Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Section 1: Entity 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 has responsibility for airspace regulation.

Australian Government priorities and CASA's commitment to aviation safety

The Australian Government is committed to maintaining and enhancing safety as its number one priority in aviation. As Australia's aviation safety regulator, CASA will support the Australian Government to maintain, enhance and promote the safety of civil aviation through the application of a detailed risk-based approach with particular emphasis to deliver the goals as set out in Table 2.2: Performance criteria for Outcome 1.

CASA will ensure the directions of the Australian Government, as presented in the Minister's Statement of Expectations, are implemented effectively and efficiently. CASA's corporate plan fully details the activities and initiatives to be undertaken by the organisation to meet the expectations.

The Australian Government has set out some clear objectives relevant to CASA including:

  • to continue to focus on aviation safety as the highest priority;
  • to consider the economic and cost impact on individuals, businesses and the community in the development and finalisation of new or amended regulatory changes;
  • to take a pragmatic, practical and proportionate approach to regulation as it applies to different industry sectors having regard to risk; and
  • to implement its regulatory philosophy, with the philosophy being reflected in relevant policies, procedures, manuals, and when CASA personnel are carrying out their day-to-day operations.

CASA's comprehensive planning framework fully incorporates the Australian Government direction and ensures the relevant requirements are implemented effectively and efficiently. CASA aims to achieve its commitment to aviation safety through its three key goals.  They are:

  • to maintain and enhance a fair, effective and efficient aviation safety regulation system;
  • to engage collaboratively with the wider aviation community to promote and support a positive safety culture; and
  • to continuously improve organisational performance.

Each goal is supported through a number of key performance areas (KPA) and indicators (KPI). The progress and achievement against the KPIs is monitored by a comprehensive performance management and reporting 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, including new aerodrome infrastructure and airspace management requirements, the rapid growth and complexity of remotely piloted aircraft systems (i.e. drones), the emergence of new technologies and materials, and the regulatory oversight of international carriers. The retention of specialist personnel in a challenging labour market is a matter of concern as are issues related to ageing aircraft and the oversight of infrastructure developments at aerodromes over the coming decade. Like other safety regulators around the world, CASA is cognisant of the need to ensure that safety-related considerations are at the forefront of CASA's regulatory actions for the benefit of the aviation community and the wider community.

As a key priority, CASA continues to develop and implement new safety standards and regulations, taking into account the Australian Government's regulatory reform agenda. 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 receives funding from three major sources: a Government annual appropriation; a 3.556 cent per litre excise on aviation fuel consumed by all domestic aircraft (all of which is provided to CASA); and regulatory service fees. Whilst CASA conducts surveillance and regulatory oversight of international carriers and airports, these do not contribute to the fuel excise funding model.

Government has decided that the current funding arrangements should remain in place for 2019–20, noting that there is increasing pressure on CASA's budget with the demands arising from regulatory oversight of international carriers, new aerodrome infrastructure and airspace management requirements, together with the continued rapid growth and complexity of drones. These pressures will need to be monitored.

CASA FUNDING Arrangements

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

During the 2018–19 MYEFO CASA was directed to come back in the 2019–20 MYEFO context with a detailed review of CASA's regulatory activities and funding arrangements, including analysis of current funding sources and outputs, developed in consultation with the Department of Finance and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This may include publishing a Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) which will outline CASA's intent to introduce new simplified cost recovery arrangements.

The following table shows budgeted revenue from CASA's cost recovery arrangements.

 Estimated
Actual
BudgetForward
Estimate
Forward
Estimate
Forward
Estimate
 2018–19
$m
2019–20
$m
2020–21
$m
2021–22
$m
2022–23
$m
Regulatory service fees(a) 14.7 21.6 15.0 15.0 15.0
ASIC/AVID issue and renewal (b) 1.8 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Total 16.5 23.1 16.5 16.5 16.5

Notes:

  1. One off increase for regulatory services fees reflects the 2018–19 MYEFO decision on CASA funding.
  2. Aviation Security Identification Cards (ASIC) and Aviation Verification of Identity (AVID) cards.

1.2 Entity resource statement

Table 1.1 shows the total funding from all sources available to CASA for its operations and to deliver programs and services on behalf of the Government.

The table summarises how resources will be applied by outcome (government strategic policy objectives) and by departmental (for CASA's operations) classification.

For more detailed information on special appropriations, please refer to Budget Paper No. 4—Agency Resourcing.

Information in this table is presented on a resourcing (i.e. appropriations/cash available) basis, whilst the ‘Budgeted expenses by Outcome 1’ table in Section 2 and the financial statements in Section 3 are presented on an accrual basis.

Table 1.1: Civil Aviation Safety Authority resource statement—Budget estimates for 2019–20 as at Budget April 2019

1.3 Budget measures

Budget measures in Part 1 relating to CASA are detailed in Budget Paper No.2—Budget Measures and are summarised below.

Table 1.2: Entity 2019–20 Budget measures

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Budget 2019-20