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The CASA Briefing - April 2020
Date of publication:
23 April 2020
From Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
From the earliest days of the COVID 19 event CASA has been working hard to find ways to ease the regulatory burden on the aviation community without creating unacceptable risks to safety. This can be a challenging path to tread, but I believe we have taken a range of decisions that offer meaningful relief to as many sectors of aviation as possible while making sure we maintain a firm focus on safety. As the COVID situation continues to unfold I can assure everyone we will keep reviewing our support for the aviation community and will view the decisions and actions we take through the prism of the crisis. CASA understands aviation is one of the worst hit sectors of the community and must be sustained to be ready for the recovery we are all working towards
Nothing will make the aviation recovery from the COVID crisis harder than lapses in safety performance or, worse still, a tragic accident. So even though operations are disrupted or curtailed, we must not lose sight of safety. CASA’s staff are still working every day with the same commitment and energy to maintain and improve Australia’s proud aviation safety record. We have staff working remotely and in our offices on all of our core functions, including safety oversight, standards and education. Regulatory service delivery continues to support the needs of pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers and aviation organisations. Importantly, we are using the current situation to look for innovation in the way we work to better support the nation’s aviation safety system in the future.
The package of measures we have put in place to ease the burden on the aviation community is comprehensive. There is support for air operators, flight training organisations, maintenance organisations, aerodrome operators, pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers, sports aviation and the remotely piloted aircraft sector. We have extended all air operator and Part 141 and 142 certificates by six months, transition to the new fatigue rules has been extended by 12 months and a range of three-month exemptions are now in place. Operators have relief from Part 61 proficiency checking and flight reviews, as well as training and checking requirements, up to 30 June 2020. Maintenance organisation certificates have been extended by six months and there is a 12-month extension to aircraft maintenance engineer exams. If you are a pilot or an air traffic controller, you can exercise the privileges of your licence for six months after the expiry of any medical certificate you hold. You do not need to do anything, although any conditions on your medical certificate will continue to apply. If your current flight review or proficiency check expired after 1 March 2020, you can continue to use all the privileges of your licence for a further three months from the expiry. You will need to apply to extend these arrangements beyond three months.
Please find all the details on CASA’s support for the aviation community during the COVID 19 event on our website.
Don’t forget about basic class 2 medical
Pilots are being reminded to consider if a basic class 2 medical certificate suits their flying. A basic class 2 medical certificate is a streamlined alternative to a full class 2 certificate for private operations. Examinations may be conducted by any medical practitioner who can conduct a motor vehicle driver examination. The medical standard is the same as the Austroads commercial driver standard. If applicants unconditionally meet the standard -except for glasses and hearing aids - they will be issued with a basic class 2 medical certificate. The process for getting a basic class 2 is simple and qualified applicants will not need a medical assessment by CASA. A pilot needs to download, print and complete a medical questionnaire from the CASA medical records system, take this questionnaire to their medical appointment, successfully complete the required tests and medical examinations and log back into the CASA medical records system to finalise the application. A fee of $10 is payable to CASA and the medical certificate is issued online within minutes. If a pilot does not pass the basic class 2 medical assessment, or has a pre-existing medical condition, they can still apply for a class 2 medical certificate which requires an assessment in further detail by a designated aviation medical examiner.
Get more information on the basic class 2 medical.
New visual flight rules guide
The popular visual flight rules guide will soon be available as a free PDF download from the CASA web site. A printed version of the visual flight rules guide will continue to be sold through CASA’s online store and a free web version is also online. The guide is designed primarily for visual flight rules pilots. It is a comprehensive booklet containing detailed safety information, diagrams, charts and maps. The guide is divided into sections covering the rules, licensing, pilot responsibilities, radio procedures, pre-flight planning, operations and emergency procedures. The latest edition of the guide features amendments to various rules and regulations, as well as incorporating feedback received from the aviation community. The print version of the guide costs $34.95.
Order a print copy of the Visual Flight Rules Guide.
Keep up to date with the online versions of the guide.
Training for new aerodrome rules
The first training package to help aerodromes transition to the new Part 139 regulations has been released. Part 139 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and the associated manual of standards comes into effect in August 2020. The training package will assist aerodrome operators to understand and navigate through the new requirements. Over the coming months another three training packages will be released, covering a range of topics such as aerodrome facilities and the obstacle limitation surface, operating and maintaining aerodromes and visual aids. The training can be done online through CASA’s AviationWorx portal. Anyone who wants to get a quick overview of the new aerodrome rules can find clear information on CASA’s web site, including frequently asked questions and answers. To make it easier for aerodrome operators to take advantage of the new Part 139 Aerodrome rules, CASA is now also providing the option to apply some of the rules ahead of their originally scheduled commencement. Aerodrome operators considering updating an existing facility or anyone applying to register or certify a new aerodrome can benefit from the opt in early option.
Go to AviationWorx to find the aerodrome training.
Get a quick overview of Part 139.
Find out about Part 139 opt in early.
