Flight crew licensing transition provisions - Part 61
Learn about new transition rules for pilots and flight engineers - these came into effect on 1 September 2014. The full rules are contained in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) 1988.
Who does this information apply to?
- All flight crew.
- Operators who employ pilots and flight engineers.
What are transition provisions?
Transition provisions provide a ‘bridge’ between old regulations and the new regulations.
The majority of transition provisions are found in Part 202 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) 1988. There are also some transition provisions within Part 61.
The transition provisions:
- carry forward the old licences, ratings, endorsements, authorisations, approvals and delegations into the new licensing system
- allow pilots to continue using their old licences for a period of time
- manage the differences between the old and the new regulations
- manage cases where an application was made before the new regulations started, but the application was not completed
- provide processes to assist with a smooth transition from the old system to the new system, such as stating what pilots and CASA need to do to convert the old authorisations into the new ones.
Transition regulations are often revoked when they are no longer required and, in many cases, the regulations include the date when they cease.
What are the aims of the transition regulations for Part 61?
The transition regulations for Part 61 include the following provisions.
- Under Regulations 202.262 and 202.263, old authorisations are taken to be the same as the equivalent Part 61 authorisation. See examples in the following table.
Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) 1988
CASR Part 61
Private pilot (aeroplane) licence - PP(A)L
Private pilot licence with aeroplane category rating - PPL(A)
Grade 2 (helicopter) instructor rating
Instructor rating with grade 2 (helicopter) training endorsement
Low-level permission for aeroplanes
Low-level rating with aeroplane category endorsement
- Recent experience and competency checks (such as rating renewals, operator checks and flight reviews) completed before 1 September 2014 continue to be valid after the start of the new Regulations [202.267] and after a new Part 61 licence is issued [202.276].
- The terms of the CAR 1988 authorisations are retained until the new Part 61 authorisations are issued - such as limitations, conditions and validity periods (up to 31 August 2018) [202.263(1)].
- A suspended CAR 1988 authorisation is taken to be an equivalent Part 61 authorisation and its status is also suspended.
- Any administrative action being taken on a CAR 1988 authorisation that has not been finally determined is taken to be the same action on the equivalent Part 61 authorisation.
What is an old authorisation?
An old authorisation is one that was issued under:
- Part 5 of CAR
- a Civil Aviation Order (CAO) made under Part 5 of CAR
- CAO 29.6
- CAO 29.10
- CAO 29.11 and
- CAO 82.6.
The authorisations include the following:
- an appointment as an approved person under a Part 5 CAO for a flight activity
- an approval or certification, including one made in a log book under CAR or one of the CAOs mentioned above to carry out a flight activity, or
- a delegation under CAR to give permission to conduct a flight activity.
An old authorisation would have allowed you to carry out a specific activity, such as conducting mustering operations in a single-engine helicopter.
The following are examples of old authorisations issued under CAR Part 5 or certain Civil Aviation Orders (please note this list is not exhaustive):
- licences - commercial pilot (aeroplane) licence - CP(A)L
- ratings - command (multi-engine helicopter) grade of instrument rating
- endorsements - aircraft endorsements, design feature endorsements, navigation aid endorsements
- approvals - to authorise a pilot to conduct aerobatics, to authorise a pilot to conduct aerobatics training
- delegations - to conduct a flight test for a rating
- certifications - completed low flying training, completed training in winching and/or rappelling operations.
What happens to student pilot licence holders during transition?
The purpose of transition Regulation 202.262 is to manage student pilot licences as old authorisations.
Student pilot licence (SPL) holders who didn’t pass the general flying progress test (GFPT) before 1 September 2014 are not entitled to a Part 61 licence, as the SPL no longer exists under the new regulations.
However, under Regulations 202.262 and 202.263, pilots who hold an SPL and passed the GFPT before 1 September 2014 are taken to hold an old authorisation and these privileges are deemed to be the equivalent of the new recreational pilot licence (RPL).
