New rules for narrow runway operations
New rules for narrow runway operations commenced on 13 November 2014.
Who does this information apply to?
- Regular public transport and charter operators using aeroplanes which were certificated after 1 March 1978 and with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of more than 5700kg.
- Aerodrome operators.
- Aeroplane manufacturers.
- Flying training organisations.
What has changed?
Following extensive consultation with industry, CASA has reviewed the regulations relating to narrow runway operations.
An outcome-based regulation has been developed to assess the capability of aeroplanes to operate safely on narrow runways. This is the alternative to requiring aerodrome operators to widen runways at aerodromes that do not support the aerodrome standards for larger aeroplane types. The assessment will include evaluation of aeroplane capabilities and aerodrome facilities.
The new regulation signifies that aeroplane operators will no longer need to apply for exemptions for narrow runway operations. Instead, aeroplanes will need to have been assessed by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or by flight test of the aeroplane to determine their capability to operate safely on narrow runways.
After the completion of satisfactory assessment the aeroplane is issued with an approved narrow runway Aeroplane Flight Manual supplement (AFMS), appropriate approved documentation or specific OEM AFM runway width limitation.
Operators will also be required to carry out specific training of flight crew for narrow runway operations. Details of this training will need to be included in the operator’s Operations Manual.
All existing CAR 235A exemptions relating to the operation on narrow runways have expired.
How is a ‘narrow runway’ defined?
Runways and specific aerodrome facilities are designed to meet the standards found in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 139 Manual of Standards (MOS), and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 14, Aerodromes. Runways are designed to meet the requirements, taking into account take-off performance and aeroplane physical characteristics which are summarised in the Aerodrome Reference Code (ARC).
Runways that are narrower than the dimensions specified in the ARC are classified as narrow runways.
When did the new rules come into effect?
The new rules commenced on 13 November 2014.
What do air operator certificate holders need to do?
Regular public transport and charter air operator certificate holders need to ensure when the new rules commence:
- their aeroplanes are operated in accordance with an approved narrow runway AFMS, appropriate approved documentation or specific OEM AFM runway width limitation (for example, Beechcraft Super King Air 350 AFMS, B737 AFM Appendix, and Airbus A380 AFM 45m wide runway limitation).
- their Operations Manual provides narrow runway operational requirements.
- their training and checking manual provides specific training and checking requirements for narrow runway operations.
Those operators that do not have approved AFMS (or equivalent documentation) and the applicable sections in their Operations Manual relating to training and checking are advised to contact CASA to determine what is required to ensure they comply with the regulations.
What do aerodrome operators need to do?
It is recommended that aerodrome operators include, in the Aerodrome Manual (or equivalent), documentation indicating that aeroplanes affected by the regulation are issued with the appropriate narrow runway approval for operations to and from the particular aerodrome.
Aerodrome operators will not require exemptions against CAR235A as this is an aeroplane operational rule. Aerodrome operators will need to comply with Part 139 MOS – Aerodromes.
How have the changes affected the Part 139 Manual of Standards - Aerodromes?
The Part 139 Manual of Standards (MOS) sets out the standards and operating procedures for certified, registered aerodromes used in air transport operations.
As a result of the MOS 139 PIR consultation changes are being made to the Part 139 MOS separating the regulatory management of aeroplane operations from aerodrome operations.
How have the changes affected the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)?
The AIP has been revised to take into account the changes to the CAR 235A regulations. AIP amendments have also commenced with the new regulations.
The AIP amendment clarifies the method for determining the minimum runway width for aeroplanes with MTOW above 5700 kg engaged in regular public transport and charter operations.
In addition, the AIP has been clarified in regards to the operation from unpaved runway surfaces - this is independent to narrow runway operations.
Want to know more?
CAR 235A and the supporting CAAP 235A-1(0) include guidance on determining minimum runway width, AFM and Operations Manual requirements, flight crew training requirements and liaising with aerodrome operators.
The CAAP 235A and consultation CAR 235A in addition to background information can be found on the CASA website.
For further details regarding the aircraft certification requirements, process and approval of narrow runway AFMS email email@example.com