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New aviation authorities to replace CAA

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News Release Hon. Laurie Brereton MP Minister for Transport ♦ Minister for Industrial Relations T 15/95 28 March, 1995


The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will cease to exist and two new aviation bodies will come into being from 1 July, 1995 as part of important aviation safety legislation to be introduced into the Federal Parliament this week by the Minister for Transport, Laurie Brereton.

Aviation in Australia will now be controlled by a new tripartite structure: Airservices Australia (AA) as the service provider; the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) as the aviation safety regulator; and a strengthened Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI) as the safety investigator.

AA will have responsibility for air traffic services, air navigation facilities, the provision of an aeronautical information service, rescue and fire-fighting service and search and rescue services.

“AA will operate as a government business enterprise with a nine-member board, on a cost-recovered basis except search and rescue which will continue to be funded from the Budget,” Mr Brereton said.

CASA will be responsible for setting aviation safety standards, registration of aircraft, licensing, compliance with safety regulations, safety promotion and education, and the regulatory oversight of AA’s services.

CASA will also administer new mandatory insurance arrangements which provide for all airlines to be insured against liability for death or injury to passengers. This complements the increase in passenger carrier liability limits introduced last October.

“The separation of these important functions is appropriate as CASA will be responsible for the non-commercial area of aviation safety regulation. It will operate as a statutory authority with a three-to-five member board,” Mr Brereton said.

“Under the legislation CASA must give primacy to aviation safety.”

Following passage of the legislation, Mr Leroy Keith will be Director of CASA from 1 July, 1995. Mr Keith began his duties this week as head of the CAA’s Aviation Safety Directorate.

Mr Brereton said that BASI would continue under the Department of Transport as an independent body which investigates aviation accidents and incidents and which identifies deficiencies in the aviation system.

The Government will fully fund from the Budget the public benefit aspects of aviation' safety regulation. The other aspects of aviation safety regulation will continue to be met by a combination of charges and levies on the aviation industry.

“Increases in the duty on aviation fuels will be necessary to fund the industry’s and travelling public’s portion of the additional CASA budgetary requirements. The size of the increase will be announced in the 1995 Budget,” Mr Brereton said.

Mr Brereton has sought comment on the Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment Bill and the Air Services Bill from the Morris House of Representatives Committee inquiry on aviation safety.

Media contact: Kate Hannon (06) 277 7320