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External engagement

Effectively consulting and communicating with the aviation industry and the wider aviation community, in Australia and overseas, is a key element of CASA’s corporate goals and an obligation under the Civil Aviation Act.

Community engagement

Under section 9 of the Civil Aviation Act, CASA is required to promote ‘full and effective consultation and communication with all interested parties on aviation safety issues’. CASA achieves this through information provision and a range of forums and day-to-day dealings with people and organisations in the wider aviation community, including formal meetings, working groups and consultation committees.

Online feedback and consultation

CASA engages with the aviation community online through Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. Facebook continues to be the dominant social media channel in terms of audience size and engagement.

During 2018–19, CASA’s Facebook following increased by 6,524 followers to reach 45,382 followers on 30 June 2019. However, LinkedIn experienced the highest growth, with the number of followers increasing from 8,974 to 17,163. Twitter followers increased to 11,604.

In total, the CASA social media channels experienced a combined audience growth of 27 per cent. The top posts during 2018–19 related to the Bean Safe cabin safety campaign and not flying drones in or around emergency services.

CASA expanded the use of a web-based facility, the CASA Consultation Hub, established in 2017–18. CASA held 37 industry consultations, generating 7,728 responses, in 2018–19. The drone registration proposal received the highest number of responses, 4,187, followed by the Flight Safety Australia readership survey with 1,299.


Each month, CASA produces an e-newsletter, The CASA Briefing, which is distributed to more than 10,000 subscribers. Most subscribers are people working in the aviation industry, while others have a general interest in aviation.

Subjects covered in 2018–19 included CASA’s regulatory program, initiatives to work collaboratively with the aviation community, new regulations, airworthiness advice, information on drone regulation, and safety workshops and seminars.

We also communicated widely with the aviation community and general public through 292 targeted bulk emails during the year.

Webinars and seminars

CASA continued to look for different ways to communicate and engage with the aviation community, conducting webinars for the first time during 2018–19.

On 2 August and 15 August 2018, we conducted two live, public webinars to explain the flight operations regulations and what the proposed smaller aeroplane air transport operations and helicopter air transport rules would mean for industry. Approximately 100 participants logged in during the webinars and more than 900 people have subsequently viewed video recordings made available on CASA’s website.

A third live webinar was conducted on 4 December 2018 to explain how we intended to modernise the fatigue rules and provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions about what the changes to the CAO 48.1 Instrument would mean for industry. Approximately 50 participants logged in during the 60-minute webinar and 200 people viewed the recording on CASA’s website.

In October 2018 in Darwin, CASA held an aviation safety seminar on flying in the wet season, attended by more than 110 pilots and operators. The presenters included subject matter experts from CASA, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Northern Territory Police Air Wing. They spoke about case studies and their own experiences, to help attendees gain a greater understanding of the unique hazards and risks that need to be managed by pilots flying in northern Australia during the wet season.

A condensed version of the seminar was broadcast on YouTube and uploaded to Facebook to extend its audience reach. The recording of the broadcast has been watched more than 1,200 times on YouTube and viewed more by more than 3,000 Facebook followers.

Flight Safety Australia magazine

Flight Safety Australia, CASA’s flagship publication, is a highly regarded source of credible and informative coverage of aviation safety. CASA’s Facebook page continued to be highly effective in promoting the magazine’s comprehensive aviation safety coverage.

In 2018–19, Flight Safety Australia feature stories covered wide-ranging ‘big picture’ safety topics:

  • ‘Fire and fury: the destruction of Piper Alpha’ examined and analysed safety lessons from an oil platform disaster in 1988 and their parallels for aviation safety.
  • ‘Precisely to the point; the promise of satellite-based augmentation’ explained the potential pitfalls of this new technology in a clear and concise summary.
  • ‘Blocks and a chain in the sky’ evaluated blockchain technology and separated
    real-world applications from hype.
  • ‘One thing at a time: a brief history of the checklist’ took a historical perspective on a foundation of flight safety.
  • ‘Weather to fly: the Top End’ discussed the hazards that await low hours commercial pilots who gravitate to northern Australia to build hours and broaden their experience.

