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29 August 2016

The Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) acknowledges the resignation of CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore.

With possibly the most industry astute CASA Board for some decades and a new industry interested Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Darren Chester, the time is right for
significant change.

A recent survey commissioned by the CASA Board indicated less than favourable results with the industry having little faith in the ability of the Regulator to move ahead with safe, economical and meaningful Regulatory Reform. With the current confusion in industry and inconsistency of interpretation of regulations within CASA the AHIA encourages the Board to instruct CASA to impose a moratorium on the current Regulatory Reform process until the restructuring of Senior Management with appropriately qualified personnel is completed. Additionally the entire CASA organisation is in need of clarification of direction.

The AHIA urges Government to encourage CASA to harmonise our Regulations with other major Regulatory bodies, with regard to our Australian specific operational requirements. To achieve this the AHIA strongly suggests effort be spent sourcing a Director of Aviation Safety domestically, an individual ideally with a Civil Aviation background who understands the financial and operational impact on industry of proposed regulation changes.

The AHIA represents the Australian helicopter industry. With approaching 2,200 helicopters on the civil register, Australia has the second largest number of helicopters of any country in the western world, second only to the USA. There are in excess of 3,500 helicopter pilots, more than 2,500 helicopter engineers and with support services including finance, insurance, fuel, spare parts and component and engine overhaul providers the Australian helicopter industry is a significant percentage of Australian aviation.


22 August 2016

The AHIA wishes to advise Rob Rich, Convener of the AHIA, has resigned from his Executive position
on the Board for a well-earned retirement. Rob’s passion and enthusiasm for the helicopter industry has not wavered in the almost 50 years I
have known him. It was his foresight that saw the need for a helicopter industry representative body and in November 2012 the AHIA was incorporated. Without this representation the industry would not be as well off as it is today. Few realise the wealth of experience and knowledge Rob bought to the industry. He commenced flying as an Army pilot in 1964 and a brief summary of his experience is;
• Army Instructor Pilot
• Vietnam service, flew in the Battle of Long Tan
• Standards Officer at US Army School of Aviation, Fort Rucker Alabama
• Senior Maintenance Test Pilot Hawker de Havilland, Bell 47 to Caribou
• CASA Examiner of Airmen
• EMS/SAR Pilot Queensland Rescue, B412
• Accredited Safety Course Provider
• Registered Aviation Auditor
• Certified Trainer
• Event organizer for Pacific 2013, Offshore Helicopter Conference
• Event organizer for the incredibly successful Rotortech 2014 and 2016 with bookings now being received for Rotortech 2018.

It is of significance that Rotortech 2014 and 2016 both generated sales in excess of $30 Million. In recognition of Rob’s dedication to the Association and the industry, the AHIA has awarded him the inaugural AHIA Life Membership. At an appropriate event/venue we will publicly formalise this award.
Thank you Rob.

AHIA and CASA form partnership to streamline regulatory changes

By a co-operative partnership with CASA, the AHIA and other industry members, CASA is moving forward with legislative changes to streamline regulatory provisions as a result of the post-implementation review of part 61.

AHIA President Peter Crook see this as a positive step closer to the industry contributing at a high level to legislative content for the betterment of the Aviation industry.

Communication between CASA and the AHIA representatives has improved considerably following a landmark meeting held in Sydney  on Wednesday 6 May 2015 attended by the DAS Mark Skidmore and his senior Flight Standards and Flight Crew Licensing Management Team, AHIA President Peter Crook and AHIA Lead Part 61 Review Team member, Ray Cronin.

With other significant amendments in the pipe line these actions demonstrate industry input is now being taken seriously and it adds faith to those who want to contribute but may feel held back by the frustrations of the previous environment.

Positive gains have been made in the following areas:

  • Low level  recency and flight review requirements extended to 24 months.
  • Sling, Winch and Rappel endorsement certifications and flight review requirements.
  • Expansion of the 61.040 approvals for flight testing and flight reviews to include a broader spectrum of approved persons and instructor qualifications to place specialist operational assessments within the upper level experience for each activity.
  • Student pilot recency requirements have been relaxed from 15 days to 30.

Other issues receiving high priority are:

  •  A pathway to allow an Australian ATPL(H) to be obtained.
  • Amendments to the Part 61 MoS.
  • The transition requirements for the issue of a firefighting endorsement for those who have previously been active in those operations.
  • The development of a multi-engine class rating for helicopters.
  • The input to the development of CASR Part 138 – Draft document now available for scrutiny via the joint CASA/Industry Part 138 working group

Of importance is the appointment of Ray Cronin, AHIA Leader of Part 61 Review Team, to the Joint CASA/Industry SCC Flight Crew Licensing Sub-committee and Peter Crook, AHIA President, to the Aviation Industry Consultative Council.

Peter Crook