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Notice given 10 November 2006

2657  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Does section 30DK(4) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 require the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to publish details of enforceable voluntary undertakings on the Internet.

(2) Why did CASA not publish parts 1 to 9 and parts 11 to 14 of the Transair enforceable voluntary undertaking (EVU) on its website which included: the dates of audits for the years 2001 to 2006 which disclosed to CASA auditors ongoing compliance and structural problems, the details of 14 identified safety breaches, Transair’s admission that corrective action is required and the timetable for the implementation of the undertakings.

 

 (3) Why did the details published on the CASA website identify just five undertakings by Transair when part 10 of the Transair EVU contains seven undertakings.

(4) Does the CASA publication CASA New Enforcement Procedures: A Fairer and More Transparent System, contain the following advice ‘Is an EVU public? Yes. The legislation requires that CASA must publish details of EVUs on its website’.

(5) Why were all details of the EVU not published on the Internet by CASA.

(6) Did the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee recommend that an EVU scheme should be accompanied by a publicly-available register.

(7) Did the explanatory memorandum for the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2003 advise the Parliament that the Government’s proposed EVU scheme had been revised to take into account the above committee’s recommendations, including the publication of EVU details on the Internet.

(8) Did the explanatory memorandum also advise the Parliament that the Government’s EVU scheme was modelled on section 87B of the Trade Practices Act 1974 .

(9) Is it the case that the guide on section 87B undertakings, published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in August 1999, states that ‘the Commission’s view is that all s. 87B undertakings should be a matter of public record and open to public scrutiny’.

(10) Is it the case that the ACCC maintains a public register of all undertakings made under section 87B of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and publishes a copy of each signed undertaking on its website.

(11) Is the Minister satisfied that CASA has complied with section 30DK(4) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 by failing to publish parts 1 to 9 and parts 11 to 14 of the Transair EVU and failing to publish full details of the specific undertakings contained in part 10.

2660  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1472 (Senate Hansard, 22 June 2006, p. 313):

(1) Does Mr Bruce Byron, the Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), still maintain offices in Canberra, Melbourne, Moorabbin and at his home.

(2) For the each of the financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07 to date, how many days did Mr Byron spend working from: (a) his Canberra office; (b) his Melbourne office; (c) his Moorabbin office; (d) his home office; and (e) any other location.

(3) (a) Why did CASA pay for the installation of a satellite telephone link at Mr Byron’s home costing $1 896.75 including a first month charge of $89.95; (b) on what date was the satellite telephone link installed; and (c) for each of the financial years since installation, including 2006-07 to date, what sum has CASA spent on fees associated with the satellite telephone service.

 

 (4) For each of the financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07 to date: (a) what equipment, if any, has been purchased for Mr Byron’s home office; and (b) what other costs has CASA incurred in relation to the operation of the home office.

(5) For each of the financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07 to date, what costs has CASA incurred in relation to Mr Byron’s offices in: (a) Canberra; (b) Melbourne; and (c) Moorabbin.

2664  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the claim by Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) spokesperson Mr Peter Gibson in the Australian newspaper report ‘Freefall to Death’ of 23 January 2006, that proposed rule changes for the entire sports aviation industry have been delayed since 1998, but CASA would make an announcement about rule changes soon:

(1) What rule changes have been under consideration since 1998.

(2) Why has the implementation of the rule changes been delayed for eight years.

(3) Can a copy be provided of all related Notices of Proposed Rule Making.

(4) When will rule changes be implemented.

(5) How many people participating in sports aviation, including: (a) skydiving (b) ultralight aviation; (c) ballooning; and (d) other sports, have died in Australia since 1998.

2668  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) What is the total cost of introducing the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Generated Minimum Equipment List (GMEL) system, by year.

(2) Can the cost be disaggregated to include: (a) software adaptation; (b) project team costs; (c) trial costs; (d) payments to Transport Canada; and (e) other costs

(3) Can details of all GMEL Review Board members be provided.

2670  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) What was the cost of establishing and maintaining the Office of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Industry Complaints Commissioner in the 2005-06 financial year.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that the CASA Industry Complaints Commissioner received 219 complaints in the 2005-06 financial year.

(3) What matters, by category, did the complaints concern in the 2005-06 financial year.