Tom held a CAR 1988 SPL, a flight radiotelephone operator licence (FROL) and the aeroplane GFPT.
From 1 September 2014, Tom is taken to hold an RPL with an aeroplane category rating and an RPL flight radio endorsement (note: Tom cannot exercise the privileges of his RPL until he completes a flight review).
What does ‘continuation of an old authorisation’ mean?
‘Continuation of an old authorisation’ means pilots can continue to exercise the privileges of their old CAR Part 5 authorisation until they receive their new Part 61 authorisation.
Continued authorisations include authorisations that have no expiry date, such as aircraft endorsements (which are ratings under Part 61), and those that do have an expiry date, such as instrument ratings.
Under Regulation 202.263, pilots can continue exercising the privileges of their old authorisations from 1 September 2014 as long as they hadn’t expired before that date. Any terms that applied to the old authorisation - such as a limitation - continue to apply, and the provisions in Part 61 that relate to the equivalent new authorisation also apply, such as recent experience, flight reviews and proficiency checks. For special provisions on flight reviews and proficiency checks, read about Regulation 202.267.
This rule does not address old authorisations that have expired; they are covered by Regulation 202.272.
Ray holds a CAR 1988 commercial pilot (helicopter) licence (CP(H)L), a FROL and an approval to conduct mustering operations in helicopters issued under CAO 29.10. The mustering approval includes an expiry date of 31 July 2015 and can only be used while Ray works under the Biggles Aviation air operator’s certificate (AOC).
From 1 September 2014, Ray continues to exercise the privileges of his old authorisations as if they were the following Part 61 authorisations:
- commercial pilot licence (CPL) with a helicopter category rating
- a low-level rating with a helicopter aerial mustering endorsement (the mustering endorsement is taken to have the same limitation that restricts Ray to conducting mustering operations under the Biggles Aviation AOC).
Ray needs to comply with Part 61 requirements such as recent experience, flight reviews and proficiency checks (see below for more information about reviews and checks and Regulation 202.267).
How are old aircraft type endorsements covered by the transition provisions?
Regulation 202.263A deals with old aircraft type endorsements that are covered by a class rating under Part 61.
If a pilot holds a CAR Part 5 aircraft endorsement and that type of aircraft is included in a Part 61 class rating, then the pilot is taken to hold the class rating.
Anne holds the following CAR 1988 aircraft endorsements: Bell 206; R22; R44; EC-135; single engine aeroplanes not exceeding 5,700kg class rating; BE-76 (Duchess); PA34 (Seneca); PA31 (Navajo) and BE-300 (Kingair).
From 1 September 2014, Anne is taken to hold:
- a single-engine helicopter class rating (covers Bell 206, R22 and R44)
- single-engine aeroplane class rating (covers the old single-engine aeroplane class rating)
- multi-engine aeroplane class rating (covers BE-76, PA34 and PA31)
- the following type ratings: EC135, BE-300.
Note: Anne’s new licence will not show the aircraft that were previously type endorsements and are now covered by the class rating.
How are suspensions managed under the transition provisions?
Regulation 202.264 deals with old authorisations that are suspended. A pilot who holds an old authorisation continues to hold that authorisation, even if it is suspended. If the suspension has an end date after 1 September, the old authorisation can be used from that date.
Narelle holds a CAR 1988 PP(A)L. Her licence was suspended in 2012 and the suspension will be lifted if Narelle completes a flight review and an examination.
Narelle’s PP(A)L remains suspended after 1 September 2014. Once she passes her flight review and examination her suspensions will be lifted and she can recommence flying using her PP(A)L (and then her Part 61 PPL(A) once it has been issued).
What happens if action was being taken on an old authorisation?
Regulation 202.265 deals with cases where action was being taken on an old authorisation before 1 September 2014. That action continues, regardless of the new regulations coming into force.
