Getting the balance right on Aviation Safety

A new Bill introduced to Parliament will help ensure the impacts on aircraft operators are considered when developing legislative aviation safety standards, while maintaining Australia’s strong aviation safety record.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said safety would always remain the number one priority for the Australian Government and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

“Australia has an outstanding aviation safety record thanks to our strong regulatory framework and the excellent work of CASA, but all regulators need to continue to keep the balance right between risk and regulation,” Mr McCormack said.

“In response to direct feedback from the aviation community, we are introducing this Bill to allow the Government to continue to ensure CASA considers the economic impact on aircraft operators and communities when developing legislative aviation safety standards.

“This Bill is designed to support a regulatory environment which continues to maintain confidence in the safety of aviation in Australia without unnecessarily restricting innovation and growth.

“Safety of air navigation will still remain the most important consideration of CASA when it develops legislative safety standards, but it will also take into consideration the cost, something I know is a key priority for our general aviation sector. I would like to thank Shadow Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese for his bipartisan support.

“I am pleased this new Bill will support local aviation businesses and communities while ensuring CASA can still do its vital work of keeping us safe in our skies.”

Royal Flying Doctor Service Chief Executive and General Aviation Advisory Group Chair Dr Martin Laverty said the Bill is well balanced.

“It responds to General Aviation’s request for the aviation regulator to consider economic impacts, but retains safety of flyers and the community alike as CASA’s first and dominant purpose,” Dr Laverty said.

The Regional Aviation Associations of Australia CEO, Mr Mike Higgins, welcomed this initiative as a great first step in reviewing some of the broader legacy issues in the Civil Aviation Act.

“The industry is hopeful that any future government will continue on this path as it will ensure the ongoing sustainability of the smaller regional operators,” Mr Higgins said.

More information on civil aviation safety regulation in Australia is available at www.casa.gov.au/standard-page/overview-civil-aviation-safety-legislation.