(4) How many complaints did the CASA Industry Complaints Commissioner investigate in the 2005-06 financial year.

(5) How many recommendations by the CASA Industry Complaints Commissioner in the 2005-06 financial year resulted in: (a) action by the original CASA decision maker to overturn a decision; (b) action by the CASA Chief Executive Officer to overturn a decision; and/or (c) a change to a CASA procedure.

 

 (6) How many recommendations from the CASA Industry Complaints Commissioner were not accepted in the 2005-06 financial year.

(7) Were all complaints dealt with in accordance with the service charter.

2673  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Civil Aviation Regulation 7 (CAR 7) as contained in the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988, which provides that the Director of Aviation Safety ‘may, in writing, delegate to a person all or any of CASA’s powers and functions under CAR’:

(1) Does the Director of Aviation Safety issue delegations to positions rather than persons; if so, do these delegations comply with CAR 7 which provides for delegation to ‘a person’.

(2) Does the Director of Aviation Safety ever issue unsigned delegations stamped with an electronic signature.

(3) Can a schedule showing the current functions and powers delegated under CAR 7 and the name of the person exercising that delegated power be provided: if not, why not.

2674  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) For each of the financial years 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 to date, can details be provided of all costs associated with domestic travel for Mr Bruce Byron, the Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, by year, including: (a) fares; (b) accommodation; (c) meals; (d) insurance; and (e) other costs.

(2) Can the same details be provided for any domestic travel undertaken by members of Mr Byron’s family.

2677  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) What was the cost of the Civil Aviation Safety (CASA) telephone survey of general aviation operators and organisations commissioned in September 2005.

(2) Will CASA undertake an extensive survey of all aviation sectors in the 2006-07 financial year, as planned; if so, what is the estimated cost of this survey.

2678  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the statement in the Civil Aviation Safety (CASA) annual report for the 2005-06 financial year that CASA issues ‘continue to cause some concern in the Minister’s office’: Can the Minister outline the nature of these concerns with CASA’s performance.

2687  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—Why does the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) annual report for 2005-06 report that the highest remuneration paid to a CASA executive other than the Chief Executive Officer in the 2004-05 financial year was in the $310,000 - $324,999 band when the CASA annual report for 2004-05 reports that the highest remuneration paid to a CASA executive other than the Chief Executive Officer in the 2004-05 financial year was in the $280,000 - $289,999 band.

 

 2690  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to section 30DK(4) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 that requires the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to publish details of enforceable voluntary undertakings (EVUs) on the internet:

(1) What is the basis of the claim by the Chief Executive Officer of CASA, Mr Bruce Byron, to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport on 30 October 2006 that because the Act requires publication of ‘the details’ of EVUs and not ‘the detail’, CASA may only publish a summary.

(2) (a) On what date did CASA seek legal advice on its obligations under section 30DK(4) of the Act; and (b) can a copy of the advice be provided.

2693  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority General Counsel, Mr Rick Heap, issue a memorandum of advice on 9 May 2006 requesting publication of the details of the enforceable voluntary undertaking (EVU) by Transair, dated 4 May 2006, on the Internet.

(2) Did Mr Heap’s memorandum note that the structure of the company’s operations needed to change ‘to rectify the problems identified in the background to the undertakings’.

(3) Given its relevance to the undertakings, why was the background, contained in parts 1-9 of the EVU, not published on the internet.

2695  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) On what date did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) publish on its website a summary of the enforceable voluntary undertaking (EVU) by Transair accepted by CASA on 4 May 2006.

(2) On what date did CASA remove a summary of the EVU from its website.

2697  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Is the Minister aware that in September 2006 Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) spokesperson Mr Peter Gibson told The Australian newspaper that ‘none’ of the issues subject to the Transair enforceable voluntary undertaking (EVU) dated 4 May 2006 ‘can be linked directly’ to the tragedy at Lockhart River on 7 May 2005.

(2) What is the basis of CASA’s claim that none of the fourteen safety breaches identified in the Transair EVU can be linked to the Lockhart River crash.

2698  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the evidence by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bruce Gemmell, to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport on 30 October 2006 that CASA failed to enforce training requirements mandated in the Transair operations manual prior to the Lockhart River tragedy in May 2005:

(1) Is the Minister aware Mr Gemmell told the committee ‘whilst we may have known it was occurring, we did not enforce that because, quite frankly, if we sought to enforce it they could simply cross it out of the manual, and that would be the end of it’.

