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NZ safety regs not suitable for Australia – CASA

written by WOFA | April 30, 2014

Queenstown will see a sharp increase in international and domestic services during the winter peak season. (Michael Thomas)
CASA has dismissed calls to adopt NZ-style regulations. (Michael Thomas)

The Director of Safety at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), John McCormick has dismissed calls from industry to adopt aviation safety regulations similar to those of New Zealand.

McCormick said the New Zealand rules allowed for considerable discretion in regard to the intent of the regulations and what is acceptable for compliance, and that many of the provisions in the New Zealand regulations were not consistent with Australian legislative standards, definitions, and terminology.

“If we went in this direction we may need to amend the Civil Aviation Act and rework the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations that have already been made,” he said on the CASA website. “This would be a long-term undertaking, involving several additional years of legislative redrafting and industry consultation.”

McCormick’s comments come in the wake of informal lobbying from industry bodies to Transport Minister Warren Truss to consider adopting New Zealand style regulations.

McCormick said the New Zealand rules left an operator open for prosecution if contravened, and that they contain too many differences to ICAO regulations. “We believe some rules may not offer adequate levels of safety and do not take into account Australian conditions and considerations,” he added.


  • Ben


    “… take into account Australian conditions and considerations,” Is that what bureaucrats say when they need a reason for making a decision to be more difficult than is required? Those same words have been dogging military projects for years, before we had a couple of very successful MOTS purchases.

    Has CAANZ replied to his implication that their regs are unsafe? Will CASA one day realise that maybe their system of ‘Empty skies are safe skies’ isn’t the best formula?

  • Gerard


    Given that all differences to the ICAO Standards and Practices (SARPs) have to be justified to ICAO, this smacks a little of “Not invented here”.

    I’d like to see these assertions supported by more detail.

  • Bob


    As an engineer who worked under nzcaa rules and now casa. I can say the amount of red tape and “regulation” is a joke. Casa does a great job of justifing their existence by ignoring global standards and practices. Keep it up Mr. McCormick i just make more money as you continue to do what you do.

  • Bob


    Unless we change the CASA culture it would not matter which regs we have!

  • Ted Hobson


    If the rules are not compatible, what then of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act. Which has, for quite a few years now, allowed aircraft maintenance qualifications to be gained using NZ rules, and then having an Australian License approved under those ‘lesser’ criteria. I believe this should never have been allowed in the first place – as it undermines the Australian License. (Indignant letter follows).

  • Kiwi joker


    I wonder if the “too hard” excuse will wash when ICAO suggests that CASA shape up or ship out?

  • Douglas


    NZ basically adopted FAA regs, pretty much unchanged, remember? Industry asked CASA to do the same, but you must remember the old CASA jealousy, that US invented flight and we did not, so the hoary old “Australian Conditions” was trotted out. Truthful interpretation – Too efficient.
    Never mind that they have about 40 times our movements in the same size land mass as us.
    Never mind that we proudly trumpeted recently that we now have over 13,000 aircraft on the register – when the US have 30,000 homebuilts.
    Never mind that Warren Truss is going to “LOOK” at CASA, – the same screams of “Truss compromising Safety” will ring out, They do not need to write new slogans they already have hundreds in boxes everywhere.
    Even Truss will get such a battering that like others before him he will have to run.
    Many of us thought McCormick might be OK, but they suborned him, as they did Dick Smith.
    NZ GA is going gangbusters, AUS is doing its best as ever to squash GA

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