New Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) director of aviation safety (DAS) Mark Skidmore AM has laid out five key principles that he says will guide the regulator’s dealings with the aviation community.
While safety was CASA’s most important consideration, Skidmore says clear communication, minimising the financial impact of regulatory actions, reducing complexity and having a consistent message will be the key focus to “ensure CASA is an even more effective aviation safety regulator, while building our relationships with the aviation community”.
“I have told CASA’s people that I will require everyone in the organisation to think about and apply these principles when we make new regulations or amend existing regulations, when we make decisions and take or recommend actions,” Skidmore said in the January edition of CASA’s monthly briefing note.
Skidmore officially commenced his five-year term as CASA’s chief executive and DAS on January 1, having been named as John McCormick’s replacement in October 2014.
The Air Vice Marshal is 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.
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.
Skidmore said CASA had a responsibility to communicate clearly, simply and effectively.
“If the aviation community does not understand CASA’s safety requirements we will not get the right safety outcomes,” he said.
“When CASA makes changes or takes decisions and actions we must consider the financial impact on both the aviation community and CASA and seek to keep it as low as possible-without of course compromising the achievement of optimal safety outcomes.
“While we are bound by legal requirements in the way CASA’s legislation is developed and presented, we must do our very best to minimise complexity and provide clear explanations of what we require that are free of jargon and confusing language.
“Finally, CASA must be consistent in its decision making and actions. It is not acceptable for different areas within CASA to present different views on the same issues to the aviation community.”