Other articles covered an eclectic mix of issues, including drone safety, cabin safety, ground handling, maintenance, runway incursions, helicopter safety, and the potential ambiguities of aviation English.

Through the Flight Safety Australia website, rich multimedia continued to be offered in the form of video, audio and interactive infographics, and aviation safety news updates were published daily. The audio versions of the popular stories about ‘close calls’ continued to grow in popularity as users discovered the benefit of audio in bringing the close calls to life.

In December 2018, CASA published the fourth annual collector’s edition of Flight Safety Australia, showcasing the year’s best articles, in hard copy.


CASA hosted a national roadshow on general aviation maintenance on 10–14 December 2018 as a key communication tactic to support the proposed new general aviation maintenance regulations.

Seven two-hour, face-to-face information sessions were delivered to a total of 321 industry members who represented Civil Aviation Regulation 30 organisations, Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 145 organisations and registered operators.

The workshops were held in Moorabbin (Victoria), Bankstown (New South Wales), Archerfield and Cairns (Queensland), Parafield (South Australia), Jandakot (Western Australia) and Darwin (Northern Territory).

Industry engagement

CASA’s ability to develop and enforce appropriate safety standards relies on effective engagement with the aviation industry. CASA participates in consultative forums and supports specialist expert panels to facilitate industry engagement.

All proposed regulatory changes and related consultation documents for 2018–19 are published on CASA’s website and can be accessed at www.casa.gov.au/newrules.

Aviation Safety Advisory Panel

The Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) provides CASA with objective, high-level advice from the aviation community on issues with significant implications for aviation safety and the way CASA performs its functions.

The ASAP is the primary advisory body through which CASA directs its engagement with industry and seeks input on current and future regulatory and associated policy approaches. Its work is supported by technical advisory committees and technical working groups. The panel met four times during 2018–19.

In June 2019, changes were made to the composition of the panel to refresh the expertise of the membership, align it with current areas of focus and stagger the engagement dates of members to ensure continuity of membership.

Three people attended their final meeting on 20 June 2019: Mr Greg Russell, formerly of The Australian Aviation Associations Forum; Mr Rob Sharp, formerly of Virgin Australia; and Ms Caroline Wilkie of the Australian Airports Association. All three were integral to the success of the ASAP by providing high-level and objective advice drawing on their many years of valuable experience in the aviation industry.

Three new members joined the panel, bringing a wealth of experience in flight training, helicopter operations and unmanned aircraft. The new members are Ms Adrianne Fleming OAM, a founder of Tristar Aviation, which provides flight training and charter services; Captain Ray Cronin, founder and Managing Director of Kestrel Aviation and President of the Australian Helicopter Industry Association; and Dr Reece Clothier, President of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems and Global Airspace Integration Senior Manager at Boeing NeXt.

The independent Chair, Honorary Professor Patrick Murray, industry members Mr John Gissing, Mr Jim Davis and Mr Michael Monck, and CASA representatives Mr Graeme Crawford and Mr Rob Walker continue to serve on the panel.

Regional airspace and procedures advisory committees

Regional airspace and procedures advisory committees are primarily state-based forums for the discussion of matters relating to airspace and related procedures in Australia.

Membership is open to all significant airspace users, either independently or through their major industry associations and organisations.

In 2018–19, 23 committee meetings were held in 10 locations around Australia: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Kununurra (Western Australia), Melbourne, Perth, Rockhampton (Queensland) and Sydney.

Sport Aviation Safety Forum

The Sport Aviation Safety Forum was an annual conference of self-administering organisations from the sport and recreational aviation sector. CASA closed the forum in 2019, replacing it with an annual professional development program for approved self-administering aviation organisations (ASAOs).

The new program is expected to start in late 2019 and will focus on the safety-related education of ASAOs in relation to the high-level organisational capabilities of a self-administrator under CASR Part 149.

Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group

The Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group (ASTRA) is a key industry advisory body on strategic airspace and air traffic management issues for Australia. As such, it is an important source of industry advice to government on air traffic management issues.

