Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) chairman Jim Davis says the results of a national survey on the performance of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) highlights the lack of progress in the organisation’s reform.
The survey, which comprised interviews with industry participants, CASA staff and online interviews conducted between August 2015 and January 2016 by market research firm Colmar Brunton, found 46 per cent of respondents were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the relationship they had with CASA.
“The most common reason given for the poor rating was unsatisfactory service and support received from CASA,” the survey findings said.
“This included delays in processing licence applications or renewals and difficulties contacting people within the organisation that could assist them.
“The second most common reason for giving a low score was the perception that CASA is overly bureaucratic and risk-averse, with a number of these respondents mentioning CASA operates with ‘too much red tape’.”
The report also said 49 per cent of respondents were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with CASA’s service delivery.
On a positive note however, the findings noted “those with direct interactions with CASA staff over the past 12 months provided higher average satisfaction ratings with these interactions, suggesting more recent efforts to improve service are having a positive impact”.
Davis said CASA had not yet implemented all the recommendations in the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review (ASRR), which was released in June 2014 and called for substantial cultural and structural changes at the organisation and for better leadership of and coordination between Australia’s aviation safety agencies.
In December 2015, the government said it accepted all but five of the report’s recommendations.
“It is obvious that CASA needs to pick up its game,” Davis said in a statement on Friday.
“It is now over 18 months since the ASRR report was adopted by the government but CASA has a long way to go in achieving its objectives.
“The government now needs to take action to ensure that the ASRR report’s recommendations are effectively implemented and haven’t been turned into just another bureaucratic box ticking exercise.”
CASA is looking for a new chief executive and director of aviation safety after Mark Skidmore’s sudden resignation on Thursday.
Skidmore, who began his five-year term in January 2015, is staying on until October to help with the transition to interim leadership arrangements that were yet to be announced.
The local and international search for Skidmore’s replacement was expected to take six to nine months.
The RAAA called for the CASA board to move “as quickly as possible to appoint an appropriately qualified successor to carry out the necessary reforms” within the organisation.
Further, it said the government should commission a progress report into the implementation of the ASRR recommendations.
The full report of the Colmar Brunton survey, which comprised the views of more than 1,200 respondents, can be read on the CASA website.