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CASA Briefing special edition - new Director - October 2014


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From the chair of CASA’s Board, Dr Allan Hawke AC


Mr Mark Skidmore AM has been appointed as the new Director of Aviation Safety at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for a five year term.


Mr Skidmore has more than 30 years experience in both civilian and military aviation and brings a wealth of aviation experience to the position of Director of Aviation Safety. Mark has worked in civilian aviation as a test pilot, business development manager and company director. He has led large teams of operational, technical and administrative staff, providing leadership for operational, training and support functions.


Mark had an outstanding military aviation career, beginning as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force in the early 1980s. He led RAAF research and development squadrons and was promoted to Australia’s Air Commander, holding oversight for Australia’s air operations, and reaching the rank of Air Vice Marshal before retiring in 2012.


The new Director of Aviation Safety was chosen after an international search for the best available person to further develop CASA as a world leader in aviation safety regulation. CASA’s Board has full confidence that under the leadership of Mark Skidmore Australia’s proud aviation safety record will be protected and enhanced.


Mark is committed to working with the aviation industry and the general community to achieve the best possible safety outcomes. He understands safety is a shared responsibility with the aviation industry and will encourage and support the industry while at the same time ensuring the interests of the travelling public are protected.


Mark is part of the general aviation community, owning and regularly flying a Globe GC-1B Swift. Recognising Mark needs time to finalise his current commitments he will take up his appointment as Director of Aviation Safety as soon as possible.


The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Warren Truss, has issued a statement welcoming Mark Skidmore’s appointment. http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/wt/releases/2014/October/wt220_2014.aspx


Mark Skidmore career highlights


2013 Aviation consultant


2013 Director Flight Operations Raytheon Australia


2001-2012 Royal Australian Air Force – from 2008 Air Commander Australia; previously: Joint Force Air Component Commander including Director of the Coalition Combined Air Operations Centre in the Middle East Area, Director Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, Director Operational Requirements, New Air Combat Capability Commander, Aircraft Research and Development Unit


1998-1999 Senior Test Pilot and Business Development Executive Raytheon Australia


1983-1997 Royal Australian Air Force – pilot and test pilot




Mark Skidmore,


CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety.



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Good luck to him - it will be a big job. There are a lot of recommendations in the Forsyth report needing to be considered and if endorsed for him to implement. He will need to have a big stick to get CASA to work with the aviation industry to promote rather than just constrain the industry using the safety excuse.


I note separately, Dick Smith has written to CASA questioning their directive to use the area frequency for radio calls at airfields not shown on charts citing radio traffic congestion disrupting communications with RPT aircraft. Obviously a decision with big impacts that was not fully considered.


This and a lot of other ill thought decisions are needing to be properly considered and possibly altered to make them workable for Australian aviation - recreational, commercial and military.



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