Australia's State Aviation Safety Program
1—State Safety Policy and Objectives
Ensure Australia's safety system as a whole works effectively and that key players, whether they are technical staff or senior management, are working together in the interests of safety.
Safety regulation will be robust and based on clear communication between government and industry. While the safety of the travelling public will be the first consideration, unnecessary or outdated impediments to industry's growth will be removed.
Ensure Australia's safety regulatory and investigatory agencies remain world leading and have the skills and capabilities to maintain safety and facilitate industry growth.
Regulation of safety will take account of international best practice and where possible Australian requirements will be aligned with relevant overseas practices.
Australian safety agencies will explore opportunities to adopt technologies which improve safety, are interoperable and harmonised to the greatest extent possible. Australia will ensure that the adoption of technology is consistent with that proposed by ICAO to develop global interoperable and harmonised technology growth paths.
Aviation safety does not stop at national boundaries and Australia will remain a key contributor on safety in international fora, particularly ICAO, and in the Asia Pacific region.
National Aviation Policy White Paper—Flight Path To The Future
On 16 December 2009 the Australian Government released the National Aviation Policy White Paper—Flight Path to the Future, a comprehensive document bringing together all strands of aviation policy into a single, forward-looking policy document.
The Aviation White Paper confirms that safety and security underpin the sustainability and growth of the Australian aviation industry and remain the highest priorities for the Australian Government. The paper identifies safety and security of the travelling public as the first priorities of the Australian Government for aviation.
The White Paper commits the Australian Government to maintaining Australia's safety record, strengthening aviation security systems and providing a policy framework for the development of the aviation industry at all levels—international, domestic, regional and general aviation. It sets out initiatives to ensure better planning and integrated development on and around airports and to lessen the adverse effects of aviation activity on the environment and communities.
The approach to aviation safety regulation, accident and incident investigation and air traffic management can be found in chapters 6 and 7 of the White Paper. The White Paper remains the guiding document for aviation policy settings within Australia.
Australian Airspace Policy Statement
The Australian Airspace Policy Statement reflects the Government's commitment to aviation safety, with safety of passenger transport services as the first priority in airspace administration. The Statement provides guidance to CASA, as the airspace regulator, on the administration of Australian airspace, together with the legislative and regulatory requirements of the Airspace Act 2007 and the Airspace Regulations 2007.
The Statement identifies a number of the Government's airspace policy objectives including the need for effective cooperation between CASA and Australia's air navigation service providers.
Australia's Aviation Safety Performance
A safe and efficient aviation industry is critical to the Australian economy. Australian aviation, its airlines and its aviation agencies are highly regarded internationally. Each agency has, through legislation, compulsory reporting requirements to government and the Australian public.
Scheduled commercial passenger-carrying air services in Australia, termed regular public transport (RPT), have long been regarded as among the safest in the world. Accidents are rare in the RPT sector and studies undertaken by the ATSB have found that Australia is a world leader in aviation safety.
Australia collects a range of aviation activity and safety information to assess safety performance and trends, and to highlight areas of emerging risk. A key policy objective for Australia is the maintenance of positive trends in safety performance across the aviation sectors.
Trends in Australian aviation safety indicators show:
- In the period between 1968 and 2011 there were no fatal high capacity (above 38 seats) RPT accidents in Australia.
Figure 1.1 High capacity RPT occurrence statistics 2002 to 2010
- The accident rate for high capacity RPT operations (see Figure 1.1 below) has ranged from 2.0 to 6.8 per million departures between 2002 and 2010. The fatal accident rate for this category has remained at zero for the same period.
Figure 1.2 Low capacity RPT occurrence statistics 2002 to 2010
- The accident rate for low capacity RPT operations (see Figure 1.2 below) has ranged from 0 to 18.2 per million departures between 2002 and 2010. There have been two fatal accidents for this category in the period, one in 2005 and one in 2010. The 2010 accident involved a training flight in an aircraft used for low capacity RPT operations.
Figure 1.3 Charter occurrence statistics 2002 to 2010
- The accident rate for charter operations (see Figure 1.3 below) has ranged from 13.5 to 43.1 per million departures between 2002 and 2010. The fatal accident rate for this category has ranged from 0 to 6.6 per million departures for the same period. There were no fatal accidents in charter operations in 2009 and 2010.
Figure 1.4 Aerial work occurrence statistics 2002 to 2010
- The accident rate for aerial work operations (see Figure 1.4 below) has ranged from 56.1 to 109.2 per million hours between 2002 and 2010. The fatal accident rate for this category has ranged from 2.4 to 13.6 per million hours for the same period.
Figure 1.5 Training occurrence statistics 2002 to 2010
- The accident rate for training operations (see Figure 1.5 below) has ranged from 28.0 to 60.2 per million hours between 2002 and 2010. The fatal accident rate for this category has ranged from 0 to 11.8 per million hours for the same period.
Figure 1.6 Private occurrence statistics 2002 to 2010
- The accident rate for private operations, including business operations, (see Figure 1.6 below) has ranged from 131.0 to 183.4 per million hours between 2002 and 2010. The fatal accident rate for this category has ranged from 7.8 to 32.1 per million hours for the same period.
Further information on Australia’s safety performance is contained in Section 3: State Safety Assurance.