Understanding CASA’s new regulation reform timetable
CASA’s new regulation reform timetable addresses industry views on a range of aspects of new rule making. These include industry’s capacity to manage major changes to the regulations, when the changes are developed, consulted on and introduced, allowing realistic periods for transition to the new rules and CASA’s own ability to provide timely and detailed support and guidance to industry.
The revised timetable will be regularly updated as circumstances change to provide industry with a clear view of CASA’s proposed regulation reform activity, enabling operators and individuals to better plan and respond to the new rules at their various stages of development.
A visual representation of the new program timeline shows the proposed stages of development for each of the regulations which CASA is changing between now and 2020.
Understanding the timeline
Regulations and amendments which are shown in dark blue have been formally made. Commencement dates and transition periods for these regulations are confirmed.
Dates shown for other regulations represent current CASA plans and are subject to change.
The ‘settle regulation’ milestone represents the completion of public consultation and CASA publishing the final intended version of the regulation. Early publishing of this version allows CASA and industry to begin implementation work before the regulation is made.
The ‘make regulation’ milestone represents the regulation being signed by the Governor-General or the related Civil Aviation Order or Manual of Standards being signed by the Director of Aviation Safety.
The ‘regulation commences’ milestone represents the date when the regulation becomes effective in law and must be complied with. Some regulations will have transitional periods when continued operation under the previous rules may be permitted under specific circumstances.
The ‘transition complete’ milestone represents the date when any transitional provisions end.
Interim milestones are also represented where there is an important date related to the regulation.
The consultation process to develop the new program timeline was a result of the Australian Government’s independent Aviation Safety Regulation Review - which has progressed through several stages over the past three years - and recommended that CASA take a more consultative approach to regulatory development and implementation.
As a result, CASA embarked on a program of active consultation with the aviation community to help inform the development of a new approach to changing the rules. This culminated in a series of workshops, titled Have Your Say, conducted by CASA’s Manager of the Operations Regulations Implementation program over a three month period.
More than 140 people from a broad spectrum of the aviation industry attended workshops in locations around Australia or participated in an online discussion forum. Industry representatives who are members of the Parts 91, 121 and 138 Standards Consultative Committee working groups and the Regional Aviation Association of Australia technical working group were also engaged in the process. CASA staff, including those working with industry in regional locations, were also invited to provide input on the same issues.
The specific areas of focus on which CASA sought input included the timing of the implementation of new rules, ways CASA could provide additional assistance to industry throughout the process and improved mechanisms to help industry transition to the new rules.
The workshops provided important data - in the form of detailed responses - which have now been used to develop a new timeline for the implementation of regulations by CASA and to improve and update associated processes and procedures. It has been revised based on CASA and industry capacity to implement change and achieve safety improvements. The responses received have already influenced the work of CASA’s Part 61 Solutions Taskforce, which was established in November 2015 to specifically address outstanding issues associated with the introduction of the new flight crew licensing regulations (CASR Parts 61, 64, 141 and 142).
In addition, CASA is working on implementing further improvements to its consultation processes, the testing of regulations and consistency of answers to the aviation community.
Changes to the timeline
Any changes to the proposed timeline for rule changes will be communicated by CASA.
When changes do occur, the visual representation of the timeline will be updated and information published on the CASA website.
Changes to Part 66 non-type rated aircraft maintenance licensing
The introduction of the new non-type rated aircraft maintenance licensing structure has been postponed.
This follows requests to CASA by maintenance training organisations and aviation representative groups.
The new non-type rated aircraft maintenance licensing arrangements were to have started from 4 July 2016, with a package of amendments made to the manual of standards for Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 66. Part 66 covers maintenance personnel licensing.
CASA has been consulting the aviation community on both the Part 66 regulations and the manual of standards for a number of years.
A comprehensive review of Part 66 will now be undertaken by CASA to develop a more progressive maintenance licensing system that will integrate a non-type rated aircraft licence.
While this review is underway people can still train to become licensed aircraft maintenance engineers using the CASA basics examinations and schedule of experience system.
The regulatory program timeline will be updated accordingly when a new agreed process for introducing Part 66 has been identified.
