modern technology when they start arriving in Australia in the next few years.

You can’t have a flying taxi service until you have the ‘vertiports’ at which eVTOLs can safely land and take off.

Australia is part of the global effort to introduce this exciting new technology and we see industry collaboration as a key to its successful implementation.

A CASA team with extensive aerodrome experience has set the ball rolling by examining what vertiports could look like, where and how they might operate as well as the safety requirements governing their design and operation.

Within a month, we expect to release Australia’s first draft advisory circular on the design of vertiports on our consultation hub.

The circular is a concrete example of our new Remotely Piloted Aircraft System RPAS and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Strategic Regulatory Roadmap in action and is in keeping with the Australian government’s National Emerging Aviation Technologies (NEAT) policy.

We also believe we’re one of the first regulators outside of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide this kind of advice.

This a complex issue and we’re allowing 3 months of consultation so everybody can get their heads around the concepts. We’re keen to hear what the industry thinks.

We want industry working with us from the start of this process so this feedback will also go to a proposed vertiport design and operations technical working group (TWG) that the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel is considering establishing.

This is a different way of using a TWG and means the group will help us establish our regulatory framework for AAM infrastructure rather than presenting it with a proposal and hashing out the details.

This is in line with our approach with the RPAS and AAM roadmap.

In that case, we began with a technical working group of 13 industry participants followed by sub-working groups that included a total of 73 participants, two-thirds of whom came from the RPAS and AAM sectors.

The success of the approach was underscored by the positive response the draft version of the roadmap received after its release for public consultation.

Our plan is to take what the European and US regulators have done a step further by making the design of vertiports performance based.

This will put the onus on vertiport operators to understand how the aircraft they intend to support is likely to affect the design of a facility.

There will not be just one flavour of vertiport but an array of designs in a range of circumstances.

Obviously, CASA’s safety requirements will not be the only factor to influence where a vertiport will be located and how it will operate.

Land use requirements by governments and other considerations outside our remit, such as noise and environmental impacts, will also come into play.

We need to move now because the new technology will be with us sooner than many people think.

eVTOL test fights are already underway overseas with some companies expecting to start operations in the next 2 to 3 years.

The FAA and EASA recently published design guidelines for vertiports and several concepts have already emerged in Europe.

Europe’s Volocopter, for example, conducted its first flight test using a crewed eVTOL launched early last month from a vertiport at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

Aeroporti di Roma wants to launch commercial operations by 2024.

Joby Aviation is also well progressed in the US certification process and Embraer offshoot Eve, which has already signed agreements with Australian companies, will not be far behind.

We achieved an Australian first earlier this year when we announced with the FAA and Swoop Aero that we were collaborating on the joint type and production certification of Swoop’s latest drone, the Kite.

We’ve been in discussions with Joby and we’re keenly interested in moves by companies such as AMSL Aero that can develop home-grown eVTOL aircraft.

Also on our radar are plans by Australian carriers Rex and Skytrans to retrofit aircraft with electric or hybrid-electric propulsion.

Our collaboration with other Australian agencies about advanced air mobility includes our 2021 memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Airservices Australia and the Victorian government to support the sector.

Vertiports are another example of how CASA is tackling the future of aviation.

As CASA Chair Mark Binskin noted in his recent P. G. Taylor address at Safeskies, the changes hurtling towards us mean CASA must think broadly, embrace innovation and be flexible.

All the best,


casa Board chair – Binskin on “Respect and Trust”

Well, read the Binskin address and weep.

This address will not build trust, when comments such as:

At CASA, we’re keen to see a wide-ranging, co-operative approach.

Oh yeah.

I rang the casa Cantberra office a few weeks ago [about 10] and it took five phone calls to get a response from the person I needed.

Talked to co-operative EA’s [whatever they are!!], with lots of promises, but the people thay were making the promises for just wouldn’t respond.

Sooo I sent a letter to the ceo, Pip Spence, who is a defacto casa Board member, some 5 weeks ago. No response at week 4, so I asked again.

Still no response.

“At CASA, we’re keen to see a wide-ranging, co-operative approach.”

Certainly NOT at the executive level.


Binskins talk to “SafeSkies”

Binskin’s Four Pillars for Respect and Trust
14 October 2022

From Australian Flying

CASA Chairman Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Mark Binksin has said that respect and trust for the aviation safety regulator depend on four pillars.
Binskin, who took over as CASA chair last year, made the comments in a video speech released this week that was delivered as the PG Taylor address to the Safeskies conference in September.

“I said at the start of the year that I wanted CASA to be a regulator that is respected and trusted by those we regulate,” he said.

“The four pillars of that push are transparency, collaboration, a focus on the aviation community and a commitment to making a difference to safety.

“We are not just looking at the efficacy of what we do, but also the cost and the impact on the industry and individual operators.”

Although Binkin’s comments address several concerns the general aviation community has expressed about dealing with CASA, he also cautioned the industry that they won’t always get what they want.

” … this doesn’t mean we will be able to be everyone’s friend,” he said. We are still the regulator, and we are committed to ensuring the safety of the millions of Australians who are returning to the skies, and who put their trust in us.

“We are also dedicated to ensuring that the Australian aviation system maintains its global reputation as one of the world’s safest.

“But I want operators and aviation organisations to understand why we have made decisions. It may sometimes be the case that people do not like what we do, but we intend to make sure that they understand why we do it.”

The concept of respect and trust as key to reforming CASA was first stated in the regulatory philosophy introduced by former Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore in 2015. That philosophy itself was the result of a recommendation made the previous year in the Aviation Safety Regulation Review.

The full transcript of Binskin’s speech to Safeskies is on the CASA website.

Here is the casa transcript:

Date 11 October 2022

Location Online

Speaker Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Mark Binskin, AC Chair of the CASA Board

I’d like to start by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the land on which SafeSkies is meeting and their continuing connection to land, water and community; and pay my respects to elders past and present.

Thanks, too, to the organisers of this year’s SafeSkies for arranging an impressive roster of speakers to rekindle Australia’s premier aviation safety event after the ravages of COVID.

Thanks also for their flexibility, and adaptability, in rearranging the program due to the Public Holiday to remember and honour her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

I’d also like to pay tribute to two giants of Australian public life, who we recently lost: Peter Lloyd AC OBE MiD and Dr Allan Hawke AC.

Among his many aviation triumphs, Peter was instrumental in founding this conference and building it up to a world-class event.

Allan, of course, counted stints as CASA’s chair, and as Secretary of the Department of Transport and Regional Services, and the Department of Defence as part of an impressive list of public service achievements.

All were a great loss.

Hats off to P. G.  Taylor
It’s easy for every generation to think it’s the one bearing the brunt of sweeping technological change and charting new courses into undiscovered territory.

Yet, when Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor died in 1966, he and his generation had seen enormous technological strides that took the aerospace industry from that historic first flight by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk to the Boeing 707.

Military jets had broken the sound barrier — The Lockheed SR-71 ‘Blackbird”, by 1966, had already shown in flight testing that it could top Mach 3 — construction was underway on the Concorde prototypes, and the US was preparing the massive Saturn V rockets that would take humanity to the moon.

It was a far cry from the Sopwith Pup scouts that Taylor flew at the start of his career as the Australian airman and his contemporaries set the stage for the impressive technological breakthroughs that followed.

The skies were basically uncluttered when Taylor travelled to Britain to join the Royal Flying Corps, where he was awarded the Military Cross and promoted to Captain.

They would become busier over the next decade as he studied engineering and navigation, worked for England’s de Havilland Aircraft Company, operated a seaplane in Sydney and flew as a captain for Australian National Airlines.

As aviation progressed in the 1930s, he continued to make his mark as the second pilot and navigator for Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s 1933 and 1934 flights between Australia and New Zealand in the Southern Cross, and with Charles Ulm for two flights between Australia and England in 1933.

In 1934, Smithy and Taylor completed the first Australia-US flight in the Lady Southern Cross, but it was on a flight a year later between Australia and New Zealand for the King George V jubilee airmail attempt that Taylor became a legend.

The Southern Cross was half-way to New Zealand when the centre engine’s exhaust manifold broke off and severely damaged the starboard propellor.

The engine was shut down, the cargo jettisoned, and the plane turned back to Australia.

But it wasn’t long before oil pressure on the port engine began to fall alarmingly.

As his entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography notes, Taylor reacted heroically.

He went outside and edged his way along the strut to collect oil from the disabled starboard engine in a thermos flask so it could be transferred to the port engine – repeating the process six times with the help of wireless operator John Stannage.

It’s a safe bet that going outside to change the oil during flight was never a recommended maintenance procedure – nor am I sure where we would look to include it into in the current CASA Regulation suite!

But it was an innovative solution and it worked – the aircraft landed safely in Mascot.

P. G. Taylor was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal, which later became the George Cross, and went on to operate more pioneering flights, including the first flight across the Indian Ocean from Port Hedland to Kenya, a survey flight from Bermuda to Sydney and a mission from Australia to Chile.

He continued to win many awards and wrote eight books as an accomplished author.

During his career, Taylor experienced huge technological leaps as he progressed from the Sopwith Pup and a Gipsy Moth seaplane, to Catalinas and a Sandringham 7 flying boat.

But it was not just the technology that made those early years of aviation exciting — it was what pioneers such as Taylor, Smithy and Ulm did with it, and how they were allowed to spread their wings.

People were allowed to experiment in all sorts of ways and that was how the industry progressed so quickly.

The importance of experimentation hasn’t diminished.

The future is not just about technology, it’s about people, about attitudes and about the need to innovate.

We’re approaching an era that could arguably see as much change as there was in the first 50 years of aviation.

New technologies are emerging in areas such as propulsion, aircraft design, artificial intelligence, communications and manufacturing.

This is requiring all of us to be broader in our thinking and more flexible in our outlook.

And CASA wants to work with industry and the broader aviation community to bring these new technologies forward.

The Challenge of Change
Aviation is the lifeblood of this country, particularly for regional and remote areas, and I believe that new technology will help expand that role.

Nonetheless, the explosion of aviation innovation that we are currently seeing makes it doubly important that participants prepare for change.

That applies to everyone in the sector, from sports and recreational pilots to major airlines, air navigation service providers and – yes – regulators.

At CASA, we’re keen to see a wide-ranging, co-operative approach.

When P.G. Taylor took to the skies, aviation was an emerging industry entering a domain that was empty, except for the birds.

Today we have emerging technologies entering a complex domain that already hosts an established industry.

It will not be possible for the new kids on the runway to blast through without accepting the fact that they have to integrate with the industry as it exists today.

Embracing the future does not mean we forget the “here and now” — there will need to be, as there was in Taylor’s time, an approach where legacy operations co-exist with the new.

CASA will continue to support the traditional aviation sectors, as well as promote a rational way forward.

However, existing operators must also understand the need for flexibility and the need to share the skies with new technologies such as uncrewed drones and air taxis.

We need to make sure we have a culture across industry, CASA and government that is open-minded in how we address challenges and is willing to embrace collaboration.

It will sometimes be the case that a particular sector will not get the answer it wants.

But rather than sniping from the sidelines, that sector will need to be flexible and embrace the path that leads to the best overall outcome for the aviation community and, ultimately, this country.

Industry will need to come together to put considered positions to CASA and the government, and I expect various associations to play a huge part in putting forward a collective view to help our work.

I would also urge those groups to put any baggage they may continue to carry behind them: in short, look forward and don’t dwell on the past.

CASA will need to do the same.

The alternative to embracing change does not bear contemplating.

As General Eric Shineski, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former US Army Chief of Staff, once said: ‘If you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance even less’.

CASA is backing innovation
The headline acts in the aviation revolution have already been identified as remotely piloted aircraft systems and advanced air mobility.

But there are others.

CASA has a reputation for being at the forefront of drone regulation and we also intend to be in the vanguard when it comes to other areas.

Commercial drone registrations in Australia continue to grow and increased 8.6 percent last financial year to come within a whisker of 30,000.

That was an increase of almost 2400 registered commercial drones in 2021-22 alone.

Not only did the numbers grow but so did the technology.

Drones are becoming more capable and moving steadily towards the day when they operate alongside conventional aircraft, fully integrated into shared airspace.

This is hardly surprising given their usefulness in activities ranging from logistics, mining, agriculture and defence; to entertainment, marine research, policing and mapping.

A study by Deloitte Access Economic estimates drones will contribute $1.5 billion to the economy by 2025, and this is expected to increase to $14.5 billion by 2040.

I’m pleased to say that Australia has a drone manufacturing industry, and that CASA is working to help it get global recognition.

For the first time in our aviation history, we are working with the US Federal Aviation Administration and a local company – in this case Swoop Aero – on joint type and production certification of Swoop Aero’s latest aircraft, The Kite.

The Kite application will be the first production certificate issued by CASA for an RPAS, and the first time we have collaborated with the FAA on a joint RPAS type certification project.

We also expect this kind of collaborative activity to hold us in good stead for future AAM initial airworthiness work.

But there’s plenty of other action in the drone sector.

The Loyal Wingman, Australia’s first domestically designed and built combat drone, shows that we have the expertise to be up there with the best in the world.

This high-powered collaboration between the RAAF and Boeing (and a number of Australian companies) is seen as a pathfinder in terms of the use of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence in smart human-machine interfaces.

Sydney-based Carbonix has developed a cutting-edge drone, in conjunction with Ausgrid, that offers a new level of aerial surveying capability.

It has the ability to fly 8-10 hours, carry a 7-kilogram payload and has satellite connectivity.

Innovative Australian research includes a move by South Australian scientists to reverse engineer the visual systems of hoverflies to detect the acoustic signature of drones from up to four kilometres away.

The research involving the University of South Australia, Flinders University and defence company Midspar Systems uses a biologically inspired signal processing system to give a 50 per cent better detection rate than existing technology.

It is also the first time a map of an insect vision system has been applied to acoustic data.

And no – I can’t visualise how that reverse engineering is actually carried out!

The Wing Project, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, recently expanded its drone deliveries through a partnership with Coles after we gave it permission last year to perform the world’s first rooftop operations.

It is pledging to deliver groceries to people within minutes from a hub stocked with 250 of the supermarket chain’s top-selling items.

CASA recognises that, in addition to safety, the regulation of drones must balance issues such as privacy, noise, accessibility to airspace and technological change.

I note that not all of these are in CASA’s domain, but we are committed to continuing to work closely with, and support this sector as it continues to expand.

The game is also afoot in the advanced air mobility sector and there are exciting developments in electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, or eVTOLs.

There are many companies around the world, including some of the big aerospace manufacturers, involved in this area as excitement builds about what the media has dubbed ‘air taxis.’

Earlier this year, the World eVTOL Aircraft Directory announced it had catalogued 300 models of eVTOL aircraft, compared to less than a dozen when it launched in 2017.

We can’t afford to watch and wait in this area.

Some companies are already signing agreements with Australian operators, most notably the Embraer offshoot – Eve.

An arrangement with BAE Systems unveiled at the Farnborough Airshow in July saw Eve’s potential eVTOL backlog hit 2,060, claimed as the biggest in the AAM industry.

However, it may not be the first eVTOL company to achieve certification.

It’s presently anticipated that Joby Aviation, which is well progressed in the US certification process, will be ready to start operations in the US in 2025.

We don’t know whether Joby intends to start in Australia that year, but we’re working around that possibility.

Our expectation is that Eve and Europe’s Volocopter will not be too far behind it.

Nor is all of the action overseas.

Australia’s AMSL Aero is in the research and development phase of an eVTOL aircraft and is in discussions with CASA about a type certificate.

This is exactly the sort of innovation we need to encourage.

One area that will be particularly complex will be AAM and drone landing sites, or vertiports – the trendy name for eVTOL landing areas.

Recently, a UK company called Urban-Airport launched a proof-of-concept vertiport called “Air One” in the English city of Coventry.