Stuart holds a CAR 1988 PP(A)L and action was in progress before 1 September 2014 to vary his licence with a proposed condition. The action was completed in December 2014 and CASA added a condition to his licence that limited him to flying operations outside of controlled airspace.
From 1 September 2014, Stuart continued to fly while the action was being finalised. However, after the December 2014 decision was made, Stuart could no longer operate inside controlled airspace.
How can I have a limitation removed during the transition period?
Regulation 202.266 makes provision for pilots to have old conditions removed, such as the old PPL airspace conditions, co-pilot endorsements and co-pilot instrument ratings. This regulation requires a pilot to meet the new standards in order to obtain the equivalent new Part 61 authorisation.
For example, a pilot can have a co-pilot aircraft endorsement converted into the equivalent Part 61 type rating by meeting the requirements in Part 61 for the grant of the type rating.
Ivy holds a CAR 1988 PP(A)L. Her licence is subject to the old CAO 40.0 limitation, meaning she is not authorised to operate in controlled airspace.
From 1 September 2014, Ivy’s PP(A)L continues to have the limitation applied. She completes controlled airspace training provided by an authorised instructor and applies to CASA for the condition to be removed. Once the condition is removed, Ivy can fly in controlled airspace.
How do the transition provisions apply to flight reviews and proficiency checks?
Part 61 flight reviews and proficiency checks are covered by Regulation 202.267.
According to Regulations 202.262 and 202.263, a pilot can continue to exercise the privileges of his or her old authorisations from 1 September as if they were the equivalent new authorisation.
Part 61 also applies to those authorisations. So if the new authorisation has a flight review or proficiency check requirement, without this regulation the pilot would need to complete the flight reviews and proficiency checks for the rating as specified in Part 61.
Regulation 202.267 has the effect of recognising the validity of the reviews, renewals and checks that were done before 1 September 2014 which allowed pilots to exercise the privileges of their licences, ratings, endorsements and other old authorisations.
So if an old authorisation could only be used if the pilot had done and aeroplane flight review within the previous two years, then any old authorisation that relied on that flight review could continue to be used after 1 September 2014 until the flight review expires.
I completed a private IFR rating flight review before 1 September. Is it still valid?
Private instrument flight rules (PIFR) rating flight reviews conducted before 1 September remain valid until their original expiry date and are taken to meet the requirements for a Part 61 PIFR flight review under subregulations 202.267(1) and (2).
Tom holds a CAR 1988 PP(A)L and PIFR rating. He completed a PIFR rating flight review in January 2013. From 1 September 2014, Tom’s old PIFR rating is subject to Part 61 rules. Under Part 61, the holder of a PIFR rating is required to have completed a PIFR rating flight review within the previous 24 months.
From 1 September 2014, Tom continues to exercise the privileges of his CAR Part 5 PIFR rating until January 2015, when the old flight review expires. To continue using the old authorisation, Tom will need to complete a Part 61 PIFR rating flight review.
What about other flight reviews?
Subregulations 202.267(3) and (4) preserve flight reviews - other than the PIFR rating flight reviews mentioned above - that were done before 1 September 2014 until they would have expired. These preserved flight reviews are taken to meet the requirement for other Part 61 flight reviews.
Under CAR Part 5, many authorisations didn’t have a specific flight review requirement, such as the Night VFR rating, aircraft class and type endorsements and low-level permissions.
Under Part 61, ratings have either a flight review or a proficiency check requirement. See below for examples of situations were a Part 61 flight review is specified.
Example 8 - flight reviews for aircraft ratings and operational ratings
Indi holds the following CAR 1988 authorisations: CP(H)L, Grade 1 (helicopter) instructor rating, Night VFR (helicopter) rating, sling load endorsement and mustering approval for helicopters. She also holds the following CAR Part 5 type endorsements: Bell 206, R22, R44, EC-130 and EC-135.
Indi renewed her instructor rating in the R44 in March 2013 (making it valid until 31 March 2015). She gained her EC-130 endorsement in July 2014. Under the old system, the renewal and endorsement satisfied the old helicopter flight review requirement.
