Improving pilot licensing rules

Pilot training and flight testing are essential activities that underpin aviation safety and industry growth.

Industry has told us that the current pilot licensing rules are too complicated, and the availability of instructors and flight examiners causes bottlenecks. We are working on reforms focused on delivering tangible benefits to better support general aviation.

Overview of reforms and timeframes

Table key:

  • • (bullet circle) shows when work is planned
  • Q1 ends 31 Mar
  • Q2 ends 30 Jun
  • Q3 ends 30 Sep
  • Q4 ends 31 Dec.
Reform Q1 2023 Q2 2023 Q3 2023 Q4 2023 Q1 2024 Q2 2024 Q3 2024 Q4 2024+
Improve the competency standards for flight examiners        
Expand delivery of examiner proficiency checks to industry - COMPLETED                
Expand delivery of flight examiner rating course delivery to industry - COMPLETED                
Expand privileges for Grade 1 training endorsement holders - COMPLETED                
Establish a multi-engine helicopter 'class rating' - COMPLETED                
Create a tailored pathway for task specialist pilot endorsements - COMPLETED                
Review the requirement to notify CASA of a flight test - COMPLETED                
Ongoing review of licensing and flight training regulations        
Simplified and fast-tracked application and assessment process for independent flight instructors - COMPLETED                

Improve the competency standards for flight examiners

CASA has:

  • established a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by:
    • reducing the number of endorsements that require a flight test and making more use of the 'train to standard' approach
    • replacing the generic competency standards for the flight examiner rating with endorsement-specific standards, to reduce reliance on experience as a requirement.

Activities and timeframes:

  • develop competency standards with industry by end of Q1 2023 (31 March 2023)
  • consult on draft competency-based standard by end of Q1 2023 (31 March 2023)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q4 2023 (31 Dec 2023).

Expand delivery of examiner proficiency checks to industry - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • established a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by taking a flexible approach to examiner proficiency checks (EPCs), including authorising more industry examiners to conduct these checks.

Expand delivery of flight examiner rating course delivery to industry - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • established a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by expanding the option for industry to deliver flight examiner rating training courses.

Expand privileges for Grade 1 training endorsement holders - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • reduced the demand on flight examiners by increasing the privileges of grade 1 flight instructors. They are now authorised to train, assess, and grant a range of endorsements for nominated activities.

Establish a multi-engine helicopter 'class rating' - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • established a multi-engine helicopter 'class rating'.

Create a tailored pathway for task specialist pilot endorsements - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • created an alternative training pathway for pilots to obtain endorsements for mustering operations.
  • created a tailored system for training, assessment, grant and exercise of endorsements for:
    • sling operations
    • winch and rappelling operations
    • firefighting endorsements.

Review the requirement to notify CASA of a flight test - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • reviewed the requirement for flight examiners to inform CASA of a flight test. The requirement to notify CASA will remain, however administrative improvements have been made.

Ongoing review of licensing and flight training regulations

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • requesting the ASAP to continue reviewing the regulations relating to licensing and flight training to identify and prioritise further opportunities to streamline the system.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scoping by ASAP/TWGs by end of Q2 2022 (30 Jun 2022)
  • implementation details subject to ongoing identification of opportunities by the ASAP from Q4 2022 (31 Dec 2022) and beyond.

Simplified and fast-tracked application and assessment process for independent flight instructors - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • made it easier for flight instructors to operate as a single-person operation by establishing the option of a simplified application and fast-tracked assessment process for ‘independent’ instructors seeking to obtain a Part 141 of CASR training approval.
Updated: 24 October 2023
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//resources-and-education/publications-and-resources/corporate-publications/general-aviation-workplan/improving-pilot-licensing-rules
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