ASTRA brings together industry stakeholders, including aircraft operators, airports and service providers, to provide an industry-wide representative forum that:

  • develops the industry position on air traffic management matters, including communications, navigation and surveillance, as the basis for strategic advice to government
  • coordinates agreed integrated air traffic management planning, development and implementation efforts by all relevant stakeholders.

CASA has a standing invitation to attend meetings of the ASTRA Council, as a permanent observer, and was represented at three meetings in 2018–19.

Flight Examiner Core Group

CASA is trialling a new forum, the Flight Examiner Core Group, to undertake work previously done by the Flying Training Panel, which was disbanded in March 2018.

The Flight Examiner Core Group is focused on continuous improvement of the flight-testing scheme and associated safety-related outcomes. Its membership includes a small number of highly experienced industry flight examiners who provide feedback to CASA in relation to operational aspects of the flight-testing scheme.

The topics of discussion within the group include CASA’s Flight Examiner Handbook and flight examiner rating course, flight examiner entry control requirements, and the design and review of CASA’s professional development programs for industry flight examiners.

Intragovernmental engagement

Cooperation between Australian Government agencies that have an interest in the aviation sector helps to reduce the duplication and fragmentation of government policies, regulations and services.

Aviation Policy Group

The Aviation Policy Group is a high-level interagency group that consists of CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, the Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia, the Chief of Air Force and the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

Although the group is not a decision-making body, it provides a forum for effective interagency policy coordination and for working through air traffic management and other aviation issues at a strategic level. The Aviation Policy Group met five times during 2018–19.

Aviation Implementation Group

The Aviation Implementation Group is an interagency forum chaired by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development that involves representation from CASA, Airservices Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force.

The Aviation Implementation Group is an important forum for identifying cross-agency aviation issues and maintaining regular communication between the four agencies, and supports the Aviation Policy Group in implementing cross-agency strategies. The group met four times during 2018–19.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

The relationship between CASA and the ATSB is governed, in part, by a memorandum of understanding that was first signed in February 2010 and subsequently updated and re-signed on 30 March 2015.

The agreement focuses on making the most effective and appropriate use of the findings of accident investigations and clarifying the different but complementary roles of CASA and the ATSB in maintaining and improving air safety. It also provides a framework for cooperation between CASA and the ATSB on aviation safety education, research and data analysis.

The agreement covers issues such as the roles of CASA and the ATSB in accident investigations, assistance during investigations, Australia’s State Safety Program and the exchange of safety information and safety education. CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety and the ATSB’s Chief Commissioner also participate in formal dialogue on a regular basis.

CASA’s ATSB Liaison Office ensures that ATSB reports and requests for information are responded to effectively and efficiently. CASA formally responds to ATSB safety recommendations, and subsequent safety actions are tracked to implementation.

In accordance with the requirements of the memorandum, CASA and the ATSB formally meet twice each calendar year to exchange views and liaise about safety issues of mutual interest at the operational level. Due to operational issues, the meeting planned for December 2018 did not take place, and the two agencies met only once during 2018–19 (in March 2019). The schedule of two meetings per calendar year will resume with a meeting planned for October 2019.

The agencies also cooperate on important research projects that improve the understanding of and response to issues that affect flight safety in Australia.

International engagement

CASA is a well-respected civil aviation safety regulator, regionally and globally. CASA’s engagement with the global aviation community, including with foreign regulatory counterparts, is an important part of CASA’s role and responsibilities under the Civil Aviation Act to influence aviation safety standards, advocate for rules that benefit Australian travellers and Australian industry, and respond in a timely manner to emerging opportunities and trends.

Bilateral relationships and multilateral forums allow collaboration with aviation safety partners to be strengthened, as well as showcasing Australia’s civil aviation safety capabilities.

CASA’s international commitments are threefold:

  • engaging with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), primarily through a tripartite policy approach in partnership with Airservices Australia and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development
  • establishing, reviewing and improving on bilateral and multilateral arrangements with counterpart regulatory agencies and countries to streamline industry standards and requirements, and engaging in informal dialogue with counterpart regulators to discuss emerging issues
  • strengthening aviation safety in the Asia-Pacific region through targeted and effective assistance activities funded by Australian Aid.