The doughnut-like building is designed to be deployed across multiple locations as a hub for aircraft such as eVTOL air taxis and drones operating across areas ranging from delivery to disaster management.

We have identified the need to do more work around the standards and regulations that might be required for ‘vertiports’.

The International Civil Aviation Organization is also looking at criteria for the design, construction and use of vertiports.

However, we believe CASA will need to provide guidance on vertiports to operators and planning authorities well ahead of ICAO’s timeframe of applying standards in mid-2027.

CASA has a dedicated vertiport team with extensive aerodrome experience already working on this.

Our team is looking at policy matters such as the extent to which vertiport and heliport standards can be harmonised and potential overlap with RPAS landing sites.

The need for engineers
While eVTOL and RPAS grab the headlines, there are other “under the cowling” developments that will have significant impact on Australian aviation.

A conventional aircraft retrofitted with electric engines may not look as exquisite as a shiny, sleek eVTOL, but it’s something being explored here by Rex and Queensland’s Skytrans Airlines.

Rex is looking at retrofitting some of its Saabs with electric motors supported by a combination of batteries and hydrogen.

Meanwhile, Skytrans is looking at trialling a hydrogen-electric propulsion system installed on a Beechcraft 1900D.

This underlines my previous point that we need to be able to consider various options, and remain flexible, if we are going to get the most out of advances in technology.

Just like we are seeing in the car industry, we can expect a change to electric propulsion across all areas of aviation.

Our Board met this year in Adelaide and we had the chance to see a Pipistrel electric aircraft.

As an ex-fast jet pilot used to the internal organs vibrating from an afterburning engine, it was a unique experience standing next to this little aircraft as it was running – but it is a sign of the future!

The Pipistrel is where Tesla cars were a few years ago and there are not a lot of them around now.

But wait a few years and as the technology advances, so will the accessibility of small electric aircraft.

There is an obvious flow-on effect of this, particularly when it comes to maintenance.

We need engineers of all stripes — which is one of the reasons CASA offers scholarships in this area — but we will soon be needing people with a different skillset.

Technicians with the skills to maintain and repair airframes, propulsion systems, and avionics will be essential in taking our industry into the future.

We also need to be looking at who will train these engineers and what skills they will need to master.

Green hydrogen is another area that is gaining momentum and one in which sundrenched Australia has an advantage.

What was dismissed as a viable aviation fuel not so long ago because of its low volumetric energy density, is now under consideration in terms of electric fuel cells, and even as a fuel in its own right.

For long-haul flights, however, international airlines are telling us sustainable aviation fuels are the only alternative in the medium term.

However, unlike the current system involving a limited number of refineries shipping fossil fuels at increasing expense around the world, sustainable aviation fuels lend themselves to a decentralised production system, with smaller plants spread globally.

Again, Australia has a chance to develop industries and expertise.

And again, being innovative and broader in our thinking will pay off.

Connectivity and computers
It was once the speed and manoeuvrability of a fighter that defined its superiority – and that still plays a part.

But equally important is the technology it has on board and how it fits into a network.

In short, we no longer look at a military aircraft as an individual platform but as part of a system.

This has also been happening in the civilian world with the spread of the Internet of Things, improvements in digital communication and increases in computer power.

Rolls-Royce, for example, has for some time been monitoring and recording how its aircraft engines are performing around the world.

The company’s Engine Health Management system allows the transfer of data from an engine on an aircraft to an operational centre on the ground.

The latest version is capable of measuring thousands of parameters, and the engine can respond to requests to focus on a particular part, or parameter, sending back hundreds of hours of information in response to the request.

Advantages of the system include predictive maintenance that allows components to be replaced before they fail, as well as a wealth of data to inform product development and risk management.

The downside of this is that we know there are state actors and organised criminals who would dearly like to co-opt this technology for their own nefarious ends.

So cybersecurity is going to be an important part of the new aviation landscape, just as it now plays a role in our day-to-day lives.

And yes, with it comes more questions than answers at the moment.

How we produce parts for aircraft is also changing.

Airframe manufacturers, and even engine makers are already using “additive manufacturing” and 3D printers to produce some components.

Additive manufacturing allows extremely complex components to be made with minimal waste, as they are needed, and where they are needed.

We expect this process to keep expanding across the industry, and this will pose interesting questions for regulators.

CASA and change
So where does CASA sit in this cornucopia of change?

How are we backing the innovators?

We were one of the first regulators to recognise the importance of drones, and we are determined to remain in the vanguard when it comes to future developments.

Work is underway across the Australian Government to ensure there’s a coordinated approach to emerging aviation technology.

We’re collaborating closely with fellow agencies — for example, we’re talking to Airservices Australia about airspace management — to ensure our thinking is aligned.

And we are talking to fellow regulatory agencies around the world to ensure standards are aligned and that we minimise regulatory work to avoid unnecessary burdens and, importantly, increased cost to industry.

The US Federal Aviation Administration and the UK Civil Aviation Authority recently announced an agreement to discuss AAM regulatory matters, especially centred on the proposed deployment of Joby operations into the UK.

CASA is looking to do the same, and our talks with regulators include those in the UK, US and New Zealand as we work to ensure AAM achieves the high safety standards expected by the public.

Locally, we signed a memorandum of understanding with our portfolio Department, Airservices Australia and the State Government of Victoria to support advanced air mobility.

This will see us work closely with all parties to the MoU to develop an aligned regulatory environment that supports growth and innovation in the advanced air mobility sector.

Internally, we are working across the organisation on these issues and looking at how we handle the initial, small-scale deployment of AAM.

A challenge for CASA, and our colleagues at Airservices, is to design, implement and operate airspace that can give everyone fair access to the skies.

Again, this is a global issue and we are working with our international counterparts.

There needs to be agreement on how the traditional and emerging sectors of the industry will work together: crewed and uncrewed, as well as conventional aircraft, and those utilising new power sources such as electricity and hydrogen.

Airspace is another area where industry associations can come together and put forward a considered and collective position to help this complex work.

The RPAS and Advanced Air Mobility Regulatory Roadmap
At the heart of our future is our recently released RPAS and Advanced Air Mobility Strategic Regulatory Roadmap.

This outlines our approach for safely integrating RPAS and AAM technologies into Australia’s airspace alongside traditional aviation, and looks at a future regulatory system.

We wanted to provide a plan that outlined the long-term vision for the Australian RPAS and advanced air mobility regulatory regime, and the integration of these technologies into the civil aviation system.

Also notable was the industry collaboration that went into putting it together.

And I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved.

Our approach was a change from previous consultations, where CASA has tended to develop policy – and then consult with industry on implementation through Technical Working Groups.

In this case, we wanted to consult with industry stakeholders early in the policy-making stage.

That consultation involved an intense effort involving 73 professionals across the industry.

The process recognised that much of what is happening today is so new, and is evolving so quickly, that no single organisation can solve the complex issues that need to be addressed.

No-one is pretending the changes will be easy, and we will also have to adapt in regulatory areas that go beyond airspace design, such as licensing, operational certificates and flight rules.

But again, it comes back to everybody in the industry working together as we move into the future.

Another interesting facet of the plan is something called a ‘regulatory sandbox’.

Just as PG Taylor and his contemporaries had the freedom to experiment, the regulatory sandbox is about inviting industry to work with CASA to test and come up with novel products, services and concepts.

However, a difference from those early derring-do days is that they will be able to do this is in an environment that is flexible and safe.

Hopefully, this means it will not involve going out on the wing to change the oil!

But, at its core, is that we want Australians to do what they have always done: innovate.

We are a smart people drawn from all over the world and we have always punched above our weight when it comes to thinking up new ideas.

Which is one of the reasons we set up the Future Strategies Task Force.

The Future Strategies Taskforce aimed to identify the major activities that CASA should be undertaking to get ready for emerging technologies that are farther into the future.

It looked at seven broad topic areas: airspace, RPAS, advanced air mobility, evolved conventional operations, landing sites issues, enabling capabilities and high-altitude operations.

CASA is now working on more detailed business planning for some of the near-future technologies and considering next steps for technologies farther into the future.

And we aim to have a high level public document detailing these priorities out by the end of this year.

Keeping it simple
We are conscious that the regulatory environment can be quite complex – in fact that is an understatement!

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with The Book of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile.

One of the entries is a Portuguese-English dictionary compiled by Pedro Carlino, a man who, unfortunately, had little or no command of either language.

Among the phrases Mr Carlino suggested tourists might find useful were such classics as “Exculpate me by your brother’s’, ‘dress your hairs’ and “she make the prude” as well as a useful section on “idiotisms and proverbs”.

Interpretation is a tricky exercise as anybody attempting to translate complex legal or bureaucratic jargon knows.

Which is why CASA is producing Plain English Guides, or PEGs – and yes, the Plain English Guide does get an acronym.

We see these guides as important safety tools that make it easier to understand the rules and regulations.

The PEGs cover issues such as the general operating and flight rules, the operation of small drones weighing no more than 2 kilograms, and fatigue management.

Also written in plain English is our popular Visual Flight Rules Guide, and more PEGs are on their way.

While this is a move to make our regulations more accessible, I think it will also be important in helping us all to navigate a changing aviation environment.

Clarity is a knife that can cut through confusion, misinterpretation and apprehension.

If only Mr Calino understood.

Safety is still our middle name
Increased accessibility is a good segue to bring us back to the present, and look at what CASA is doing today.

Safety is always the priority for CASA, and we are conducting research and analysis into the rate of serious incidents as we continue with our pilot education programs.

These include our podcasts, Flight Safety Australia articles, and our nationwide aviation safety seminars highlighting issues such as handling bad weather and avoiding flying beyond your personal limits.

We have just launched our latest campaign, ‘Your Safety is in Your Hands’, and it is tracking well.

Backed by other government agencies and aviation industry groups, the campaign consists of 4 main safety focus areas based on a review of Australian Transport Safety Bureau occurrence data.

We kicked off the campaign with a focus on non-controlled aerodromes, while future safety topics will examine forecasting and navigating weather, flight planning and using controlled aerodromes.

We have also recently announced that we are launching a new scholarship for safety managers.

Safety managers play an important role in maintaining the level of safety that members of the travelling public, regulators and the industry have come to expect.

The aim is to assist those involved in this key position to increase their knowledge and skills through professional development.

We will provide three scholarships, of up to $5000 each, to people with a minimum of two years’ experience in the industry.

Recipients will need to demonstrate a commitment to aviation safety, initiative and a high standard of aptitude and safety culture.

You can find out more information on the CASA website.

Changing within
It’s been a busy year for CASA as we emerged from COVID lockdown, launched our General Aviation Workplan, bedded down our flight operations suite, and transitioned almost all previously certified aerodromes to a new regime.

The GA Workplan is a priority for CASA – both for the Board and management — that aims to contain costs and reduce regulatory burden, while maintaining Australia’s high safety standards.

It draws together regulatory initiatives stretching into next year, and aims to help people in General Aviation understand when, why and how regulatory changes will come into effect.

We’ve committed to reporting on our progress and explaining if, and when, milestones aren’t met.

While we are making every endeavour to deliver to the committed timeframe, it’s a fact of life that sometimes plans get delayed – when that happens, we want to be upfront with people.

And where we experience problems, we will seek to address them and keep industry informed.

We also want to make sure industry is part of the regulatory process and, as I mentioned with the RPAS and AAM strategic roadmap, we have continued to consult on key changes.

This is important, and something we do at various stages of policy development — in the early stages of development, and again when we take that policy and your feedback and start writing the regulations.

When we put something out for consultation it is not set in stone, but it is a result of hard work by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel, the technical working groups and, often, input from broader industry.

The aim is to make sure we have it right and to avoid unintended consequences.

We also want to understand the impact of our proposals on operators – big and small.

I said at the start of the year that I wanted CASA to be a regulator that is respected and trusted by those we regulate.

The four pillars of that push are transparency, collaboration, a focus on the aviation community and a commitment to making a difference to safety.

We are not just looking at the efficacy of what we do, but also the cost and the impact on the industry and individual operators.

However, this doesn’t mean we will be able to be everyone’s friend.

We are still the regulator, and we are committed to ensuring the safety of the millions of Australians who are returning to the skies, and who put their trust in us.

We are also dedicated to ensuring that the Australian aviation system maintains its global reputation as one of the world’s safest.

But I want operators and aviation organisations to understand why we have made decisions.

It may sometimes be the case that people do not like what we do, but we intend to make sure that they understand why we do it.

A key to this is improving communications with the aviation community and being consistent in what we say, and how we do it.

We want to provide you with a clear understanding of where we are going and, importantly, why we are going there.

If we decide not to proceed with an initiative, or put something on ‘hold’, we want to be clear on why we changed our approach and what we plan to do next.

We also want to understand how our actions may affect you and what you will need to do to meet our requirements.

At the same time, we are moving to break down the silos within CASA so that everybody in the organisation works together and the experience of dealing with us is more consistent.

It has been a year since I took on this role, and during that time the Board and management have made a point of talking with industry, the broader aviation community and CASA staff during our Board meetings, which in 2022 have been held in Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and, shortly, in Perth.

I have also enjoyed joining CASA executives on visits to regional locations such as Wagga, Armidale and Tamworth.

This helps us understand the issues, both internally and externally, as we look at change outside the organisation – as well as within.

But I have confidence that CASA is up to the task.

We want to be on the front foot when it comes to changes in aviation, as we also continue to change ourselves.

We know that we have to think broadly, embrace innovation and be flexible.

In short, we want to be part of the solution.

We want to work with industry and the broader aviation community, and we want various sectors of industry to work together as we face the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Greater regulatory clarity will also come as we get to see, in more detail, what emerging aviation technologies look like, and we get a better sense of the various ways in which it will be used.

Collaborating to bring technological and regulatory certainty, along with community engagement, will be key to having technologies operating safely in the shortest feasible timeframe.

We, the collective aviation community, have a large ask in front of us.

I look forward to working with all of you as we enter some interesting times.

Thank you


Micro-management by casa in Draft AC 61-20 v1.0 – Pilot supervision

Micro-management by casa in Draft AC 61-20 v1.0 – Pilot supervision

casa is calling for comment on this AC.

Draft AC 61-20 v1.0

Typically, the document is seriously flawed.

Look at section 2.12 to 2.14

2.1.2 The world of aviation is rapidly changing. The utilisation of aircraft and airspace is evolving and the advances in technology and systems is expanding the scope and the pace of their roles within many operations. These changes introduce a wide array of human performance implications that require appropriate management to maintain aviation safety.

2.1.3 For more than two decades, CASA has promoted the systems-based approach, including a learning culture, that assists pilots to gain experience while continuing to operate safely. A learning culture sets processes and practices that encourages not only individuals but also organisations to increase knowledge, competence, and performance.

2.1.4 An integral part of a learning culture is supervision where a supervising pilot provides support and mentoring in a non-jeopardy environment. A supervising pilot can provide support from induction through to line competency for newly employed pilots or during the training for new qualifications for existing pilots. The support could be in the form of direct or indirect supervision.

This is just a “justification” to the document, and a shameless promotion of casa and what it “does”.

Another casa FAIL.

casa must be directed to go back and start again.

A comment sent to me says:

Usual casa double speak and micro management.

FAIL. Get a real person to do the AC

START again. “FF”

Use FAA for the AC, with no “interpretation” by casa.




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.

The Future of Aviation? OR Just a Promise with no legs?

With the Senate Report due in March 2022, there is maybe some good news for #aviation.

From Australian Aviation:

Aviation Framework promises to Revitalise GA

The Federal Government today released a plan for the recovery of the aviation industry that includes several measures long thought to be critical to the revitalisation of general aviation.

The Aviation Recovery Framework, announced today by Deputy Prime MInister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce, is aimed primarily at recovery from the pandemic, but also acknowledges the condition of the general aviation industry and contains initiatives that have the potential to stimulate growth.

Among the GA measures are a review of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and the regulations surrounding privatised airports, and subsidies to encourage owners to fit ADS-B to VFR aircraft.

