15-Nov-2013 1:44 PM

Australia launches aviation safety regulation review

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced (14-Nov-2013) an independent review of aviation safety regulation in Australia. Mr Truss said aviation activity is expected to double in the next twenty years and the industry is a vital part of the Australian economy and "we must ensure it is supported by a regulatory system that delivers the highest levels of safety".The principal objectives of the review are to investigate:

  • The structures, effectiveness and processes of all agencies involved in aviation safety;
  • The relationship and interaction of those agencies with each other, as well as with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (Infrastructure);
  • The outcomes and direction of the regulatory reform process being undertaken by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA);
  • The suitability of Australia's aviation safety related regulations when benchmarked against comparable overseas jurisdictions; and
  • Any other safety related matters.

The report of the review will:

  • Examine and make recommendations as required on the aviation safety roles of CASA and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and other agencies as  appropriate;
  • Outline and identify any areas for improvement in the current interaction and relationships between CASA and the ATSB, as well as other agencies and  Infrastructure;
  • Examine and make recommendations as required on the appointment process and criteria applied for key aviation safety roles within CASA and the ATSB;
  • Examine the current processes by which CASA develops, consults on and finalises changes to aviation safety regulations and other legislative instruments (such  as civil aviation orders) and make any proposals for improving these processes such that new regulations are best practice in safe operations for each relevant sector of the aviation industry;
  • Review the implementation of the current aviation safety regulatory reform programme and assess the effectiveness of the planning and implementation of regulatory changes, including cost impacts on industry;
  • Examine and make recommendations on options for improving future aviation safety regulatory reform having regard to international experience and stakeholder views, and the Government's objective of reducing the cost of regulation to business;
  • Provide advice to Government on priorities for future regulatory development and implementation strategies; and
  • Provide advice to Government on options for improving oversight and enforcement of aviation regulations, including rights of review.

The review will seek the views of the CASA board and senior management and staff, and the ATSB commission and senior management and staff  in developing its advice to Government on the review's objectives, and consult closely with:

  • International, domestic, regional, general aviation, sport and recreational aircraft and maintenance operators and organisations;
  • Federal, regional and local airport operators;
  • Other relevant Government agencies including Infrastructure, Airservices Australia, the Department of Defence and the Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC);
  • Other industry and public stakeholders.

Review panel: Review is to be undertaken by a panel of leading aviation safety experts. It will benchmark Australia's safety regulation against other leading countries. David Forsyth, chair of Safeskies Australia and former chair of Airservices Australia. He will be joined by Don Spruston, former Director General of Civil Aviation at Transport Canada and former Director General of the International Business Aviation Council, and by Roger Whitefield, former Head of Safety at British Airways, former safety adviser to Qantas and former UK Civil Aviation Authority board member. The panel will also be supported, as required, by specialist advisers. Phillip Reiss has been to take particular responsibility to ensure that the concerns of general aviation and regional operators are well aired. The review panel will provide its report to the Deputy Prime Minister in May-2014. [more - original PR]

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