Part 131 of CASR Balloons and hot air airships

Rule status

Part 131 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) sets out specific requirements for operating balloons and hot air airships.

The rules in CASR Part 131 and the Part 131 Manual of Standards (MOS) apply to balloon and hot air airship operations:

  • commercial passenger carrying (balloon transport that was previously known as charter operations)
  • specialised balloon operations (previously known as aerial work)
  • private activities for sport and recreation
  • commercial balloon flying training.

A considerable number of rules within Part 91 of CASR apply to crewed free balloons and hot air airships, although some do not apply. See CASR 91.030 for more information.

From 2 December 2023 CASA assumed the administration of private recreational balloon activities from the Australian Ballooning Federation. We now issue all pilot authorisations for private pilots as permits under Civil Aviation Order 95.54.

Part 131 Manual of Standards

A MOS supports Part 131 and provides detailed operational rules specifically for balloons and hot air airships. We made the Part 131 MOS in January 2024 but it will not commence until 12 November 2024.

Until the MOS is effective Civil Aviation Orders 95.53 and 95.54 will maintain existing operational requirements for balloon operations.

Balloon transport and commercial balloon flying training

Operators need an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to conduct balloon transport operations and commercial balloon flying training.

You can find common requirements related to all AOCs in the Civil Aviation Act 1988.

Part 131 contains the detailed requirements for the issue and management of AOCs for balloon transport operations.

Requirements for commercial balloon flying training remain in a combination of Civil Aviation Orders 82.0 and 82.7.

Who it affects

Part 131 applies to all Part 131 aircraft pilots and operators.

A Part 131 aircraft means:

  • a hot air balloon
  • a hot air airship
  • a gas balloon
  • a mixed gas and hot air balloon.

An operator of a Part 131 aircraft means either:

  • the holder of an AOC or other approval
  • a person, organisation or enterprise (not necessarily the owner) engaged in aircraft operations involving the aircraft.

Subpart 131.Z sets out the rules for operating a permanently tethered gas balloon capable of carrying passengers but not equipped for free flight.

Legislative instruments

Legislative instruments apply to a broad range of people. These instruments include Manuals of Standards and exemptions to regulatory requirements.

Instruments related to this part will display in this space or you can view our list of legislative instruments.

8 legislative instruments available

Part 131 Manual of Standards
Commences:
Fatigue management
Commences:
CAO 48.1

Non-legislative instruments

Non-legislative instruments apply to a particular person. Some exemptions to regulatory requirements in aviation regulations or a Manual of Standards may be listed here.

Non-legislative instruments related to this part will display in this space or you can view our list of non-legislative instruments.

Guidance material

Advisory material provides advice and guidance to explain particular regulatory requirements of a CASR Part. Guidance material relating to this part will appear in this space or you can view all our guidance material.

5 guidance material available

Updated:

Acceptable means of compliance and guidance material (AMC-GMs) for Part 131 Balloons and hot air airships.

Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material, Flight ops - General resource Version: 1.2
Updated:

Advisory Circular AC 1-01 discusses the relationship between Australia's aviation legislation and the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and how our legislation is overseen by parliament.

Advisory Circular Version: 3.1
Updated:

Advisory circular AC 131-01 provides guidance and acceptable means of compliance for operators of manned free balloons and hot air airships.

Advisory Circular, Flight ops - General resource Version: 2.1
Updated:

CAAP 48-01 provides guidance on meeting the AOC holder and flight crew member (FCM) obligations in relation to fatigue risk management, required under Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 48.1 Instrument 2019.

Civil Aviation Advisory Publication Version: 3.3
Updated:

Advisory Circular AC 131-04 provides guidance to balloon transport operators and balloon commercial flying training providers who are seeking an improved understanding of the process of management of change.

Advisory Circular, Flight ops - Management of change Version: 1.0

Supporting resources

7 supporting resources available

This sample exposition assists operators with creating a manual for their Part 131 balloon and hot air airship transport operations.

This document is intended to assist persons who will conduct balloon transport or specialised balloon operations under Part 131 of CASR to prioritise their actions to transition to the new flight operations regulations.

This document provides a guide to where provisions of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR), as they would relate to Part 131 aircraft operations, have been incorporated into Parts 91 and 131 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR).

This document provides a guide to where provisions of the Civil Aviation Orders, as they would relate to Part 131 aircraft operations, have been incorporated into Parts 91 and 131 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR).

Use this form to apply for the initial issue of, renewal of, or to request changes to, general approvals issued under Part 131 of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (Part 131). Form number 5644.

Use this form to apply for the initial issue of, renewal of, or to apply for approval of significant changes to an air operator’s certificate (AOC) for balloon transport and/or balloon flying training operations.

Use this non-significant changes form to notify CASA of non-significant changes under Parts 119, 131 and 138 of CASR.

Last updated date
Updated:
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//rules/regulatory-framework/casr/part-131-casr-balloons-and-hot-air-airships
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