The goverment will also extend the regional and remote airports funding schemes and commit $4 million to encourage women to enter the aviation industry.

“Aviation is integral to our national supply chains, providing essential services to regional and remote communities and connecting Australian businesses with international markets,” Joyce said.

“Importantly, general aviation is a key pillar in our strategy. This is in recognition of the many critical services it contributes to the sector, none more important than flight and maintenance training capability.

“The Framework builds on the assistance we have provided to date and will provide the policy and financial settings aviation operators need to recover strongly and grow on the other side of the pandemic.”

The overall framework has been built on six strategic priorities:

  • supporting aviation efficiency by targeting investment and enhancing regulatory settings to help businesses across the entire industry to thrive
  • building a sustainable pipeline of workforce skills for the future
  • adopting and integrating emerging aviation technologies, including drones
  • modernising airports regulation to ensure Australia has the aviation infrastructure it needs for the future
  • revitalising general aviation to help it realise its potential in supporting business and the community, especially in our regions, and
  • better connecting regional communities by providing targeted support for access to essential aviation services and investing in regional aviation infrastructure.

According to the framework, the initiatives will be phased in over the next two to four years, guided by advice from a new Strategic Aviation Advisory Forum, the make up of which has yet to be disclosed. The department has also noted that the framework builds on the work of the General Aviation Advisory Network (GAAN) and the Future of Aviation Reference Panel.

Among the measures that are thought to impact GA the most are:

  • revisting the Airports Act 1996, which sunsets in April 2024, and the regulatory framework surrounding privatised airports, indicating that goverment approval of future master plans will focus on aircraft operations including development to support GA
  • reviewing the government approach to aviation security with the aim to reducing red tape
  • commissioning further research from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) to establish the value of GA and identify growth opportunities
  • reviewing the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to identify and resolve regulatory bottlenecks and encourage regulatory activity based on outcomes
  • removing barriers to export through mutual international recognition
  • subsidise eligible aircraft owners to fit ADS-B, starting in Q1 2022 and ending 30 June 2023 or when funding is exhausted
  • examine training pathways with a focus on the relationships between CASA, Vocational Education Training and the Australia Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
  • providing funding of $4 million to encourage women to participate in aviation.

CASA Director of Aviation Safety and CEO Pip Spence said today that CASA already had a reform agenda that was consistent with the announced framework.

“CASA has quietly begun working on a wide range of reforms that will benefit many people and organisations across the aviation community, particularly in the general aviation sector,” Spence said. “These align with the commitments made by the Australian Government today in their Aviation Recovery Framework.

“You will see concrete outcomes in the course of 2022 and beyond.

“Work is underway to make regulatory changes that will assist private pilots, general aviation maintenance, maintenance training, flying training, aerial work, aerial application and sport and recreational flying.

“We are developing a general aviation work plan for 2022 and this body of work will build a consolidated picture of all the activity we already have underway.

“We’re also continuing to look at what improvements and changes we need to make that will benefit other sectors in the industry.”

Among the reforms in development at CASA are:

  • reducing maintenance costs for industry to support private and aerial work operators, including the mandatory Cessna SIDs program, introducing new GA maintenance regulations and considering new rules for aircraft maintenance
  • supporting flight training including expanding privileges for some flight instructors to improve flight testing, revisiting how CASA administers the Flight Examiner Rating, and working with industry to prioritise other initiatives
  • looking at ways to improve access to training and reviewing the fatigue rules for aerial application operators in regional and remote areas
  • considering a new small aircraft maintenance licence to address training limitations impacting the GA sector,
  • putting in place a weight increase for aircraft administered by RAAus, reviewing the associated stall speed
  • reviewing aviation medical standards for private operations including a potential “self-declared” Class 5 medical.

The Aviation Recovery Framework document is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development website.

Richard Rudd Update #5

Richard’s case progresses some more, with the Mayor responding to an office visit.









The mayor’s e-mail reply is clear:

Dear Mr. Cumming,

Further to our discussion of Wednesday of this week in which you requested a meeting with Mayor Angela Toppin, I can advise that I have spoken to the Mayor and she is prepared to meet with you, but she would appreciate it if you would please provide details, in writing, of exactly what you wish to discuss with her.

Please provide this information at your convenience by email to mayor@msc.qld.gov.au – or to myself colleenl@msc.qld.gov.au via return email.

You indicated to me verbally that you wished to discuss “finalising” the matter of Mr Richard Rudd. I respectfully request that you please advise on what basis you have authority to represent Mr Rudd.

Once this information is received, I will be in a position to set up the meeting at the convenience of both yourself and the Mayor.

Kind regards,

Colleen Lubomirski
Personal Assistant to the Mayor
26th November 2021

Since November, Richard has been sorting some personal issues relating to the eviction and Supreme CT, with the mayor replying this week saying that she was not honouring the undertaking.

This week, we have a reply from the mayor Angella Toppin:

From: Cr Angela Toppin <AngelaT@msc.qld.gov.au>
Date: Mon, Jan 17, 2022 at 10:45 AM
Subject: RE: attachment
To: Richard RUDD <ruddr1340@gmail.com>

Dear Richard

Thank you for your email. I apologise if there was any misunderstanding following Mr Cumming’s communication last year. Given the matter you wish to discuss pertains to the legal proceedings I request you contact our solicitors as we are dealing with this matter through them.


Cr Angela Toppin

Phone: 1300 308 461  |  Direct: 07 4086 4606
Email: angelat@msc.qld.gov.au  |  Website: www.msc.qld.gov.au
65 Rankin St, Mareeba  |  PO Box 154, Mareeba, Queensland, Australia, 4880

Which part of “….I can advise that I have spoken to the Mayor and she is prepared to meet with you,…” ??? does the Mayor not understand. As a matter of interest, Mayor Toppin was a local high school teacher. Perhaps a remedial english class is required.

The legal proceedings are complete, with a costs order and hangar return.

Instead, the saga is dragged on by Council obstinance.

In the local paper, this week also, Richard draws attention to the on-going cost that the Mareeba Shire Council, Mayor and ceo are visiting on the community. The longer there is a refusal to negotiate by these people, the longer and more costly it will become.

I looked at Council’s plans and the ceo decided to “self-insure” in order to “save money”, so the costs and damages in Richard’s case [and the Council costs] will be borne by the ratepayer.


Royal Commission into CA$A

There is a call for a Royal Commission into CA$A [Civil Aviation Safety Authority], the organisation that has gradually and systematically destroyed #avation, particularly general aviation [GA]

GA is the bit that is the small end of town, but does the pilot training local charter and supports local businesses.

Please support this petition.

Shannon Baker has a live petition


VALE Stan van de Weil

Aviation lost a good friend on 22nd December 2021.

For his friends, the service held on 30th December 2021 click on this link.

Stan was the holder of the keys for ProAviation, following the death of Paul Phelan, well known aviation commentator and an active aviation participant.

Stan was an instructor, aircraft owner, airport operator and AOC owner operating a small airline.

Paul Phelan gives us this summary of Stan in the late 90’s to early 2000’s particularly the absolute debacle Mobil and CASA caused with the avgas contamination.

This was also my introduction to Stan and the difficulties caused by CASA in denying there was any such thing in a number of locations, despite evidence to the contrary.

VALE Stan and thank-you for your personal support in my battle with CASA.

Fly high.


Cairns Airport Changes following removal of GA

From the Cairns Post on 25th November 2021

Cairns real estate: Airport industry and business centre plans for commercial operators

Bulldozers are set to roll through more than a dozen buildings to pave the way for a new industrial estate in Cairns Airport’s general aviation precinct.

BULLDOZERS are set to roll through more than a dozen buildings to pave the way for a new industrial estate in Cairns Airport’s general aviation precinct.

The collection of outdated and underused structures will be replaced by up to 10 new purpose-built sheds with access from the Captain Cook Highway – but first new tenants need to be found.

CBRE Cairns managing director Danny Betros expected interest for all manner of industrial uses, from rental car storage and warehousing to tradespeople who needed a presence on the city’s north-side.

“It’s going to cater for industrial demand on that north-side – there are no other available industrial sheds out that way at the moment,” he said.

“This is for anybody for any use, but they are light-to-medium uses only.

“We’re not talking heavy manufacturing, anything noisy or that sort of thing.”

Mr Betros anticipated some interest from operators that would benefit from close access to the airport, but said it was not a deal-breaker.

“Obviously it can be airport related but it’s also perfect for any trades, warehousing, storage – anything where people are looking for industrial space on the northern side of the city,” he said.

“If it’s an advantage being near the airport, that’s great, but they are really for anybody.”

The airport is planning to build the new sheds specifically for new tenants where possible with sizes up to 2000sq m, but typically about the 600sq m mark.

A row of 200-300sq m sheds is also on the cards for smaller operators.

The area is being marketed as ideal for food production, export facilities and other airport-related industries – and a separate piece of major infrastructure could have bearing on who signs up.

A development application has been made to Cairns Regional Council to carve off a long-term lease for a 3600sq m site at the Caudron Ave side of the airport.

“Following the reconfiguration, it is proposed to development the lot for the purpose of core airport infrastructure, being a regional trade distribution centre,” the document states.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles last month announced tenders were about to be called on a new $10m regional export hub to be built at the airport to give “farmers, graziers, growers and other producers and processors the best possible opportunity to get their products from paddock to plane to plate as quickly as possible.

The facility was first promised in 2019 but stalled while its sister project at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport was built from scratch and launched into operation in July this year.

Airport attacks on General Aviation

There have been a series of attacks on General Aviation by a range of methods and “owners” since I started flying in 1995.

These are broad ranging and really boil down to individuals, organisations, corporations, Government Departments or Councils trying to limit access to a “port” and essential aviation infrastructure.

What is an #airport?

The word “port” is important, as this really means an access point to a place.

Simple, a piece of the local infrastructure, with very specific design parameters and positioning in the horizontal world, we are well used to and then into the vertical dimension.

A 3D [Three dimensional] position in the world. It is difficult for those used to the 2D world to see the “roads”, highways and lanes that lead to the “airport”. Sometimes known as an ERC [On route chart]

For Australia, there are a series:

On the left is the ERC series for every airport in Australia. The second is the Adelaide to Essendon chart.

For those computer aware people, every day you use a “port” to enter the completely unseen “port” of your Wi-fi, being the seemingly crazy: or similar. We don’t ask questions on how we go to another place, neither do we when we go to an “airport”, board a plane and fly.

The complexity is obvious and any changes on the ground will have a much broader impact Australia wide. This seems lost on the National Government and the QUANGO – CA$A, put in place to oversee #aviation.

Question is, what airports have been impacted, how and what is the future.

Airports and questions about their future.

The Australian Airports Association – Policy

AIRPORTS in Australia

The airports in Australia are under attack.

Essendon Airport with buildings impinging safety envelope [RHS]










Is your Airport one of these?

Goulburn  YGLB   In late 90’s, under attack with Goulburn Coiuncil changing to “operational land”, despite land deeded to Council by Poidiven family. Sale stopped for almost a decade, then sold to Ferrara, who subsequently locked out hangar owners from access to runway, which was part of purchase contract.

Canberra   YSCB   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels. A single landing and departure for fuel by 2011 reached $50.

Mildura     YMIA    Removed tie downs for GA on hard stand, causing damage by forcing gravel area tie-down, in causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels. Operator [on behalf of Mildura Shire Council], raising costs for all “services” to uneconomic levels.

Bankstown YSBK   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels and removed only N-S runway in Sydney basin, essential for safe operations in event of serious wind changes.

Katoomba  YKAT  Despite long term and continuous usage, government department refuses to allow operation

Moorabbin YMMB   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels, placing developments in “safety off-run areas” and removing aviation related activities from airport and attempting to remove owners hangars. Closing cross runway in breach of safety considerations.

Essendon    YMEN   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels, placing developments in “safety off-run areas” and removing aviation related activities from airport and attempting to remove owners hangars.

Cairns          YBCN     Cairns Port Authority airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels, where these are almost extinct. Reclaimed hangars not owned by airport. By 25th November 2021, a massive change to use is announced.

Mackay        YBMK     Similar YBCN

Mareeba       YMBA    Attempted to reclaim hangar, fully owned by lessee by deception

Jandecot        YPJK     FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels and reportedly considering placing developments in “safety off-run areas”

Coffs Harbour YBCH  Regardless of assurances that no decision has been made to close runway 10/28 at Coffs Harbour, you would have to say it’s not looking good. The Enterprise Park development has killed the lit taxiway route to the GA park and the airport management are looking for an alternative.

Blackwater, Dysart and Moranbah

GA can not land on those airstrips, BHP will not grant permission. When those coal leases were granted, one of the conditions was to develop and maintain infrastructure which the public could use. Over the years there has been maneuvering to get out of this arrangement. If you want to waste your time just give BHP a call about landing on any of these strips.
Cobden YCDE  Series of reports of interest

The importance of airports in Australia


Mareeba Shire Council incurs costs following Supreme Court judgement over Airport wrangle

The Mareeba Shire Council has incurred costs following Supreme Court judgement over the Airport wrangle with Richard Rudd. Richard now retaining his hangAr.

It is adorned with the Eureka flag, flying high and proudly.

Even at the beginning, the lease to which Richard is a party and continues to 2037, at s2.02, describes the …use of the hanger…’. Clothes no doubt!!

The costs for the action by Mareeba Shire Council, in which they used a QC in the Queensland Supreme Court must exceed $100,000.

In defending Council’s action, Richard’s case involved two solicitors and a barrister.

As Richard could no longer afford the solicitors, with the first one becoming ill prior to Xmas, he soldiered on alone. His costs went through $40,000 in May, heading for the $100,000 mark.

The problem with these Council activities is that costs are driven up on both sides by the inevitable slowdowns, such as more urgent matters and a recalcitrant Council who at no stage worked for a settlement.

As the case commenced in Cairns, there was still NO EVIDENCE put forward by Council to support their actions.

The CEO and SCO [Senior Compliance Officer], directed two other compliance officers to investigate if Richard was residing at Lease N on 24th September 2020. This followed the placement of a FORM-7 notice on Richards hangar on 31st August 2020. Richard immediately wrote to Council’s solicitors, PrestonLaw, stating he was NOT RESIDING.

PrestonLaw in a letter to Richard refused to accept this as did the CEO and Mayor Angella Toppin.

The two week period failed to find ANY EVIDENCE to support the Form-7.

Not to be outdone, Mareeba Shire Council installs covert surveillance cameras, discovered on/about 8th November 2020.

On the SCO -Schuck in the Supreme Court acknowledged that there was NO EVIDENCE gained to support the allegation of the FORM-7


The Supreme Court Case:

Finally reaching Court on 6th August 2021, after being locked out from 20th January 2021 [almost 7 months], Richard had an offer by Council of $100,000 on May 7th. There was no costs and he lost the hangar for ever and Richard had to sign off on admitting that he was “…at fault…”.

You guessed it: “No THANKS…”

What is the real value of the lease?

The hangar itself – say $200,000. Improvements – SAY $25,000

The value of the residual lease [16 years] given the size of the site and the offer for lease, there being very limited leases of that size SAY $3500pm [$672,000].

A very valuable property.

Offers of settlement. Richard made two offers, but the CEO refused to even discuss them, rejecting them out-of-hand.

Even on 6th August 2021, when Richard’s application made it onto the Supreme Court calendar, Judge Henry suggested to Council to consider a settlement at the end of the first day.


And who should pick up the TAB?


The CEO??

The SCO???

NO, undoubtedly the Ratepayer.

PS: We understand that Mareeba Shire Council self insures. So, if you just take the sewage charge for Mareeba, the sewerage access charge for an average residential property is $923 per annum. Ratepayers contribute to the cost of operation, maintenance and capital expenditure associated with the sewerage system.

If the final cost of this failure by the Mareeba Council, being $200,000, some 216 ratepayers would lose this portion of their rates.

