Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has issued a fresh Statement of Expectations (SOE) for the board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
The new SOE, which took effect from March 27 2017 and runs until June 30 2019, sets out CASA’s governance, regulatory approach, key aviation activities and stakeholder engagement functions.
Chester said CASA should be “pragmatic, practical and proportional” in its dealings.
“This statement sets out in an open and formal way some important parameters for CASA’s regulatory approach, including implementing its regulatory philosophy,” Chester said in a statement on Tuesday.
“CASA has an extremely important role to play in maintaining Australia’s enviable safety record, having regard to risk; CASA must also take into account the economic and cost impact on the aviation industry.
“A pragmatic, practical and proportional approach to regulatory activity is intended to help support aviation growth in this country, particularly in the general aviation sector.”
The new SOE immediately replaces the former SOE issued by then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss in April 2015 that was due to expire on June 30.
The SOE, which can be read in full on the federal government’s register of legislation website, said CASA was consulted in finalising the document.
It said CASA should maintain high standards of professionalism, service, probity, reporting, accountability and transparency, consistent with the provisions of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) as well as other relevant legislation.
“I expect CASA to operate as a world-leading aviation safety regulator, backed by a workforce with the requisite skills and capabilities,” the SOE said.
In terms of regulatory approach, the SOE sets out the Minister’s expectation that CASA focuses on aviation safety as its highest priority while considering the “economic and cost impact on individuals, businesses and the community in the development and finalisation of new or amended regulatory changes”.
Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) chief executive Mike Higgins said the SOE was an “excellent starting point for future engagement with CASA at all levels”.
“It reinforces and builds on the great work already undertaken by CASA’s acting CEO Shane Carmody,” Higgins said in the Minister’s statement on Tuesday.
The SOE also requires CASA pay “particular attention” to changes taking place in air traffic management including the new OneSky air traffic management system and Airservices’ new operating model.
“I’ve also asked CASA to focus effort on enhancing the level of controlled airspace, including at major regional airports,” Chester said.
“I look forward to CASA making strong progress against this statement and encourage the aviation industry to provide cooperative input to the important work that will be progressed over the next few years.”
For stakeholder engagement, the SOE said it expected CASA to “undertake effective and ongoing engagement with the aviation industry to create a collaborative relationship between CASA and industry based on a foundation of mutual understanding and respect”.
Separately, Chester announced on Tuesday Cheryl Cartwright has been appointed to the CASA board, effective April 17 2017 for a three-year term.
Cartwright has been chief executive of Australian Pipelines and Gas Association for about 12 years before stepping down in February 2017.
CASA chairman Jeff Boyd welcomed Cartwright’s appointment.
“She will bring a wealth of corporate experience, which will complement the skill sets of existing board members and I certainly look forward to working with her,” Boyd said in a statement.