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Pilots, experts call out push to make CASA weigh costs of safety

 

Patrick Hatch

 

4-5 minutes

 

Small aircraft operators who claim their industry is being strangled by onerous regulation and safety compliance costs lobbied deputy prime minister and transport minister Michael McCormack heavily for the change.

 

"Safety needs to be the primary and overriding consideration,"  said Simon Lutton, executive director of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots, which represents commercial airlines pilots.

 

We need to have an independent regulator whose role it is to enforce that safety - not be compromised or confused by cost considerations.

 

AFAP's Simon Lutton

 

“We have an excellent safety record in Australia and we need to have an independent regulator whose role it is to enforce that safety - not be compromised or confused by cost considerations.”

 

Aviation expert Neil Hansford, from Strategic Aviation Solutions, said the FAA's biggest concern last week appeared to have been "the Boeing share price and jobs in America".

 

“To commercialise the implementation of safety and operations regulations is not sound and could lean to the problem we have in the United States," he said.

 

He said that having to take into account the fact that "some people are going to go broke" as a result of necessary new safety rules "totally negates" the reasons of making the new rules in the first place.

 

The United States was the last major country to stop all Boeing 737 MAX jets from flying after the plane was involved in its second deadly crash in five months.

 

The changes have been designed to appease the general aviation industry - which includes including charter, pilot training, recreational and agricultural operators - which says it is being strangled by over-regulation.

 

Royal Flying Doctor Service chief executive Martin Laverty, who leads the minister's general aviation advisory group, said the change was a "step in the right direction".

 

“We at the Flying Doctors put safety above all else. We also have to be cost efficient in our flight operations. Legislative change to have the air regulator weigh cost whilst retaining safety as its key concern is a good step forward," he said.

 

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Ben Morgan, chief executive of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, which represents about 4000 members in the general aviation including about 750 business owners, said the industry was in dire straits and that Mr McCormack's amendment did not go far enough to change that.

 

“Anyone who says they’re not on board with making aviation safety regulation affordable... is privy to signing a suicide note to our entire industry," said Mr Morgan.

 

“We’ve watched thousands in our industry go broke in the past 30 years for no reasons other than the minister won’t stand up and do his damn job."

 

CASA would also take into account the differences in risks that apply to different sectors of the aviation industry under Mr McCormack's proposed changes.

 

Geoffrey Dell, an air crash investigation expert and associate professor at Central Queensland University, said part of the reason CASA was formed in 1995 was to address conflicts between safety and commercial interests inside the transport department.

 

“It’s a huge step backwards and sadly we keep forgetting the lessons of the past," Dr Dell said.

 

"It’s just an additional layer of white noise that potentially prevents safety corrective actions being taken promptly. You don’t know how much safety costs until you have an accident.”

 

A spokesman for Mr McCormack said aviation safety would always be the government's top priority and it had consulted industry before introducing the bill.

 

“This has no bearing on immediate safety issues, where CASA will continue to be able to act in the interest of safety," he said.

 

A spokesman for Labor's shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese declined to comment on the bill.

 

Qantas, Virgin Australia, the Australian Airports Association and the General Aviation Advisory Group were all consulted on the changes and did not raise any concerns, according to the bill's explanatory memorandum

 

 

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Albo's fault as usual, not being in power for more than a few years you'd think he would have fixed CASA by now ?

 

CASA is running out of flying aircaft to regulate so the are moving into a growth industry, regulating drones.

 

 

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Albo burns through $250k a year on travel allowance. Tax payers should expect something for that money

I think Mr 19votes from Queensland was able to match or better that.

 

 

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Albo burns through $250k a year on travel allowance. Tax payers should expect something for that money

I have been a bit jaded so not sure, aren't Libs and Nats in power? Meaning they have the power to do something with CASA? Why blame somebody in opposition for no action if the people who are in control won't do anything to rein in CASA? Am I missing something?

 

 

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@Student Pilot you would expect, especially considering that they are less than a few months from the election, that Albanese would be on top of his portfolio. Its not a good sign for those of us expecting the next Labor government to change things

 

 

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@Student Pilot you would expect, especially considering that they are less than a few months from the election, that Albanese would be on top of his portfolio. Its not a good sign for those of us expecting the next Labor government to change things

 

So your not criticising the inaction of the last 6ish years of Coalition (looked it up) but what Labour "Might" do?

 

The privatisation of commonwealth airfields and the ASIC debarcle are 2 things the Libs and Nats have done (under lil Johnny) to help CASA wreck GA.

 

 

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@Student Pilot no what I'm saying is that it looks like Labor, under Albanese's direction, will continue down the exact same wrong path. There is no difference between Labor and the coalition, they are backing the same policies. different parties, same policies.

 

 

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Also did no good in the past, so why expect any better now. All polllies are afraid of CASA and so woul you be. If they forced any change on CASA and something bad happened, who do you think would collect the bollocking?

