15 September, 2015 - CASA chief Mark Skidmore says there is a need for more consultation with the industry over the implementation of new regulations.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is poised to launch an online tool and hold a series of meetings in an attempt to avoid the problems that have dogged the implementation of new aviation rules and upset many in the flying community.
Complaints continue about the implementation of previous rule packages, particularly the Part 61 pilot licensing and Part 141/142 flight training regulations.
CASA chief Mark Skidmore is keen to avoid a repeat of problems as new rules are rolled out in areas such as flight regulations, air transport operations, sports aviation and limited category aircraft operations.
He is also diverting more resources inside CASA to try some of the issues and anomalies raised by the regulations that have already been introduced.
Mr Skidmore conceded the authority had not done well with implementing new rules in the past and needed to work out how to do it better into the future.
"The other part of it is if we look at the regs that we still have remaining there’s about 12 and some of them are significant," he said. "What I want to do — well want and need I guess, you can probably put them together — is work with the aviation community to actually understand what’s the best timeline for these."
He said some people wanted new regulations implemented immediately while others said they were unable to handle the pace.
"And my own resources are actually fairly stretched with regards to actually implementing them so I want to get a better idea. Before I come out with it I’d like to talk to people and get a better idea of how we can do this."
CASA is holding a series of consultation meetings starting this month in Launceston, Hobart, Moorabbin, Darwin, Albury, Bankstown and Brighton Le Sands in Sydney.
It is also launching an online consultation tool in the coming weeks that will allow members of the aviation community to be part of the consultation process.
"It’s not just for this, but I see it as an opportunity into the future … for other areas like Flight Planning 2030 forums that I’m having," Mr Skidmore said. "We’ll have an opportunity for people to be able to feed in information to us without actually having to be there for the forums."
"I also want to try and get to is a stage where we’ll have feedback available on the websites as well."
On the problems with recently implemented regulations, Mr Skidmore said: "I don’t think we’ve sorted it out too well at this stage so I’ve actually told my team that I want to get more focus on (Parts) 61, 141, 142."
"I’m actually taking some resources off other areas and putting them together and saying let’s get some more focus on to this and let’s make sure we solve these concerns."
Mr Skidmore was appointed last year in the wake of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review as part of moves to mend the fractured relationship between CASA and the aviation industry by fostering greater consultation.
The review headed by former Qantas executive David Forsyth found the regulator’s "hard-line approach" to enforcement was inappropriate and had led to a lack of trust between CASA and operators.
The government also brought in new CASA board members, appointed industry veteran Jeff Boyd as chairman and issued a fresh statement of expectations to the authority. The process continued yesterday with the appointment to the board of Philippa Stone, a lawyer with experience on the Airservices Australia board and with the International Air Services Commission.
Mr Skidmore said the regulator was also "rolling on whole bunch of different programs to try to get, I think, better communication and consultation with the industry".
He said he been out in the aviation community attempting to get an understanding of people’s concerns.
"It is important that we understand how it’s going to impact people," he said. "I don’t want to roll things out there to people without understanding what it really means to them because that just doesn’t make any sense to me."
The CASA boss is aware that he will not be able to please everyone. "There will still be some people who won’t be happy because they’ll complain it should have been done earlier, it should have been done later — you’ll never come up with the absolute sweet, perfect solutions but we’ll do the best we damn well can."
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