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Project CS 99/04 - CASR Part 21 Subpart J - Approved Design Organisations

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

Closure notes

Project closed 20 August 2014.

Following the commencement of the Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment (Subpart 21.J) Regulation 2013, regulation 30 of CAR no longer provides for approval of design organisations (although noting that the transitional regulations provide for certificates of approval under regulation 30 of CAR to continue until March 2017). Australian design organisations are now approved under Subpart 21.J of CASR.

Final disposition for the Subpart 21.J amendment has been provided to industry via NFRM CS 99/04 - Subpart 21.J legislation amendments, and guidance material will be provided via AC 21.J-01 - Approved design organisations.


The regulations for certification of design organisations for development and approval of design of modifications/repairs and technical data had, over time, become complicated and to some extent outdated. They were not clear, concise or harmonised with international regulatory best practice and were not always appropriate for the Australian aviation environment. While design organisations approved under regulation 30 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) were permitted to develop a design of modification/repair to aircraft and aeronautical products, they had to rely on authorised persons or CASA for the approval of that design. Furthermore, despite holding a certificate of approval from CASA for design, under regulation 30 of CAR, the certificate holder had no privileges.

To address these issues, CASA revised its design approval requirements and established a new regulatory regime to give to the aviation industry various powers and functions under Part 21 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) in relation to the approval of designs and technical data. CASA approach to design approvals now aligns with the European Aviation Safety Agency's (EASA) approach in this area.

New Subpart 21.J - Approved design organisations

The new Subpart 21.J prescribes the rules for certification and operations of approved design organisations (ADOs), who may carry out certain design and technical data approval functions regulated by Part 21, without further reference to CASA or an authorised persons. Any individual or body corporate may apply for a certificate of approval as an approved design organisation. The applicant is not required to hold a type certificate or production approval.

The new Subpart 21.J expands on the existing regulation 30 of CAR for design organisations to provide for a more systematic and comprehensive system for design approval by organisations. Consequently, coordination and management of many certification projects, currently mostly conducted by CASA, will be devolved to suitably rated ADOs. The scope of the design activities that CASA may authorise will depend on the ADO's demonstrated capabilities and the systems that the ADO has in place to carry out the activities.

Consequential amendments to CASR and CAR

As the result of the introduction of new Subpart 21.J, various consequential amendments have been made to CASR and CAR.

The existing Subpart 21.J of CASR - 'Delegation option authorisation procedures', which applies to the manufacturers of certain aircraft, aircraft engine or propeller has been replaced with the Subpart 21.J - 'Appoved design organisations'.

Subregulation 30(1) of CAR has been amended to omit the word 'design', and subparagraphs 30(2C)(c)(i), (ii) and (iii) of CAR have been deleted.

Project management

Project Leader: Ben Challender

Standards Consultative Committee (SCC)

Certification and Manufacturing Standards Sub-committee


Title Details Date
Consultation updates in 2014
Project CS 99/04 - CASR Part 21 Subpart J - Approved Design Organisations This project is now closed
Refer to the project closure notes for further information.
28 Aug 2014