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The CASA Briefing - June 2018
Date of publication:
26 June 2018
From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
I am very pleased the new Basic Class 2 medical certificate is on track to be available from early July 2018. This is another part of the important reforms we have been making to the aviation medical system to ease the regulatory burden on the aviation community, particularly general aviation. Despite what others might say, CASA understands the importance of general aviation and most certainly does not have an agenda to regulate it out of existence. While CASA must ensure appropriate safety standards are in place and are followed, we are not in the business of discouraging participation in general aviation – quite the contrary. The three stages of aviation medical reforms introduced this year should help open up the general aviation pipeline. The first reform allows a Class 2 medical certificate (instead of Class 1) as an option for pilots operating commercial flights that do not carry passengers. This applies to operations with a maximum take-off weight of less than 8618 kilograms. Stage two gave designated aviation medical examiners the option to issue Class 2 medical certificates on the spot for non-complex medicals. Stage three, the Basic Class 2, is a new category of private pilot medical certificate. This will allow private pilots flying piston engine powered aircraft, carrying up to five non-fare paying passengers, to be issued a medical certificate based on the Austroads commercial heavy vehicle standards. Operations in this new category will be limited to the visual flight rules by day and will be permitted in all classes of airspace.
In a recent speech to the Rotortech conference I acknowledged that not all criticism of CASA is unwarranted. I also pointed out we aren't the only regulator that is criticised, citing recent references to financial regulators at the banking Royal Commission. One thing from the debate over financial regulation is clear - the public is very unforgiving of a regulator who does not apply the rules. As one commentator recently said about the regulators responsible for overseeing the conduct of banks and other financial institutions: they don't need more muscle (which is to say 'rules'), just a spine (which is to say the will and the courage to enforce the rules we have). In aviation, we don't need more rules – we probably need fewer. But what Australia does need is regulators who are capable, confident and willing to apply regulation in an appropriately balanced, proportionate and pragmatic way—always fairly, and as firmly as the situation requires. That is what we seek to do at CASA, and the banking Royal Commission reminds me that we should stay the course and do what we are paid, obligated and expected to do.
All you need to know about new fuel rules
Visual flight rules pilots can now find easy to understand information about the new fuel rules. An explanation of the new fuel rules that will appear in the next edition of the Visual Flight Rules Guide has been posted on the CASA web site. The new fuel rules take effect on 8 November 2018 and aim to improve safety and simplify a number of requirements. Key changes are re-introducing a fixed fuel reserve requirement, reducing reserve requirements for day visual flight rules operations in small piston or turboprop aeroplanes and requiring pilots to conduct in-flight fuel management with regular fuel quantity checks. A declaration of 'Mayday Fuel' needs to be broadcast if required. The 'Mayday Fuel' call will alert other pilots to a potential fuel problem facing an aircraft in their vicinity and ensures priority is given to the aircraft. This procedure ensures air traffic control, or even emergency services if needed, can assist a pilot where their aircraft fuel level falls below the fixed reserve requirement. 'Mayday Fuel' is not aimed at setting conditions to take regulatory action against pilots or operators and a declaration does not automatically mean emergency services will be mobilised. The declaration is an internationally recognised standard, aligning Australia with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.
Go to the new fuel rules web pages.
Better process for aviation reference numbers
Obtaining an aviation reference number is about to get a lot easier. On 2 July 2018, CASA is launching a new online aviation reference number application and issuing process. The new automated process will mean where a person's identity can be verified immediately an aviation reference number will be issued within minutes. One hundred points of identity proof will be required for the quick issue of an aviation reference number. Acceptable forms of identification include a passport, drivers licence, Medicare card, bank or credit cards. Aviation organisations such as flying schools and maintenance training providers will not be able to apply for an online aviation reference number on behalf of a student. Anyone who has difficulty accessing the digital application system can complete a form and submit it for manual processing. Applications submitted in this way may take up to two weeks to be processed. An aviation reference number is similar to an account or customer number. It is needed to interact and communicate with CASA and to hold any aviation licence or permission. Aviation reference numbers are not issued to business names, consortiums or partnerships.
Find out more about aviation reference numbers.
Recreational aircraft weight increase proposal
CASA is reviewing a proposal to allow Recreational Aviation Australia to include aircraft weighing up to 760 kilograms on its register. This follows an application by Recreational Aviation Australia – best known as RAAus – for an increase in the aircraft weight limit. It is proposed the aircraft weight limit would rise from the current maximum of 600 kilograms, or 650 kilograms for aircraft equipped to land on water. Part 95 of the Civil Aviation Orders, under which RAAus operations are currently conducted, would be amended to introduce the new weight limit. The proposed changes would include requirements for the continuing maintenance of aircraft with a maximum take-off weight between 601kg and 760kg to be conducted by a CASA approved maintenance organisation and a person who holds an appropriate Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 66 Aircraft Engineer Licence. This requirement might be varied in the future for owner-builders of amateur built aircraft who successfully complete an acceptable maintenance procedures course.
CASA has also worked with RAAus to extend an existing exemption relating to operations in controlled airspace. RAAus pilots can now operate in controlled airspace when they are flying in an aircraft hired from a flying school located at the controlled aerodrome where they trained to obtain their RAAus pilot certificate. The flight training facility hiring the aircraft must ensure that eligible RAAus pilots have the competencies required under CASA's regulations for operation in controlled airspace and at controlled aerodromes. These new arrangements provide more opportunities for eligible RAAus pilots to fly recreationally, and more opportunities for flying schools to hire out their aircraft, with no reduction in the existing safety standards.
