CASA chief executive to focus on ‘paying passenger’ as he acts to reshape and redirect organisation

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) plans to cut jobs, draft new regulations and implement new charges as part of a restructuring initiated by chief executive Bruce Byron.

CASA completed an organisational restructuring at the beginning of this month and Byron promises this is “only a first step” in a wider shake-up.

“We must ensure we have the right people doing the right jobs,” Byron told Shephard’s Heli-Pacific conference near Brisbane, Australia last week. “For CASA it means we’ll employ less people in 12 months’ time.” CASA has 680 employees and Byron expects this figure to be reduced “slightly”.

“I expect the cuts to be in the support area, not frontline technical staff,” he says, adding frontline staff are being asked to “spend more time on the tarmac” consulting with industry.

Byron took over as CASA chief executive in late 2003 and identified “function deficiencies” within the organisation last year, after completing a “discovery phase” in which he consulted government and industry. In November, he made several changes aimed at prioritising organisation in the air transport sector. As a result, CASA is now focusing less on general aviation operations.

“Without question the paying passenger is the single thing to focus on,” he says. Byron has also focused on improving CASA’s interaction with industry and improving measurement of front-line activities. New “outcome-driven” regulations are being drafted “which address known safety risks but do not go further than that”. Small target groups from industry have been established to help CASA draft the new regulations.

Byron says CASA is “not that far away” from completing a review of Part 91 operating and flight regulations, new draft rules governing maintenance should be completed by year-end and new draft rules governing operations should be completed early in 2006. An earlier review of Part 91 regulations was nearly complete when Byron joined CASA, but he says he asked for another review because not all the new regulations were targeted at known safety risks.

Byron says CASA will also begin charging in January for some services that are now available for free, but details are to be finalised after consultation with the industry.

The organisational restructuring implemented on 1 July has resulted in the formation of six groups: air transport; general aviation; manufacturing, certification and technology; personnel, licensing, education and training; information services; and legal services (Flight International, 10-16 May).


Source: Flight International