- Publications and resources
- Rules and regulations
- Safety management
- Licences and certification
- About us
Go to top of page
The CASA Briefing - June 2020
Date of publication:
29 June 2020
From Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
On 6 July 2020, CASA turns 25. I realise not everyone will be rushing to celebrate, but never-the-less this is a time to reflect on where we have come from, the many challenges faced and overcome by the aviation community and the progress we have all made. Being a regulator is challenging but, on balance, I believe that over the last 25 years CASA and its people have got far more right than wrong. Australia’s aviation safety record is arguably one of the best in the world and we have a widely respected aviation safety system. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization we are currently ranked sixth out of member states for an effective national safety system. Of course, CASA is only one part of the national aviation safety system, yet on any reasonable assessment it is an important part. The system works best when the regulator, aviation organisations, people in operational roles such as pilots and engineers, as well as other aviation bodies such as Airservices Australia and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, all pursue common and complementary safety goals – in other words we work together.
CASA and Airservices Australia were born out of reviews of systemic regulatory issues with their predecessor, the Civil Aviation Authority, in relation to the major aviation tragedies Monarch and Seaview, in which 15 people were fatally injured. The Civil Aviation Authority was split into separate safety regulatory and air navigation functions, which allowed greater specialisation and focus on key areas. Importantly, it lowered the risk of conflicts of interest arising, which is particularly significant for the safety regulator.
Over the last 25 years CASA has strived to get the safety balance right, whether that is protecting fare paying passengers from unacceptable risks or ensuring there are appropriate regulations for general aviation. There can be debates about the finer details of actions we have taken over 25 years, but there can be no doubting our intent has always been to develop and nurture a safety framework that manages risks effectively and in doing so saves lives.
I consider CASA can be particularly proud of its achievements over 25 years in the area of safety education and promotion. Flight Safety Australia has delivered in-depth and insightful stories on every facet of aviation safety, both in magazine and online editions. We have held thousands of safety seminars for pilots and engineers, produced safety resources such as flight guides, information booklets and checklists, and delivered multimedia packages to support campaigns on key issues such as safety management and human factors.
Over the life of CASA there have been a wide range of important initiatives that have reached fruition. These include the introduction of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast for all instrument flight rules operations, the adoption of a risk-based approach to surveillance with priority given to passenger-carrying operations, reforms to the aviation medical system including the establishment of the Basic Class 2 medical, more effective and formalised consultation with the aviation community, establishment of the Industry Complaints Commissioner, setting up the Office of Airspace Regulation, establishing the Flight Training and Testing Office, introducing requirements for safety management systems, establishing drug and alcohol management and testing, running an ageing aircraft campaign, bringing in new fatigue risk management rules and pioneering regulations covering remotely piloted aircraft operations. This is only an extract of the last 25 years and I thank CASA’s staff, past and present, for all their achievements working with the aviation community for safe skies for all.
Support for COVID-19 recovery
A new resource has been released to support the aviation community during the COVID-19 recovery. A valuable package of safety tips called ‘fit to fly’ is set out in a series of checklists. The check lists cover personal issues for pilots, flight planning, aircraft preparation, aerodrome and airspace issues and maintenance. Information ranges from physical and mental health to issues for aircraft after long periods of inactivity. There is also a package of related maintenance information and links to other useful reading. All pilots will find the fit to fly checklists a practical tool in the current environment. Fit to fly is the latest CASA initiative to support pilots during the COVID-19 crisis. Other initiatives include extending 800 air operator certificates and more than 300 flight training approvals by six months, a six-month extension of medical certificates for more than 30,000 pilots and a package of measures for more than 14,000 aircraft maintenance engineers. There are also relief measures in place for drone operators, aerodromes and air traffic controllers. CASA moved quickly to introduce these measures to ease the burden on the aviation community during the COVID-19 crisis.
Go to the fit to fly check lists.
Find out more about COVID-19 relief measures.
Have your say on Part 121 standards
Consultation is underway on the new manual of standards covering air transport operations in large aeroplanes. The consultation on the manual of standards for Part 121 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations is being run in three tranches. The first, which is open for comment until 16 July 2020, covers five areas. These are carriage of documents and emergency and survival equipment information, operational flight plans, narrow runway width calculations, safety briefings and instructions including safety briefing cards, and weight and balance documents and standard weights. CASA is also asking for comment on a number of proposed modifications to the Part 121 regulations which have become necessary as a result of ongoing discussions with representatives from the aviation community. There will be consultation on the remaining nine chapters of the Part 121 manual of standards later in 2020. Part 121 covers multi-engine aeroplane air transport operations - including passenger, cargo and medical transport operations - with a maximum operational passenger seating capacity of more than nine seats or a maximum take-off weight of more than 8,618 kilograms. Part 121 was made into law in December 2018 as part of the new flight operations suite of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and takes effect from 2 December 2021.
Have your say on the first tranche of the Part 121 manual of standards.
