CASA Grilled in Senate Estimates Hearings
18 November 2013
Senator David Fawcett questions CASA Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick regarding planned changes to colour vision standards. ATSB Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan also confirms that he is not aware of any accidents or incidents that have occurred as a result of a pilot's CVD.
Answers to Senator Fawcett's questions on notice are available here. The response from CASA confirms that there is no record of any accident or incident attributable to a pilot's CVD. This then begs the question as to why the regulator is wasting so much taxpayer money fighting a case, when the only empirical evidence available is that Australian CVD pilots continue to meet the highest standards of proficiency and without any risk to the safety of air navigation.
24 February 2014
Senators David Fawcett and Nick Xenophon have again questioned CASA on changes to colour vision policies including the introduction of the CAD test. Despite stating that they are only "considering" the use of the test, Senator Fawcett produces a letter confirming they have already implemented this new laboratory based test. At the previous Senate Estimates hearings in November, CASA gave evidence that there were no plans to withdraw CVD pilots' privileges. Senator Fawcett also exposes CASA for having done exactly what they said they would not do, withdrawing privileges of an airline pilot with thousands of hours of demonstrated safe flying experience based on his performance on the CAD test.
This test does not meet the regulatory requirements of the "third level" of testing, which requires a test that "simulates an operational situation".
Answers to Senator Fawcett's questions on notice are available here. CASA still fail to explain how the CAD simulates an operational situation and continue to ignore the 25 years and tens of thousands of hours of safe flying experience of CVD pilots across Australia.
26 May 2014
Senator Fawcett has once again questioned CASA's Director of Aviation Safety and Principal Medical Officer on their recent decisions affecting the careers of CVD pilots, with their responses remaining unconvincing. The Hansard transcript is also attached.