Mr Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
CANBERRA ACT 2600, Australia
Mr Shane Carmody
Director of Aviation Safety, CASA
GPO BOX 2005
Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Private pilot medical certification double standards – I FLY AND I VOTE
Deputy Prime Minister,
Further to correspondence sent today to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and your office, regarding double standards on private pilot medical certification.
Quite simply it is either safe or it is unsafe for a private pilot to operate an aircraft with an MTOW of 600Kgs with one passenger outside of controlled airspace. For CASA to assert that it’s risk-assessments have concluded that it is only safe if the pilot is a member of a private company is ridiculous. CASA RPL and PPL holders are trained to a higher pilot standard than their RAAus counterparts and therefore should represent a much lower risk to aviation safety!
CASA must now come clean and publicly publish its risk-assessments and explain to the Australian public why it has denied pilots with a higher standard of training access to a self-certification private drivers licence medical. CASA should not be abusing its position and power in forcing unfair and biased aviation safety standards that seek to intentionally disadvantage RPL and PPL pilots, so as to force them into a private self-administration business (RAAus) where they are exposed to monopoly fees and charges that do not exist within the CASA system.
There is no doubt that CASA has been influenced into protecting the private business interests of the RAAus, which has reported year on year financial losses, citing stagnant membership growth. During a briefing to their members yesterday at Airventure Australia Cessnock, RAAUs Chairman, Mr Michael Monck, and CEO, Mr Michael Linke, communicated that “…should CASA approve self-certification private drivers licence medicals for RPL and PPL holders, the RAAus would close its doors…”.
As a result of this egregious denial of pilot rights, CASA regulated RPL and PPL holders are forced to become customers of a private monopoly business (RAAus) that owns your medical, your licence and your aircraft registration. Pilots are forced to pay fees and charges that are unregulated and are subjected to ad-hoc oversight and disciplinary processes that are at the discretion of the private business and the personalities that run it. And, to prevent pilots from electing to stay within the government regulated general aviation industry, CASA have denied RPL and PPL holders the right to choose by refusing to provide an equal and unbiased self-certification private drivers licence medical standard.
Are we now seeing the wholesale corruption of our national aviation safety regulator? Is pay for regulatory-play the way of the future? Why is CASA creating safety standards that disadvantage government regulated RPL and PPL holders, whilst deregulating the rules for a private business to ensure its financial survival? Does any of this pass the pub test?
Mr Deputy Prime Minister you must end this abuse of power and demand that all Australian private pilots – regardless of their associations – be regulated equally and fairly. You must announce to the Australian public that any pilot seeking to fly an aircraft with an MTOW of up to 600kgs with one passenger outside of controlled airspace can do so on a self-certification private drivers licence medical regardless of the licence they hold.
And, importantly you must affirm to the Australian people that the role of Australia’s aviation safety regulator (CASA) is to provide aviation safety standards that are free of commercial bias and influence.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia (AOPA Australia)
Hangar 600, Prentice Street, Bankstown Airport NSW 2200 Australia.
PO BOX 26, Georges Hall NSW 2198 Australia.
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