 

 (2) Does Civil Aviation Regulation 215(9) as contained in the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 require each member of the operations personnel of an operator to comply with all instructions contained in the operations manual in so far as they relate to his or her duties or activities.

(3) Did CASA knowingly fail in its duty by failing to enforce compliance with Civil Aviation Regulation 215(9).

(4) Which other instructions contained in the Transair operations manual has CASA knowingly permitted the operator to disregard.

2700  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to page 34 of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) annual report for 2003-04 and page 38 of the CASA annual report for 2004-05 and the answer to question on notice no. 352 (Senate Hansard , 10 May 2005, p. 271), concerning a review of the new CASA enforcement regime:

(1) Which CASA officers managed the review.

(2) Did the review conclude in May 2005.

(3) On what date was the review report presented to the CASA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bruce Byron.

(4) What necessary changes to the enforcement regime did the review identify.

(5) What necessary amendments to the Civil Aviation Act 1988 did the review identify.

(6) Can a copy of the review report be provided.

(7) On what date did Mr Byron provide a report to the Minister on the review outcomes.

(8) How did the Minister and the department consider the review.

(9) When did the Minister’s consideration of the review conclude.

(10) What changes to the enforcement regime have resulted from this consideration.

(11) What legislative amendments can be attributed to the review.

2701  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Can a copy be provided of the Transair air operator’s certificate (AOC) BN426646-31 issued on 20 October 2005.

(2) Was this AOC current as at 4 May 2006 when Transair entered into an enforceable voluntary undertaking with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

(3) Were any Transair AOCs issued between 4 May and 17 May 2006; if so, can a copy of each AOC be provided.

(4) Can a copy be provided of the Transair AOC BN426646-33 issued on 17 May 2006.

(5) Did Transair operate on three AOCs within the space of a fortnight in May 2006; if so, can an explanation for this be provided.

 

 2702  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Is it the case that section 28 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 provides that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) may only issue an air operator’s certificate (AOC) if it is satisfied that the applicant has complied with, or is capable of complying with, the provisions of the Act, the regulations and the Civil Aviation Orders.

(2) On each occasion that CASA has issued an AOC to Transair, has CASA satisfied itself that Transair has complied with, or is capable of complying with, the provisions of the Act, the regulations and the Civil Aviation Orders.

(3) Can a list be provided of all identified occasions that Transair has not complied with the provisions of the Act, the regulations and the Civil Aviation Orders.

2704  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—Can the Minister confirm evidence by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bruce Gemmell, to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee on 24 May 2005 that the CASA audit of Transair in February 2005 found ‘nothing serious or significant’.

2705  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) (a) How many serious and imminent risk suspensions has the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued under section 30DC of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 ; and (b) can details be provided of each suspension, including the holder of the civil aviation authorisation and the reason for the suspension.

(2) In each case where CASA has made an application to the Federal Court of Australia under section 30DE, what has been the outcome.

2706  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Can the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) identify all external maintenance organisations that conducted maintenance on VH-TFU between the CASA audit of Transair in November 2001 and the tragedy at Lockhart River on 7 May 2005.

(2) Did CASA audit these organisations during this period; if so, can the dates and related findings of these audits be provided.

(3) Has CASA received complaints about compliance with regulations by these organisations during this period; if so, can details of these complaints be provided, including the action taken by CASA in response to these complaints.

2707  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Is it the case that section 28(2) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 provides that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) may take into account the financial position of an applicant when determining whether to issue an air operator’s certificate (AOC).

 

 (2) What action, if any, has CASA taken to examine the financial position of Transair when issuing AOCs to this operator.

(3) Has CASA established whether Transair has maintained a satisfactory credit rating with providers of material and services, such as spare parts suppliers and external maintenance providers.

2708  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Have ramp inspections of Transair aircraft undertaken since November 2001 revealed any problems, including fuel leaks; if so, can details be provided, including the date and the nature of each identified problem.

(2) Has the Civil Aviation Safety Authority received any complaints from airport owners since November 2001 about the condition of Transair aircraft; if so, can details provided, including the source, date and nature of each complaint.

