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Goal 1 – Maintain and enhance a fair, effective and efficient aviation safety regulation system

CASA measures its success in achieving Goal 1 in four key performance areas:
‘Develop regulatory framework’, ‘Entry control’, ‘Compliance assurance’ and ‘Address non-compliance’.

Key performance area – Develop regulatory framework

Key performance indicator

CASA demonstrates excellence in development of the aviation safety regulatory framework

Measure
of success

Regulatory development is achieved within agreed timeframes and in accordance with reasonable assumptions

On track

CASA’s work on its regulatory program continued during the reporting period and remained focused on meeting requirements for the flight operations suite of regulations to commence on 2 December 2021.

CASA extended the transition date for the new fatigue rules in Civil Aviation Order 48.1 Instrument 2019 by 12 months. Most operators will now need to comply with the new rules from 1 July 2021.

The commencement date for remotely piloted aircraft and model aircraft registration and accreditation was deferred to 30 September 2020. Public consultation on the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 138 Manual of Standards closed during the final quarter of the year with 117 responses received. The Part 138 Manual of Standards technical working group is expected to meet during the first quarter of 2020–21.

Drafting instructions for the Part 103 (sport and recreation aircraft) and Part 139 (aerodromes) consequential, application, transitional and savings provisions regulations are progressing, with completion expected in the second half of 2020.

The first Part 149 (approved self-administering aviation organisations) certificate was issued to the Australian Parachute Federation. It is expected all applications will be assessed by the transition date of 13 July 2022.

An independent risk management organisation was engaged to undertake a risk analysis of whether the seat limit for air transport operations conducted under Part 135 should be increased from nine to 13 passengers – effectively, where the break point was between Part 135 aircraft and Part 121 aircraft. The final report was delivered to the Chief Executive Officer/Director of Aviation Safety for consideration in June 2020.

Measure
of success

Stakeholder engagement in the development of new regulations

On track

In 2019–20, CASA consulted on 17 regulatory, six advisory and seven airspace change proposals and sought feedback on other initiatives via the CASA Consultation Hub (consultation.casa.gov.au).

Forty-eight public consultations and feedback surveys were conducted through the CASA Consultation Hub, with a total of 4,776 responses. The Aviation Safety Advisory Panel met four times and oversaw 19 technical working group meetings, with a focus on a broad spectrum of air transport, general aviation, including the helicopter industry, recreational aviation and aerial work, regional operations, flight training and remotely piloted aircraft. The minutes of the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel and technical working group meetings are published on CASA’s website.

Measure
of success

CASA has effective systems in place to respond to emerging trends in aviation safety risk

On track

CASA’s Aviation Safety Committee (ASC) continually reviewed data from a variety of sources to inform its decision-making and approach to surveillance and proposed policy development. Aviation safety data and trends were presented and discussed at ASC and CASA Board meetings.

The ASC produced 11 sector safety risk profiles, which are in various stages of completion in accordance with the Sector Safety Risk Profile Program. The program further informs surveillance planning through the National Surveillance Selection Plan. The governance of aviation regulatory and safety risk is managed by the ASC. The ASC met 11 times during the reporting period. The ASC reviews civil aviation safety incidents and accidents and surveillance findings which can lead to the revision of the sector safety risk profiles and/or the launch of sector-specific education activities.

Key performance area – Entry control

Key performance indicator

CASA processes applications for authorisations in accordance with documented procedures and within nominated timeframes

Measure
of success

CASA has established a catalogue of service level timeframes

On track

CASA has an established catalogue of service level timeframes for our client services. CASA is developing a revised set of statistics to be used when a new mechanism for reporting is finalised. As new digital processes come online the corresponding service delivery timeframes will also be developed and published once system stability is established.

Measure
of success

Applications are decided within published service level timeframes

On track

CASA’s performance for processing applications within published service level timeframes improved over the reporting period. Overall, the target of processing 80 per cent of applications within published timelines was achieved except for aircraft registration.

The continued deployment of the service delivery transformation program into business-as-usual activity is expected to continue to yield an improved client experience and enhanced service delivery performance. This will consist of enhancements to maintenance personnel licensing and aircraft registration in the third quarter of 2020–21.

The following table summarises the achieved service delivery standards for CASA in 2019–20.

Proportion of authorisations processed within service delivery standards, 2019–20 (%)

July–September
2019

October–December
2019

January–March
2020

April–June
2020

Overall

70.19

82.60

88.55

87.43

Aviation medicine

78.52

86.28

89.19

86.95

Flight crew licensing

64.64

82.88

92.76

92.08

Permissions issue

82.73

85.31

87.58

90.66

Aircraft registration

45.65

50.29

47.20

73.82

Maintenance personnel licensing

73.11

85.50

87.23

73.82

Key performance area – Compliance assurance

Key performance indicator

CASA’s compliance monitoring approaches are standardised and coordinated relative to the risk being managed

Measure
of success

Annual national oversight program is completed within planned timeframe

Impact on deliverable

CASA took a flexible approach to alleviate the pressure of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian aviation industry. On 30 June 2020, 72 per cent of surveillance planned for 2019–20 under the National Surveillance Selection Process had been achieved. Prior to the significant disruption to the aviation industry resulting from the pandemic, CASA was on track to exceed the 80 per cent annual target for the completion of planned surveillance events.

CASA adjusted the approach to surveillance to account for changing patterns of activity and the changing nature of operational risks faced by regulated entities. Planned surveillance activities were deferred or completed via alternative processes such as desktop review. A total of 71 onsite audits were completed between March and June 2020, with CASA officers and personnel from regulated entities following COVID-19 safety protocols consistent with CASA workplace safety requirements.

A high level of regulatory service activity was driven by regulated entities looking to vary the scope of their authorisations to meet the increasing demand in some sectors caused by the significant reduction in airline activity.

Measure
of success

Compliance monitoring is determined through a national surveillance selection process and conducted to plan

On track

CASA responded quickly to the COVID-19 crisis, introducing a safety risk mitigation plan process and related instrument of approval to enable regulated entities to continue operating in a safe, compliant and efficient manner while dealing with restrictions related to the pandemic.

CASA has adapted a specific risk-based methodology for the post-acute phase of the pandemic to prioritise surveillance events that were planned for 2019–20 but were not completed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those audits will be completed between August and October 2020.

Key performance area – Address non-compliance

Key performance indicator

Actions undertaken are consistent with CASA’s regulatory philosophy

Measure
of success

Proportionate enforcement action is taken

On track

In 2019–20, 97 counselling notices and 132 aviation infringement notices were issued. One licence cancellation decision was issued. Four decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal were handed down; three affirmed CASA’s decisions and one was set aside.

Measure
of success

Serious breaches of the legislation are referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)

On track

In accordance with CASA’s enforcement procedures and the applicable guidelines of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, CASA consistently referred briefs of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to matters assessed as involving deliberate and serious contravention of the aviation legislation. During 2019–20, 12 briefs were referred and 13 prosecutions were concluded, 12 of which resulted in a conviction and one of which was withdrawn on public interest grounds.