Chairman of the federal Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Senator Susan McDonald, has launched an inquiry into the Civil Aviation Safety Authority with a view to assessing the effectiveness of regulation it has applied on general aviation in the past 10 years.
Senator McDonald said the inquiry would try to establish how regulation in the sector had achieved CASA’s stated aim of balancing safety, relative risk, and economic costs.
“It will look at the social and economic impacts of CASA decisions on charter businesses, helicopter mustering, agricultural operations and maintenance operators across regional, rural and remote Australia,” she said.
“We want to examine the relevance of the Civil Aviation Act in relation to maintaining the highest safety standards while encouraging general aviation and training.”
In October, the Townsville-based LNP Senator crossed the Senate floor to vote against new regulations CASA sought to impose on charity flights.
“I have spoken with participants in the general aviation industry who feel the past 10 years of rulemaking by CASA has not achieved the stated aim of balance,” she said.
“This inquiry will look at people’s concerns with CASA and deliver interim findings in December 2020, followed by a final report in November 2021.”
- That the Senate establishes an inquiry into and report on the current state of Australia’s general aviation industry, including the operation and effectiveness of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and other agencies, with particular reference to:a) balancing safety, relative risk and economic impacts in developing and promulgating aviation safety standards, particularly in the context of regional, rural and remote aviation, including:
i. the legislative and regulatory framework underpinning CASA’s aviation safety management regulation and operation;
ii. Government functions in providing advice to relevant agencies, which addresses safety, relative risk and economic factors; and
iii. public consultation processes.
b) The immediate and long-term social and economic impacts of CASA decisions on small businesses, agricultural operations and individuals across regional, rural and remote Australia.
c) The relevance of the Civil Aviation Act 1988, with particular reference to;
i. maintaining the highest level of safety in air navigation that is balanced with maintaining an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry, including a viable general aviation and training sector.
ii. The need for more people to benefit from civil aviation.
d) What additional factors could be incorporated by CASA in making decisions, including increasing connectivity across regional, rural and remote Australia.
e) Any other related matter.
- That the committee present its interim report on or before the final sitting day of December 2020.
- That the committee present its final report on or before the final sitting day of November 2021.