With the aim of improving aviation safety, the Defence Aviation Safety Authority (DASA) joined civilian counterparts, industry, coalition and regional partners at a landmark virtual convention last month. 

DASA co-hosted the International Convention of Aviation Regulation and Safety (ICARAS) on November 24-25, in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). 

The theme for ICARAS was: Safety Management Systems – Leading, Learning, Preventing.

A number of civilian and military aviation safety experts gave keynote presentations on safety management systems, which have been shown to have a positive effect on aviation safety. 

The online format meant a range of stakeholders could be involved despite COVID-19 restrictions, including international delegates from the Five Eyes countries, and also Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Malaysia.

Director-General of DASA Air Commodore Jason Agius said he was pleased to be able to co-host such an important aviation safety event with CASA and the ATSB. 

“Engagement with equivalent civilian organisations, industry and regional partners fosters improved aviation safety outcomes overall,” he said. 

“Working closely with CASA and the ATSB makes sense and recognises that we perform equivalent and complementary functions for aviation safety in Australia. 

“Given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been especially satisfying to be able to co-host the convention and provide the chance to hear from experts in the field, compare notes and build knowledge bases with our industry, coalition and regional partners.

“This improves aviation safety outcomes for everyone.”

Engagement with equivalent civilian organisations, industry and regional partners fosters improved aviation safety outcomes overall.

CEO and Director of Aviation Safety – CASA Shane Carmody said CASA set the minimum standards of civil air safety regulations for all aspects of aviation and ensured compliance with those standards.

“In a practical sense, we develop, apply and enforce those standards for a wide range of sectors across aviation, all with very differing needs, including Defence,” he said.

“Within this safety framework, CASA does its best to promote a positive and collaborative safety culture through a fair, effective and efficient aviation safety regulatory system.

“A regulator’s role is not always easy. 

“The actions we take to improve safety are not always appreciated; often when they are successful, nothing happens. 

“CASA’s roles and the manner in which we perform them are critical to the effective and safe operation of our system. 

“We must focus on regulatory necessity and risk reduction proportionality – all those sensible things – and work with the sector."

ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said the role of the ATSB was to conduct no-blame investigations, without fear or favour, of aviation, rail and marine incidents and accidents.

“We then amplify safety messaging from our investigations to influence improvements in transport safety,” he said.

“Therefore, improving transport safety is at our core, and we work very closely with our Defence counterparts at the Defence Flight Safety Bureau, as we do with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, to achieve our vision. 

“Having the ATSB join DASA, and CASA at ICARAS 2020 to discuss a range of themes around safety management is an important step in the right direction for all airspace users.”

Air Commodore Agius said DASA strived to provide trusted, credible and defensible support to the ADF aviation community as well as industry and regional partners. 

“DASA engages with its civilian equivalents CASA and the ATSB in order to improve aviation safety outcomes and reduce the regulatory burden on the aviation industry in general, so it is a great outcome to be able to co-host this event and achieve positive outcomes for the whole aviation sector,” he said.