Go to top of page

Message from the Chair of the Board

2019–20 was a year that most of us will want to forget in a hurry. Significant developments for the aviation industry in the last six months of 2019 were quickly overshadowed by Australia’s devastating bushfire crisis, closely followed by the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic and international travel as we knew it will never be the same. The consequences of coronavirus have crippled the regular public transport sector and a commitment to ensure the long-term recovery of this sector, and others, will require patience and resolve.

The regulation of so many industry participants across a multitude of sectors is a large and important task. We are facing considerable uncertainty for the future and have had to take difficult but necessary measures to respond to the situation and prepare the industry for an extended period of doing business differently. I am pleased that CASA implemented significant relief measures for industry during the pandemic.

The organisation was increasingly busy during this time, working on approvals for repatriation and cargo flights and remotely piloted aircraft systems approvals for enforcement agencies in the event of high-level state-imposed lockdowns. A number of alleviations and exemptions were introduced, and I was gratified by the strong support received from industry. Some of the measures included the automatic extension of air operator certificates, remotely piloted aircraft operator certificates and medicals; continuation of licence privileges after expiration for flight review proficiency checks; extension of the transition to the new fatigue rules; and extensions to statutory time periods for commercial pilot licence and air transport pilot licence students and aircraft maintenance engineer licence students.

Significant progress was being made on the implementation of promised regulatory reforms before other priorities took over. The flight operations suite of regulations, covering the general operating and flight rules, air transport certification and governance, air transport operations for aeroplanes and rotorcraft and aerial work, remains on track for commencement in late 2021. CASA has been cognisant of the changes made to section 9A of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 last year and has actively considered the economic and cost impact of each new measure. A range of matters remain to be resolved but I am grateful that progress continued during a very difficult period.

I am convinced there will still be a vibrant and dynamic aviation industry when these unprecedented circumstances have passed. By working together with industry, CASA will continue to strive for pragmatic and proportionate regulation to reflect the current operating environment. Our efforts, alongside industry, will be essential to drive the recovery of different sectors and sustain Australian aviation as a viable and profitable commodity.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank industry members for their ongoing support. I also extend my appreciation to CASA’s management and staff, and my fellow Board members, for their continued dedication to the organisation and its important mission.

Anthony Mathews
Chair of the CASA Board

Chair of the CASA Board Shows a picture of Anthony Mathews the Chair of the CASA board
Anthony Mathews