Mareeba Shire 2020/2021

No marker for here of labour cost. If like the adjoining Tablelands Regional Council, of 46% being labour. Pretty poor accounting practice and designed to deceive.

More #aviation news on Richard Rudd

The information continues, with another story in Richard’s local paper, The Mareeba Express. [See below] today [31st August 2021]

It has an interesting comment attributed to Mareeba Shire Council:

A spokesperson for Mareeba Shire Council advised “it was not aware of any action that Mr Rudd intends to take.”

In the previous article [Tuesday 23rd August 2021] it has attributed to CEO Peter Hamilton Franks:

Mareeba Shire Council CEO Peter Franks told The Express it had complied with Mr Henry’s decision.

“Council respects the decision of the court,” he said.

“The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.

“Council removed padlocks from the building on the morning of Thursday, 12 August 2021, and returned the keys for the hangar to Mr Rudd when he attended the Council office that same day.”

The Express reached out to Mr Rudd for reaction and comment however he was unable to be contacted before the paper’s deadline.

The Mareeba Shire Council certainly would not be aware of actions by Mr. Rudd as he has not telegraphed what actions he will take and he will keep to the Supreme Court Order:

ORDER of 11th August 2021 in Cairns Supreme Court

1. The respondent will forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N on SP171528 at Mareeba Airport, along with the keys thereto, to the applicant as the lessee of the premises.
2. The respondent will pay the applicant’s costs of the application to be assessed on the standard basis if not agreed.

Richard called at Council offices on Thursday 12th August, only to be screamed at by a Council employee who identified himself as “…Anthony Archie….”.

Richard left to return to his vehicle and the person approached to throw some keys though a vehicle window. Richard returned them on Friday morning as the Council office opened as there was nothing to identify what the keys were.

Last Tuesday’s Mareeba Express has expanded on Council’s “view”, in that it has gone to the Airport, unlocked the hangar, BUT did not inform Richard of doing this action [by phone, letter or e-mail].

Consequently the hangar was unlocked until Sunday [15th August 2021, when Richard and friends occupied the hangar.

The Anthony Archie incident in the Council foyer has more relevance in that he was either unaware of “the Unlocking” OR failed to inform Richard of this action.

Either way, Council continues to refuse to honour the spirit OR the content of the Supreme Court ORDER.

Frank’s comment: “The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.”

Well, one should look at the Council lease, where at s2.02, it describes ……hanger(sic)…. . Likely, the lease is invalid anyway and Judge Henry corrects that in his Judgement, together with an apt summary of what a hangar is for, the use, storage etc.

A change to the lease at 2.02 should ensue Mr. Franks and become at least: “………..aircraft storage, maintenance and ancillary aviation uses….”

This is the common usage phrase in most leases at Mareeba Airport.

Richard is working to meet item 2 of the ORDER – Costs of the Application.


Judge Henry and his careful interpretation of what a HANGAR and IT’S USAGE is:

[13] The lease does not define the term “aircraft storage hanger” or the purpose of its use. Clause 2.20.7 was highlighted in argument by Council. It defines “hanger” as being “a building … suited for use as an aircraft storage facility”. However, that definition is expressly for the purposes of the lease’s construction clause only and, in any event, the undefined meaning of the words “aircraft storage facility” adds nothing material to the undefined meaning of the words “aircraft storage hanger”.
[14] It is well known that an aircraft hangar is a large building, usually located at an aerodrome, in which aircraft are stored. That might reasonably be described as its primary purpose and sensibly explains why the words “aircraft storage hanger” may have been adopted in the lease. However, it is similarly well known that the customary or ordinary use of an aircraft hangar is not confined purely to the act of parking and storing aircraft therein and that its use includes the performance of maintenance and repair work, that is, work performed upon aircraft housed therein, in order to maintain aircraft in or return aircraft to a state of airworthiness. That might reasonably be described as its secondary purpose.
[15] Further, because that secondary purpose is potentially time consuming, it may necessitate uses ancillary to that purpose – uses of a kind common to any building where human beings may work for prolonged periods, such as uses of a bathroom, kitchen and rest facilities.
[16] The lease’s use of the phrase “aircraft storage hanger” as distinct from “aircraft hanger” ought not be interpreted as confining the relevant purpose of use to that of storage to the exclusion of the aforementioned secondary purpose of maintenance and repair work and uses ancillary thereto. Such an interpretation would conflict with clear contextual indications to the contrary in the terms of the lease.
[17] The terms of the lease identify a leased lot which, on any view of the evidence, is a lot located at Mareeba Airport. Moreover, the terms of the lease implicitly contemplated that the premises would be accessible to travel at the airport from the airport taxi way and runway.
For example, clause 2.20.9 required the premises be adequately fenced “to prevent the ingress of wild or domesticated animals onto the airport taxi way or runway”. In short this was a hangar to be constructed and used at an airport, not off at some other location like a storage warehouse unconnected with tarmac and runways.
That context made it inevitable the hangar would be used at the airport by aircraft in which the premise’s tenant had an interest. It could scarcely be thought such aircraft would not from time to time require maintenance or repair work to ensure or restore their airworthiness or that such work would not be carried out in the tenant’s hangar.

Judge Henry’s full Judgement

2 September, 2021

Veteran top gun to pursue legal proceedings against Council

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council.

By Michael Warren

Long time pilot Richard Rudd says he intends to start legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council. He’s pictured here inside the controversial hangar. INSET: The bed Council suggested indicated permanent residency at the hangar.

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council.

Richard Rudd, whose story captured recent national attention says the hangar lockout saw one of his planes fall into a state of un-airworthiness and as such he couldn’t provide the upkeep and maintenance it required to stay in the air.

As such the 82 year-old who has been flying planes for the past 66 years said when his immediate health improves his priority is to recoup the losses he’s absorbed from being locked out of the hangar for nearly 12 months.

“Because I’ve been locked out I haven’t been able to put the oil through the engine or run the engine, the (Boeing Stearman) plane’s battery is also ruined and needs replacing. “As such my intention is to start legal proceedings against Council.

“I’m happy I won the case but it’s been nearly 12 months of sleepless nights, financial worries, stress and hurt, which has actually damaged my health, and I’ll be seeking further compensation.”

Mr Rudd who first worked on planes as a 15-year-old reiterated the bed inside the hangar is for convenience purposes only and not in any way for permanent residency reasons.

The bed inside the hangar was a contentious issue as MSC suggested its presence indicated the long time pilot was potentially living on site.

“Again the bed is here to rest between works – sometimes I drop my wife at work at 9am and I’m here at the hangar until 9pm until I pick her up, so as an 82 year-old man, sometimes I’ll have a quick nap, but by no means do I live here at the hangar.”

Mr Rudd said he feels vindicated by the recent Supreme Court decision.

“I was initially somewhat shellshocked by the Council’s decision to take the case forward, but I always knew the truth, and that came out in the judge’s ruling,” he said.

“My message to Mareeba Shire Council is this; whenever they take action against a person, they better make sure they get it absolutely right.

“By that I mean legal, spelling wise, wording, and everything else, because this has been the most disgusting exercise I’ve ever come across in my life.”

A spokesperson for Mareeba Shire Council advised “it was not aware of any action that Mr Rudd intends to take.”

Further reading:

Richard Rudd Returns

At 2.30PM on 15th August 2021, Richard re-entered his hangar with assistance of some friends, as Mareeba Shire Council had not met the terms of the Supreme Court ORDER [11th August 2021]

Mareeba Shire Council had not provided access at all and remains in breach of the Order by failing to meet:
The respondent will forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N on SP171528 at Mareeba Airport, along with the keys thereto, to the applicant as the lessee of the premises.


In response to the Mareeba Express attribution to Mr. Peter Hamilton Franks:

Mareeba Shire Council CEO Peter Franks told The Express it had complied with Mr Henry’s decision.
“Council respects the decision of the court,” he said.
“The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.
“Council removed padlocks from the building on the morning of Thursday, 12 August 2021, and returned the keys for the hangar to Mr Rudd when he attended the Council office that same day.”
The Express reached out to Mr Rudd for reaction and comment however he was unable to be contacted before the paper’s deadline.


  1. No contact was made by Mareeba Shire Council in response to the Supreme Court of Queensland judgement AT ALL after the hearing on 6th to 11th August 2020 and judgement at 2.30pm that day
  2. Mr. Rudd had to go to Mareeba Shire Council at 4.30PM on 12th August to seek possession, which was not provided or offered to him and he left the building, after an Anthony Archie did not “Give Possession”
  3. No mention was made of any Mareeba Shire Council visit to the hangar to “give possession”
  4. An Anthony Archie approached Mr Rudd’s vehicle and threw a set of unmarked and unidentified keys into the vehicle.
  5. As Mr Rudd could not identify them, he returned the keys to Mareeba Shire Council
  6. A press release was made on Wednesday 11th August to The Express and provided details, together with a contact number.
  7. No call was or has been received, nor an email from Mareeba Shire Council;
  8. Mr Rudd has been under medical care since 11th August.
On Sunday at 2.30 pm, 15th August, Mr Rudd gained access to his hangar by removing locks and chains from the building.
Aviation enthusiast wins Supreme court case against Mareeba Council
A LOCAL aviation enthusiast is free to continue his passion of attending to his Boeing Stearman plane inside a hangar at Mareeba airport after he took his case against Mareeba Shire Council to the Supreme Court – and won.
By Michael Warren
Local aviation enthusiast Richard Rudd is free to store his plane at a local airport after winning his Supreme Court case against Mareeba Shire Council.
A LOCAL aviation enthusiast is free to continue his passion of attending to his Boeing Stearman plane inside a hangar at Mareeba airport after he took his case against Mareeba Shire Council to the Supreme Court – and won.
Richard Rudd has a 40-year lease on the hangar and has used it since 2016.
However, in January local Council changed the locks and told a perplexed Mr Rudd he breached the lease because the conditions of the contract were for aircraft occupation only, and not maintenance works, to any aircraft inside the hangar.
Further, local Council accused the 82 year-old of using the hangar for accommodation purposes because it housed both a bed and a bar bridge.
In addition Council also claimed Mr Rudd’s daily and regular presence at the hangar was beyond what was required to simply store his plane at the facility, suggesting the plane lover was taking part in commercial activities at the location.
However Justice Henry dismissed Council’s claims and ruled entirely in favour of Mr Rudd.
“It is well known that an aircraft hangar is a large building, usually located at an aerodrome, in which aircraft are stored,” Mr Henry explained.
“It is similarly well-known that the customary or ordinary use of an aircraft hangar is not confined purely to the act of parking and storing aircraft therein and that its use includes the performance of maintenance and repair work… in order to maintain aircraft in, or return to, a state of air worthiness.”
Furthermore, Mr Henry said “the lease contains no clause which expressly or by implication limits the times during which Mr Rudd’s conduct cause annoyance, nuisance or inconvenience to nearby occupiers… however no such behavioral breach was there.”
Council was ordered to pay Mr Rudd’s legal fees and restore possession of the hangar to him.
Mareeba Shire Council CEO Peter Franks told The Express it had complied with Mr Henry’s decision.
“Council respects the decision of the court,” he said.
“The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.
“Council removed padlocks from the building on the morning of Thursday, 12 August 2021, and returned the keys for the hangar to Mr Rudd when he attended the Council office that same day.”
The Express reached out to Mr Rudd for reaction and comment however he was unable to be contacted before the paper’s deadline.

Further Reading:




The Rudd story continues – #Mareeba Airport

The Rudd story continues – #Mareeba Airport

Facebook page for up-to-date information

Not quite viral, but the phone calls, e-mails, facebook posts, newspaper articles and on-radio requests certainly take it to that level.

The news from yesterday is that Mareeba Shire Council still have not called Richard to meet the terms of Judge Henry’s ORDER.

ORDER of 11th August 2021 in Cairns Supreme Court

1. The respondent will forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N on SP171528 at Mareeba Airport, along with the keys thereto, to the applicant as the lessee of the premises.
2. The respondent will pay the applicant’s costs of the application to be assessed on the standard basis if not agreed.

Richard called at Council offices on Thursday, only to be screamed at by a Council employee who identified himself as “…Anthony Archie….”. Richard left to return to his vehicle and the person approached to throw some keys though a vehicle window. Richard returned them on Friday morning as the Council office opened as there was nothing to identify what the keys were.

Still has not had “……..forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N……….” met by Mareeba Council


In The Australian this morning, with permission.

Council licks its wounds after fight with 82-year-old top gun

Richard Rudd's Boeing Stearman biplane which is housed at the Mareeba Airport hangar. Picture: Facebook
Richard Rudd’s Boeing Stearman biplane which is housed at the Mareeba Airport hangar. Picture: Facebook

An 82-year-old who was locked out of the aircraft hangar he was leasing to do maintenance on his plane has won his Supreme Court battle against the local council.

Richard Rudd held a 40-year lease on the hangar at Mareeba Airport in far north Queensland, and had been using it since 2016. But the council changed the locks in January.

He was told he was in breach of the lease contract because the hangar was intended for aircraft storage, not maintenance.

Mareeba Shire Council also ­accused him of using the hangar for residential purposes because it contained a bed and a bar fridge.

In a scathing judgment in favour of Mr Rudd, Supreme Court judge James Henry noted the council’s lease contract had not even spelt hangar correctly, and had not clearly defined the term “aircraft storage hanger (sic)”.

“It is well known that an aircraft hangar is a large building, usually located at an aerodrome, in which aircraft are stored,” said Justice Henry said. “It is similarly well known that the customary or ordinary use of an aircraft hangar is not confined purely to the act of parking and storing aircraft therein and that its use ­includes the performance of maintenance and repair work … in order to maintain aircraft in, or return aircraft to, a state of airworthiness.”

He also rejected the council’s evidence that Mr Rudd was in breach of the lease contract ­because he spent long hours there, “often throughout the day and into the early evening”.

The council argued Mr Rudd’s typical daily presence far exceeded what was necessary for the storage of his Boeing Stearman and suggested he was undertaking commercial activities.

But Justice Henry said it was “inherently plausible an aviation enthusiast such as Mr Rudd may choose to work long hours for his private purposes on maintenance or repair of aircraft”.

“The lease contains no clause which expressly or by implication limits the times during which Mr Rudd can be present at the hangar,” he said. “It does contain clauses protecting council’s position should Mr Rudd’s conduct cause annoyance, nuisance or inconvenience to nearby occupiers … however no such behavioural breach was alleged here.”

Council argued the presence of a bed and a bar fridge showed Mr Rudd was using the hangar as a home, but Justice Henry accepted his evidence the items were there for comfort.

“It would surely be unremarkable that someone working or taking a rest break in an un-airconditioned hangar in the tropics might want refrigerated ­refreshments,” he said.

Council was ordered to pay Mr Rudd’s legal costs and restore possession of the hangar to him.

Further comments to 14th August 2021

1 day ago
“The Castle” wins again!

Local councils should be abolished. 800 of them litter Australia with around 8000 councilors. What a gigantic waste of money they are.

Peter EE
2 days ago
Full marks to the court for a sensible ruling.   I’m also amused that the Council personnel don’t know the difference between “hanger” and “hangar”.
2 days ago
Another Council adding value and focussing on what matters.  Thank you.
2 days ago
Seems like a personlality clash somewhere in the background here .
2 days ago
I wonder if there is a development in the wind for that site and the leased building was in the way.
2 days ago
Maybe someone had a mate who wanted a hangar and there weren’t any others available.
But probably not ?

Roger 2

2 days ago

“Council licks its wounds after fight with 82-year-old top gun”

It’s not very often that a Supreme Court judgement ranks as “common sense’, but in this instance, I suspect that it has.
The “case” reminds me of a situation in Victoria a couple of decades ago:
A Local Council inspector was issuing “infringement notices” to residents (who put their bins out on the morning of the collection) for failing to put their garbage-collection bins out on the EVENING BEFORE  the collection date.