The old endorsements and the approvals don’t have expiry dates. Under the old system, having a current helicopter flight review (or operator proficiency check) is all that is required for Indi to conduct the sling, low-level and mustering operations, under the control of her chief pilot. Indi hasn’t flown the EC-135 since 2011. She also conducted mustering operations in the R22 in 2014.
From 1 September 2014, Indi is taken to have completed a single-engine helicopter class rating flight review (based on the old helicopter flight review being current - refer to the EC-130 type endorsement). Therefore, she can continue operating any helicopters that she has previously been authorised to operate, which are covered by that class rating until July 2016.
Indi is also taken to have completed an R44 type rating flight review (based on the R44 instructor rating renewal). She can continue operating R44 helicopters until July 2016 because the EC-130 flight review still applies in this case. However, Indi will need to satisfy the R44 flight review requirements from July 2016.
Indi can continue exercising the privileges of her VFR rating, sling load approval, low-level permission and mustering approval until July 2016, because she is deemed to have a current helicopter flight review until that date.
To continue conducting those operations after July 2016, Indi will need to complete the aircraft rating and the low-level rating Part 61 flight reviews. Note: these activities can be combined.
Example 9 - flight reviews
Otto holds C500 (which covers the C501), C510 and C550/560 CAR Part 5 aeroplane class endorsements. He completed a command multi-engine aeroplane instrument rating renewal in the C501 in June 2013. He has experience operating the aircraft in multi-crew and single-pilot operations, but he has not operated any of the C560 models or the C550 Bravo.
Under the old regulations, Otto’s renewal flight in the C501 would be taken to meet the aeroplane flight review requirement and therefore he would have been able to exercise the privileges of his licence, in any aircraft for which he held an endorsement, for two years from when the renewal test was done.
Under the old system, consideration would need to be given to whether Otto had sufficient recent experience and familiarity with the aircraft (refer to CAO 40.1.0 clause 4, Authority given by class endorsement).
From 1 September 2014:
- Otto is taken to hold both single-pilot and multi-pilot Part 61 C500/550/560 type ratings. Note: the aircraft is certificated to be operated in single-pilot and multi-crew operations, the SP designation on the rating is for single-pilot operations. The SP rating authorises Otto to operate the aircraft in a multi-crew operation if he also has a multi-crew type rating (any type) or has completed multi-crew cooperation training (see Regulation 61.785 which applies from 1 September 2015).
- Otto is authorised to continue operating the aircraft models that he was authorised to operate under the old system (Regulation 202.263) until June 2015 (when the old equivalent flight review was completed). However, he must comply with the 24 month recent experience on aircraft models Regulation, 61.795. The transition regulation doesn’t relieve him from needing to have aircraft model-specific recent experience.
- Otto is also required to comply with the differences training required by Regulation 61.200. Otto has experience operating the aircraft covered by the new Part 61 type rating, except the C560 and C550 Bravo models. So he is deemed to have completed the differences training for all of the models except the C560 and C550 Bravo models. This means he isn’t authorised to operate any C560 or C550 Bravo model aircraft until he completes the differences training.
How are old, time-limited authorisations managed during transition?
Subregulations 202.267(5) and (6) preserve old, time-limited authorisations until they are due to expire.
Time-limited authorisations include instrument ratings, instructor ratings, agricultural ratings, delegations and certain approvals. These authorisations can continue to be used until their expiry date, without having to complete the Part 61 proficiency check that applies to the equivalent new rating.
Example 10 - proficiency checks
Noel holds a CAR Part 5 ATP(H)L, Grade 1 (helicopter) instructor rating that was renewed in February 2013 (valid until 31 March 2015) and a CAR Part 5 ATO delegation that expires on 30 June 2016. His ATO delegation includes a condition that his instructor rating must be valid when conducting fight tests.
