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CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 2006 (NO. 2) (SLI NO 185 OF 2006)
Select Legislative Instrument 2006 No. 185
Issued under the authority of the Minister for Transport and Regional Services.
Civil Aviation Act 1988
Civil Aviation Safety Amendment Regulations 2006 (No. 2)
Subsection 98(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act) provides, in part, that the Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with the Act, prescribing matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act. That subsection also provides that the Governor-General may make regulations in relation to the safety of air navigation, being regulations with respect to which the Parliament has the power to make laws.
Subsection 9(1) of the Act specifies, in part, that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has the function of conducting the safety regulation of civil air operations in Australian territory by means that include developing and promulgating appropriate, clear and concise aviation safety standards, and issuing certificates, licences, registrations and permits.
Subpart 139.H of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998, Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS) sets out the standards applying to the provision of ARFFS at Australian airports. In particular, Table 139.925 defines the list of organisations that are eligible to apply to CASA for approval as an ARFFS provider. Airservices Australia (Airservices) is currently the primary provider of ARFFS at all airports except Broome and Norfolk Island, which provide their own ARFFS. Table 139.925 also makes provision for alternative providers to supply ARFFS through a sub-contractual arrangement with Airservices.
The Regulations made amendments to Subpart 139.H to add the company Delta Fire Service Pty Ltd (Delta) to the list of eligible ARFFS providers in Table 139.925. The Regulations allow Delta to apply to CASA for approval as an ARFFS provider at Townsville Airport only.
This has the effect of facilitating contestability by allowing Delta to apply for approval to provide ARFFS at Townsville Airport in direct competition with the current primary provider, Airservices.
Government policy is to move towards contestability in the provision of ARFFS, which are currently almost exclusively provided by Airservices. The ARFFS charging structure recently endorsed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission includes an element of cross-subsidy which adds complexity to the introduction of contestability. Townsville Airport has been identified as an initial possibility for contestability pending implementation of arrangements for contestability on a broader basis.
While the Regulations make Delta eligible to apply to be an ARFFS provider, the company must obtain CASA's approval to become a provider.
Consultation under section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 has been undertaken with Airservices as the primary ARFFS provider.
The Regulations are a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.
The Regulations commence on the day after they are registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.