A FRESH blueprint for the future of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has been released by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester. It places a new emphasis on the way CASA delivers client services and drive a ‘digital-first’ approach to medical certification.

Mr Chester said CASA’s latest corporate plan continues the authority’s focus on safety as its highest priority. But the blueprint also sets out how the nation's aviation safety regulator “will be pragmatic, practical and proportional in its responsibilities”. 

“The 2017–18 CASA corporate plan is a strong blueprint for the future of aviation safety regulation in Australia to help maintain our record of having one of the safest skies in the world,” Mr Chester said. “In addition to its regulatory approach the plan identifies a number of key aviation activities and highlights strong stakeholder engagement as a priority.

“CASA will maintain and enhance a fair, effective and efficient aviation safety regulation system while collaboratively engaging with the wider aviation community to promote and support a positive safety culture. CASA will also continually improve its organisational performance.

“I am particularly pleased to see CASA is committed to modernising its service delivery to meet the evolving needs of all sectors of Australian aviation. In 2017–18 CASA will develop a customer service charter that will shape the way it delivers client services.

“It will optimise client service channel options and will drive a digital first approach to medical certification. The overarching objective will be to create an efficient, simple and accessible experience for the people and organisations in aviation that conduct regulatory business with CASA,” Mr Chester said.

Other initiatives in the latest CASA corporate plan include a review of the safety regulatory strategy for remotely piloted aircraft systems, commencing implementation of the final tranche of regulatory reform, and continuing the implementation of the government's response to the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review.

www.casa.gov.au/publication/corporate-plan-2017–18

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DRONES flown near an Easter egg hunt and a wedding have cost their pilots hundreds of dollars in fines from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), for breaching Australia’s drone safety rules.

Another drone pilot has also been fined $1440 for flying in Sydney Harbour restricted airspace and flying within 30m of people. All three drones were being flown for recreational purposes.

The Civil Aviation Safety Regulations set out the drone rules and associated penalties. 

A group of children at a Canberra Easter egg hunt were put at risk by a drone flown at a height from which, if the drone malfunctioned, it would not have been able to clear the area. The drone pilot was fined $900.

A $900 fine was also issued for hazardous flying at and near guests at a wedding in regional NSW. All three drone pilots paid the penalties issued by CASA.

CASA director of aviation safety, Shane Carmody, said fines would continue to be issued where people broke the drone safety rules.

“The rules protect people, property and aircraft from drones,” Mr Carmody said. “If you fly a drone it is your responsibility to fly by the rules and stay safe at all times.

“Every drone pilot should download CASA’s drone safety app, which will help them fly safely.”

www.casa.gov.au/dronesapp

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MALAYSIA Airlines has good reason to welcome its new fleet-wide global tracking system developed by international aviation telecommunications specialist SITA.

Malaysia Airlines is the first carrier to adopt SITA’s real-time, space-based alerting system for flight tracking that combines SITAOnAir, Aireon and FlightAware products.

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QANTAS is adding another string to its bow of aviation firsts by launching the first point-to-point non-stop flights between London and Australia – a 17-hour connection.

Qantas will operate non-stop flights from Perth to London using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The 14,498km service will be the first regular passenger service to directly link Australia with Europe when it begins in March 2018.

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AUSTRALIA’s aviation industry – including manufacturers and service companies – now has easier and cheaper access to the lucrative United States aviation market, after the signing of amendments to the bilateral aviation agreement.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the amendments would be a significant benefit to Australian aviation parts and products designers and manufacturers. Mr Chester said the changes would also benefit Australian companies and individuals who export aircraft and aircraft products to the US.

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FLYING drone aircraft near bushfires in now an offence.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) had announced it can issue fines for flying a drone in a way that puts aircraft at risk – and those fines can be as high as $900 on-the-spot and up to $9000 of the matter goes to court.

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