We have progressed reforms in the General Aviation Workplan to better support flight training. This follows extensive work by the Flight Crew Licensing Technical Working Group (TWG) to identify opportunities to improve the flight examiner framework.
These reforms have focused on:
- enabling industry to conduct Examiner Proficiency Checks – you will be able to apply for an approval by 1 July 2022
- enabling industry to provide a Flight Examiner Rating Course – we expect this will be in place by 30 September 2022.
We are also working on:
- increasing the privileges of grade 1 flight instructors and expect to deliver this in September 2022
- creating a multi-engine helicopter class rating – we will release an advance copy of this legal instrument that creates this outcome shortly.
The following contains more information on each of these initiatives. The initiatives aim to improve pilot licencing rules and are in line with commitments we’ve made in our General Aviation Workplan.
Flight Examiner Proficiency Checks
In the Workplan we committed to establishing a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by taking a flexible approach to examiner proficiency checks (EPCs), including authorising more industry examiners to conduct these checks. EPCs are a vital element of the licensing system, providing assurance that the flight licensing system operates effectively with a safety focus. With this in mind we have been working on a short term solution and an enduring solution.
The short term solution will permit certain industry examiners to conduct EPCs. We are in the final stages of confirming the criteria to be able to conduct EPCs, the administration of this scheme and the processes involved.
This work is well progressed and we intend to be in a position for industry to apply for a 61.040 approval to conduct EPCs by 1 July 2022 in line with our GA Workplan.
The enduring solution will look at ongoing demand for flight examiners and how to provide relief in the system. The issues being examined include: changes to the flight instructor scheme to provide for more functions being conducted by certain instructors rather than examiners; a review of the mix of experience and complexity required for EPC holders; and targeted professional development.
We expect to engage more on this once we have refined the policy.
Grade 1 training endorsement holders
As part of reducing the demand on flight examiners we committed in the Workplan to increase the privileges of grade 1 flight instructors. Specifically, they will be authorised to train, assess and grant a range of endorsements for nominated activities.
This activity is progressing well and is on track for delivery in September in accordance with the timeframe in our GA Workplan.
Multi-engine Helicopter class rating
The Workplan committed CASA to establishing this class rating and we are well progressed on this. We have continued work with a helicopter subgroup of the TWG and provided them with a draft of the instrument to give effect to this commitment.
We expect to publish an advance copy of the draft instrument in coming weeks and have the system in place within the next month.
Flight Examiner Rating Course
We have committed through the GA Workplan to establishing a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by expanding the option for industry to deliver flight examiner rating training courses.
This activity has a couple of elements to it and both are progressing well. Firstly CASA has reviewed the CASA delivered FERC to modernise it. This work has identified a series of internal policy and procedural changes which will reduce application and training times and regulatory burden for FER applicants. This work has identified scope to reduce costs for industry for the CASA FERC.
The second element is developing and consulting on a draft protocol for industry to deliver a flight examiner rating course. This element is well underway and the draft protocol documents have been presented to members of the ASAP this week.
We expect these to be in place by 30 September.