Don’t miss out on Flight Safety Australia
The Winter 2020 edition of Flight Safety Australia magazine is coming soon. Anyone who doesn’t already subscribe for a print copy of the magazine should place their order before 5 May 2020 to avoid missing out. As usual the magazine will be packed with great safety reading and information valuable to everyone in aviation. There will be a look at the impacts of the COVID 19 event on aviation safety and a story that asks how old is too old to fly. A subscription to Flight Safety Australia costs $39.92 a year. The magazine can also be read for free on CASA’s web site.
Order your print copy of Flight Safety Australia magazine now.
More time for transition to new ops regs
The start date for the flight operations suite of new regulations is now 2 December 2021. Previously these new regulations were to commence on 25 March 2021. The change is to give CASA and everyone in the aviation community more time to prepare for the new rules. In December 2021 nine sets of new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations will come into effect. Another new operational suite of regulations - Part 149 covering approved self-administering aviation organisations – has already commenced and has a final transition date of 13 July 2022. The new operations suite replaces hundreds of requirements currently in regulations, orders, exemptions, approvals, permissions, instructions and directions. The new rules are based on what activities an organisation or person does. The suite includes Part 91, which contains the general operating and flight rules for all aviation in Australia. The suite also covers air operators, large and small air transport, rotorcraft air transport, aerial work, sport aviation, manned free balloons and parachuting. Some of the more complex requirements in the new regulations will have a delayed commencement date. These include introducing a safety management system or a training and checking system for operators. Critical guidance material and assistance to support the transition to the new regulations will be available well ahead of the commencement. CASA has listened to feedback about how much time is needed for the transition and is committed to ongoing information and education for the aviation community.
Find out more about the new flight operations regulations.
National drone safety campaign
A new national drone safety campaign has already reached millions of Australians. The ‘Know Your Drone’ campaign was launched in March 2020 and features a range of digital advertising targeted at recreational drone flyers. The campaign challenges recreational drone flyers on their knowledge of the safety rules and asks them to take a quiz to test their knowledge. Information is aimed to support a wide range of drone flyers - including different age groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds such as Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese. The ‘Know Your Drone’ campaign will run until mid-June 2020. It appears online and across social media channels, as well as catch up TV, podcasts and streaming services. CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, says the aim of the new drone safety campaign is to motivate and educate drone flyers to stay safe. “We know most people who fly drones want to do the right thing and we need to make sure they are aware of the safety rules and know what is required to stay safe when flying,” Mr Carmody says.
See the know your drone ad.
New drone safety apps
Three new CASA-verified drone safety apps are now available for commercial and recreational drone operators to download and use. The apps provide customised location-based information about where drone operators can and can't fly their drones according to aviation safety regulations. Drone operators should also check for any relevant local and state government rules or regulations relating to their location before they fly. Luke Gumley, manager of CASA’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems branch, says there are now a total of four verified safety apps available to drone flyers. “Australian drone operators now have greater choice in the apps they can use, with the added benefit of knowing the safety information comes from a trusted and reliable source,” Luke says. “The drone digital platform is a fresh and innovative approach by CASA that facilitates third party app developers to deliver services to drone users as we work toward our shared goal to safely integrate drones into Australian airspace.” The new apps on CASA’s drone digital platform are AirMap, AiRXOS and AvSoft. They join OpenSky, which replaced CASA’s Can I fly there? drone safety app last year.
Find the drone safety apps.
Revised date for drone registration
The Federal Government has deferred the first stage of mandatory drone registration and accreditation until 30 September 2020. Remotely piloted aircraft registration for commercial and excluded category operators was scheduled to commence on 1 April 2020. Recreational drone registration and accreditation is still expected to commence in 2022. All drone flyers that don’t hold a remote licence will need to gain accreditation by watching an online video and successfully answering a short quiz to demonstrate they understand the drone safety rules. The registration and accreditation requirements will apply, with certain exceptions, to all drones operated commercially regardless of weight and drones and model aircraft weighing more than 250 grams operated recreationally.
Find out more about drone registration and accreditation.
Catch up on an AvSafety seminar
CASA’s popular AvSafety seminars are currently on hold due to the COVID 19 restrictions. But there is an easy way to catch up on previous AvSafety seminars for pilots by watching a new video on enhancing pilot skills. The video explains how pilots can improve their radio communications skills around aerodromes and investigates how they can maintain situational awareness in a dynamic and changing environment. Featuring CASA aviation safety advisor Tim Penney, the video is an opportunity for pilots to take time out and stop to think of three key human factors that go a long way to making safer pilots. Tim says: “Especially in the dynamic environments surrounding non-towered aerodromes we take a look at communication, situational awareness and finally a brief look at threat and error management. Barriers to effective communication in the air include such things as high workload, fatigue, the mixing of language and culture and of course the ever-present challenge of managing distraction. We also provide pilots with a series hints and tips to be more effective communicators when we do go flying. We examine what situational awareness is and some of the tell-tale signs that may indicate a loss of situational awareness such as fixation, ambiguity and quite simply a failure to fly the aircraft first. Finally, we have a very brief look at threat and error management, or as we often say, ‘enhanced airmanship’.”
Watch the pilot safety video.
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