In 2010 Leading Edge Safety Systems was contracted by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to develop a guidance package (SMS CAAP) for industry consultation on human factors program requirements. This package was later formalised in 2011 and released to industry in the form of CAO 82.3 (low capacity RPT) and 82.5 (high capacity RPT). Regular public transport (RPT) operators were required by 1 June 2011 to develop a formal program to train and assess flight operations personnel in Human Factors and Non Technical Skills (HF/NTS), with the aim of minimising error. Leading Edge Safety Systems was contracted by CASA to provide an overall ‘state of the nation’ assessment of the maturity of the passenger carrying sector of the airline industry to comply with its commitment to roll out their HF/NTS program and to assess the degree of compliance of each program against regulatory requirements.
This was the first ever comprehensive report conducted on the entire Australian airline sector (27 airlines) and the review provided a valuable summary of the current level of HF/NTS program maturity across all Australian RPT operators as well as the capability of CASA to legislate HF/NTS programs. Based on the review, several practical strategies were implemented including enhanced guidance material on just culture, the scalability of HF/NTS programs for smaller operators and improving the internal HF and SMS competency of CASA inspectors.