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Key moments of Australian aviation safety history

March 1910 The first flight of a powered aircraft in Australia took place.

October 1919 The International Convention Relating to Air Navigation (Paris Convention) was signed. The convention entered into force in Australia on 1 June 1922.

March 1921 The Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of Defence, Australia’s first Commonwealth agency with responsibility for civil aviation, was established.

November 1938 The Department of Civil Aviation, Australia’s first Commonwealth department dedicated to civil aviation, was established.

December 1944 The Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) was signed. The convention entered into force in Australia on 4 April 1947.

July 1988 The Civil Aviation Authority, Australia’s first statutory authority with responsibility for civil aviation, was established under the Civil Aviation Act 1988.

Early 1990s The Future Air Navigation System, developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization in partnership with key air transport and industry stakeholders, was introduced. It has made airline operations significantly more efficient and improved safety through the use of required navigation performance for instrument approach procedures.

July 1995 The Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment Act 1995 and the Air Services Act 1995 replaced the Civil Aviation Authority with two separate organisations: the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Airservices Australia.

July 1998 The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 1998 was introduced, providing a basis for, among other things, implementation of the Regulatory Framework Reform Program.

June 1999 CASA announced a suite of reforms, including rewriting of the aviation regulations.

October 2003 The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2003 was introduced to implement, among other things, governance reforms, including the abolition of the CASA Board.

November 2004 CASA promulgated a new policy placing its greatest safety focus on high-capacity regular public transport flights.

July 2007 The Airspace Act 2007, Airspace Regulations 2007 and Australian Airspace Policy Statement 2007 were introduced, giving CASA sole carriage of the regulation of all Australian-administered airspace.

September 2008 Provisions came into effect, under Part 99 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR), requiring air operators to establish drug and alcohol management plans and empowering CASA to test personnel who undertake safety-sensitive aviation activities for alcohol and other drugs.

March 2009 The Civil Aviation Amendment Act 2009 made significant governance and enforcement-related changes to CASA, including re-establishing the Board (from July 2009). The Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Act 2009 established the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as an independent agency (from July 2009).

June 2011 The new suite of regulations for maintenance for regular public transport operations and engineer licensing (CASR Parts 42, 66,145 and 147) was made.

February 2013 The new suite of regulations for flight crew licensing and training (CASR Parts 61, 64, 141 and 142) was made.

July 2014 The Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 was repealed and replaced by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. Amendments were consequently made to governance provisions in the Civil Aviation Act.

February 2017 The final fitment mandate for Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology came into effect for all instrument flight rules aircraft operating in Australia, heralding a new era in air traffic surveillance that keeps Australian aviation at the forefront of safety.

December 2018 The new suite of regulations for flight operations (CASR Parts 91, 119, 121, 133, 135 and 138) was made.