 

 

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Its not so much fear as they can't see any votes in reforming CASA. hence Albanese waiving his 6 year old high speed rail plan knowing that it will never get built just rolled out every election cycle because who doesn't like spending 6 hours on the train to avoid a 90 minute flight

 

 

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I think RecFlying should have a module which teaches the structure of Politics. 

 

The Minister and Shadow Minister relate to a Department which has over 1400 employees.

 

CASA, with about 800 employees is the responsibility of that Department.

 

And CASA is only one of the Aviation organisations, and is limited to Safety.

 

The big picture is well beyond one Minister being able to wake up, scratch himself, and decide he'll change aviation safety tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

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Albo not showing any interest in his portfolio as per usual ?

I think that it is quite easy for the minister , with x number of public servants, to address every press article with a statement. Not so easy for an opposition spokesman in the lead up to a federal election. To *fly tornado* I can only say that patience is required when dealing with politics.

 

 

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I think that it is quite easy for the minister , with x number of public servants, to address every press article with a statement. Not so easy for an opposition spokesman in the lead up to a federal election. To *fly tornado* I can only say that patience is required when dealing with politics.

Umm nope. It’s the exact  opposite. 

 

When you’re in opposition you can say anything, without detail to back it and without funding in place etc. as long as you drag into it how badly the incumbents are currently doing or that they have “no plan” or “no policy” or that because they don’t agree with the opposition policy then they are “rudderless” etc. 

 

No matter who is the opposition it’s a position of being able to make noise on anything with a fair degree of impunity. 

 

 

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With Australia so large and difficult to travel it would seem obvious to some that GA would be encouraged, subsidized and embraced so people can easily move around your great island.

 

 

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With Australia so large and difficult to travel it would seem obvious to some that GA would be encouraged, subsidized and embraced so people can easily move around your great island.

One would think so, but our experience is otherwise. Our CASA has been set up to prevent accidents and not to support flying.

 

 

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One would think so, but our experience is otherwise. Our CASA has been set up to prevent accidents and not to support flying.

For CAVU Mark:

 

We once had a Department of Civil Aviation which did everything from promoting aviation to providing Communication, Pilot Assistance, Compliance and Enforcement, Training and Promotion.

 

You could go to a DCA office and receive a personal Meteorology briefing, nominate nominate "full reporting" when you submitted a flight plan with "reporting points", and you would be monitored for the whole of your flight. If you didn't report within two minutes of your flight plan time, you'd receive a radio call with assistance. If you didn't respond to the call within 15 minutes, Search and Rescue would be activated. If you called up to say you were lost or couldn't handle the weather someone in a Flight Centre would be allocated to be your guardian and would talk you home, in conjunction with airline pilots if necessary. The cost per GA mile flown by private pilots burned up a prohibitive amount of tax dollars, with millions of uneventful miles flown.

 

Over time the Department was reduced in size, and from the 1980s when government departments decided to offload public liability on to a user-pays system, the Department completely cut operational ties, placing management of civil aviation under control of semi-independent bodies who in turn set about structuring themselves for user-pays and user-risk control.

 

Communication and Pilot Assistance went to Airservices Australia, which for some reason rarely ever gets a mention on this forum, Compliance and Enforcement, and Training went to CASA (Civil Aviation and Safety Authority), and Promotion went to the Users. The more risky operations like ultralights, warbirds, gliding etc wen to Self Regulation where the participants took over their own public liability risk, allowing some activities for the first time

 

Ironically we went from what some people would call a cotton wool world where we had to explain where we were going and stick to the plan, to being able to fly anywhere in the Country within our licence capabilities without monitoring.

 

The other very important part in our history and also that of the United States was the decision to have common regulations around the world through ICAO and this can be quite irritating to non-European country flyers, cramping our style and being blamed on CASA. We often have discussions where people point out that flying in the US is much less regulated, but when I check the latest FAA regs, I find the operative phrase is "was less regulated" as the US adds the same ICAO changes as we do.

 

Australians have never picked up on the fact that they are now responsible for promoting their own flying industry. There is a successful bi-annual Airshow, but it almost goes from there to local fly in breakfasts. In Australia "V8 Supercars" is a body which has successfully promoted forms of auto racing, like NASCAR in the US, so there's an opportunity here for someone to produce a marketing instrument like these which finances private flying.

 

The above is not necessarily accurate, but as much as my brain can remember right now.

 

That's why CASA has been set up to prevent accidents and not to support flying.

 

 

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You can still get a Sarnote (similar to reporting) and weather on request over the phone

 

We ve all got epirbs so 2 min reporting less necessary

 

 

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where we had to explain where we were going and stick to the plan

Absolute bullshit. OCTA you could always go no SAR/no details if you wished. Full SAR was available but no longer for VFR flights - still available for IFR (at a cost).

 

 

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Absolute ********. OCTA you could always go no SAR/no details if you wished. Full SAR was available but no longer for VFR flights - still available for IFR (at a cost).

Correct; I said “You COULD....” at the beginning, but left out the other two options.

 

 

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