International Civil Aviation Organization

Australia is one of 193 signatory States to the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), which provides for the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation. The Chicago Convention established ICAO, which is a specialised agency of the United Nations with responsibility for creating Standards and Recommended Practices for civil aviation.

ICAO operates through the ICAO Council, the Air Navigation Commission and various technical working groups and panels implemented by ICAO Member States.

Australia sits on the governing ICAO Council and is one of 11 elected States of chief importance in air transport, alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Japan, Brazil and the Russian Federation.

Australian participation

Responsibility for Australia’s participation in ICAO is shared among CASA, Airservices Australia and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development under a tripartite arrangement to ensure a coordinated and consistent policy approach. The three agencies jointly sponsor the Australian office in Montreal, Canada, that is responsible for direct liaison and coordination of ICAO activities. The memorandum of understanding in relation to the tripartite arrangement was renewed in 2018–19.

CASA makes a significant technical and leadership contribution to all major ICAO work. CASA is involved in more than a dozen ICAO forums on emerging global issues, such as fatigue risk management, remotely piloted aircraft systems, communication and navigation systems, and matters affecting the Asia-Pacific region, and facilitates and coordinates responses to ICAO State Letters which propose changes to Standards and Recommended Practices. CASA’s level of ICAO engagement is reviewed annually as part of the tripartite arrangement.

In 2018–19, nine Australian Government agencies, including CASA, signed a memorandum of understanding to record our respective interests in ICAO and other aviation matters and meet the ICAO requirement to identify the bodies with lead responsibilities in relation to each Annex to the Chicago Convention.

Air Navigation Conference

In October 2018, ICAO held the 13th Air Navigation Conference in Montreal, Canada.

Held at intervals of approximately five years, the Air Navigation Conference plays a key role in formulating policy and technical recommendations on international air navigation and safety priorities for ICAO and States. Recommendations are submitted for endorsement at the ICAO Assembly, which meets at least once every three years; the next assembly will be held in late 2019.

The 13th Air Navigation Conference was attended by more than 1,000 delegates from 116 States and 37 international industry organisations.

The conference considered 300 working papers on a diverse range of topics, including the Global Air Navigation Plan and Global Aviation Safety Plan, the Global Aviation Safety Oversight System, remotely piloted aircraft systems, air traffic management, aerodrome operations, space flights, aviation meteorology and cyber resilience.

Australia presented five papers at the conference, covering harmonising system-wide information management; issues that needed to be addressed in progressing the Global Aviation Safety Oversight System concept; ICAO resourcing in the Asia-Pacific region; support and implementation of the recommendations of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme; and a targeted risk assessment approach for the development of Standards and Recommended Practices.

In preparation for the conference, CASA worked closely with its New Zealand and Canadian counterparts under a trilateral arrangement signed in June 2018.

Pacific Small Islands Developing States – Aviation Needs Analysis

ICAO is conducting a study, Pacific Small Islands Developing States – Aviation Needs Analysis, which is due to report by September 2019. The wide-ranging study is considering air transport, aerodrome, aviation safety and security issues. The ICAO assessment team visited Australia to seek feedback from transport agencies in May 2019.

Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference

The Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Conference is an annual multilateral meeting that allows the heads of civil aviation regulatory agencies in the Asia-Pacific region to collaborate on improving aviation safety in a coordinated manner. The conference is supported by the ICAO Secretariat and is a valuable forum for workshopping policy proposals and gauging stakeholder support in the lead-up to other ICAO meetings. CASA leads the Australian delegation to the conference.

The 55th DGCA Conference was held in Nadi, Fiji, on 22–26 October 2018, with the theme of ‘Collaboration and Harmonisation for a Safe, Secure and Sustainable Aviation in the Asia Pacific Region’.

The 235 delegates from 39 countries and administrations discussed the regional commitment to the declaration that was made by transport ministers at ICAO’s Asia and Pacific Ministerial Conference in Beijing, China, in February 2018. The discussion focused on the commitments related to aerodrome certification, air traffic flow management and State Safety Programs.

Delegates also workshopped challenges in transition from aeronautical information services to aeronautical information management and other key issues. Australia presented a discussion paper on progressing the Global Aviation Safety Oversight System.

