The Path to Self Administration

THE PATH TO SELF ADMINISTRATION:  The GFA Board has decided Gliding Australia should become an Approved Self-Administering Aviation Organisation, or ASAO, under Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 149.  Under this legislation, CASA approves ASAOs to administer the operations of defined classes of aircraft within approved operational, technical, safety and administrative processes and standards. For Gliding Australia to be approved, it must ensure its manuals and systems of control have the required rigour to achieve safety requirements.  A small team has been working hard on this.

KEY POSITIONS: One aspect of this is that CASA must ensure that Gliding Australia , as an ASAO, achieves safety outcomes through four prescribed key positions defined in Part 149. These are:

Accountable Manager: The individual responsible for ensuring the ASAO complies with an exposition (a set of rules, standards, processes, manuals) and civil aviation legislation, and ensuring it has adequate finances and resources to perform approved functions. In Gliding Australia, this will be a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), subsuming the Executive Officer’s role and some of the President responsibilities.

Safety Manager:  The individual responsible for the safety management system set out in the ASAO’s exposition to CASA.  A Gliding Australia Safety Officer has been appointed by the Board, in this volunteer role.

Airworthiness Manager:  The individual responsible for administering airworthiness activities, airworthiness organisations and training.  In Gliding Australia , the old Chief Technical Officer Airworthiness will be renamed Executive Manager Airworthiness and will remain a part time salaried position.

Operations Manager:  The individual responsible for administering flight operations and flight training organisations.  In Gliding Australia this is the Executive Manager operations, a part time salaried position.

RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB:  These positions must have documented job descriptions, skill and experience requirements, with documented procedures as to how these positions will be filled.  This does not mean that CASA has any involvement in determining who fills a particular position nor how they are selected.  Instead during a CASA audit of Gliding Australia, they may ask for evidence that a position holder meets the position description requirements, or that the documented recruiting procedure was followed. In the unlikely event that a key person did not meet requirements, Gliding Australia is required to either ensure suitable training is required or limit the persons authority to perform certain functions.  This principle also extends to the Board positions and other Executive team positions.

DOCUMENTATION:  To support this, the Gliding Australia Part 149 team has drafted some new documents: GFA ADMIN 016 Recruitment and Selection Policy and ADMIN 019 Position Descriptions.  These simply document the existing practices and job requirements as a part of good governance practices to meet our own requirements.  This has the advantage of pulling together roles and responsibilities, peer selection and election processes currently in multiple documents (MOSP Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4, Articles of Association, SMS, administration processes) or in a few cases not well defined at all!

MANAGEMENT CHANGES:  The Gliding Australia Board proposes to split the current President role into a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role (paid) and a Chair of the Board (volunteer) role.  Under this system the roles would be:

Chair of the Board (volunteer) would be responsible for the running the Board and setting the strategic direction and policy of Gliding Australia.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (paid) would encompass the current EO (paid) role plus the executive committee function of the current President role.  The CEO would be responsible for running the Executive group and reporting to the Board.  Importantly, the CEO would be the Accountable Manager under Part 149 and ensuring that we are complying with our agreement with CASA.

Whilst the proposed CEO position may be paid more than the current EO position, it is expected to be more cost effective in the long term rather than Gliding Australia staying outside of Part 149 and being charged by CASA at hourly rates for every change assessment and every task or decision they perform.

AN IMPROVED BOARD: The new structure implements a separation of powers between the Board (setting policy and direction) and the Executive team (policy implementation).  The proposed Board will consist of the Chair of the Board, the Regional Board members, a Women’s Representative, and a Junior’s Representative.  It makes the proposed Chair of the Board position less onerous for the volunteer compared to the current President position.

COMMUNICATION:  Our future autonomy as an ASAO is necessary to preserve our freedom to fly.  We need a streamlined Constitution, and some upgrades to our manuals. There has been extensive discussion in the Board and Executive about making the best decisions for the long-term interests of Gliding Australia, clubs and members.  All Gliding Australia members, through their Regional Associations should have a greater voice in the Board, and the Department Heads will continue to support the Executive as will the Executive continue to support the Board.

There will be an Extraordinary General Meeting in the first quarter of 2022 where the members will be invited to vote on proposed changes, based upon sensible evolution, not revolution.

In the near future there will be a series of webinars where the changes will be presented to the membership and can be discussed.

Stay safe and well, and once airborne, happy landings!

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