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Project CS 08/21 - Amendment of restricted category airworthiness requirements and operating limitations to enhance the flexibility of the restricted category

Topic code: 
Aircraft Registration, Marking and Certification
Project status: 
Closed

History

This project is now closed.

22 Sep 2010

Project CS 08/21 - Amendment of restricted category airworthiness requirements and operating limitations to enhance the flexibility of the restricted category

This project is now completed. Refer Project Closure Notes for further information.

3 Nov 2008

Project CS 08/21 - Amendment of restricted category airworthiness requirements and operating limitations to enhance the flexibility of the restricted category

Project approved 3 November 2008.

Project Closure Notes

Detailed consideration of the proposal by CASA's Legal Services Group, Airworthiness Engineering Branch and the Standards Development Branch has concluded that regulatory change is not required to achieve the regulatory outcomes sought by the project.

Background

Australia's legislation related to the restricted category is found in:

  • CASR 21.025 - Issue of type certificate: restricted category aircraft
  • CASR 21.115 - Applicable requirements (for issue of a Supplemental Type Certificate)
  • CASR 21.185 - Certificates of airworthiness for restricted category aircraft
  • CAR 262AL - Operating limitations

The above legislation is prescriptive in nature and sometimes prevents aircraft from being used in operations to which they are ideally suited. In these situations, it is sometimes not feasible to obtain an aircraft with a standard certificate of airworthiness that is capable of carrying out the intended task.

For example, two Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A. (CASA) 212-EE aeroplanes are equipped with skis and used to carry scientists and equipment within Antarctica in support of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. For Antarctic operations, these aircraft do not fully meet the transport category standard, but may be certificated in the restricted category.

Under CASR 21.025 a restricted category type certificate can be issued for prescribed special purposes, including the purpose of aerial surveying or scientific research. CASR 21.025 (2)(k) makes provision for "any other operation similar to any of these operations" but this provision does not allow CASA adequate flexibility to authorise some of the applications of the restricted category intended for Antarctica by the AAD.

Carriage of scientists and equipment in these two aircraft is a charter operation. CAR 262AL (3) prohibits a restricted category aircraft from being used for charter purposes and it has been necessary for CASA to use CAR 308 (1) to grant exemptions against CAR 262AL (3). The most recent exemption was CASA EX67/08 which was issued on 03 October 2008. If the purposes for which a restricted category aircraft can be used are made more flexible it may be possible that CAR 262AL (4) will make ongoing exemptions against 262AL (3) unnecessary.

Regulation 21.115 of the CASR does not readily allow the owner or operator of an aircraft with a standard certificate of airworthiness to modify the aircraft for a special purpose operation and obtain a supplemental type certificate in the restricted category.

Until Australia's legislation related to the restricted category is amended, CASA is unable to authorise restricted category certifications for certain innovative uses of special purpose aircraft. For other applications, CASA must rely on a process of exemption under CAR 308 to deal with restricted category aircraft that are to be used in operations not identified in CAR 262AL. Reliance on issue of exemptions is not a satisfactory way of authorising operations of this kind.

Project Objective

CASA's objective for the proposed project is to adopt a flexible, outcome-based approach to the restricted category. EASA's approach to the restricted category offers an attractive model with significantly greater flexibility than the USA FAA model on which CASR 21.025, 21.115 and 21.185 are modelled.

CASA wishes to:

  • critically examine the EASA legislation and guidance material related to the restricted category
  • determine whether the EASA model would be appropriate for Australia
  • propose suitable legislation that might be adopted in Australia
  • consult with the aviation community on the proposed legislation
  • implement replacement legislation

CASA's objective for new legislation is that it should be outcome-based where appropriate. CASA's objective for this project is to improve the present situation by adopting outcome-based legislation.

Status

This project was approved by Dinh Nguyen, Acting Group General Manager, Airworthiness Engineering Group, 3 November 2008.

Rules affected

CASR Part 21 and CAR 262AL

Project management

Project Leader: Neville Probert

Project Sponsor: Mark Sinclair, Acting Group General Manager, Airworthiness Engineering Goup

RDMB Program Manager: Mike Broom

Project Priority

High