ALL the ‘fines’ were overturned and rendered illegal, but the capacity of minor bureaucrats to overstep their capacity remains unabated …

Brad (the quiet Australian)
2 days ago
This is a clear case of good justice at work. The council needs a rocket under them for this disgraceful conduct. Ratepayers in Mareeba Shire should not be impressed at the sheer waste of their money either.
2 days ago
Any win against a council is a good win.
1 day ago
I understand your sentiments but any financial liability incurred by the council in the loss will fall to the ratepayers.
1 day ago
Who can decide elect different councillors next time.
2 days ago
The sad bit in here is that it took a judge to get people to see some sense. It could have been very different.
Charles J
2 days ago
What on earth possessed the council in question to pursue such a ludicrous claim? It is quite obvious from the descriptions of the lease given by the judge they had no leg to stand on. I don’t think I know one person who leases a hangar who does not do some maintenance on their plane.
2 days ago
Suffer in your jocks council
2 days ago
Well in this case common sense won the day.
2 days ago
Great story about bloody minded bureaucrats.
2 days ago
Strewth, these people at Council were nasty – will the individual employees at Council now reimburse their rate payers for the legal bills? Or can they simply lose their jobs.
2 days ago
There’ll be a property developer pulling the strings on this one.
Local ratepayers might want to start asking questions about why their rates are bing wasted on vexatious litigation.
2 days ago
There must be a back story here, was the council trying to boot him out to redevelop or something ?  Unconscionable behaviour from council.
2 days ago
Wonder what irked the council bureaucrat? Very odd. Glad the tough old bloke won, and so resoundingly.
2 days ago
I thought that Queensland people were generally good mates and supportive of each other. Sounds like this council had some narrow minded people on it.
2 days ago
We need to change the law to make the bureaucrats more accountable.  If a government entity has costs awarded against it, the individuals who authorised the legal action should be required to pay those costs, out of their own pockets.
Peter A
2 days ago
Hear! Hear! All too often the Faceless Bureaucrats make wrong decisions and their employer wears the costs. The Faceless Bureaucrats should take the costs out of their hip pocket. I agree entirely. The Law needs changing immediately.
2 days ago
Agree, but also place their names on a national register for public viewing. It’s part of ACCOUNTABILITY – RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT.
2 days ago
That would make them think twice !
3 days ago
“Council was ordered to pay Mr Rudd’s legal costs…” Which means the rate payers pay.
MJ from Sydney
3 days ago
My god, a win for common sense!
Antipodean North Korean
3 days ago
Years ago I was unlawfully arrested by a local laws officer for minor dog-related “offences”. Also got stung about $700 in fines. Unlucky for him and his partner I have a background in federal law enforcement and after a bit of basic research of the Victorian Local Government Act – available online – proceeded to take the council apart with a series of emails.

Eventually got my money back, along with an apology and an assurance that they would receive better training. Not sure if that happened because it turned out they were causing headaches for the council all over the place and their positions were abolished. As far as I can tell, since then the relationship between the council and ratepayers has been much improved.

Don’t ever assume that just because someone is acting with the authority of council – or any other level of government for that matter – that they necessarily know what they’re doing.

2 days ago
Had plenty of liquor licensing officials who don’t understand the laws they’re enforcing!
3 days ago
I like Judge Henry, clearly a sensible man.
3 days ago
It feels like, We pay our councils to oppress us
3 days ago
following the state government lead
3 days ago
What harm was the guy doing? Any excuse to raise money in addition to the outrageous rates they charge.
3 days ago
This is fantastic news. Thank you Australia.
3 days ago
I wonder who it was that wanted his spot? That’s where the real story will be.
2 days ago
Good to have friends ! ?
Why not pick on the easy 82yo target, takes courage. Hope he claims for the stress in his life as well as all out-of-pocket expenses.
Shows the great culture of burorats throughout our systems.
Alan Ken
3 days ago
Glad you reported this. Did Council pay this fella’s legal fees?
3 days ago
In regional QLD common sense usually prevails.
Hope the electorate takes this into account on “who voted how” in the next election.
Please reveal the voting call so voters can lock them in as representatives to put at the bottom of the how to vote card..
Antipodean North Korean
3 days ago
The common sense happened in the Supreme Court.
3 days ago
Movie here.   Can see it now.
2 days ago
Call it “The Hangar”
Michael the Deplorable
3 days ago
This tier of Government is arguably the most petty and least competent.

Good to see them get their comeuppance. for once.

3 days ago
How can the council, ever imagine, in their wildest dreams, that an 82 year old would want to rest on a bed, now and again, after doing some work on a hobby, in the middle of no-where, to keep his interest, health and sense of some purpose in the remaining few years of his life?
Oscar O
3 days ago
Great refreshing story for a change,
3 days ago
I would strongly suggest to the ratepayers to rid themselves of this Council!
3 days ago
Ah, the meanness and pettiness of the ruling class.  Everybody loves a win for the battler.
3 days ago
A good news story.
3 days ago
And the ratepayers foot the bill. Maybe they would think twice if the moneys comes from their own pockets! Despicable!
3 days ago
Abolish local government. It’s the easiest to get rid of. They’re breading grounds for labor and green political parties. They’re also rife with nepotism and corruption. Glad this bloke won. Sorry he had to go through this ordeal.
3 days ago
The council found itself in a ‘region of reverse command’.
3 days ago
Many of my neighbours have sheds/workshops containing not only storage space but upholstered chairs and fridges. They sometimes maintain machinery in them. Lots of opportunity here for our local Council to waste money and annoy people.
3 days ago
Someone in the council wanted to use the hangar ?? Or his/her mate.
Great to see justice done.
3 days ago

It would seem so Jim
3 days ago
I wonder what was behind the need for the council to remove him…..the article never addresses why the council did what did.
3 days ago
He has upset someone. In a small country town,
everyone would know that person.


3 days ago
That what I was wondering whilst reading, there is no mention at all.  Something must have triggered a local to make an effort for something, that is not a naturally occurring state.
3 days ago
Good on you Richard!
3 days ago
As you get older it appear you become more vulnerable to the bullies of society , overpaid councils , and government officials top the list followed by Companies.
I suggest this form of abuse needs to be called out as it happens and make public.
I would call on our younger gens  to stand with the oldies to stamp out this growing injustice ., after all you get to take our place eventually .
CyberBloke.io ?
3 days ago
Applause. Congratulations.  Tell the rate-wasting, mean and un-spirited council who can’t even spell to go shove it.
3 days ago
There is a 1909 Wright Military Flyer on display in America’s National Air and Space Museum.  Suspended from the ceiling from what one presumes are aircraft hangers.
2 days ago
Thanks BGA – the best laugh I have had during lockdown
3 days ago
Yes folks, its sad but true.

We often complain about Canberra but a close look at the incompetence of our local councils will be all the more mind-boggling.

3 days ago
A great read.
Gravel Rash
3 days ago
Stupid bureaucrats taking delight in giving someone a headache, just to show how important they are (in their own minds). Good to see a rare victory against our new ruling class. Act of arrogance all charged to the tax payer.

Some comments from The Australian this morning:

Mike R.
15 minutes ago
Councils: one more cohort of bureaucrats trying to stifle ordinary freedoms.
45 minutes ago
At last, a feel good story. Got anymore?
45 minutes ago
Well done that man.
Another Peter
47 minutes ago
Great to see we still have some judges with common sense. Hopefully the council employees behind this nonsense suffer some personal penalties for wasting rate-payer’s money, and for wasting court time, on something which seemingly smacks perhaps of a personal vendetta.
46 minutes ago
Is this a Labor or Greens Council? No one else would be that stupid.
53 minutes ago
A beer or ten and a good lay down next to your man toy.Bliss!
1 hour ago
Great work Mr Rudd! (Never thought I’d say that.)
1 hour ago
A public servant in  the council decided to be a hero in the eyes of his boss , picked a soft target ( old man ) . Just because you are old does not mean you can be bullied , I can only imagine the stress and anxiety the guy was subjected to . Shamefull
1 hour ago
Justice is not dead in Australia.
1 hour ago
A feel-good story
1 hour ago
Great victory against bureaucratic bullies
There are plenty of them around
As the old saying goes   give them an inch and they will take a yard
1 hour ago
Please do a follow-up article in which you seek the Council’s views on the outcome.
53 minutes ago
Donn D
1 hour ago
You go Mr Rudd! Great to see an old coot (like me) still standing and still looking after yourself. (I have a great deal of difficulty doing that) but just because things are getting a bit difficult doesn’t mean giving in to idiots.
1 hour ago
A win for logic over lunacy….gave the week end a good start.
2 hours ago
Justice ruled by commonsense.
2 hours ago
This story has made me Saturday and restored some of my faith in the justice system. But knowing petty public servants as well as I do – they will be plotting some kind of retribution. Definitely should be a movie made. What an uplifting story. Go hard you 80 year olds!
2 hours ago
Sounds like Contact Tracing ,the council must be linked to that women who said Queensland  hospitals  are for Queensland’s only.  These people  should be put in quarantine for 10yrs
2 hours ago
Council should perhaps find someone who can write leases a little better
2 hours ago
I’d say the 40 year lease might be the problem for the council, Mareeba Airport is getting busier all the time and his hangar was not producing enough revenue for the council.
1 hour ago

They can always offer to buy out his lease – that would be fun. Suspect Richard would be a great negotiator as well as aviator! Staggering stupidity that a case like this even gets to Court – Shire should sack staff involved and their lawyers
2 hours ago
Michael Caton should play the lead role when this tale is turned into a movie. It’s a pity that Bud Tingwell is no longer around.  Great story of the little guy taking on a heartless bureaucracy!
3 hours ago
Commonsense reigns. Let’s savour this. It is rare and a breath of fresh air. Well done Mr Rudd.
3 hours ago

This case exemplifies my long held opinion of local councils.
Even if you are a rate payer.
Don’t be fooled.
“The council is not your friend”
3 hours ago
What nonsensical rubbish on behalf of the council. I hope the electorate make adjustments come the next election.
Antipodean North Korean
3 hours ago
Clearly at least one council employee is surplus to requirements. A classic case of looking for trouble because someone has nothing else to do.
Everyone’s an expert
5 hours ago
Council’s flight of fancy crashes and burns.
5 hours ago

Well done Richard.

Back to work.

But no holiday for you since you were locked out on January 20th this year, some 7 months ago.

Your support from the locals now is being seen.

7 hours ago
More over-reach by a renegade council. Glad he won.
8 hours ago
Legal action with other peoples money.. sounds like the principles of the ABC stretch far and wide throughout Australia.
the people who wanted him out should pay the costs, not the ratepayer..
sounds like someone wanted the hangar back.
9 hours ago
It would appear that crass stupidity in local government is not just confined to Victoria.
9 hours ago
A comment from the person(s) responsible for the decision to ‘void’ Mr Rudd’s lease might give us greater insight into the reasons why it took a Supreme Court to settle the matter.
11 hours ago

Am surprised this matter had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to be properly resolved. The matters at dispute appear to be relatively straight forward.

13 hours ago
Great outcome.
3 hours ago
Hey I’m an Oz living in England   ….   and so miles away from this  …  and if I may say an ex pilot   …   so very well done Mr Rudd !  …  but how refreshing to
see a clear eyed judge dispensing such clear eyed decisions  …

Richard Rudd wins against Mareeba Council

Richard Rudd wins against Mareeba Council


Today the Supreme Court of Queensland upheld the Application by Mr. Richard Rudd to have Mareeba Shire Council return his hangar at Mareeba Airport and for his continuing occupation.
It was a condition of the lease that Mr. Rudd did not reside at Lease N.

On the 31 August 2020, Mareeba Shire Council issued a notice to remedy saying Mr. Rudd was using the premises for residential purposes.

Mareeba Council said Mr. Rudd was residing, despite Mr. Rudd giving evidence to Council of his actual place of residence since June 2016.

Mareeba Shire continued the action alleging further misdeeds including “doing maintenance”.

On 20th January 2021, Mareeba Shire Council locked Mr. Rudd out of his hangar.

The Supreme Court judgement by Justice J. Henry awarded Mr. Rudd repossession of his hangar and continuing use.


e-mail: ozaviation@outlook.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/415535959533641

Some background:

Supreme Court Judgement 11th August 2021












Summary by Richard Rudd

Mareeba Council refuses to talk to Aviation stalwart


From Richard (Rudd)

A little history.

I first came to Mareeba airstrip in 1970 with an old aircraft.

In 1972 I called the first meetings in Cairns that resulted the Far North Queensland Soaring Centre, a sailplane and glider flying training group that operated for over 30 years at this field and a strip at Springmount.

Northair Surveys, the aerial mapping company I used to operate built the hangar on Lease F in 1988.

Hangar on Lease N was purchased from the previous lease holder/hangar owner and was finalised in 2016..

Two years ago I called the first meetings in my hangar, with a like minded group of aviators to discuss the need/ feasibility of establishing an Air Museum.

No such facility to tell the aviation heritage of FNQ or the beginnings of Mareeba airfield in WW2 was in existence. That idea has been embraced by many others and the younger generation and will soon become a reality.

You are all aware of the plans and future benefits to tourism, aviation activities and restoration of aircraft, etc for the airfield and the Shire with the Far North Queensland Aviation Museum.

My life time collection of aviation philately, stamps and commemorative flight envelopes, ephemera, posters, maps, photographs, engines and aircraft were to be gifted to FNQAM.

Along with all my tools, work benches, and artifacts, aircraft hardware and fittings for the museum and restoration workshops.

This action by Mareeba Shire Council has terminated this intent.


In the hangar there is a 1941 Stearman Bi-plane, which was used in filming TORA, TORA, TORA – the Japanese version of Pearl Harbour.

This is fully restored and ready to fly.

Senate Inquiry

Please get your pen out and put in a submission

Steve Hitchen relates this to a change in Minister and the rejuvenated Barnaby Joyce

– Steve Hitchen

Does the general aviation community have that much inquiry fatigue that they can’t find it in themselves to engage with the current senate inquiry? Or, are we dealing with a level of apathy generated by the impacts of the pandemic; impacts that have deprived the inquiry of energy?

Senator Susan McDonald issued a plea this week for the GA community to get their submissions in, a plea which has some merit given the recent experience at Moorabbin Airport where operators have been lumbered with a series of business-destroying master plans because almost no-one bothered to comment on them.

This is now solid proof that a lack of engagement with consultation demonstrates a lack of interest that is all the incentive politicians need to rubber stamp the plans and move on to something else. The senate GA inquiry will suffer the same fate if the community demonstrates the same levels of apathy, which looks like the paradigm right now.

If GA can engage more, we may be able to take advantage of an opportunity that has opened up: a change of minister. The GA inquiry is self-referred, which means no-one in the government is obliged to even so much as respond to it.

The word around Canberra is that a healthy, supported inquiry would get more traction with Barnaby Joyce than it would have with Michael McCormack.

However, if the senate presents a half-arsed, wishy-washy report drawn from the voices of only a passionate few, I suspect not even BJ himself will take a lot of notice.

The GA community needs to get over it’s apathy infection and engage in numbers to show Canberra that it is prepared to be involved in its own future.

The Senate entry point is: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Rural_and_Regional_Affairs_and_Transport/CovidAviation/Public_Hearings


Mareeba Council refuses to talk to Aviation stalwart

Richard Rudd is working through the inequity of the actions of the Mareeba Council CEO – Peter Hamilton Franks.
Richard reminded me yesterday that he contacted the elected representatives eleven (11) times from August 2020 to January 2021.
No response and Richard waits for that contact still.
Would be great to think Council could swallow it’s “pride” and settle this matter and allow Richard to be Richard and do what he is good at in Lease “N” at the local community airport.
Just a thought.
Maybe a letter to Angella Toppin, Mayor, Mareeba Council, Mareebe QLD 4880 would assist.
This is about Mareeba Council and it’s ceo attempting to remove a lease that has 14 years to run [2034] on spurious grounds from Richard and refusing to have a proper discussion with him.
This is not what we elected Mareeba Council to do.
More information on the Mareeba Airport page.  – Join the group and follow the progress.
Remember You Vote.
Richard’s Stearman, which has been restored over the past 10 years.

