Archive for November, 2015

As Leadsled says the ‘mystique of aviation safety’ is alive and well used as a deterrent against change.

However into the pot of ill fate, the poisonous mix for GA, is the fact of the failed government experiment of the ‘independent government business enterprise’ introduced in the eighties in order to apply ‘user pays’, and to separate Ministers from their responsibilities or opprobrium. It was never explained how user pays would work. Of course now we know that the monopoly GBE sets whatever fees it likes and worse it invents procedures for which fees must be applied. Hence the very idea of independent instructors working without an AOC has no traction. GBEs taking over from direct Ministerial control will never be even slightly like a business being run by public servants (masters?) with every incentive to maintain and increase their influence. GBEs are monopolies and totally impervious to customer satisfaction, competition (there is none) and any efficiencies will only lead to job cuts. Job cuts lead to less influence, lower pay scales and loss of standing in Canberra, city of heirachy and great prizes for the top jobs, eg CASA CEO around half a million pa. Incredibly the joke is also on the taxpayer who pays more than the DCA needed, even with CASA fees and all the levies that finance its monstrous appetite.

It is clear that to expect reform from CASA is like expecting water to run uphill. A very strong board, with not less than job suicidal tendency and great determination might make some growth policies stick, but it is only Parliament with change to the Act that can revive the sickening body of GA.

We used to live in a (relatively) free country, wasn’t too bad so we let things slip, did not question ‘privileges’, aviation medicals and log book keeping for PPL, all special ways for us elite flyers. The expensive AOC nightmare replaced a simple no cost charter and training licence, criminal offenses were enacted and huge penalties even for the most minor transgressions.

From CASA CEO Mr Skidmore, Nov 15

“Pilots with a current licence only need to undertake an aviation English language proficiency assessment if they want to use their Australian licence overseas. However, a current aviation assessment is needed before applying for any flight test for a private, commercial, air transport or multi-crew pilot licence. People needing to find a language assessor should talk to their local flight training school.”

I would have thought that one’s language ability would be quite adequately dealt with during training and licence testing. Wonder what extra costs are involved and how does CASA approve language assessors? What is the practice in the US and NZ? Is this another example of unnecessary and costly micro management ?

In regard to the last part of Mr Skidmore’s report “Fatigue forum praised for practical answers” is most confusing. It would seem that there were two forums. One with more than thirty FOIs and other CASA staff, one with 40 attendees and one with 80, both meetings (or was it only one with massaged message inadvertently posted?). Wonder what that cost was, accomodation, meals, no doubt many being flown in from Canberra and further afield. It seems that a lovely time was had by all and of course they’ll all be back next year to have a wonderful conference all about the next tranche of changing regulations. Much more enjoyable than working for a living, our fuel levies bringing happiness and satisfaction to our masters.

Meanwhile back in the real world of what’s left of GA, it is gasping for air, struggling to pay the bills and struggling at the task of coping with a new suite of regs that will see many more aviation businesses close their doors.

What’s it all about? Huge pay packets, lifestyle, ego and power. Bureaucracy unlimited, not a real reform in sight, the situation is out of control.