Australia: Aviation safety: Reports and reviews

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Proposed regulatory changes to reporting of transport accidents and incidents

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has invited comments on three proposed regulatory changes. The proposed changes concern mandatory reporting of accidents and incidents, and confidential reporting of safety concerns.

Mandatory Reporting

It is proposed that access by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to mandatorily supplied notifications of aviation accidents and incidents, in accordance with the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003, be improved.

The proposal requires that the level of information supplied to CASA in relation to accidents and incidents, once such occurrences are reported to the ATSB, be enhanced beyond the current summaries made available to CASA.

In addition, it is proposed that the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Regulations 2012 (No.1) be introduced to amend the Transport Safety Investigation Regulations 2003.

The amended regulation would provide for a revised list of accidents and incidents which must be reported. It is proposed in the draft legislation that the list of requirements be less prescriptive, as broader categories of occurrences to be reported may encourage reporting of incidents that currently could fall outside the categories prescribed by the existing list. An assessment of the risk of death, injury and damage in each incident will govern the new reporting requirements.

The draft regulation proposes immediate reporting of deaths, serious injuries, and serious damage to aircraft and property, or any occurrence where there is serious risk (or 'near miss') of a death, serious injury or serious damage. The draft regulation also proposes provision of a written report within 72 hours of less serious occurrences or incidents, being irregular occurrences in aircraft, in which risks of death, injury, damage to property or aircraft were not effectively managed, minimised or eliminated.

Confidential Reporting

It is proposed that the Transport Safety Investigation (Voluntary and Confidential Reporting Scheme) Regulation 2012 be introduced under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. This would allow regulations to become multi-modal (covering the aviation, maritime and rail modes of transport).

At present, there are two existing schemes dictating voluntary confidential reporting, being the REPCON aviation scheme and the REPCON marine scheme (there is no scheme currently in existence for the rail industry). It is proposed that the new Transport Safety Investigation (Voluntary and Confidential Reporting Scheme) Regulation 2012 replace the existing schemes with a scheme that governs the aviation, marine and rail industries, to be operated by the ATSB. It is proposed that the new regulation come into effect on 1 January 2013, to coincide with the implementation of other reforms to national rail safety.

The ATSB sought comments by Friday 27 July 2012.

Source: Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Airline Activity Statistics - 2011

The Department of Infrastructure and Transport has released statistical reports providing an overview of domestic (including regional) airline activity in Australia and presenting statistical information on international airlines operating into and out of Australia for the year ending December 2011.

Domestic Highlights

The report summarises data provided by Australian airlines covering the number of passengers carried by Australian-registered operators of scheduled regular services over Australian flight stages operated by these carriers.

The number of available seats on domestic airlines rose to 69.84 million, which is an increase of 0.3 per cent compared to the year ending December 2010. The number of domestic aircraft trips increased by 0.4 per cent, from 603,763 to 606,116. The Melbourne-Sydney route remained the busiest route in Australia with 7.73 million passengers, which was a decrease of 2.2 per cent. The next-busiest route was the Brisbane-Sydney route with 4.41 millions passengers – a rise of 0.2 per cent compared to the previous year – and Brisbane-Melbourne with 3.09 million passengers (2.3 per cent increase).

Sydney remained Australia's busiest airport, with 24.17 million passenger movements. Melbourne was the second busiest airport with 21.35 million passenger movements, followed by Brisbane with 15.98 million passenger movements. Among the top 10 airports, increases in passenger movements compared to the previous year were recorded at Perth airport (9.1 per cent), Brisbane (3.3 per cent) and Cairns (3.2 per cent).

International Highlights

54 international scheduled airlines operated services to/from Australia during the year. International scheduled passenger traffic in 2011 was 28.120 million compared to 26.790 million in the previous year - an increase of 5 per cent.

In 2011, Qantas Airways had the largest share of the market with 18.2 per cent followed by Singapore Airlines with 9 per cent, Air New Zealand with 8.3 per cent, Emirates with 7.9 per cent and Jetstar with 7.8 per cent.

The share of passenger traffic accounted for by Australian designated airlines decreased from 37.1 per cent in 2001 to 32.4 per cent in 2006 but has increased to 33 per cent in 2011. Qantas Airways, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Air Australia and V Australia all contributed to the Australian airline share in 2011.

Seats made available on international scheduled operations in 2011 totalled 38.073 million – which was an increase of 6.9 per cent compared to the 2010 and an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2009. The overall seat utilisation percentage increased from 74.8 per cent in 2009 to 76.2 per cent in 2010, and decreased back to 74.8 per cent in 2011.

New Zealand, Singapore, USA, Hong Kong and Malaysia were the top five countries in terms of traffic on board passenger movements in 2011. 17.2 per cent of the passenger movements to/from Australia were either to/from or via Singapore. Auckland had the next largest percentage of traffic accounting for 13.5 per cent followed by Hong Kong which accounted for 8.0 per cent.

Source: Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure and Transport: Statistical Reports

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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