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Reform of continuing airworthiness legislation for the transition of current regular public transport and charter operations into future air transport operations under Parts 121, 133 and 135 of the CASR
In June 2013, all aircraft engaged in regular public transport (RPT) operations were transitioned to a new set of continuing airworthiness legislation comprised of Parts 42 and 145 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) and the associated Manual of Standards (MOS).
Aircraft engaged in charter operation remain subject to the continuing airworthiness requirements of Parts 4, 4A and 4B of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) and the relevant Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs). The CARs are a set of unique Australian regulations that are outdated, inefficient and overly complex. They rely on numerous legislative instruments and advisory materials for proper operation and interpretation. The CARs are gradually being replaced by a more contemporary, proportionate requirements in the CASRs.
When the new flight operations regulations commence in March 2021, the existing RPT and charter operations will transition into new air transport operations classifications under Parts 121, 133 or 135 of CASR based on the class (aeroplane vs helicopter) and size (weight and/or passenger capacity) of the aircraft.
The objective of this activity under project SS 05/01 is to provide under CASR a comprehensive set of continuing airworthiness legislation that provides appropriate and proportionate requirements for air transport operations under Parts 121, 133 and 135 of CASR. This will involve development of new regulations and standards under CASR that will supersede the requirements of Parts 4, 4A and 4B of CAR that apply to aircraft currently engaged in charter operations. This may also involve updating of the existing Parts 42 and 145 of CASR and related standards that apply to aircraft currently engaged in RPT operations.
Following are the key principles that will be applied for the reform of the continuing airworthiness legislation:
- ensure compatibility with the new flight operations regulations, in particular the relevant air transport operations Parts 121, 133 and 135 of CASR
- ensure continuing airworthiness requirements for each air transport operations classification are proportionate to the levels of risk associated with the operations
- establish an appropriate level of compliance with the following standards set by the ICAO for commercial air transport operation:
- Annex 6 Part 1 — International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes
- Annex 6 Part III, Section II — International Commercial Air Transport — Helicopters.
- facilitate harmonisation with legislation of leading aviation states, as applicable to the Australian environment
- consider the economic and cost impact on individuals, businesses and the community in the development and finalisation of new or amended legislation
- provide transitional strategies to minimise disruption to the industry
Aviation Safety Advisory Panel endorsement
Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) in its meeting on 14 March, endorsed the key principles that will guide the development and updating of the appropriate regulations and standards. ASAP has also been requested to recommend establishment of a Technical Working Group (TWG) to provide advice to CASA. The TWG will:
- provide industry sector insight and understanding of current needs and challenges
- provide current, relevant technical expertise for the development, analysis and review of legislative and non-legislative solutions to the identified issues
- assist with the development of policies, legislations, advisory materials and transition strategies
- provide endorsement and/or conditional endorsement of policies, legislations, advisory materials and transition strategies for consideration by the ASAP and CASA.
CASA intends to undertake this activity in three stages:
- Stage 1 will involve the development of the detailed policies for the new legislation. CASA is seeking to work with the industry to develop a practical outcome. Input will be sought during 2019 through the CASA Consultation Hub, industry Technical Working Group and Sector Risk Profile workshops. The policy will be finalised by December 2019.
- Stage 2 will involve development of the legislation that enacts the policies established in Stage 1 and development of advisory materials. Development of legislation will be completed by June 2020.
- Stage 3 will involve implementation of the legislation established in stage 2. The final version of the legislation and the schedule for implementation will be consulted with relevant stakeholders. The schedule of implementation will take into account the commencement of the new flight operations regulations.
Until the end of stage 3, the current continuing airworthiness legislations in the CAR and CAOs will continue to be available to the existing charter operators.
The following legislations are associated with, and will be affected by, this activity:
- Parts 42, 145 of CASR and the relevant MOS.
- Parts 4, 4A, 4B of the CAR and the relevant Civil Aviation Orders.