Gong’s galore in Canberra

Gong’s galore in Canberra

The following goes to Mr. Carmody, of ca$a, the ceo for the past few years, after the loss of Skidmore and McCormick.
















From the “Gong”, you would assume Carmody was a top level public servant, but NO, Carmody is far from that.

Ask the #aviation industry.

Carmody carries on with bullying tactics, removes instituted and agreed changes [ASRR] and is not liked by the GA [General Aviation] sector, particularly regarding part 61 [licencing] and AVMED [aviation medicals]

Ask anyone who has been subject to an “investigation”. They will tell you that there is “verbaling”, improper accusations and vexatious litigation.

AND does Carmody deserve the “gong”??


The Josh Hoch saga

Josh Hoch saga and #casa

This saga goes back to 2016, over 5 years ago. Now , the Supreme Court in Townsville has dismissed the “tampering” charges on the basis that it could not be proven: “Was it Josh Hoch who committed the act…”.

However, the fraud charges are a different matter and it will be interesting to see if the adjacent cancellation of Hoch’s AOC will proceed OR will #casa refuse to reinstate the AOC or is the use of the AOC related to the fraud.

Why did #casa issue the AOC, when Hoch had been operating in a commercial capacity in providing transport services to local politicians, at least to early 2016 or late 2015?


Josh Hoch case goes to District Court

Josh Hoch faces 343 charges including counts of endangering the safety of a person in a vehicle with intent, falsification of documents, and fraud; and Nichole Ellen Limburg faces one charge of fraud after a protracted multi-agency investigation was conducted in January 2017

North Queensland man’s charges of interfering with planes, sabotage of planes dropped in Supreme Court

A man in a striped shirt stands, staring directly at the camera. He is in a court house.
Josh Hoch was originally charged with more than 300 charges in 2017. Plane tampering charges were dropped in a Supreme Court sitting in Mount Isa.(ABC North West Queensland: Kelly Butterworth

A North Queensland pilot accused of tampering with his rivals’ fuel tanks has had charges of interfering with planes and associated sabotage of planes dropped in a Supreme Court sitting in Mount Isa.

Josh Hoch was 31 when he was charged with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences in 2017.

Today Justice James Henry dismissed the jury after one week of the trial, which was expected to last three weeks.

Justice Henry told the jury in the first five minutes of today’s sitting that the Crown would not continue to prosecute the charges relating to interfering with planes and associated sabotage.

“The short version is the case has been dropped,” Justice Henry said.

He told the jury that because they had been sitting on the case for a week, he would explain the particulars of the change.

Three ‘critical layers’ in case

Justice Henry outlined three “critical layers” of the case which the jury had been tasked to decide upon.

The first was if the contaminants in the fuel tanks had been there as the result of human intervention, the second was if it was done as a deliberate act of sabotage, and the third was if it had been Josh Hoch who had committed the alleged acts.

Mr Henry said it was the third that “was always the prosecution’s real challenge” and that they also had to prove motive, opportunity and that he had knowledge that only the offender would know.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the prosecution put up the white flag and has dropped the case,” Justice Henry said.

“It has been officially concluded, it was not sufficient to pursue a case.”

Mr Hoch has further charges proceeding in the District and Magistrates courts.

Josh Hoch’s aircraft tampering charges dropped in Supreme Court

Josh Hoch was charged in 2017 with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences.

Josh Hoch was charged in 2017 with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences.

On Monday March 8, Justice James Henry told the jury that the Crown would not continue to prosecute the charges relating to the planes and associated sabotage, following insufficient evidence to prove Hoch had committed the alleged acts.

The trial was expected to last three weeks, however Justice Henry dismissed the jury after the first week of the trial stating “the short version is the case has been dropped.”

ABC North West Queensland reported that Justice Henry outlined three “critical layers” of the case which the jury had been tasked to decide upon.

The first was if the contaminants in the fuel tanks had been there as the result of human intervention, the second was if it was done as a deliberate act of sabotage, and the third was if it had been Josh Hoch who had committed the alleged acts.

Mr Henry said it was the third that “was always the prosecution’s real challenge” and that they also had to prove motive, opportunity and that he had knowledge that only the offender would know.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the prosecution put up the white flag and has dropped the case,” Justice Henry said.

“It has been officially concluded, it was not sufficient to pursue a case.”

Hoch was charged in 2017 with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences.

Mr Hoch has further charges proceeding in the District and Magistrates courts.

CEO and Board Chair appointment to #casa

We have all been waiting for the Carmody replacement.

The press release from the Minister’s office is misleading at best: “Experienced … crew…”.

Well in aviation, one would expect a substantial GA or airline experience.

No, we have more of the “unqualified” people at the top.

At last look, #casa has responsibility for civil aviation.

Mark Binskin does not appear to meet that requirement, but he does have “…over 3,500 hours in single-seat fighter aircraft….” [see attached resume from Wikipedia]

As for Pip Spence: “…..comes to CASA from a senior leadership position within the Department of Infrastructure…….”, with “………..experience in aviation policy and regulation…..”, no better result here either. But Pip has “….strong track record “……strong track record of leading organisational change…”.

No GA or airline experience either.

All one can read here for the future is more of the same and lots of un-welcome change.

What is the Minister thinking?

Mark Binskin 2018.jpg

Experienced leadership crew to take the controls at CASA

The Australian Government has today announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Aviation Safety (DAS), and a new Chair of the Board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) – the statutory authority that regulates aviation safety in Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Ms Pip Spence (CEO and DAS) and former Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC (Board Chair) would bring vast experience to these critical roles.

“These appointments are a critical part of shaping the makeup of the CASA Board and the culture of the organisation more broadly,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The depth and breadth of experience that Ms Spence and Air Chief Marshal Binskin bring to bear show the Government is serious about ensuring CASA performs its critical role effectively.

“Their combined skills and experience will be essential for leading this critical regulator in keeping Australians safe while flying, as well as supporting an efficient, effective and reliable aviation industry – which is economically crucial for communities right across the nation.

“Ms Spence comes to CASA from a senior leadership position within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. She offers substantial experience in aviation policy and regulation, as well as government administration and public policy – including a strong track record of leading organisational change.

“Air Chief Marshal Binskin brings outstanding leadership and expertise in both aviation and defence, including significant experience within general aviation.

“These appointments send a strong message about our commitment to high-quality leadership for Australia’s aviation safety regulator, while providing certainty to CASA personnel and industry.”

Ms Spence will commence in her new role in the coming weeks for a period of up to five years. Air Chief Marshal Binskin will commence in August for a period of three years, when the term of the current Chair concludes.

Media Contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860 | Caitlin Donaldson 0428 389 880

Mark Binskin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mark Binskin
Mark Binskin 2018.jpg

Binskin in April 2018
Born 20 March 1960 (age 61)
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Navy (1978–84)
Royal Australian Air Force (1984–2018)
Years of service 1978–2018
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Chief of the Defence Force (2014–18)
Vice Chief of Defence Force (2011–14)
Chief of Air Force (2008–11)
RAAF Air Command (2007–08)
Air Combat Group (2004–05)
No. 77 Squadron (1998–99)
Battles/wars Iraq War

Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Commendation for Distinguished Service
Gugseon Medal of the Order of National Security Merit (South Korea)
Distinguished Service Order (Singapore)
Meritorious Service Medal (Singapore)
Commander of the Legion of Honour (France)
Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
Knight Grand Commander of the Order of Military Service (Malaysia)
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Other work Commissioner and Chair of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements

Air Chief Marshal Mark Donald Binskin, AC (born 20 March 1960) is a former senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. He served as Chief of Air Force (2008–11), Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2011–14), and Chief of the Defence Force from June 2014 until his retirement in July 2018. In February 2020 he was appointed as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Early life

Binskin was born on 20 March 1960 in Sydney and grew up in Campbelltown, New South Wales. He attended Campbelltown Public School, and completed secondary schooling at Hurlstone Agricultural High School.[1]

Service history

Binskin joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in May 1978, and on completion of flying training was posted to fly A-4G Skyhawk aircraft at Naval Air Station HMAS Albatross.[2] In January 1982, he was selected as the first RAN pilot to undergo an exchange with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), flying Mirage III aircraft. On completion of this exchange, and with the disbanding of the Navy’s fixed wing capability, he transferred to the RAAF in 1984.[2]

Binskin served as the Commanding Officer of No. 77 Squadron at Williamtown during the period 1998 and 1999, and later Commander of Air Combat Group from 2004 until 2005.[2]

Binskin’s flying qualifications include Fighter Combat Instructor and Tactical Reconnaissance Pilot. Additionally, he has served as the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilot, and in this position represented the RAAF throughout Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand, and has over 3,500 hours in single-seat fighter aircraft. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his performance in these two positions.[3]

During Australia’s 2003 contribution to the war in Iraq, Binskin served as Chief of Staff at Headquarters Australian Theatre. Following this, he served as the first dedicated non-United States Air Force Director of the US Central Air Force Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, where he was responsible for the conduct of all Coalition air operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (ADF operations Catalyst and Slipper). For his leadership capabilities in this appointment, he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service.[4]

Binskin was appointed to the position of Air Commander Australia on 26 July 2007.[5] He assumed the position of Chief of the Air Force (CAF) on 4 July 2008;[6] upon assuming this appointment, he was promoted to air marshal on 4 July 2008.[2]

Binskin was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2010 Queens Birthday Honours for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force in senior command and staff appointments.[7] He has additionally been honoured with Singapore’s Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gugseon Medal of the Order of National Security Merit from South Korea.[8]

On 1 June 2011, it was announced that Binskin would be appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF) from 4 July for a term of three years in the Defence leadership change over.[9] For his “eminent service to the Australian Defence Force” as CAF and VCDF, Binskin was advanced to a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Australia Day Honours.[10]

On 4 April 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Binskin will take over as Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) when General David Hurley‘s term expires on 4 July 2014 and the current Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs will replace him as VCDF.[11] The change of command occurred slightly earlier than advised, with Binskin promoted to air chief marshal and appointed CDF during a ceremony on 30 June.[12]

Personal life

Binskin is married to Gitte. They have two sons. His interests include camping, motor sports, dancing and motorcycle riding.[2]

And for Pip Spence.

No GA or airline experience either:

Pip Spence

Deputy Secretary,
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities


Pip Spence is the Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities where her responsibilities include Aviation and Airports, Surface Transport Policy and Portfolio Coordination and Research.

Prior to returning to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development in December 2015, Pip had a number of senior leadership roles in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, including running the Cabinet Division and the Ministerial Support Division.  She was also closely involved in the establishment of the National Broadband Network in the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and was awarded a Public Service Medal for her contribution to the telecommunications regulations reform associated with the implementation of the NBN. She commenced her career in the then Department of Transport and Communications, where she worked in a number of aviation-related areas, including as adviser to the then Minister for Transport.  She has significant policy and regulatory experience.

Pip has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the Australian National University.

Airspace Changes by Airservices- E

Class E was an early introduction between Melbourne and Mildura, with a lower limit of 7500FT. A clear and concise usage.

AirServices [ASA] new changes are a mish-mash of levels, requiring significant pilot inputs.

The proposal, by ASA uses AGL [Above Ground Level], not the universally accepted AMSL [Above Mean Sea Level].

There is no safety case made by Airservices in proposed changes to Class E airspace.

Requirements of Class E Airspace

As with other classes of controlled airspace, Class E airspace has specific requirements which are outlined by the FAA. Areas designated as Class E airspace have:

  • Basic VFR minimum visibility requirements of 3 miles when flying below 10,000 feet
  • Basic VFR cloud clearance minimums of 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, or 2,000 feet horizontally when flying below 10,000 feet
  • Minimum visibility requirements of 5 miles when flying above 10,000 feet
  • Cloud clearance minimums above 10,000 feet are 1,000 feet below, 1,000 feet above, and 1 mile horizontally
  • No specific equipment requirements

There have been a series of submissions calling for a different model.

The GFA says:

Airservices Australia has put in a proposal to lower the 8500-foot Class E airspace base between Cairns and Melbourne to 1500 feet AGL, a move that would eradicate most of the Class G airspace on the eastern seaboard.

The proposal has been given a very short consultation period and has not been accompanied by a safety case, which–along with the prospect of losing Class G–has raised the ire of many stakeholder groups.

RAus says:

Australian Class E airspace mandates a requirement for aircraft operating in the airspace to be fitted with a serviceable transponder unless the aircraft is exempt (gliders and other non-engine driven aircraft or aircraft with no electrical system capable of powering a transponder).

Additionally, this proposal would see the requirement for being fitted with dual serviceable VHF radio capable of ‘continuous two way’ communications. Low cost ADS-B and non TSO’d alternatives to Mode A/C or S transponders such as Sky Echo or Flarm equipment commonly used in gliders are not compliant to the requirements of Class E – refer CAO 20.18 and AIP for further information.


Gliding Federation [GFA]


Northern Users

The ASA response:

The refined design seeks to:

  • improve safety of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations by providing a more effective risk control against conflict/collision risk than pilot-separation
  • minimise adverse impact on the needs of airspace users, particularly general aviation operators, that will continue to require access to Class G airspace, including those without necessary transponder or radio equipment
  • provide more levels to cater for safety of operations outside proposed Class E airspace to avoid terrain (including a minimum of 1,360ft of Class G airspace between terrain and the base of Class E airspace in mountainous areas) and cope with convective weather
  • remove potential for confusion regarding the operation of aircraft in Class E or Class G airspace, and which frequency the pilot should be on, by referencing airspace levels to AMSL
  • reduce the impact of frequency transfer during critical high-workload phases of flight between area frequency and Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) while transiting across Class E and Class G airspace.

The ASA reasons:

In recent times there has been a relatively significant change in airspace usage and risk profile. While there has been an overall reduction in air traffic due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen in a surge in general aviation activities. We also expect the traffic mix and interactions between diverse types of airspace users to continue to change dynamically in response to the Government support for tourism recovery and regional aviation development, as we start to emerge from the pandemic.

This increased airspace complexity requires us to rethink traditional service provision and ensure that we are proactively adjusting to new and emerging risks. We also have had the opportunity to learn from recent safety occurrences, particularly in areas where there is a reliance on pilots self-separation.

The primary driver of the proposal is to deliver a net safety benefit to industry with minimal adverse impact on access, cost and other needs of individual airspace users. We aim to achieve this outcome by:

  • proactively reducing the conflict/collision risk between IFR and IFR aircraft in proposed airspace volumes that will be changed from Class G to Class E
  • retaining a portion of Class G airspace to meet the needs of non-transponder equipped aircraft and as part of supporting the general aviation sector.

There is NO data to support these assertions.

In fact, COVID has seen significant drops in traffic and this veiled “..dash for cash…” is not a valid reason for a change of this magnitude, where there has been no data shown in support.

And the e-mail:

Airservices Stakeholder Engagement

How #Mareeba Council deals with #Airport hangar leaseholders

What is going on at #Mareeba Airport?

