CASA Director of Aviation Safety (DAS) Mark Skidmore issued the new directive in June, which says, among other things, that aviation safety regulations must be shown to be necessary and developed with a view to addressing known or likely safety risks that cannot be addressed effectively by non-regulatory means alone.
Further, the directive says: “If a regulation can be justified on safety-risk grounds, it must be made in a form that provides for the most efficient allocation of industry and CASA resources. Regulations must not impose unnecessary costs or unnecessarily hinder levels of participation in aviation and its capacity for growth.”
Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) chairman Jim Davis says the directive is a “landmark document”, adding that the RAAA “stands ready to assist” in meeting its stated objectives.
“Many past CASA administrations have laid claim to effective industry consultation and to producing clearer regulations and failed to do so, but this directive shows a clear intent to make it work this time,” Davis said in a statement on Monday.
“The principle of making regulations cost effective is extremely important and is a breath of fresh air after the last six years of mindless and unnecessarily expensive and complicated regulation.
“The DAS is to be highly commended for issuing this directive and we look forward to seeing it applied to new regulation and to amendments to current regulation.”
Skidmore said in CASA’s June Briefing the regulator was committed to consulting with the aviation community in an open and transparent manner and ensuring all communication was clear, timely and effective.
“CASA must still apply the regulations in accordance with their intent and safety must be regarded as the most important consideration,” Skidmore said.
“But we must also consider all other relevant issues, including costs and administrative burden. This means there is the opportunity for people in the aviation community to show CASA how the right safety outcomes under the regulations can be achieved at a lower cost or administrative burden.
“In other words, CASA is not saying ‘it is our way or the highway’ when it comes to the exercise of our discretionary compliance powers.”
Regional Express (Rex) chief operating officer Neville Howell described the directive as a “breath of fresh air”.
Moreover, Howell said the directive was a “reason to believe that the aviation industry can now start to recover from the severe damage inflicted over the last six years by the previous CASA administration which was the focus of the Government’s Aviation Safety Regulation Review”.
“We look forward to continuing to work with CASA to achieve a safer aviation environment through regulatory reforms that are grounded on rational and evidence-based policies,” Howell said in a statement on July 6.