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Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Section 1: Agency overview and resources

1.1: Strategic direction statement

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is an independent statutory authority established in 1995 under the Civil Aviation Act 1988. The main object of this Act is to establish a regulatory framework for maintaining, enhancing and promoting the safety of civil aviation, with particular emphasis on preventing aviation accidents and incidents.

In accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and the regulations, CASA has the function of conducting the safety regulation of:

  • the civil air operations in Australian territory; and
  • the operation of Australian aircraft outside Australian territory.

While safety regulation of civil aviation remains its primary role, CASA also provides safety education and training programs and in recent years has acquired responsibilities for airspace regulation and some environmental issues.

Government Priorities and CASA's Commitment to Aviation Safety

The Government is committed to maintaining and enhancing safety as its number one priority in aviation. As Australia's aviation safety regulator, CASA will unequivocally support the Government to maintain, enhance and promote the safety of civil aviation through its vision - 'Safe skies for all'.

CASA will ensure the relevant requirements of the Government's White Paper on National Aviation Policy and initiatives presented in the Minister's Statement of Expectations are implemented effectively and efficiently.

The Government has set out some clear objectives in the Aviation White Paper:

  • to give industry the certainty and incentive to plan and invest for the long term;
  • to maintain and improve Australia's excellent safety record;
  • to give proper consideration to the interests of travellers and users of airports; and
  • to better manage the impact of aviation activity on communities and the environment.

CASA's comprehensive planning framework that aligns Government direction within the organisation ensures the relevant requirements of the Aviation White Paper are implemented effectively and efficiently. CASA aims to achieve its commitment to aviation safety through its three key goals. They are:

  • comprehensive, consistent and effective regulation to enhance aviation safety;
  • good governance and continuous improvement of organisational efficiency; and
  • effective and appropriate relationships with the wider aviation community.

Each CASA goal is supported by a number of strategies and initiatives. The achievement of the strategies will be monitored by a comprehensive performance management process. CASA will continue its commitment to making further improvements to the way it operates and continuously strive to achieve its high-level goals.

Challenging Aviation Trends and Implications for CASA

The aviation landscape is growing in complexity through rising costs, the entry of additional foreign and low cost operators, introduction of bigger and more technologically complex aircraft, increased competition for qualified staff, an ageing fleet at the smaller end of the industry and an increasing number of passengers flying every year. Like other safety regulators around the world, CASA faces all these key challenges and is cognisant of the need to ensure that safety-related considerations are at the forefront of CASA regulatory actions.

As a key priority, CASA continues to develop new standards and regulations. CASA will stay abreast of changes within the aviation industry by carefully analysing safety and operational data to look for trends and emerging risks which need to be addressed. This approach will further focus CASA on its core activity - the regulation of aviation safety.

CASA's Funding Strategy

CASA established a Funding Strategy which provides a framework of financial sustainability for the period 2010-11 to 2013-14, consistent with the funding principles outlined in the Aviation White Paper. In 2011-12 CASA will continue with the initiatives funded and consolidate the 2010-11 funding strategy. This funding strategy will continue until the end of 2013-14. CASA will be preparing a Long Term Funding Strategy (LTFS) for Government consideration in the 2014-15 Budget process.

Cost Recovery Arrangements

CASA collects fees for regulatory services in accordance with the Civil Aviation (Fees) Regulations 1995.

The Government's Aviation White Paper caps the sum of CASA's regulatory fees at the current $15m per annum, subject to adjustment for CPI increases, for at least five years. The cap acknowledges the Government's commitment to address the burden of CASA's regulatory charges, in particular on regional and general aviation.

A new Cost Recovery Impact Statement (CRIS) has been prepared to support the new Maintenance Regulations Suite. The CRIS outlines the cost recovery arrangements for CASA and provides details on the new fees. The new fees are scheduled to commence from 27 June 2011, aligning with the new Maintenance Regulations Suite.

There will be no increases to the fixed fees or hourly rates.

The following table shows budgeted revenue from cost recovery arrangements.

Estimated Actual Budget Forward Estimate Forward Estimate Forward Estimate





LTFS Regulatory service fees 13.0 15.0 15.0 15.0 15.0
ASIC/AVID issue and renewal 1.8 2.3 1.6 2.3 2.3
Total 14.8 17.3 16.6 17.3 17.3

1.2: Agency resource statement

Table 1.1 shows the total resources from all sources.

Table 1.1: Agency resource statement - Budget estimates for 2011-12 as at Budget May 2010

1.3: Budget measures

Budget measures relating to CASA are detailed in Budget Paper No. 2 and are summarised below.

Table 1.2: Agency 2011-12 Budget measures


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Budget 2011-12