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The CASA Briefing - November 2018
Date of publication:
23 November 2018
From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody
Improving safety surveillance
Monitoring the ongoing health and maturity of aviation operations is one of CASA’s core responsibilities set out by the Civil Aviation Act. In a recent speech to the Australian Airports Association national conference I outlined the substantial improvements CASA has made in the way we deliver and conduct surveillance activities. The changes began with the introduction of sector risk profiles, which look at specific areas of operations and identify risks and risk impacts. These risk profiles are developed in collaboration with sector participants, as well as utilising information from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. This year we established regular risk profiling for airspace that will soon be developed to include ongoing risk analysis for aerodromes. We have the capacity to conduct monthly surveillance risk profiling now, but we hope to increase that to a daily or weekly report soon.
In 2018 we established a national surveillance selection process. This is a systematic national approach to the prioritisation and scheduling of planned surveillance events across a year. In 2018-19 there are 1032 surveillance events planned across all areas of CASA’s responsibilities. In addition, we are conducting national sector campaigns, which are coordinated activities of sample surveillance of certain sectors. One example was a recent balloon sector campaign triggered by several accidents, which saw 11 of the 23 balloon operators audited. CASA now applies a risk management and consistent approach to surveillance. This means we allocate our resources more efficiently and effectively and take a more holistic approach to aviation safety.
Of course, compliance checking is only a small part of delivering a safe aviation environment. Support, guidance, honesty and transparency are at least as important to deliver a safe outcome. We must engage and collaborate with the aviation community and look to reduce costs and impost on industry where ever possible.
Please read my speech to the Australian Airports Association.
New Visual Flight Rules Guide out now
A new printed edition of the very popular Visual Flight Rules Guide is now available. The guide features plenty of diagrams, charts and maps to support easy-to-read information on all visual flight rules operations. This new edition has updates to the rules and regulations and incorporates feedback received from the aviation community since the release of the 2015 edition. Included in the latest edition is information on the new fuel rules, reforms to aviation medicals, streamlined information on the National Aeronautical Information Processing System or NAIPS and substantial amendments to the Graphical Area Forecasts section and inclusion of Grid Point Wind and Temperature forecasts. Pilots are given practical examples for calculating important data such as usable fuel and the beginning of first light. Text has been updated in a range of areas to make content clearer and easier to read. The Visual Flight Rules Guide is divided into five main sections – general information, pre-flight planning, operations, helicopters and emergency procedures. This easy-to-use guide on how to operate safely to the visual flight rules is allowed to be used in private pilot licence examinations as a reference tool and is a very useful resource during all visual flight rules operations. It is one of a number of resources CASA produces to assist pilots to comply with the regulations and fly safely.
Order your copy of the Visual Flight Rules Guide from the CASA online store.
Go to the online version of the Visual Flight Rules Guide.
Have your say on new GA maintenance regs
The next phase of consultation on the proposed general aviation maintenance regulations is about to get underway. To help people interested in the development of the new rules CASA is commencing a series of information sessions in early December 2018. The sessions will be held at Moorabbin, Parafield, Archerfield, Cairns, Darwin, Jandakot and Bankstown. The CASA team working on the general aviation maintenance regulations will explain what is proposed and why, as well as giving everyone a chance to ask questions and make suggestions. The United States maintenance regulations are to be used as the basis for Australia’s new general aviation maintenance rules. This was determined after initial consultation held earlier in 2018. The next phase of consultation will focus on the practical issues of adopting the US Federal Aviation Regulations into the Australian rules. CASA’s goal is to streamline maintenance requirements, minimise the regulatory burden and reduce costs, while maintaining the high aviation standards expected by all Australians.
Book a place at a general aviation maintenance information sessions.
Facts and figures show busy year
Australia’s registered aircraft fleet grew to 15,529 by the end of the 2017-18 financial year – up 422 on the previous year. There were 3720 new flight crew licences issued, bringing the total number of current licences to 31,145 at the end of June 2018. These are just some of the key facts contained in CASA’s latest annual report. Over the year CASA processed 51,942 flight crew licensing applications and notifications and 4146 people received their first medical certificate. There were 3020 remote pilot licences issued, an increase of 53 per cent on the previous year, and 332 new remotely piloted aircraft operator certificates were issued, an increase of 27 per cent on the year before. During the year CASA conducted 1121 surveillance events and 813 on-site visits by aviation safety advisors. A total of 7913 people attended AvSafety seminars and other educational events. There were 149 aviation infringement notices issued – 58 for drone offences and 49 for breaches by airline passengers. In the annual report CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the 2017-18 year saw a focus on consultation, significant progress on simplifying aviation medical processes and ongoing challenges associated with remotely piloted aircraft.
Go to the 2017-18 CASA annual report.
