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In-flight fuel management
Private operators – you must conduct in-flight fuel management, including in-flight fuel quantity checks at regular intervals.
AOC and Part 141 certificate holders – if you had an existing certificate in force on 7 November 2018, you have until 28 February 2019 to comply with the new rules. Otherwise you must comply with the new rules now.
When conducting these checks, you may discover that you would be landing at your original planned destination without sufficient fuel, that is, your fixed fuel reserve remaining.
If this occurs, make an alternate plan to land safely with sufficient fuel at a different location than you had originally planned. Your new safe landing location will depend on your aircraft capabilities and the conditions.
However, if a safe landing location is not an option and you are landing with less than your fixed fuel reserve, then you must declare Mayday Fuel.
Preserving fixed fuel reserve is the foundation for in-flight fuel decision making which in-turn leads to safer operations.
That doesn't mean that in all instances preserving your fixed fuel reserve is the highest priority. There may be occasions where it is more important to exercise your judgement to determine the safest outcome, which may include landing with less than fixed fuel reserve remaining.
Mayday Fuel declaration and safety
The Mayday Fuel declaration aims to increase safety. It alerts other airspace users to a potential fuel problem facing an aircraft in their vicinity and ensures priority is given to that aircraft to reduce the chances of an accident.
The declaration is an internationally recognised standard aligning Australia with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization that are designed to assist in the management of aviation safety risks.
Mayday Fuel is not aimed at setting conditions to prosecute pilots or operators and a declaration does not automatically mean that emergency services will be mobilised.
Explaining the rules
We have released guidance material and updated existing documents to help explain how the changes work in practice.
For more complex operations, CAAP 234-1(2) covers aircraft fuel requirements and sample calculations
- CAAP 234-1(2) (pdf 1.03 MB)
- CAAP 234-1(2) Annex A - sample fuel calculations – single-engine piston aeroplane (Cessna 210) (pdf 267.67 KB)
- CAAP 234-1(2) Annex B - sample fuel calculations – multi-engine turboprop aeroplane (Beechcraft B200) (pdf 326.75 KB)
- CAAP 234-1(2) Annex C - sample fuel calculations – multi-engine turbojet aeroplane (Learjet 60) (pdf 331.33 KB)
For operators, CASA has updated the following documents to assist in preparing or amending your operations manual:
- CAAP 215-1(3) (pdf 461.07 KB)
- Air operator's certificate handbook volume 2 - Flying operations (pdf 1.31 MB) - see chapter 6
- Sample manuals and documents
- CASR Part 141 sample operations manual and guide - refer to the Part 141 operations manual revision summary v3.0 for a list of updates
- CASR Part 142 sample exposition and guide - refer to the Part 142 exposition revision summary v3.0 for a list of updates
View the full rules Civil Aviation (Fuel Requirements) Instrument 2018.