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Charter AOCs using single-engine piston-powered aeroplanes
From August 2008, CASA introduced a generic statement to Air Operator’s Certificates (AOCs), allowing operators of single-engine piston-powered aeroplanes in charter operations to operate any aircraft type in that category.
The generic statement reads:
“The following Australian registered aircraft are authorised to conduct charter operations in Australian Territory: Single engine piston powered land aeroplanes not exceeding 5700kg maximum take-off weight other than amateur built or kit-built aeroplanes, unless permitted by the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 or the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs) 1988."
This means that once the AOC holder has been granted this permission, there will not be any need to apply to CASA to add a new single-engine piston type to charter. The exception to this will be amphibious/float plane operations.
For those existing AOC holders, your AOC will be updated at the time of certificate renewal, or when you request a variation to your certificate. Standard fees apply.
This action does not change the AOC holder’s responsibilities in regards to the operational controls established when adding new types to operations. Operations Manual documentation must still be updated with the procedural requirements for all types operated by the AOC holder.
This initiative increases the flexibility of operators to meet market demands and reduces the time and costs associated with AOC variations.
For any questions please contact the CASA Service Centre on 131 757.
Do I have to do anything because of the change?
If you choose to continue to operate as per your AOC and the aircraft types and models as listed meet all your operational needs, you do not have to do anything.
Your AOC will be amended next re-issue to replace your single engine piston powered aeroplanes currently listed on your AOC with the generic statement. This will then enable you to operate any single-engine aeroplane types (as described earlier in this brochure) provided you comply with CAO 82.1 (subsection 6).
Should you wish to take advantage of this change prior to your next re-issue, you can apply to the CASA Service Centre by completing Form 1214 Application Form for an AOC variation. There will be a fee for this service. CASA is obliged to recover the costs of AOC variation applications at the normal hourly rate.
Further information is available from the CASA Service Centre.
How quickly will CASA respond to a request for change?
CASA publishes its service level timeframes on the CASA website. This can help you plan ahead when your operational needs change and you need a CASA approval.
More details on the change
How the permission will be expressed on AOCs?
Prior to August 2008, single engine aeroplanes were listed like this:
From August 2008, single engine aeroplanes will be expressed like this:
“The following Australian registered aircraft are authorised to conduct charter operations in Australian Territory: Single engine piston-powered land aeroplanes not exceeding 5700kg maximum take off weight other than amateur built or kit-built aeroplanes, unless permitted by the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) or the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs) 1998.”
As shown above, single engine piston types are explained in a statement to include the majority of types. There are some exceptions however, it will not include aeroplanes fitted or configured with float alighting gear, floating hull, ski landing gear, amphibious or pressurised. Should you require these design features an AOC application will be required, unless already permitted by your AOC.
Single engine piston-powered aeroplanes in charter will still need to be specified by type on your AOC if operated outside Australian territory.
Importantly, this change DOES NOT change your responsibilities in regards to the operational controls established when adding new types to operations. Operations manual documentation must still be updated with the procedural requirements for all types operated by the AOC holder.
Your responsibility as an AOC holder
Section 27 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act) empowers CASA to issue Air Operators’ Certificates (AOCs) with respect to aircraft for the purpose of safety regulation.
Section 27AB of the Act requires an applicant for an AOC to lodge with CASA the current or proposed Operations Manual, if the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR 1988) or Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) require the operator to have such a Manual.
Regulation 215 of CAR 1988 requires an operator engaged in commercial operations (aerial work, charter or regular public transport operations) to provide an Operations Manual containing appropriate instructional information for all types of aircraft operated by the operator.
How do I satisfy CASA?
As an AOC holder you will need to amend your Operations Manual every time a new model of an aircraft type is to be operated in accordance with CAO 82.1 subsection 6.
If you choose to use the AFM/POH as the specific aircraft instructions, you may include a register of any aircraft by type and model that is operated under the AOC in Part B of your Operations Manual. You will need to make reference to the particular aircraft AFM/POH (by Part number and version) as an annex to your Operations Manual. A statement in your Manual requiring all crews to operate in accordance with these instructions and procedures would then be seen by CASA as reasonable.
If an aircraft AFM/POH does not address all regulatory requirements (for example CAR 220 and specific instructions for computation of fuel quantities or CAR 235 Take off and Landing of aircraft etc), then this detail must be included by you in the Operations Manual. You will also need to amend the relevant manual to include maintenance control instructions for each aircraft type and model as applicable.
Before a pilot operates an aircraft, the Chief Pilot must be satisfied that the pilot understands, and is competent to carry out, the specific instructions for that aircraft type and model, and understands the differences for each model of that aircraft type operated by the operator (CAO 82.1 Para 6.2 (b)). Instructions shall be included in the Operations Manual to describe the process.
Amendments to your Operations Manual are to be forwarded to your oversighting CASA Regional Office. You do not need to provide CASA with a copy of each AFM/POH for the aircraft that you operate.
CAO 82.1 and CAR 215
CAO 82.1 Subsection 6 explains that each operator who holds an AOC authorising charter and/or aerial work operations in an aircraft identified on the AOC by manufacturer and type only, or by aircraft class only. This preserves and clarifies the obligation by the AOC holder to provide Operations Manual instructions for pilots for all aircraft types and models operated.
An AOC holder must ensure that the Operations Manual contains current and appropriate operating information, procedures and instructions (the specific instructions) for each aircraft type and model operated.
“Appropriate” means sufficiently detailed to enable the safe operation of the aircraft type and model in accordance with legislative requirements.
In accordance with CAR 215, copies of operational manual amendments need to be provided to your oversighting CASA Office.
A current manufacturer’s Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) or Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM), annexed to the Operations Manual, will satisfy the requirement for specific instructions. However, if the POH or AFM does not contain specific instructions to ensure compliance with the Australian legislative requirements for the operation of the aircraft type and model, (for example, computations of fuel quantities and the like) these instructions must be stated in the Operations Manual itself. The AOC holder must ensure the pilot training record system records this information.