Air Vice Marshal Mark Skidmore AM has been named as the new director of aviation safety for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Skidmore, a former F-111 pilot who retired from the RAAF in 2012 after a term as Air Commander Australia – ACAUST – in charge of Air Force operations, has been appointed to lead the aviation regulator for a five-year term, CASA chairman Dr Allan Hawke announced on Thursday. He will take up his new role “as soon as possible”, Dr Hawke said, once he finalises existing commitments.
“Mark Skidmore brings a wealth of aviation experience to the position of director of aviation safety at CASA,” Dr Hawke said in a statement.
“Mark has worked in civilian aviation as a test pilot, business development manager and company director. He has led large teams of operational, technical and administrative staff, providing leadership for operational, training and support functions.”
Dr Hawke said Skidmore had an “outstanding” RAAF career and that he “understands safety is a shared responsibility with the aviation industry and will encourage and support the industry while at the same time ensuring the interests of the travelling public are protected.”
As well as being a qualified test pilot (graduating from the US Navy’s Test Pilot School in 1985) and a former commanding officer of the RAAF’s Aircraft Research and Development Unit, Skidmore is also a keen private pilot, flying his own Globe Swift classic aircraft. He was also the test pilot for the RAAF Museum’s Bristol Boxkite replica (pictured).
His consultancy company Swift Aerospace Consulting “is a small consulting company that provides consulting services to the defence and civil aerospace community,” according to Skidmore’s Linkedin profile. “These consulting services are based on the knowledge and experience of the director who has 33 years service in the Royal Australian Air Force as a pilot and commander of aerospace units and several years in defence industry providing airworthiness and flight safety leadership.”
Skidmore becomes the second former RAAF pilot to serve as CASA DAS after the retirement of former RAAF Mirage (and then Cathay Pacific airline) pilot John McCormick at the end of August. Terry Farquharson has been acting in the role since then.
Mark Skidmore career highlights:
- 2013 – Aviation consultant
- 2013 – Director flight operations Raytheon Australia
- 2001-2012 – Royal Australian Air Force – from 2008 Air Commander Australia; previously: Joint Force Air Component Commander including Director of the Coalition Combined Air Operations Centre in the Middle East Area, Director Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, Director Operational Requirements, New Air Combat Capability Commander, Aircraft Research and Development Unit
- 1998-1999 – Senior test pilot and business development executive Raytheon Australia
- 1983-1997 – Royal Australian Air Force – pilot and test pilot