Sport aviation rules for participants
CASA and sport aviation RAAOs have been cooperating to make sure that sport aviation has the right level of oversight. It is important that everyone involved in sport aviation understands how this oversight occurs and the part they play in it.
Given the differences within sport aviation activities, special oversight rules exist. Sets of rules, currently found in the civil aviation orders e.g. 95.8, 95.10, 95.12, cover people who fly recreational aircraft, weightshift microlights, hang gliders, paragliders, powered parachutes, gyroplanes, gyrogliders, gliders or motor gliders, or take part in recreational ballooning.
These sets of rules allow specialised craft such as balloons and aircraft that do not meet certification standards to operate through a series of exemptions from the regulations that apply to broader aviation activities. These exemptions are conditional.
The main condition is that if you want to undertake one of the activities mentioned above you have to belong to a specified organisation. Without full membership you are not legally allowed to take part in these activities.
The organisations are known as self-administering organisations or recreational aviation administration organisations – that is CASA makes the rules and the organisations apply the rules to their members.
The organisations exist to oversee members’ activities and assure CASA that they are being conducted safely. CASA needs to be fully confident that RAAOs have the capacity to provide the safety outcomes required.
If an organisation cannot assure CASA of this, CASA cannot allow it to continue to administer aviation activities under the exemption. If an organisation does not assure CASA that it is meeting safety outcomes and adequately overseeing aviation activities, its members cannot fly under the exemption and must instead comply with all the other applicable regulations.