About airworthiness delegates and authorised persons

Regulatory powers under the Civil Aviation Act 1988, the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 and 1998 are vested in CASA. Because CASA is a statutory corporate entity, it cannot itself directly exercise statutory powers - it must always act through human agents. The Director of Aviation Safety can act on behalf of CASA (section 84A(2) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988).

Under the Act, Civil Aviation Regulations and Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, CASA is given various discretionary powers relating to the safety regulation of civil air operations in Australia. A discretionary power must, in general, be exercised only by the person or body to which it has been committed unless there is an express power to delegate it to another.

Delegation, strictly used, refers to the act by which an individual or body possessing legal authority transfers the right to exercise any or all of those powers to a subordinate individual or body.

The legislation therefore allows the Director to delegate powers in the Act and Regulations to other persons. Note that powers in the Act may only be delegated within CASA whilst Regulation powers can be delegated both within and outside CASA.

Authorised persons

Numerous provisions in the regulations contain references to, “authorised persons".

  • See for example, CASR 21.437 relating to the grant of modification/repair design approvals “by an authorised person.”
  • Regulation 201.001 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 states CASA may appoint a person, or the persons included in a class of persons, to be an authorised person for CASR or a particular provision of CASR.
  • Regulation 201.011(2) states CASA may appoint a person only if CASA is satisfied that the person has the qualifications and experience to be an authorised person.

The difference between an authorised person and a delegate

Unlike a delegate, an authorised person does not act on behalf of CASA. They are not an agent of CASA. Rather, the effect of the appointment of a person as an authorised person is to give the person status to act in their own rights as an "authorised person”, for the purposes of the relevant regulation in relation to which the appointment has been made. A Delegation vests a person with CASA’s power whereas an authorisation relates only to a specific task associated with the exercise of a power.

Protecting delegates and authorised persons

If you are a delegate or authorised person, by CAAP Admin. 1, CASA indemnifies delegates and authorised persons from any legal liability up to a specified monetary value, but subject to the limitations in the CAAP including that you must not deliberately misuse a delegation or authorisation.

Areas of delegation

There are 2 main areas of delegations or authorisations:

For airworthiness approvals, see our Industry delegates management manual for the criteria and qualifications you need.

For design approvals, see our Design Instrument of Appointment procedures manual for the criteria and qualifications you need.

Last updated:
6 Sep 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//licences-and-certificates/airworthiness-delegates-and-authorised-persons/about-airworthiness-delegates-and-authorised-persons
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