Industry feedback and CASA response
Below is a summary of feedback on a number of key specific issues raised by industry through the Have Your Say consultations. Each feedback statement is accompanied by CASA’s response.
Flight crew licensing
Feedback: A common concern was that the flight crew licensing (CASR Parts 61, 64, 141 and 142) suite of regulations is causing unnecessary burden to industry and that issues with these regulations need to be rectified rather than working on new regulations. Additionally, many participants stated they did not have capacity to transition to other regulations until the flight crew licensing regulations were rectified and transition completed.
Response: CASA has diverted significant resources from standards development and regulatory services activities to the Part 61 Solutions Taskforce to resolve identified concerns with the flight crew licensing regulations. The taskforce has drafted and published a number of legislative instruments and recently released a CASR Part 141 Sample Operations Manual and the Flight Examiner Rating Course. The revised regulatory program timeline includes an extension to the transition period for CASR Parts 141 and 142 and the fatigue management rules (CAO 48.1).
Regulations that will consolidate general operating and flight rules, and introduce new requirements for air transport and aerial work operations are in the final stages of drafting following consultation and will be publically available once completed. However, these new rules will not commence until after transition to the flight crew licensing and fatigue management rules is complete.
Feedback: Participants identified that problems during transition from old rules to new rules highlighted that CASA had not adequately tested regulations against real world scenarios.
Response: The Part 61 Solutions Taskforce is working closely with industry to ensure that the rules, forms, processes and guidance are useable. Lessons identified from the taskforce will be integrated into future regulatory implementation.
Advice from CASA
Feedback: Participants identified that CASA staff were unable to provide guidance on steps to follow to seek approvals and that CASA staff from different areas provided inconsistent advice.
Response: Improved testing of future changes should identify answers to industry questions before they arise. CASA is implementing and testing a new enquiries management system and knowledge base to capture questions and provide consistent, approved answers. This system will be used to support the use of the Part 141 Sample Operations Manual.
Feedback: Participants identified that regulations are difficult to read and the strict liability provisions coupled with high maximum penalties offended many participants.
Response: The drafting style used for regulations currently being drafted is improved; however, the strict liability clauses remain. CASA uses just culture principles during investigation and enforcement. On the rare occasions when penalty provisions are used they are proportionate to the offence committed.
Feedback: Some participants identified that they do not have the capacity to read complicated proposed changes and provide detailed responses.
Response: CASA is conducting trials of ways to enhance consultation including direct engagement by Aviation Safety Advisers for CASR Part 138 (Aerial Work), attendance at industry association meetings for CASR Part 132 (Limited Category/Warbirds) and additional industry workshops for CASR Part 42 (Continuing Airworthiness - Helicopter Air Transport). To make it easier and more accessible for people to participate in the consultation process, CASA intends to trial online consultation forums and webinars.
Feedback by CASA staff
Operations involvement in rule development
Feedback: Staff working in operational areas reported it was difficult to influence regulatory development activities and their input should be sought earlier in the regulatory development process.
Response: CASA is exploring improvements to both internal and external consultation of regulatory changes. Improvements identified from the Part 61 Solutions Taskforce resourcing and organisational structure will be integrated into future implementation projects.
Consistency in information
Feedback: Staff expressed difficulty in providing an agreed answer to industry questions or internal processes for new regulations.
Response: Improved testing prior to commencement, the enquiries management system and knowledge base together with improved training should result in improvements for future implementation projects.
Feedback: Training on new regulations was too early and lacked references and samples.
Response: The introduction of stage gate reviews should ensure that CASA is ready prior to training or commencement of new regulations. Training should not occur until supporting material is available.
Feedback: Transition of organisations and implementation support are competing with surveillance and regulatory services work. A written policy is required to prioritise work.
Response: The revised regulatory program timeline reduces the peak workload for both CASA and industry. Additionally, improved tools and guidance material such as the Part 141 Sample Operations Manual should reduce the transition burden for both CASA and industry. Where possible; additional contract staff will assist with regulatory services work to provide additional capacity.
Members of the aviation community and CASA staff are invited to continue to comment on the responses provided above and other issues as they arise. CASA is encouraging ongoing engagement through the online Have Your Say forum or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.