Update on new maintenance regulations
Work to develop proposed new maintenance rules for the private and aerial work sectors is well advanced. To help everyone get a better understanding of what is coming CASA has provided a new set of questions and answers on the proposed Part 43 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The questions and answers cover aircraft operations, aircraft maintenance, inspection authorisations, licensed aircraft maintenance engineers and pilot maintenance. The information confirms CASA will be producing a plain English guide to Part 43 along the lines of the guide about to be released for the general operating and flight rules in Part 91 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The new maintenance rules for private and aerial work operations will provide increased flexibility as well as reducing administrative costs. The next step in developing Part 43 is releasing the final policy decision summary and a regulation impact statement. Regulatory drafting will follow as soon as the flight operations suite of regulations is completed. CASA has also provided a series of information sheets on continuing airworthiness which cover Parts 43, 42 and 145. Part 42 is about continuing airworthiness management organisations and Part 145 is about approved maintenance organisations.
Go to the Part 43 questions and answers.
New path for aerial work chief pilots
A new and more flexible way to become a chief pilot in a range of aerial work operations is now available. CASA can approve chief pilots for some aerial work operations in aeroplanes where the applicant has successfully completed a course run by the Aerial Application Association of Australia. This course replaces the requirements set out in Civil Aviation Order 82.0, which includes oral and performance examinations. The Aerial Application Association chief pilot course includes skill-based prerequisites, study requirements and a three-day face-to-face training workshop. Applicants will work through multiple exercises during the workshop and be assessed for suitability to be a chief pilot. The new aerial work chief pilot pathway is set out in an instrument which also allows CASA to approve other suitable courses. CASA will audit courses to ensure they provide the level of training required to deliver an acceptable level of aviation safety. The new pathway does not prevent anyone applying to CASA directly for a chief pilot assessment using the Civil Aviation Order criteria.
Read the exemption that establishes the new aerial work chief pilot pathway.
Avalon airspace review recommends changes
A review of the airspace around Avalon airport has made five recommendations. CASA’s Office of Airspace Regulation looked at airspace in a radius of 15 nautical miles of Avalon, from the surface to 8500 feet. The first recommendation is for Airservices Australia to review the airspace design at Avalon and submit an airspace change proposal within 12 months to remove Class E airspace and replace it with Class D or Class C airspace as appropriate. This is to optimise and enhance the level of air traffic services provided at Avalon. It is also recommended that airspace architecture should align with performance-based navigation criteria, the designated airspace handbook information be reviewed and amendments made to remove inconsistencies with other published aeronautical information. Avalon airspace architecture and air traffic control services were assessed as complex, with varying levels of Class D, Class E and Class G airspace overlaid by Class C. The Avalon airspace classifications are linked to the Avalon air traffic control tower hours of operation. The review says airspace architecture should deliver a less complex structure and reduce confusion or uncertainty by airspace users.
Read the Avalon airspace review.
Promise to support drone innovation
CASA will continue to embrace innovation so it can support the remotely piloted aircraft sector to be competitive and world leading. That was the pledge made by CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, in a wide-ranging speech to a recent Australian Association of Unmanned Systems virtual event. Mr Carmody told the event, which replaced a scheduled conference due to COVID-19 restrictions, that Australia punches above its weight in the remotely piloted aircraft sector. He said this was the result of hard work by people and organisations in the remotely piloted sector, helped by a forward-thinking regulatory approach by CASA. The goal for the sector was the safe and efficient integration of remote aircraft operations into the Australian aviation system. Mr Carmody said CASA will continue to improve processes for managing applications for approvals and look for more efficient ways to deliver safe outcomes. He said there will be further enhancements to regulatory service delivery, with online transactions being streamlined. CASA continues to be active in supporting drone surveillance and assisting where required with counter drone activity. Drone detection equipment is now operating at 29 major airports across Australia.
Listen to Shane Carmody’s remote aircraft presentation.
- Improvements to CASA’s online services continue. Individuals who sell their aircraft to another individual can start the transfer of registration using the myCASA portal. The former owner and current registration holder needs to begin the transfer process and requires the aviation reference number of the new owner. Other registration transfers currently still need to be done using forms.
- Have a say now on CASA’s flagship publication, Flight Safety Australia. A survey is seeking views from everyone - whether they read the print or online editions, or never read Flight Safety Australia at all. The survey will only take about 5-10 minutes to complete. Take the survey now.
- The popular Visual Flight Rules Guide is now a free downloadable PDF on the VFRG website. This 466-page version includes some minor amendments. The updated print edition is also available from CASA’s online store.
- The micro-business drug and alcohol management plan exemption has been renewed. This exemption reduces the administrative burden on small organisations employing 10 or less people performing safety-sensitive aviation activities not engaged in or providing services to regular public transport operations. Two other related exemptions that provide relief from drug and alcohol management plan administrative and cost burdens have also been renewed.
- An exemption has been made to help pilots having difficulty completing their commercial pilot licence and air transport pilot licence examination program due to COVID-19 restrictions.
We appreciate your comments and questions.
Please send feedback to CASA Briefing now.
Follow CASA on social media now.