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The CASA Briefing - February 2019
Date of publication:
28 February 2019
From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody
Improved standards for community service flights are being introduced to enhance public confidence in the safety of these important services. We have now set new minimum standards for pilots operating community service flights, identified the kinds of aircraft that can be used and set out appropriate maintenance and operating requirements. The new standards were put in place following consultation with community service flight organisations, pilots, the broader aviation community and the general public. The centrepiece of the new safety standards is a requirement for pilots to have appropriate flying experience before they undertake community service flights.
These new safety standards take into account the special nature of community service flights, which can be very different to private flights. These flights can put a lot of responsibility and sometimes considerable pressure on pilots. It is only fair to the pilots, patients and carers to ensure there are appropriate safety standards that go beyond those required for everyday private flying. CASA does not believe these standards will have an adverse impact on the majority of community service flights, as most pilots already tend to be more experienced.
Noting the occurrences, accidents and fatal accidents in community service flight operations, we believe it is appropriate for these steps to be taken. There were more than 200 responses to our consultation on the issue and we carefully assessed all the feedback before making significant amendments to the original proposals. One of the major changes was to remove proposed engine maintenance requirements, which we concluded would have been too onerous. It is important to understand these conditions only apply to pilots conducting community service flights. To be considered a community service flight, the flight must be brokered by an entity for a charitable or community service purpose.
Find out more about community service flight conditions.
Plain English guide to new regs coming
A key step has been taken in the development of a plain English guide to the new Part 91 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Extracts from the guide to the new general operating and flight rules have been released for comment. The extracts show how the guide will provide information on complying with the regulations in simple and concise language, using effective graphics to explain requirements. CASA is asking pilots to assess if the extracts are easy-to-read and understand, retain the true meaning of the regulations and strike the right balance between technical accuracy and simple writing. Copies of a brochure containing the Part 91 plain English guide extracts will be released at the Avalon Air Show and are being distributed at CASA’s AvSafety seminars for pilots during March and April 2019. A version of brochure is also available on CASA’s web site, where feedback can be lodged. Once the guide is completed it will mean pilots will not need to refer directly to the regulations to understand and comply with the general operating and flight rules, although the regulations themselves will remain the legal reference for compliance. The guide is primarily intended for general aviation pilots and flying schools.
Go to the Part 91 extracts and provide feedback.
New safety tool for pilots
An expansive, updated and improved resource kit for all pilots on safety behaviours has been produced by CASA. The revised safety behaviours kit will become a must have tool for pilots at all levels of flying. The kit includes ten booklets covering a range of topics relevant to individual pilots and small air operators, a workbook with practical exercises, discussion areas and reference material and a suite of videos containing interviews with aviation experts and practitioners. Topics covered include safety culture, human performance, communication, teamwork, situational awareness, decision making, threat and error management, human information processing and design and automation. A central theme of the kit is that while it is impossible to eliminate all errors, consequences can be successfully mitigated by understanding human factors principles. The kit can be obtained through CASA’s online store, with the videos available both online and on USB.
Order your safety behaviours kit from the online store.
Right radio use in non-controlled airspace
There’s plenty of information available for pilots on radio procedures in non-controlled airspace. This is important following CASA’s clarification of the appropriate VHF frequencies to use in the vicinity of aerodromes in class G airspace. In many situations in non-controlled airspace CASA recommends using the area frequency. However, in the vicinity of uncharted aerodromes, pilots have discretion to use the most appropriate frequency that ensures safe operation. This can be MULTICOM 126.7MHz. The latest procedures are set out in a revised radio procedures booklet, available from the CASA online store. They will also be contained in the Aeronautical Information Publication to be released in late February 2019 and a new Civil Aviation Advisory Publication. All pilots operating in non-controlled airspace should refer to these resources to ensure they operate safely. In the booklet ‘Be heard, be seen, be safe’ there is information on radio carriage, frequencies, when broadcasts must and should be made and how to make effective broadcasts.
Order a copy of the radio procedures booklet.
Fatigue management progress
There was a strong response to the latest consultation on proposed new fatigue management rules, with 331 people and organisations lodging feedback. CASA is now analysing the feedback, along with input from a fatigue technical working group. The issue will be considered by the Aviation Safety Advisory Group in March 2018 before CASA reaches a final position. CASA is aiming to make the Civil Aviation Order 48.1 instrument on fatigue as quickly as possible, with transition to the new requirements scheduled to be completed by March 2020. Many high capacity air operators are in the process of developing fatigue risk management systems and Qantas has begun a 12-month trial. The latest consultation on new fatigue rules followed an independent review of fatigue requirements, which made 24 recommendations. The proposed flight duty period limits incorporate key scientific principles. These include protecting sleep opportunity prior to duty, prescribing maximum flight duty periods to limit time awake, reducing flight duty periods for start times that impact pilot ability to sleep or require duty during the window of circadian low and permitting extended flight duty periods with crew augmentation and appropriate rest facilities.