2710  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) safety recommendation R20060002 issued on 24 January 2006 during the course of the investigation into the Lockhart River air tragedy in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that the co-pilot of the Transair flight had not been trained in global positioning system navigation or area navigation global navigation satellite system approaches.

(2) Has the Government acted to ensure that co-pilots are required to hold an endorsement for any navigation aids being used to navigate an aircraft during flight.

2713  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) safety recommendation R20060005 issued on 10 February 2006 during the course of the investigation into the Lockhart River air tragedy in May 2005:

(1) Why are maintenance and testing requirements for cockpit voice and flight data recording systems not defined in Australian regulations.

(2) (a) What is the timetable for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s consideration of the ATSB recommendation relating to the maintenance requirements of cockpit voice and flight data recording systems; and (b) when will consideration of this matter conclude.

(3) What additional training in the maintenance of cockpit voice and flight date recording systems has been provided for airworthiness personnel.

2714  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—When will the Government act on Australian Transport Safety Bureau safety recommendation R20060006 arising from the May 2005 Lockhart River disaster in May 2005 and permit approved maintenance organisations to replay in-flight cockpit voice recorder data for legitimate maintenance and testing purposes.

2716  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 20.16.1 that requires operators to ensure that a copy of a load sheet is retained on the ground at the aerodrome of departure for aircraft engaged in regular public transport services:

 

 (1) Is the Minister aware that: (a) the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has found that a copy of the load sheet for the Transair-operated flight from Bamaga to Lockhart River by VH-TFU on 7 May 2005 was not located at Bamaga; and (b) current and former employees of Transair have advised the ATSB that it was not routine practice for load sheets to be left at Bamaga.

(2) What action has the Civil Aviation Safety Authority taken in response to this ongoing breach of CAO 20.16.1.

2718  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Is the Minister aware that Senator Abetz, the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services in the Senate on 6 November 2006, told the Senate on 6 November 2006 that the interim reports by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) into the Lockhart River air tragedy in May 2005 contained ‘no suggestion’ that the tragedy was due to any failure by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

(2) Is it the case that the ATSB has not endorsed CASA’s regulatory oversight of Transair.

(3) Is it the case that the ATSB interim factual report published on 31 August 2006 states that the investigation is ongoing and will include further work on ‘regulatory oversight of the operator’s activities, including approvals and surveillance undertaken’.

(4) (a) Is the Minister aware that on 6 November 2006 Senator Abetz told the Senate that the CASA Director of Aviation Safety ‘has assured himself that there is no imminent threat which would prevent Transair flights continuing at this time’; and (b) how did the Director of Aviation Safety assure himself.

2719  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to CASA 19 asked at additional estimates in February 2006, concerning the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) investigation of allegations about Transair operations: Is the claim that ‘the company had an open culture and responses to the CASA investigation were cooperative and taken with a view to improving things if required’ supported by the company’s continuing non-compliance with aviation safety regulations evidenced by, the admission of fourteen breaches of safety rules in the company’s Enforceable Voluntary Undertaking dated 4 May 2006, the necessity to issue show cause notices on 14 August 2006 and 26 September 2006, and the decision to cancel the company’s air operators certificate on 24 October 2006.

2721  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to evidence by the Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Mr Bruce Byron, to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport on 30 October 2006, that Transair was not mentioned in reports presented to him before the May 2005 aviation tragedy at Lockhart River in May 2005: Why was no report made to Mr Byron about Transair’s ‘ongoing compliance and structural problems’ identified at CASA audits in November 2001, August 2004 and February 2005.

 

 2723  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to evidence by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Director of Aviation Safety, Mr Mick Toller, to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee on 19 February 2001, that Civil Aviation Regulation 206 (CAR 206) as contained in the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 that mandates an air operator’s certificate for any form of commercial flying training, including training in an ultralight:

(1) Does commercial flying training in an ultralight still fall within the scope of CAR 206.

(2) Do all other forms of commercial flying training in sports aviation aircraft still fall within the scope of CAR 206.

(3) Is it the case that it is still not possible to issue an exemption from CAR 206.

(4) Has CASA enforced CAR 206 in relation to commercial flying training in sports aviation aircraft; if not, why not.