Consultation starts on ops regs
Consultation has commenced on the proposed new air transport operations regulations. Industry technical working groups are evaluating draft rules for Parts 119, 121, 133 and 135 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. These parts cover rotorcraft and aeroplane operations, as well as air operator certification and management. The working groups were appointed by CASA's independent industry advisory group, the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel. There will be broader consultation with the aviation community on the proposed new rules.
Be notified about consultation on the new operations regulations by subscribing to the Flight Operations mailing list.
General aviation flight plan delivered
The General Aviation Advisory Group has delivered a plan for the future to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack. The general aviation flight plan has three key priorities. These are the need for a broad long term strategic perspective for general aviation; how air safety regulation can support general aviation through clear, consistently applied and proportionally responsive administration; and maintaining and enhancing general aviation industry capability through workforce development and access to airspace and infrastructure. Mr McCormack said his department and CASA would work with the advisory group to respond to the priorities. "To ensure the Group is able to complete the work outlined in the General Aviation Flight Plan, the Group's membership and operations will continue for a further two years and I look forward to working constructively with the Group during this period," Mr McCormack said. General Aviation Advisory Group chair and Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia CEO Dr Martin Laverty said: "The Deputy Prime Minister has given the General Aviation Advisory Group freedom to identify our own opportunities for growth and to present its ideas on solutions to some of our challenges." CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody welcomed the opportunity to work closely with the General Aviation Advisory Group and to strengthen the safety regulator's ties with general aviation. "I'm pleased to have met with the General Aviation Advisory Group, and plan to use it as an ongoing reference group on safety regulatory issues relating to the general aviation sector," Mr Carmody said. The General Aviation Advisory Group is a 12-member industry forum that provides advice to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
Learn more about the brace position
A new package of information has been published by CASA on the brace position for aircraft passengers and crew. The package covers forward and rear facing seats, what not to do, children and infants and people with disabilities and their companions. The brace position is the most effective protective position for passengers and crew to adopt to mitigate the potential for injury during an aircraft impact. As seat technology has evolved so have effective brace positions and previously recommended positions may need to be adjusted. The brace position reduces flailing by having a forward-facing occupant lean over their legs and it reduces secondary-impact injuries by pre-positioning the body against a surface that can be struck. This reduces the momentum of the head and other parts of the body. The most appropriate brace position may vary according to seat orientation, different seat belts or cabin configuration. There are a number of positions to avoid when bracing, such as stretching out arms or legs and resting the head on arms or hands.
Get all the details on the brace position.
Drone census on now
Certified drone operators are reminded time is running out to complete the annual CASA census. More than 1300 holders of remotely piloted aircraft operators certificates have been sent a short online survey form, which needs to be completed by 5 July 2018. The drone census is conducted to provide CASA with up-to-date and accurate information on the fastest growing sector in Australian aviation. Information from the census will help CASA made sound regulatory decisions about drone safety. The aggregated information will also be published on CASA's website, with the data sure to useful to everyone with an interest in non-recreational drone activities. The census asks certified drone operators about their level of activity in 2017, types of operations, types and numbers of drones they use and safety related issues. An email has been sent to all operators with a link to the survey.
Find more information on the drone census.
- The period of validity of existing approved testing officer delegations has been extended from 1 July 2018 until 31 August 2018. The indemnity under Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) Admin-1 will continue to apply to approved testing officers during this period. An announcement on future indemnity arrangements will be made before the end of August 2018.
- Everyone involved with limited category aircraft should comment now on the proposed policy for new maintenance rules for these aircraft. The aim is to consolidate and simplify the maintenance rules and procedures for limited category aircraft, which currently exist in a range of regulatory instruments. New rules would also enable self-administration for maintenance activities. Find out more and have your say before 13 July 2018.
- Comment is being sought on a proposed airworthiness directive relating to new airworthiness limitations for GippsAero GA8 series aeroplanes. The new limitations are the result of the manufacturer changing the design of some of the fuselage strut pick up ribs. These limitations are already mandatory for Australian operated aircraft - the airworthiness directive is required to ensure foreign operated aircraft are covered. Comment before 17 July 2018.
- Flight instructor workshops are being held at Parafield on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 July 2018. Pilots who hold an instructor rating can learn about anticipating student actions, understanding Part 61 requirements, on-line resources available for the instructor and students and the importance of flight reviews and how to maximise their benefit. Book a place now.
New AvSafety seminars for better pilot skills
A new series of the popular AvSafety seminars gets underway in July 2018. The theme of the new series is enhancing pilot skills in a dynamic environment. Three key areas will be looked at – communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. The main focus will be on operations at non-controlled aerodromes. A practical scenario set at a non-controlled aerodrome will be used to explain the concepts of threat and error management, with pilots working through defensive flying behaviours. There will be discussion about how threat and error management techniques complement the technical aspects of flying an aircraft. At each seminar pilots will be given special cards with key information on communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. These 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.
In July 2018 seminars are being held at:
Book a place at your local AvSafety seminar.
Seminars for engineers
Engineering seminars are being held in July 2018 at Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach and Mackay. These seminars 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. They are aimed at engineers, heads of airworthiness and maintenance, other people from airworthiness organisations and training personnel. The seminars are a great professional development opportunity and allow people to talk with CASA maintenance experts and ask questions.
Find out more and book a place at an engineering seminar.
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