Australia's State Aviation Safety Programme
Australian aviation safety—roles and responsibilities
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
The Australian Government, through the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, sets the overall aviation policy direction. The Minister is responsible to Parliament for civil aviation matters, including safety and security.
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (the Department)
The Department is the coordinating point for ICAO purposes, and is responsible for the development and maintenance of Australia's SSP and for monitoring progress against and reporting on the associated implementation plan. The Department has responsibility for policy development and coordination in civil aviation; and provides overall aviation policy advice to the Australian Government on civil aviation matters.
The Department is responsible for implementing Australia's obligations under Annexes 9, 16 and 17 of the Chicago Convention.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) is part of the Department and provides economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development issues to inform Australian Government policy development.
BITRE holds unique aviation, maritime, road and rail transport data collections which are made available in a number of publication series.
More information about the Department can be found at: infrastructure.gov.au/department/about/index.aspx
Information about BITRE's aviation statistics can be found at: www.bitre.gov.au/statistics/aviation/index.aspx
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
CASA is the independent statutory authority established under the Civil Aviation Act 1988. CASA is responsible for the safety regulation of civil air operations in Australian territory and Australian aircraft operating outside Australian territory. CASA is also responsible for regulating aspects of the administration of Australia's airspace.
CASA is responsible for implementing Australia's obligations under Annexes 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 18 and 19 of the Chicago Convention.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)
The ATSB is Australia's independent no blame safety investigator, and operates under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.
ATSB is responsible for the independent investigation of accidents and other safety occurrences involving civil aircraft in Australia, and taking part in the investigation of accidents and other occurrences involving Australian aircraft overseas.
ATSB is also responsible for Australia's system for mandatory reporting of all aviation safety occurrences and operates schemes for voluntary and confidential reporting of aviation safety concerns. Its analysis and research functions derive from this responsibility for the collection and management of aviation safety data.
ATSB is responsible for implementing Australia's obligations under Annex 13 and 19 of the Chicago Convention.
Airservices Australia (Airservices)
Airservices was established in 1995 as the independent air navigation service provider and related airside services to the Australian aviation industry. Airservices is a Commonwealth authority with statutory responsibilities and is wholly owned by the Australian Government. It operates under the Air Services Act 1995.
While Airservices is primarily a service provider, in carrying out its functions safety is the priority as legislated. In this way, Airservices is an integral part of Australia's SSP. At the same time, as a service provider, Airservices operates under an SMS which is overseen by CASA.
Airservices is responsible for implementing Australia's obligations under Annexes 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 15 and 19 of the Chicago Convention.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
AMSA is the national safety agency responsible for maritime safety, protection of the marine environment and aviation and marine search and rescue. It is a statutory authority established by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990( (the AMSA Act). The AMSA Act provides that AMSA's search and rescue service must be in a manner consistent with Australia's obligations under the Chicago Convention and agreements between Australia and other countries relating to the provision of search and rescue.
AMSA's primary areas of responsibility to the aviation community include meeting the requirements of Annex 12 of the Chicago Convention in operating the joint aviation and maritime rescue coordination centre (JRCC) and providing two ground stations and a Mission Control Centre for the Cospas-Sarsat satellite distress beacon system.
Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)
BOM is Australia's national weather, climate and water agency and operates under the authority of the Meteorology Act 1955 and the Water Act 2007. The Director of Meteorology is the designated Meteorological Authority in accordance with Annex 3 to the Chicago Convention. The Director of Meteorology has an authorising function, set out in Regulation Part 120 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988, for the meteorological observations and forecasts used in civil aviation. BOM is the aeronautical meteorological service provider for Australia.
Department of Defence
Defence is responsible for safety and airworthiness of military aviation systems. While civilian agencies remain responsible for managing aviation safety of Australia's civil aviation and systems, Defence remains responsible for managing aviation safety of Australian Defence Force aircraft and aviation support systems.
It is essential that Defence aviation, which includes its support systems, operates under a robust safety management system that retains the operational flexibility to achieve its capability outcomes without duplicated or incompatible civil-military regulatory overlap.
Defence cooperates with Australia's civil aviation agencies to harmonise its safety management system and associated regulation. Areas of commonality include airspace management, air traffic services, aviation rescue and fire fighting services and aerodrome infrastructure, particularly where these may be used by civil aviation.
The Chicago Convention (Article 3) acknowledges that the convention shall not be applicable to State aircraft. The Civil Aviation Act of 1988 excludes State aircraft; State aircraft being one that is part of the Defence Force. Article 3 further requires a contracting state, when issuing regulations for state aircraft, that they will have due regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft.
Defence regulates the operation of Australian State Aircraft and Aviation Support Systems by the implementation of the Defence Aviation Safety Program. Acknowledging Annex 19 and the SSP as contemporary global practice, Defence has developed, and continues to implement, the Defence Aviation Safety Program which replicates the elements of a SSP, with due consideration of the Defence aviation context and relevant Commonwealth legislation.
The context of military aviation is different to that of civil aviation; notwithstanding, Defence aims to cooperate to harmonise with civil aviation. Commitment is demonstrated by active participation as a member of the coordinating bodies including the APG and as stated in the Agreement on the Promotion of Aviation Safety and Airworthiness between CASA and Defence. There is a focus on the civil-military interfaces for military air bases and joint user (civil/military) aerodromes that are also used by civil aviation.
The Defence Aviation Safety Program is a contemporary and effective programme for Defence operations.