CASA Director of Aviation Safety Steps Down

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority recently issued the following statement.

The chair of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority board, Dr. Allan Hawke, announced John McCormick will not seek a further term of appointment as director of aviation safety. 

McCormick has, however, agreed, to the board's request to stay on in the position until 31 August 2014. This will allow for an executive search process to fill the position and enable the director to assist the board's initial consideration of the government's Independent Review of Aviation Safety Regulation scheduled to be completed around the end of May. 

McCormick's leadership during the last five years has been the critical factor behind the significant improvements to Australia's aviation safety regulatory regime and CASA's performance. The aims he set when taking the position have been largely achieved, including:

  • Refocussing CASA on regulation of aviation safety as its core activity.
  • Improving CASA's governance by restructuring it around functional lines.
  • Ensuring CASA staff are properly trained and deployed through the Brisbane-based training school and establishment of the Central Region and satellite offices at Broome, Gove, Horn Island and Kununurra.
  • Addressing emerging issues, such as remotely piloted aircraft and Australia's aging aircraft.
  • Completion of the major part of the modernization of aviation safety standards in a most expeditious manner and the attendant improvements in industry performance through the regulatory reform program.
  • Introduction of advanced air traffic navigation and surveillance equipment.
  • Reform of CASA's surveillance and safety management systems oversight.
  • Enhancement of air traffic services at major regional and capital city secondary airports. 

These improvements have come at a time of increasing and more complex demands on CASA with major growth in Australia's diversified aviation sectors and record numbers of domestic and international passengers flying in Australian skies. 

Australia's outstanding international reputation for aviation safety owes much to McCormick's stewardship and the reforms and initiatives undertaken on his watch. 

Hawke acknowledged that CASA had to take significant regulatory action in relation to a few aviation operators, aircraft types and aircraft equipment during the last five years. Hawke praised McCormick's key role in ensuring these actions were taken by CASA to protect the travelling public and industry operators. 

The Authority has also developed a more stable funding model under McCormick's direction to underpin sustainable and effective operations for CASA. 

The board has regarded it as a privilege to serve with McCormick in the interests of "Safe Skies for All" and wishes him all the very best in his future endeavors. 


The AEA wishes John McCormick clear skies and tailwinds, along with all the best wishes in his future endeavors.

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at or by phone at 202-589-1144.