Regional Aviation Safety Group – Asia and Pacific Regions

The Regional Aviation Safety Group – Asia and Pacific Regions (RASG–APAC) is tasked with developing and implementing a work program that supports a regional performance framework for the management of safety on the basis of ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety Plan and Global Aviation Safety Roadmap.

The reports of RASG–APAC meetings are reviewed regularly by the Air Navigation Commission and by the ICAO Council as necessary.

During the group’s eighth meeting, held in Bangkok, Thailand, in September 2018, CASA’s CEO/DAS was elected to chair the RASG–APAC for the next three years.

The Asia Pacific Regional Aviation Safety Team (APRAST) is a subgroup of the RASG–APAC. The objective of APRAST is to recommend to the RASG–APAC interventions that will reduce aviation risks in the Asia-Pacific region.

APRAST includes representatives of overseas regulatory agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as industry and other organisations.

CASA delegates attended APRAST meetings in Bangkok, Thailand, on 3–7 December 2018 and 27–31 May 2019.

Cooperative arrangements and agreements

Bilateral arrangements and agreements enable CASA and other Australian Government agencies to formalise regulatory relationships with foreign counterparts and streamline regulatory processes, which benefits the aviation industry by improving the consistency of safety considerations, supporting a coordinated approach to regulation and reducing regulatory costs.

CASA is a participant in arrangements or agreements on matters ranging from airworthiness and aeronautical product certification to information sharing and mutual recognition of operators. These arrangements underpin and institutionalise working relationships between civil aviation safety agencies and enable better regulatory oversight of operators and companies that conduct business in Australia and overseas.

Technical arrangements

In October 2018, CASA signed a working arrangement with the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) to provide services on a cost recovery basis for five years (with an extension option for three years) and to establish a longer-term institutional partnership. The arrangement allows PASO to request technical assistance or advice from CASA, subject to CASA’s available resourcing. It will support PASO to address regulatory gaps, particularly in respect of aerodrome inspection and audits.

CASA successfully transitioned to full membership of the European Union Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft program in late 2018. The program includes a centralised system of ramp inspection outcomes from participating regulators, housed in one database that is maintained and analysed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

In March 2019, CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand signed a memorandum of understanding on aviation safety, to enhance the relationship and formalise cooperation on technical assistance, exchange programs, training, sharing of safety information and confidence-building exercises for developing technical arrangements.

Cooperative arrangements

The Australian Government’s bilateral arrangements with Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) on aviation matters form part of a whole-of-portfolio approach to capacity building which includes the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Airservices Australia, the ATSB and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. CASA’s activities with Indonesia and PNG under Australian Aid have been ongoing since 2007 and 2010, respectively.

Through Australian Aid programs, CASA implements activities to strengthen regulatory and organisational capacity while improving technical capabilities. In 2018–19, this included activities related to foreign operator entry control and surveillance, the development of currency training plans for safety inspectors, aviation legal practice and legal drafting, wildlife hazard management, aviation medicine oversight, dangerous goods management and airport emergency management.

Regional partnerships were strengthened through CASA’s participation in the 18th Steering Committee Meeting of the Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme, South East Asia; the ICAO–EASA Forum on Civil Aviation in South East Asia; and continued engagement with Australian officials in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

Stakeholder forums

CASA engages with the international community to address evolving international aviation safety requirements and regulate and promote aviation safety, in Australia’s best interests.

In 2018–19, CASA:

  • hosted operational liaison and policy visits from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, including discussions on drones
  • established a portal for information sharing between Australia, New Zealand and Canada
  • met with regional representatives at the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Asia-Pacific Bilateral Partners meeting
  • hosted a delegation from the South African Civil Aviation Authority with an interest in benchmarking client services
  • met with the Director-General for Mobility and Transport from the European Commission
  • attended the annual EASA–FAA International Aviation Safety Conference
  • participated in the seventh World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum
  • hosted a meeting with the Civil Aviation Administration of China to discuss safety priorities.

These forums were particularly useful for discussions on the assessment and return to service of the Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft. CASA has been at the forefront of this work, having been invited to take part because of CASA’s strong safety reputation, built on our international cooperation efforts.