Drone battery failure warning
A warning has been issued to operators of DJI Matrice 200 series and DJI Inspire 2 drones. A small number of incidents have been reported where these drones have suffered a complete loss of power during flight, despite indications there was enough battery power. In each case the drones made a rapid descent due to an immediate loss of lift; with the remote pilot unable to maintain any command authority. The drones crashed and suffered damage on impact, but no reports of injury or significant third-party property damage have been received. An investigation by the manufacturer has found the problem is not related to specific firmware but is thought to be related to battery models TB50 and TB55. In a safety bulletin CASA recommends operators of DJI drones fitted with TB50 and TB55 batteries do not fly over people at any height until further notice. CASA has highlighted the need for all drone operators and remote pilots to ensure that any operation can be conducted safely. Civil Aviation Safety Regulations require that a drone is not operated in a way that poses a hazard to another aircraft, person or property.
More security for medical applications
Online security for users of CASA’s medical records system is being improved. From 29 November 2018 a new applicant authentication process will be part of the system. Each time a medical certificate applicant accesses the system they will be required to generate a 6-character alphanumeric code by clicking on the “Get SMS Code” button. The code will be sent to the mobile number applicants have already registered with CASA. The applicant will be required to enter the SMS code to proceed with the medical certificate application. The SMS code requirement is similar to one used by internet banking websites to confirm a user’s identity.
Find out more about aviation medicals.
Effective GA passenger safety briefings
Detailed guidance on how to deliver effective passenger safety briefings in general aviation operations has been released. The guidance material covers aeroplanes, helicopters and hot air balloons. The rules require all passengers to be given a safety briefing before take-off, to be made familiar with the location of emergency exits and equipment, to be informed about the stowage and security of loose articles and the need for aisles, passageways and exits to be clear of obstructions. The pilot-in-command should conduct the passenger briefing prior to engine start where possible. The type of operation dictates what sort of briefing will be conducted, with issues to be covered including seat belts, doors, brace position and the need not to distract the pilot during take-off, manoeuvring or landing. Helicopter briefings can include approaching and leaving to the side or front of the aircraft in a crouched position and never by the rear of the helicopter, carrying tools horizontally below waist level and never upright or over the shoulder or above the head, holding firmly onto hats and loose articles, and approaching and leaving by the downslope side for rotor clearance. Hot air balloon briefings should cover entering and exiting the basket, precautions with the inflation fan and a detailed explanation of the passenger landing position.
Get all the details on passenger safety briefings.
‘Umbrella’ air operator arrangements
CASA has become aware that some aviation companies are using their air operator’s certificate in an ‘umbrella’ arrangement for other aviation companies. The holders of air operator’s certificates and other authorisations are allowing other companies to conduct operations under their certificate. CASA considers this is a breach of the Civil Aviation Act and/or regulations by both the certificate holder and the company which does not hold a certificate.
Paragraph seven of CASA’s aviation ruling on franchise air operator certificate arrangements states: “the air operator certificate holder at all times remains responsible for the actions of another person (not being a reference to a company) conducting operations under the air operator’s certificate”. The ruling does not permit an air operator’s certificate holder to enter into an arrangement for a third-party company to conduct operations under its air operator’s certificate. This principle applies to other authorisation types. The ruling is not affected or altered by arrangements where the companies have an affiliation, common directorship or shareholders; the non-certificate company uses the procedures of the certificate company; or the non-certificate company is supervised by the certificate company. Companies are advised to ensure their operations are conducted lawfully and they are encouraged to seek written advice from CASA about these types of arrangements.
The festive season is fast approaching and that means CASA will be closed for regular business between Christmas and New Year. CASA offices will shut from the close of business on Monday 24 December 2018 until the start of business on Wednesday 2 January 2019. Anyone needing CASA services or support over the holiday period should make contact as soon as possible. Applications for services lodged at the last minute are unlikely to be able to be processed before the holiday season. CASA will have staff on call for urgent aviation safety matters over the Christmas-New Year period. Anyone needing CASA for an urgent aviation safety matter during the holiday shutdown should call 131 757 and follow the prompts.
- A quick guide to the new fuel rules that started on 8 November 2018 is now available. The guide can be printed from CASA’s website and covers the key changes such as in-flight fuel management, fixed fuel reserves, mayday fuel and additional fuel calculation.
- A proposed airworthiness directive on tail boom and fin fretting and cracking in Bell UH-1 helicopters has been released for comment. The UH-1 Helicopters will require inspections.
- A new online resource is now available for pilots operating in northern Australia during the wet season. A video on wet season decision making looks at the hazards and challenges of flying in the tropics during the wet and features advice from the Bureau of Meteorology and a Darwin based flight training organisation.
- CASA will draft new rules for the maintenance of limited category aircraft following strong support for the proposal. The draft rules will incorporate amendments suggested during the latest consultation. Results of consultation have been published.
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