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Unnecessary ASIC becomes a further impost on rural and remote users

The thoroughly unnecessary ASIC becomes a further impost on rural users on 1st August with major changes to how it operates, with a requirement to present with documents in person, for which there may be a charge made on the applicant.

RAus has withdrawn from the market on the basis of onerous conditions and the direction of responsibility to the person taking the application and “…proving…” the documents.

That leaves Aviation ID Australia at Merimbula, Veritas in Western Australia and casa who process these Australia wide.

  • Veritas use AusPost as their agents;
  • The Merimbula group would not answer questions as to who would view the documents and
  • casa say you must have a current medical and no indication of who will view documents.

On top of this, there is a slew of airports that locally issue ASIC’s and usually for their airport.

It must result in further pressure on active participants and pilots. Further pressure will show through the attached graph.

casa could have dealt with this issue with some nice pro-active decisions, but it lets the citycentric  Departmental people in Canberra have another win, particularly at the expense of regional and rural Australians or those that live remote in city fringes.

It will be interesting what the Senators will have to say at the next estimates. By then the damage will be done and likely irrecoverable.

A series of comments have been made on the need for an ASIC, which is not regarded as a proof of identity anyway says a pilot in Australia:

Almost anywhere you go where sufficient ‘proof’ of IDis required you can use:

  • Passport;
  • Drivers licence;
  • Medicare card;
  • Centrelink card

Each of these are recognised validity – ASIC is not.

Pilots say: “………….It is farcical that I have to undergo a check to enter the airside ‘sterile’ passenger areas of the terminal to travel as a passenger – but do not have to prove identity to get my boarding pass………”

The amount of data CASA hold on an individual, from operational applications alone is huge. Add to that your medical history and any criminal history and there is not much private.

The ASIC ID check information is available to CASA; so why is a pilots licence not/ cannot be considered sufficient ID for airside activity?

Another pilot, with considerable experience says:

General Aviation is in a nose dive, the $240 biennial ASIC (spec pilot ID) applications now must be in person, latest news from CASA.

Impractical and too costly for thousands of pilots. 

The ASIC requirement  is not directly from CASA as acknowledged but a strong representation from CASA would surely have had weight and might have persuaded the Minister to adopt a common sense policy.

There could easily have been alleviating policies, say cost and duration of the ASIC which is $240 only lasts 2 years.

Another very large nail in the coffin of GA.

It would not be difficult to issue some different ASIC validity periods which would put some positive incentives into the system.

Why not extended periods for aircraft owners, commercial pilots and those with longer term licence holding?

Retired commercial pilots over the age of sixty?

CASA could have invoked it’s standby safety trump card by showing that by virtually inducing the pilot population not to have access to all available airports (too difficult and expensive to keep on with an ASIC) then this reduces safety of flight.

#casa points a finger at the aviation industry

For example a ‘no ASIC’ pilot low on fuel might by-pass a security controlled airport (a weekly regular small plane service =’security controlled airport’) for one at greater distance where his AVID (a 5 yr card of limited use) is sufficient, or no ID will be asked for. It is always more risky to fly with fewer landing ground options, technical problems and inclement weather as other examples when more landing options will give safer flight outcomes.

A really good question would be how many pilots now have a current ASIC or AVID?

Then compare this with the last few years. I’ll bet fewer and fewer and a yawning gap between pilots numbers (those with current medicals) and IDs issued. MPs please note.

Questions that should be asked:

  • Would CASA divulge those numbers?
  • Could we know what interdepartmental advice was given or other pertinent details?

Doubtful, there’s little transparency. Our government ministries and their independent regulators are becoming self serving and thus less democratic.

We should keep on banging the drum anywhere to anyone but we will surely get the best value by informing our Parliamentary representatives because CASA is opposed to GA.

This is now so obvious, the fight has to be taken to the political arena, the gloves are off.

Causing CASA bad publicity might reveal to politicians the parlous state of General Aviation and the massive loss of jobs Australia wide.

Strict liability criminal code provisions and draconian penalties apply to any ID transgressions, like most of the flying rules these days.

RAus in June 2017 said:

The new system carries with it complex, and what RAAus believes to be, onerous changes. As an example, face to face processing requirements will inconvenience our members and place pressure on our CFIs. The processes are both burdensome and administratively heavy with no obvious safety or security improvement. Implementing the new changes would add unnecessary cost to RAAus meaning the delivery of this service has essentially become unsustainable.

Furthermore, the risk placed onto our CFIs, staff and the Board has been assessed as too great for RAAus to accept. As an example, as an issuing body, anyone processing an ASIC application will be required to identify fraudulently prepared and forged documents and there are penalties for failure to take all the steps necessary to identify such documents. RAAus does not believe this is the role of our organisation.

Therefore, from 1 August 2017, RAAus will no longer accept applications for an ASIC or renewals for an ASIC, including applications from RAAus members.

Any application lodged before this date will be processed in accordance with the current arrangements.

To assist members after 1 August 2017, RAAus will provide a list of ASIC providers on our website.  Please click here for your closest Issuing Bodies.

I’m really unhappy about this decision, what can I do?

  • You can write to the department at clientservice@infrastructure.gov.auRAAus worked hard to try and keep the ASIC system simple, but the government has decided to introduce these changes.  
  • RAAus will continue to lobby on our member’s behalf to try and make ASIC simple.


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