Find out more about fatigue management.
Revised aerodrome rules are here
Revised regulations covering the operations of aerodromes have been formally made. The revised Part 139 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations includes a range of changes to the rules covering aerodromes to reduce complexity and costs and improve operational flexibility. The revised regulations and associated manual of standards will not take effect until mid-2020 and there will be transition arrangements. One of the key changes is the move from existing aerodrome certificates to a ‘scalable certificate’. The premise of scalability is that busier airports with more aircraft and passenger movements will face higher regulatory requirements. There are technical changes in the manual of standards to more closely align Australia with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and recommended practices. The new regulations are more outcome-based, so aerodromes can be responsible for how best to achieve safety requirements based on their own individual circumstances. To help airports manage the changes, and in acknowledgment that some older aerodromes were built as far back as World War II and beyond, CASA is updating grandfathering provisions for some existing aerodrome facilities. These aerodromes can still operate to existing standards until they make the decision to upgrade or replace a facility. An important change for many airports under the new rules is the requirement for registered aerodromes to produce an aerodrome manual. CASA is redeveloping the aerodrome manual template and will have an online manual building tool to provide step-by-step guidance. Registered aerodromes without a current manual can build one quickly using the online tool, which will have pre-loaded text and guidance material.
Find out more about the revised aerodrome regulations.
- The 2018 edition of the aircraft maintenance engineer careers guide has been released. It provides helpful tips on how to become an aircraft engineer; how to get a licence and where to go for the appropriate training. The guide will help people becoming engineers to maintain high standards of aviation safety. Get the guide now.
- Air operators and Part 141 certificate holders were given more time to comply with the new fuel rules. However, from 28 February 2019 they must comply with the requirements of the new regulation and the fuel instrument. Find out more.
- The summary of feedback on the proposed new rules for rotorcraft air transport operations in Parts 119 and 133 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations has been published. The feedback indicated broad aviation community support for the proposed changes. The proposed rules introduce safety enhancements such as an adaptable rotorcraft code of performance, flight and other crew member training and checking requirements and scalable safety management systems. Read the feedback.
- Guidance material on the design, development and delivery of passenger safety information has been updated. There’s new information on safety briefings for passengers on helicopter and balloon flights and guidance material concerning cabin baggage and portable electronic devices. Read the Civil Aviation Advisory Publication.
- The Bureau of Meteorology is moving its aviation meteorologists into two new aviation forecasting centres in Brisbane and Melbourne. These centres will deliver most aviation services across Australia by mid-2020, using the very latest advances in observational and modelling capabilities. There will be no change to the number of meteorologists employed and aviation operators across Australia will receive a greater level of service irrespective of where they are based. Find out more about the Bureau changes.
Fourteen pilot safety seminars
CASA’s popular AvSafety seminars for pilots will continue during March 2019. The seminars focus on developing pilot skills in three key areas – communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. A practical scenario is used to explain the concepts of threat and error management. Pilots work through relevant defensive flying behaviours aimed at addressing human factors challenges encountered in single pilot operations. At each seminar pilots will be given special cards with key information on communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. The cards can be kept in a new AvSafety resource folder to build a library of critical safety information. Cards and folders are only available to people who attend AvSafety seminars. Extracts from the new plain English guide to the Part 91 operating and flight rules will be available at seminars during March and April 2019 for review and comment.
In March 2019 seminars are being held at:
- Point Cook
- Broken Hill
- Swan Hill
- Latrobe Valley
Book a place at a pilot safety seminar.
CASA is holding an engineering safety seminar in March 2019 at Maryborough. The seminar will cover a range of topics including leadership and mentoring for aviation maintenance engineers, specialist maintenance certification, Flight Safety Australia maintenance articles and a regulation review update. Engineers, heads of airworthiness and maintenance, other people from airworthiness organisations and maintenance training personnel will all benefit from attending the seminar. This is a great professional development opportunity, allowing people to talk with CASA maintenance experts and ask questions. The Maryborough engineering seminar is being held on Wednesday 20 March 2019 at the Maryborough Aero Club.
Find out more and book a place at the Maryborough engineering seminar.
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