Pacific and Oceania

Rex welcomes developments in CASA

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Regional Express (Rex) has described the decision by the Board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to accept the resignation of its CEO as a further step towards reforming the aviation regulatory body.

Rex Chief Operating Officer Mr Neville Howell said that the CASA Board had commissioned a survey late last year that identified the need for further substantial improvement within the authority. Mr Howell commended the CASA Board for this initiative and stated that it was a clear sign that the board was determined to drive change and to deliver better outcomes.

“CASA’s own survey of the stakeholders’ perception of CASA (whose results were released this week), showed that CASA received a devastating rating of between 3 and 4 (out of 10 as the most favourable) for a whole range of Key Performance Indicators.”

“One of the areas identified in the survey in need of improvement is the frequent long delays in the issuing of permits and approvals which has placed industry at risk of having to ground their operations. These delays have the potential to be fatal to small operators in particular.”

“The industry has full confidence in the newly installed Board, which for the first time comprises professionals with in-depth knowledge of the industry, as well as in the new Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon. Darren Chester, who has demonstrated his willingness to listen to industry and make bold decisions.”

Reforming a bureaucracy such as CASA is a mammoth task. Rex calls on the Board to select a new CEO who has both an intimate knowledge of CASA so that he or she can hit the ground running as well as entrepreneurial industry experience to understand the repercussions of the decisions made by the regulator. Rex also hopes the selection process can be completed within three months as the industry cannot afford to be in limbo for much longer. There was virtually nothing substantial achieved in the last two years in the implementation of the much-needed Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR) recommendations (as directed in the Minister’s Statement of Expectations to CASA) and the industry critically needs an effective CEO urgently to fast track this much-delayed implementation.

Regional Express (Rex) is Australia’s largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of more than 50 Saab 340 aircraft on some 1,500 weekly flights to 58 destinations throughout all states in Australia. In addition to the regional airline Regional Express, the Rex Group comprises wholly owned subsidiaries Pel-Air Aviation (air freight and charter operator), Air Link (Dubbo-based regional airline) and the Australian Airline Pilot Academy.

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