From 1 September 2014 Noel can continue exercising the privileges of his instructor rating until it expires in March 2015, and he can continue as an ATO until his delegation expires on 30 June 2016 as long as he has a current instructor rating proficiency check.
The next two examples deal with the 24 month type specific instrument proficiency check (IPC) in Regulation 61.805.
Rita holds a CAR Part 5 command (multi-engine aeroplane) grade of instrument rating as well as aircraft endorsements for the Piper Chieftain, Duchess and Kingair 350.
As long as Rita completed a command instrument rating renewal in a multi-engine aeroplane in March 2014 and she completes a Part 61 IPC in a multi-engine aeroplane in March 2015, the she is authorised to continue conducting IFR operations in the three types mentioned until March 2016.
Rita would only be authorised to conduct IFR operations in the BE350 after March 2016 if she completed an IPC in the BE350 prior to March 2016. That is, the 24 month rule would apply. Note, if the IPC is done in the BE350, that satisfies the multi-engine aeroplane class rating flight review because it is listed in Schedule 10 of the Prescribed Aircraft Ratings Legislative Instrument.
Una holds a command (multi-engine helicopter) grade of instrument rating as well as the EC-135 and BK117 CAR Part 5 helicopter endorsements.
Una completed a command multi-engine helicopter instrument rating renewal in the EC-135 in November 2013. This renewal authorised Una to conduct IFR operations in both types of helicopter.
From 1 September 2014, Una is taken to hold the Part 61 instrument rating and can continue conducting IFR operations in both types of helicopter until the end of November 2014.
Una is authorised to operate the EC-135 and the BK117 under the IFR until November 2015 based on the instrument rating renewal she did in November 2013, as long as she completes an IPC in the EC-135 or the BK117 before the end of November 2014.
Una happens to complete an IPC in the EC-135 in November 2014, so she can continue conducting IFR operations in both types of helicopter until November 2015.
However, she will need to complete an IPC in the BK117 if she wants to operate that type under the IFR after November 205.
What happens when CASA issues a Part 61 authorisation based on an old authorisation?
Regulation 202.272 ensures that pilots are granted all of the Part 61 licences, ratings and endorsements they are entitled to, based on the authorisations they held under the old CAR Part 5 legislation.
If a pilot held an old continued authorisation then they are taken to have applied for, and met, the requirements for the equivalent new Part 61 licence, rating or endorsement.
Under subregulation 202.272(2), CASA is required to issue pilots a Part 61 licence with their new licences, ratings and endorsements before 1 September 2018, which is the end of the transition period.
- Subregulation 202.272(1A) says that someone who held an old student pilot licence but not a GFPT is not taken to be the holder of any aircraft ratings.
- Subregulation 202.272(3) preserves a suspended status of an old authorisation, so a new authorisation will be suspended on the same terms as the old one.
- Subregulation 202.272(4) preserves any conditions that were entered on an old licence or applied to an old licence, except where the condition or limitation was prescribed in a Civil Aviation Order. Conditions and limitations that were in the CAOs have either been incorporated into the new regulations (eg English language proficiency requirements), managed by a separate instrument such as under Regulation 11.068 (e.g. MU2 limitation) or transferred into another CAO such as CAO 82 series (eg limitations that applied to the holders of ATPLs in CAO 40.1.5).
- Subregulation 202.272(5) deals with the transition of the old grade 2 (helicopter) instructor rating. It applies to instructors who have not achieved 200 hours of initial flight training in helicopters. If that is the case, the instructor would be limited to the privileges of the new grade 3 training endorsement. For example, they wouldn’t be authorised to send a student pilot on their first solo.
When do I need to do a Part 61 flight review or proficiency check once I get my new Part 61 licence?
The purpose of Regulation 202.276 is to recognise old flight reviews and proficiency checks even after a pilot receives their Part 61 licence, and it achieves the same outcome as Regulation 202.267. Just because a pilot receives a new Part 61 licence doesn’t mean the old flight reviews, renewals and checks become invalid.
