The federal government is yet to deliver on more than half of its aviation commitments and has shown a lack of commitment to the sector, the Australian Aviation Associations’ Forum (TAAAF) says.
In a statement released on Wednesday, TAAAF expressed its concern that the government is yet to release its response to the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review (ASRR) and that three vacancies on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) board are yet to be filled.
“In considering the government’s performance against their 12 key aviation election commitments, TAAAF scored the government as having delivered around 40 per cent of their commitments,” TAAAF said.
“A key issue noted was the lack of drive and commitment to act urgently on aviation – even judged by the government’s own promises.”
The TAAAF brings together the peak bodies of the aviation sector in Australia under one banner.
TAAAF called on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Industry and Regional Development Warren Truss to “respond urgently” to the ASRR, given the report written by former Airservices chairman David Forsyth was “seen as a blue-print for the reform of CASA to make it an effective, efficient, fair and trusted regulator”.
The ASRR, released in June, called for substantial cultural and structural changes at CASA and for better leadership of and coordination between Australia’s aviation safety agencies.
It found the relationship between CASA and the aviation industry was “in many cases, adversarial”.
TAAAF said the government should immediately establish a moratorium on all CASA regulatory development work until newly appointed director of aviation safety Mark Skidmore starts in his new role, the CASA board was appointed and there was a “clear response” to the Forsyth review.
“In particular, CASR Part 61 should immediately be suspended to prevent further damage to the industry and a joint industry/CASA taskforce appointed to apply the principles of sound regulatory development,” TAAAF said.
Part 61 was a set of new regulatory measures for pilots, operators and flightcrew licensing that has been strongly criticised from some sectors in the aviation industry.
“CASR Part 61 was seen as a serious problem and not acceptable to the industry in its current form,” TAAAF said.
“It was identified as a threat to the viability of some sectors and significant numbers of operators.
“Additionally there is clearly confusion within the regulator about the implementation of the rule-set and a lack of consistent interpretation and education.”
The federal government has promised a response to the ASRR before the end of 2014.