To all those with airfield interests: you should be very concerned. Over the past seven months I have been subjected to a relentless campaign regarding the normal occupancy of my Hangar, currently culminating in a Lock-out, Lease termination and proposed eviction.
In June last year I wrote a letter to the Finance dept, having taken pensioner discounts off my Rate Notice, since I am a lease holder pensioner (of 81 yrs).
I also mentioned caretaking (which I wasn’t).
The result of this letter, without phone call, query, explanation or any discussion from MSC about the issue, was a Form 7 and threat of eviction if I didn’t stop residing there, issued by C.E.O. Franks.
The MSC lawyer was immediately advised..NOT residing, and the building remains “an aircraft storage facility”, the generic term for a hangar and its normal uses. This should have been the end of it, but NO.
C.E.O. Franks, (who I have never met) has conducted a vicious personal vendetta at ratepayer expense, under the guise of “compliance issues”, some of which are “homemade” fallacious and capricious nonsense.
Somehow I have fallen foul of this bullying bureaucrat, for reasons yet undetermined. I allege that he has an agenda, and I can only surmise, a corrupt one at that That is now not in doubt. So far this has all been targeted at myself only, but these so called “compliance” issues could be applied to all hangars on the airfield.
Until now I have done only the same in my hangar as at this airfield for the last 40 years.
So much for “occupancy for my quiet enjoyment” in my retirement years.
As given: Elder Abuse, discrimination, lies, denial of certain rights, lack of due process and abuse of power.
And an illegal covert cctv camera for Invasion of Privacy. Franks has no limits.
UPDATE: As of today, 4 Feb. my hangar is deemed to be “abandoned”, and MSC can sell my hangar and contents after 14 days.
Now QCAT and the Courts will have to decide. My fate. Or his.
Supreme Court Action:
Well #mareeba council solicitors are trying to “…get more time…”. Reckon, if Richard was locked out they had more than enough to reply.
Change to date proposed is the following Friday the 26th March.
MTF More to Follow.
#mareeba council will have to appear in the Cairns Supreme Court next Friday, the 12th of March.
The game is up. Explanations are now due.
Richard made 11 written requests for matters to be discussed over the last few months.
The Court is a public hearing.
The good thing about going to court.
The shenanigan activity will be made public and people can repeat the short comings with immunity because it has been made by way of a court proceedings.
FAR NORTH councils have recorded the most complaints across regional Queensland in the 12 months to June 2020, a new report has shown.
The latest Office of the Independent Assessor report released shows that 143 complaints about Far North councils were lodged with the office followed by Wide Bay Burnett at 105.
So why???????
The Mareeba mayor is saying…they the council have had few complaints and they the council are robust and transparent.
The stories are not adding up, just look at the fiasco at the Mareeba airport.
Then who is telling fibby wibs?
Must have had lessons from Annastacia & Co Pty Ltd..
Here’s what #Mayor Tippin says about complaints:
Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said that while the council “has had very few complaints referred to the OIA, the robust process ensures that councillors are transparent and accountable”.

Gathering at #Mareeba Council Chambers on 16th February:

Richard outside #Mareeba Shire on Tuesday [16th February] morning calling for Franks to go or be removed for his scurrilous behaviour.
No new news on Wednesday, except for a call from #mareeba Council solicitor on direction from #franks, refusing to allow Mareeba Council or the Mayor to answer questions.
The question asked, a single one, was: “Why is Mareeba Shire refusing to talk to ratepayers?”
The solicitor, from Preston Law in Cairns, tried to put words in my mouth during the short “conversation”. Glad Juliananna CUDA, is not representing me!
This is the law firm who have not answered Richard’s letter of 8th February 2021.
Oh, by the way, Richard wrote to Council 11 times requesting a meeting/ reply/ conversation/ discussion/ explanation. All he got was a non-conclusive letter on 23rd December 2020 as a RTK/ FOI written by the compromised compliance officer – Schmuck. Preston Law said Richard should have written to them for a reply. Preston Law dodged the 8/2/21 letter, with no reply by 17th february.
No chance for a reply to any matter.
Read this pdf to see how Franks has dealt with Council matters in the past. This is Delatite Council in NE Victoria.

Activities to support Richard:
Well an interesting morning today.
I was asked to put a question to #Mayor Tippin.
She was asked as to how she represented ratepayers.
Expected a reasonable and workable answer, but NO a call by #franks and #mareeba council solicitors refusing ANY answers.
This demonstrates that Mayor #toppin has no intention of representing the #community.
ABC Cairns gave us air time this am. Discussed community representation by Councils and the failure of Mareeba Council to represent the community.
#Mareeba Shire Council is taking action against an 81 year old pensioner and has locked him out of his #hangar at the #airport.
The occupant, has requested explanations from Council CEO #Franks on eleven occasions [since September 2020], with no answer.
He arrived on 20th January 2021 to find his locks cut off and Council locks installed.
The occupant has been leasing the hangar site since 2016 and has a lease until 2037.
The Form 7 that were plastered on his door are for minor issues, which were requited prior to Christmas 2020, with one being requited in late 2016.
The #Mayor, Angela #Toppin, refuses talk to the individual and CEO #Franks, has forbidden any Councillor to have any involvement on the basis of being sub-judice.
There are no Court actions being taken against this individual by Council, just an unwarranted #administrative action.
Who runs this Council, the #elected #representatives, the #community representatives or an unelected CEO?
Visitor to Richard’s Hangar:
I’ve been in Richard’s hangar about three years ago. He keeps everything in very good order and his memorabilia make a valuable contribution to aviation. He should be congratulated for his collection and Council should encourage him to invite aviators and tourists to his hangar. Apart from being a gracious host and a Pilot with a great history, he is practically an institution at Mareeba airport.
The Council should go back to square one, declare a moratorium on action against Richard and restore his tenancy.
Australians need individuals like Richard, those that may not fit into a bureaucratic mould, but have ideas and enterprise. That spirit that made this country and inspires the free enterprise that gives us our prosperity.
As to the substance of Council’s objections to Richard I will pose the following:-

The Question.

“Has Richard harmed anyone by his tenancy of that hangar?”


 What of Peter Hamilton Franks: Does he have a history?

Yes: See document below at the italicised section, where Franks made a decision, with no Council approval.

Delatite Council is headquartered in Benalla, one of the four Council’s he has been at since coming to Australia in the early 2000 period.

TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF THE HUTS [1950’s migrant hostel]

5. There have been four separate approaches to locate any documents proving that ownership was previously legally transferred from Council to some current hut users.
• An FOI request by Sabine Smyth dated 4th January 2017.
• A Council request to hut users who were members of the CMP Steering Committee to table ownership documents.
• A Council search of Delatite Shire records.
• A Council request to hut users in September 2018.
No documents proving that ownership was previously transferred have been located or produced or tabled at any Council or Committee meeting considering the issue of ownership.
6. The report to the Planning and Development Committee of 12th June 2019 stated that Council wrote to all hut occupants in September 2018. The request was not for “ownership” documents but copies of “documents relating to each organisations’ occupancy of their respective hut”. As I raised at the time, via communication with Council’s then CEO, these same groups had previously been asked to table any “ownership” documents at meetings of the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) Steering Committee.
7. The report to the Planning and Development Committee of 12th June 2019 made no mention of any documentary proof of transfer of ownership being produced after the above-mentioned September 2018 request.
None was produced to the CMP Steering Committee. (See the notes of those meetings and documents tabled).
A letter purporting to transfer ownership is not documentary proof of transfer of ownership in the absence of proof that Council gave authority for such a transfer.
8. Similarly, no documentary proof emerged from the Freedom of Information request on Council by Sabine Smyth of Benalla Migrant Camp Exhibition Inc. dated 4th January 2017.

9. The FOI request sought documents including “Copies of any documents relating to the transfer or gifting of Huts 1 and 2” and
“Copies of documents relating to the transfer of ownership or lease from Council to an external group or body concerning Benalla Aeropark huts 1 &2, Ballooning Victoria Hut, Benalla Theatre huts 63 & 64.”
10. No documents produced under the FOI request proved a transfer of ownership of any of the huts.
11. The documents produced in response to this FOI request showed the following:
• In early 2002 Council had allowed the Theatre Group to occupy huts 63 and 64 “rent free” on the basis they renovated and maintained them.
• A report dated 19th March 2002 outlined two options to Council one of which was a recommendation to gift some huts and lease the land. There was no documented resolution of Council (including Delatite Shire) produced in response to the FOI request to either adopt this recommendation to gift nor to delegate that authority to a Council officer.
A Council officer (Peter Franks) sent a letter to the Balloon Association of Victoria, (29/5/2002), and another officer (Janine McMaster) sent a letter to Benalla Theatre Company (30/9/2002) indicating “Council by delegation now confirms and hereby transfers ownership and responsibility, including maintenance, repairs etc to your association with Council now only leasing the land … Council confirms that it will maintain the building insurance on the huts …”
• No Council document proving a delegated authority to transfer ownership was produced.
• No Council documents evidenced that the leasing of the land referred to in these letters took place.
• No Council documents evidenced any alteration to the arrangement that Council maintained the insurance on these huts.
• There was no similar letter to the Gliding Club produced referring to any transfer of ownership.
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 5
12. Whilst letters were sent from Council staff to these two organisations, the documents produced failed to show any authority for their actions on Council’s behalf. Ownership in property does not pass by mistake or by letters sent without foundation in a Council decision.
13. The fact that the resolution before Council now is to “gift” these huts confirms that Council knows that the ownership has not been previously transferred. If it had been, no Deed of Gift is needed now.
This is a flawed process.
14. I understand that the Ballooning Club and the Theatre Group may have been misled by the above-mentioned correspondence to some extent. The fact Council agreed to maintain insurance on the huts and supplied services to them for free must also be considered when assessing what type of “ownership” they might have thought they had. However, they have both had the benefit of rent-free premises for more than 16 years, with Council paying the insurance on the buildings and providing services. Any maintenance costs they have incurred is offset by this advantage and the Council’s payment of insurance and services on the huts. In addition, the Ballooning Club has been using the huts for a profit making accommodation business.
The cost of repairs was linked to this. Any leases paid by them have been on the basis of a peppercorn rent. The notes of the CMP Steering Committee meetings show that Council paid for some repairs. Further, the Theatre Group received a grant for repairs carried out in 2016/17.
15. These groups are not disadvantaged by the huts remaining in Council ownership.
16. If Council gives away the right to inspection and oversight of the condition of the huts by giving private ownership to hut users, how will it manage to ensure the place does not fall into disrepair? How will it ensure access to maintain them so that their conservation is not threatened? Council is still considered the owner of the place until it notifies Heritage Victoria that the land has been sold and the land title has changed.
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 6
17. If Council gives away the huts the proposed gifting will have impacts on Council well into the future. Council will still own the land but if any of the Corporations gifted these huts wind up, the ownership of the hut will go to whoever is the beneficiary of the assets of the Corporation. Council could be dealing with an owner who may be far removed from the place and who might not want to use the hut and yet Council would still be the liable as “owner” of the Heritage Listed Place. A Deed of Gifting cannot foresee and cover every future
18. If, at any time in the future the current users of the huts gifted ownership, or decided to vacate them, what then? They may walk away. Council would have no power to force them to remove the huts from the site and in any event, it is highly unlikely, in that event, that Heritage Victoria would allow this. So, Council would be in a worse position. It might be forced to buy back huts it is now wanting to give away for free. What if there are disputes within the Corporations given the huts? Council would have no power to resolve a dispute affecting how the hut was managed/treated.
19. These scenarios seem to be placing Council in a position contrary to responsibilities under the Victorian Local Government Act to apply Principles of Sound Financial Management to Council business. (Section 136). Exposing Council to legal liabilities whilst putting out of reach the means to protect Council against these liabilities, is not sound financial management.
20. A decision now to give away Council assets, such as these most significant huts, would surely raise questions of the integrity of Council’s asset disposal practices and policies.
21. Who is carrying the public liability insurance on these huts which are on Council land? Who is covering the building insurance?
22. None of the users of these huts need to own them to continue their use of the huts. Council does not avoid liability by giving them away.
So, why would Council take this step?
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 7
23. The Conservation Management Plan will be made more difficult to implement if inspections, maintenance, repairs etc. have to be coordinated with four different hut owners. Why would Council take this step?
24. Applications for available grants will be made more difficult if they have to be coordinated with four different hut owners. Why would Council take this step?
25. The report to the Planning and Development Committee, in support of the gifting, states that “the unsettled matter of hut ownership has prevented the lodgement of grant applications and is an encumbrance to coordinated planned works at the site”. On the contrary, dividing up the ownership of the huts will be an encumbrance. It will require greater co-ordination of decision making, grant applications, repairs and maintenance.

Why would Council take this step?

Other Airports:

Central Coast – Warnervale

Guidance from the former Central Coast Council Mayor on how to be deceitful, hide important matters in Confidential, and straight out lie to their constituents.
Get a bolt cutter – then if they lock it up again get the bolt cutter again just keep on going. That is what we did when Bankstown Airport took our big hangar years ago – We blocked the entrance with fuel truck and aircraft – Got some chain in case they were going to move the truck – they are not allowed to touch aircraft.
We kept on flying and got a good lawyer. Has he got an up to date signed lease?
I know one pilot who had his plane chained up because there was a fight going on with the government over his US registered aircraft they wanted tax. He just got the bolt cutters freed the aircraft and kept going. One fellow tried to fence Ray in and stop him getting logs out along a right of way – so he just got his bulldozer and tore the fence down!
Crookwell Airport:
Council are refusing to correctly recognise a lease of Jim Hutson’s, “removing” or at best hiding records and changing dates to benefit Council.

Senator McDonald in Charters Towers

Senator McDonald is available for aviators to meet in Charters Towers to meet with FNQ aviators and GA personnel.

She has a busy schedule and cleared it to listen to matters relevant to us in the region.

In the past 6 hours, people have been contacted in Townsville, Ayr, Rockhampton, Innisfail, Mareeba, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Hugheneden and Ingham.

Please  advise the organiser on 0428 483 155 in the next two days as to availability and arrival times.

We can meet people at the airport from 1200 until 1445 local time, after a phone call (as above).

DATE: 3PM Saturday 20th March 2021

Purpose of meeting:

Give the senator relevant information from your own point of view of the problems and solutions to the GA debacle. Five minutes to each speaker, with supporting paperwork as a submission. Names can be anonymous.

Importance and relevance: A perfect opportunity to assist the current Senate GA Inquiry and Meet like minded individuals.

LOCATION: In the Dining room, Commercial Hotel, 151 Mossman Street, Charters Towers.









PS: We apologise for the late notice, but the Senator’s itinerary was only just finalised.

Senate Hearing

Josh Hoch case goes to District Court

The Josh Hoch case goes to District Court in Mt. Isa. There is much more to see here.

Below is the summary so far. My question is simply: Where is CA$A in this saga??

Serious breaches of Civil Aviation Act by Josh Hoch

Josh Hoch, #casa, Queensland Police update


Josh Hoch and Nichole Limburg case sent to the district court

Mr Hoch was arrested by Mount Isa detectives on January 24, 2017 and was charged with 342 offences – mostly fraud related.

February 5, the DPP dropped two charges and seven more, mostly log book charges would remain with the magistrates court at a date of September 16, when the district court is expected to finish, but most charges will now be heard at the district court at a date to be determined.

Neither Mr Hoch nor Ms Limburg attended Wednesday’s court session and their bail was enlarged until September 15.

Crunch time for Josh Hoch and Nichole Limburg case

The case of Hoch and Limburg was heard in Mount Isa Magistrates Court today.

The case of Hoch and Limburg was heard in Mount Isa Magistrates Court today.

On Wednesday November 27, Mount Isa Magistrates Court briefly heard the charges against former local pilot Josh Hoch and his employee Nichole Ellen Limburg that involve tampering with aircraft and fraud.

Mr Hoch and Ms Limburg’s solicitor Morgan Whelan confirmed the office had disclosed a list of witnesses to the Commonwealth DPP on November 18, however had not disclosed the application for cross examination by deadline.

“Given the volume of material we anticipate that we will be able to provide the cross examination material hopefully by early next week,” Ms Whelan said.

When asked by Magistrate Trinity McGarvie why it was not disclosed by the November 18 deadline Ms Whelan said “we have partially complied with it.”

Commonwealth DPP and State DPP representative C. Moore confirmed the crown had received the list of witnesses at 4:56pm on November 18, but did not oppose the defence taking more time to prepare documents before the next court date of January 22.

“By that date I expect to have received it and both crowns to have provided their response to what they have consented and opposed to,” Mr Moore said.