You only need to do a Part 61 fight review or proficiency check if your old flight review or check has expired. The examples above that apply to Regulation 202.267 apply the same way under Regulation 202.276. In other words, the status of the old reviews and checks doesn’t alter when you obtain your new Part 61 licence.
What happens if I applied to CASA for a licence, rating or endorsement or other approval before 1 September 2014?
Regulation 202.274 ensures that applications made under the old regulations are not rejected simply because they were not finalised before the new regulations commenced on 1 September 2014.
This regulation applies to incomplete applications such as:
- a private pilot licence (PPL) application submitted to CASA before 1 September 2014 that was not finalised
- an application to become an ATO where the approval process was not completed before 1 September 2014
- an instrument rating renewal flight test completed before 1 September 2014 but not notified to CASA until after that date
- an application submitted to CASA before 1 September 2014 to convert a foreign licence to the Australian equivalent, where CASA hadn’t received confirmation from the other country about the validity of the foreign licence until after 1 September 2014
- a CAR 5.21 conversion training approval application submitted before 1 September 2014, where the assessment check flight was not scheduled until after that date.
What happens if I applied to CASA for a licence, rating or endorsement or other approval before 1 September 2014?
Regulation 202.275 is designed to recognise old authorisations that had expired before 1 September 2014 and ensure that pilots are granted the equivalent new authorisation.
Old authorisations that are equivalent to the Part 61 flight examiner rating are not recognised by this provision.
- Leanne held an instrument rating that expired in 1995. Under Regulation 202.275, she will be granted the equivalent new instrument rating. However, since the rating expired before 1 September 2014, Leanne won’t be authorised to exercise the privileges of the Part 61 instrument rating until she has a valid instrument proficiency check.
- Evan was an ATO and his delegation expired in 2003. Evan will not be issued a flight examiner rating on the basis of his old delegation.
- Sue held an aeroplane agricultural rating and the last time she completed a proficiency check under CASR Part 137 was in 2009. Sue will be granted an aerial application rating and aeroplane endorsement but she won’t be authorised to conduct aerial application operations until she meets the Part 61 proficiency check requirement.
I held an SPL. Do I need to do an English language assessment again?
No. Under regulation 202.277C your general English language proficiency assessment remains valid.
You can use this for flying solo, as well as for meeting the language proficiency standards required to gain an RPL.
Can I still obtain an aircraft rating if I complete my training overseas?
Yes. Regulation 202.278 maintains the same recognition arrangements for gaining an aircraft rating if you completed your training overseas.
It is important that you provide the required evidence to CASA at the time you apply for the new rating. Make sure you follow the requirements in this Regulation (202.278) to ensure your application is not rejected.
Please note the recognition of overseas training under Regulation 202.278 ends on 31 August 2018, when the transition provisions cease.
Can I complete an instrument proficiency check overseas like I could under section 12A of CAO 40.2.1?
Yes. Regulation 202.279 maintains the same process.
Please note that the ability to complete instrument proficiency checks overseas under Regulation 202.279 ends on 31 August 2018, when the transition provisions cease.
Does my driver’s licence medical certificate (aviation) continue to be valid after 1 September 2014?
Yes. Regulation 202.280 allows your driver’s licence medical certificate (aviation) to be recognised as a recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate until your old certificate expires.
This provision is in place until 31 August 2018, when the flight crew licensing transition period ends.
Want to know more?
Visit Licensing regulations.
The transition rules for Part 61 are contained in Part 202 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations:
- Subdivision 202.CB.1.1 - general
- Subdivision 202.CB.1.2 - continued authorisations
- Subdivision 202.CB.1.3 - new authorisations for holders of continued authorisations
- Subdivision 202.CB.1.4 - other provisions
- Legislative instruments
- Prescription of aircraft and ratings-CASR Part 61
- Conditions on authorisations-flight crew licences and aircraft endorsements.