Magistrate McGarvie said if applications were not filed she would have great difficulty in being satisfied after a two year delay that there was any reason to cross examine.

“My directions are for the filing and serving to cross examine witnesses is enlarged until the 15th of January 2020,” Magistrate McGarvie said.

“If failing, the matter will be listed for a hand up committal without cross examination on January 22, 2020 at 12pm.

“In those circumstances I will order that the personal appearance of the defendants is required on that day.”

Mr Hoch was arrested by Mount Isa detectives on January 24, 2017 and was charged with 342 offences – mostly fraud related.

Other charges include 64 charges of general dishonesty obtaining gain, 51 charges of dishonesty gain benefit, 99 charges operation of an aircraft results in contravention of air operators certificate, and 5 charges of endangering the safety of a person in a vehicle with intent; and more.

Ms Limburg was charged with one count of fraud by employee, associated with Mr Hoch’s case.

Hoch and Limburg cases on hold until matters finalised in Supreme Court

Mount Isa Magistrates Court heard the charges against Josh Hoch and Nichole Ellen Limburg as the DPP updated the court in a committal mention on Wednesday, July 17.

The DPP advised the court that the 343 charges against Mr Hoch and one charge against Ms Limburg could not progress due to constitutional matters being heard in the Townsville Supreme Court.

“There is a constitutional challenge to some of the state charges, and the committal mention cannot progress until those matters are finalised,” the DPP said.

“The constitutional matters are sitting on August 8-9 in Townsville Supreme Court, there was a mention in Supreme Court on July 16 and it was told that both parties are ready to proceed on that date.

“With respect to these matters in Magistrates Court, we will need to await the outcome of the constitutional argument first.”

The committal mention of Mr Hoch and Ms Limburg was adjourned until Wednesday, October 16.

Josh Hoch faces 343 charges including counts of endangering the safety of a person in a vehicle with intent, falsification of documents, and fraud; and Nichole Ellen Limburg faces one charge of fraud after a protracted multi-agency investigation was conducted in January 2017

Josh Hoch’s case ‘has had more starts then Phar Lap’

JOSH HOCH: The commital hearing was scheduled for April 18. Photo: Supplied

JOSH HOCH: The commital hearing was scheduled for April 18. Photo: Supplied

His case was adjourned until April 18 and if no notices are issued at this hea

Magistrate James Morton said the case had been stalling for too long.

“This case has had more starts then Phar Lap,” he said

“It’s been ongoing since I started in Mount Isa two years ago, now I’m about to leave.”

Mr Hoch was arrested by Mount Isa detectives on January 24, 2017 and was charged with 342 offences – mostly fraud related.

Five of those charges are more serious allegations of deliberating tampering with airplanes.

Other charges include 64 charges of general dishonesty obtaining gain, 51 charges of dishonesty gain benefit, 95 charges not authorised to perform duty as well as forging documents with intent to defraud and failing to keep personal log book.

Nichole Ellen Limburg will also face court on April 18, with a fraud charge associated with Mr Hoch’s case.


2020 – A summary of the past decade

In the past 10 years there have been huge changes in the #aviation industry.

Most are illusory and not required for a dynamic industry.

Safety has not improved, despite there being top-down extremely obstructive regulations.

The regulatory set, which has been in progress for 30 years is not complete and is proving to be a serious road block for the #aviation industry.

Numerous inquiries, with excellent outcomes expected, but stymied by the regulator – #casa.

Does an air-crash cometh?

AND 2020?

A new inquiry, from the Australian Senate and new eyes who must control the monster #casa.

Just a light read, which demonstrates the disquiet in the #aviation industry

Overbearing dead hand at the wheel – #CA$A is killing vital industry

#casa circular regulations could result in a $10.5K fine

Have been on a browse through the new regulations [or parts] and Part 117 is a doosey.

Simply, if you read a part, get it wrong in #casa’s eyes, expect a $10,500 fine.

Even if you ask #casa for an interpretation, don’t expect it any time soon. I know of one case where it took 23-months.

I know of lots of cases where, even with an FOI, #casa will expunge the record or say there is no record.

Just ask the FOI officer for information and check it out soon.



Part 117—Representations and surveys  

Contents of Part 117

117.005     What this Part is about

117.010     Misrepresentations about holding certain civil aviation authorisations

117.015     Safety‑related surveys or questionnaires—holders of certain civil aviation authorisations

117.005  What this Part is about

This Part provides for offences for:

(a)  misrepresentations about holding certain civil aviation authorisations; and

(b)  not completing safety‑related surveys or questionnaires.

117.010  Misrepresentations about holding certain civil aviation authorisations

(1)  A person commits an offence if:

(a)  the person represents to another person, in any way, that the person is willing to conduct an activity using an aircraft; and

(b)  the person does not hold a particular civil aviation authorisation authorising the person to conduct the activity using the aircraft; and

(c)  under the Act or these Regulations, it is an offence for a person to conduct the activity using the aircraft if the person does not hold the civil aviation authorisation.

Penalty:  50 penalty units.

(2)  An offence against this regulation is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For the definition of civil aviation authorisation, see section 3 of the Act.

Under Commonwealth law (i.e. the Crimes Amendment (Penalty Unit) Act 2017 (Cth)), the value of one (1) penalty unit is $210, as per section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).

On 1 July 2017, the value of a Commonwealth penalty unit increased from $180 to $210.

50 penalty units = $10,500

117.015  Safety‑related surveys or questionnaires—holders of certain civil aviation authorisations

(1)  CASA may, by written notice given to a person mentioned in subregulation (2), direct the person to:

(a)  complete a safety‑related survey or questionnaire by accurately answering all mandatory questions in the survey or questionnaire; and

(b)  submit the completed survey or questionnaire to CASA within the time stated in the notice.

(2)  For subregulation (1), the persons are the following:

(a)  the holder of an AOC;

(b)  a Part 141 operator who conducts flight training in aircraft;

(c)  a person who gave a notice to CASA under regulation 101.372 (Notice to operate very small RPA for hire or reward);

(d)  the holder of a certificate as an RPA operator under Division 101.F.4.

(3)  The person may, before the end of the time stated in the notice, apply in writing to CASA for an extension.

(4)  CASA may, by written notice given to the person (the notice of extension), grant the extension.

(5)  The person commits an offence if the person does not comply with the direction within:

(a)  if CASA grants an extension under subregulation (4)—the time stated in the notice of extension; or

(b)  if paragraph (a) does not apply—the time stated in the notice under subregulation (1).

Penalty:  25 penalty units.

(6)  An offence against this regulation is an offence of strict liability.


Reith letter to the Australian Senate

Sandy Reith reminds the Senators of the history of the past 10-years, where #aviation has come under extreme pressure due to indifferent Government action and failure to manage #aviation for the future.
The need for a major structural change is evident. [The letter is published below.]
The #casa experiment is a dismal failure, with the industry assessment [Colmar Brunton survey] being from 30 to 46% having any satisfaction in the regulator.
We remind you that in 30-years, #casa has not completed the task it was set up to undertake – new regulations, despite all #casa CEO’s claiming “…by the end of the year…”.
The #aviation industry needs to have a non-performer meet it’s maker.
The way forward:
  • Report under a Minister;
  • Remove #casa as an independent organisation;
  • Remove the un-nessesary red tape nightmare;
  • Introduce the US regulations [US-FAR’s];
  • Have a judicial inquiry into #casa nonfeasance;

As a result, there will be a restoration of business opportunities and a revitalisation of rural and regional #aviation, including training and the maintenance industry.

Removal of the improperly applied ASIC card and a rework of the Aviation Security Act would also assist. We note that this requirement is not applied in the States.

And there has been a political push from Queensland to censure #casa and make changes to the Aviation Act.

The #aviation maintenance industry, via AMROBA says:

GA and Alignment with Asia Pacific: To align with the Asia Pacific region is achievable but we also need to preserve and nurture our own GA system to provide various entry levels for pilots and maintenance engineers. Our regulatory system must return to the vision the Morris Report introduced for CASA to promulgated aviation safety regulations and standards for pilots and engineers. This would open the doors for cost effective processes to attract Y and Z generations into aviation.

Here is the letter from Sandy Reith to the Australian senators.

Dear Senators,
The last thing we need is yet another inquiry. You have the Forsyth Report from the (time consuming and expensive) Aviation Safety Regulation Review, the ASRR. You also have the BITRE report on GA. You have the CASA figures of current medical approvals and if you count out overseas students you will see a big decline.
In the ASRR you will find hundreds of submissions which go exactly to the problems and decline of GA in Australia. In the PDF attached you will see part of the problem, over regulation causing huge cost increases which is why we are now so uncompetitive, why we have to import our airline pilots. You might understand that GA activity has declined when our population has almost doubled.
Why we have lost thousands of jobs, businesses and services in GA right across Australia. In the USA an instructor can go out and teach flying. They are not graded. Not so here, you will have to be graded, vetted and spend many thousands ($50,000? more?) and wait uncertainly over months or years for a flying school permit. Totally unnecessary.
The attached table was produced by Adrianne Fleming, Head of Operations at Tristar Aviation, Moorabbin Airport regarding the latest rules versus the previous regime.
Tip of the iceberg. 
What is sorely needed is reform action. Not another inquiry.
You could start by requiring CASA to immediately allow independent instructors as per the USA.
Thirty one years ago CASA (it’s predecessor by another name change) was set by the Minister to rewrite the rules. It still hasn’t finished because the independent corporate body model of governance cannot work. It is incapable.
There must be a transparent line of Parliamentary oversight and accountability. We are entitled to expect governments to govern, not hand over virtually unlimited power to unelected bureaucrats.
If you suspect I’m exaggerating, look at the Glen Buckley case, an excellent example of the CASA modus operandi, how to crush a GA business.
There is a great opportunity to revitalise this ailing industry, there’s just enough left of the GA industry to build upon, please do not do a Nero.
Alexander C. (Sandy) Reith

Reform for General Aviation (GA), simple rules, independent instructors and maintenance engineers, car driver medicals for Private Pilots. Ring, write, email and contact your local MP and State Senators to lobby for US style aviation administration and rules.

To fly is not a government given ‘privilege’ but our right to pursue happiness as free people. GA is in severe decline and demands change for growth, jobs and a fair go.

My commercial flying operations commenced 1968. Former Chief Pilot, Chief Instructor, aircraft and airport owner running scheduled services, charters and flying school with licence testing approvals. Current private flying and aircraft owner.

“No axe to grind,”  wish to see my country do better. More info? Please contact anytime.



Senate inquiry into General Aviation – GA

Inquiry announced into General Aviation [#GA]

Many in the #aviation industry believe that #aviation is in a terminal state, the image below demonstrating the state of the nation.

Others have a more opportunistic view, but fully believe that #aviation, with the correct intervention can survive and thrive.

There are numerous things that must be changed to ensure the healthy survival of #GA, given it’s importance to the Australian economy and to Remote and Rural Australia.

The proposed restructure that came with the #ASRR report of David Forsyth [2013] of #casa became derailed after a very short time.

Most have the view that the derailing of the reforms that the #ASRR report proposed, was negatively driven and was purposeful by the regulator, #casa.

The Colmar-Brunton report, launched by #casa showed the depth of despair of the #aviation industry in 2015. Even the #casa Board has failed to properly drive the regulator in a direction that matches the #aviation community expectations.

In fact, two years after the #ASRR, there was little progress to implement the recommendations.

Even the [now] Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese did not get the importance of #aviation in his 2015 address.

Senate Estimates:

A casual viewer of the Senate estimates would come to the conclusion that there was something wrong in the process. The brush-offs of senators answers, the uncovered lies and the “…spin-doctored…” replies to Questions on Notice [QON], the lateness of the replies and so on.

The proposed Inquiry, announced yesterday [2nd December 2019], is, what may be the last chance the #aviation industry get to rectify the industry.

There must be major changes to how the regulator relates to Government and the Industry.


Australia’s general aviation industry

Status: Accepting Submissions
Date Referred: 02 December 2019
Reporting Date: 30 November 2021

Under Standing Order 25 (2) (a), the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee will inquire into and report on the current state of Australia’s general aviation industry, with particular reference to aviation in rural, regional and remote Australia.

The committee will consider the operation and effectiveness of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and other relevant aviation agencies, with particular reference to:

  1. the legislative and regulatory framework underpinning CASA’s aviation safety management functions, including:
    1. the application of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 to Australia’s aviation sector, and whether the legislation is fit for purpose;
    2. the safety and economic impacts, and relative risks, of CASA’s aviation safety frameworks; and
    3. the engagement of CASA with other relevant Australian Government agencies;
  2. the immediate and long-term social and economic impacts of CASA decisions on small businesses, agricultural operations and individuals across regional, rural and remote Australia;
  3. CASA’s processes and functions, including:
    1. its maintenance of an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry, including viable general aviation and training sectors;
    2. the efficacy of its engagement with the aviation sector, including via public consultation; and
    3. its ability to broaden accessibility to regional aviation across Australia, considering the associated benefits of an expanded aviation sector; and
  4. any related matters.

The committee will present its interim report on or before the final sitting day of December 2020, and will present its final report on or before the final sitting day of November 2021.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3511
Fax: +61 2 6277 5811

RRAT Committee – Senate

Who is on the committee for RRAT and responsible for the #aviation industry in Australia.

Photo of Senator Susan McDonald

Senator Susan McDonald – QLD Senator and Cloncurry origin

The underlined members, in red are those who have had positive interactions, or a personal knowledge of the #aviation industry.

Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

References Committee Membership

Committee Members

  • Chair

    Senator Glenn Sterle

    Photo of Senator Glenn Sterle

    Australian Labor Party, WA

  • Deputy Chair

    Senator Susan McDonald

    Photo of Senator Susan McDonald

    The Nationals, QLD

  • Member

    Senator Alex Gallacher

    Photo of Senator Alex Gallacher

    Australian Labor Party, SA

  • Member

    Senator Gerard Rennick

    Photo of Senator Gerard Rennick

    Liberal Party of Australia, QLD

  • Member

    Senator Janet Rice

    Photo of Senator Janet Rice

    Australian Greens, VIC

  • Member

    Senator Murray Watt

    Photo of Senator Murray Watt

    Australian Labor Party, QLD

  • Substitute Member

    Senator Nita Green

    Photo of Senator Nita Green

    Australian Labor Party, QLD

    Substitute Member to replace Senator Murray Watt for the Identification of leading practices in ensuring evidence-based regulation of farm practices that impact water quality outcomes in the Great Barrier Reef

  • Substitute Member

    Senator Larissa Waters

    Photo of Senator Larissa Waters

    Australian Greens, QLD

    Substitute Member to replace Senator Janet Rice for the Identification of leading practices in ensuring evidence-based regulation of farm practices that impact water quality outcomes in the Great Barrier Reef

Participating Members

Senators Eric Abetz, Alex Antic, Wendy Askew, Tim Ayres, Catryna Bilyk, Andrew Bragg, Slade Brockman, Carol Brown, Kim Carr, Claire Chandler, Anthony Chisholm, Raff Ciccone, Perin Davey, Richard Di Natale, Patrick Dodson, Don Farrell, Mehreen Faruqi, David Fawcett, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Katy Gallagher, Nita Green, Stirling Griff, Pauline Hanson, Sarah Hanson-Young, Sarah Henderson, Hollie Hughes, Kristina Keneally, Kimberley Kitching, Jacqui Lambie, Sue Lines, Jenny McAllister, Malarndirri McCarthy, James McGrath, Nick McKim, Sam McMahon, Jim Molan, Deborah O’Neill, Matt O’Sullivan, James Paterson, Rex Patrick, Helen Polley, Louise Pratt, Malcolm Roberts, Paul Scarr, Tony Sheldon, Rachel Siewert, Dean Smith, Marielle Smith, Jordon Steele-John, Amanda Stoker, Anne Urquhart, David Van, Jess Walsh, Larissa Waters, Peter Whish-Wilson, Penny Wong