Exemptions explained

Exemptions outline when a person, organisation or class of persons do not have to meet specific requirements under the rules.

Exemptions are:

  • issued under Part 11 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Regulatory administrative procedures
  • subject to regulatory services fees when issued to a specific person or operator.

If an exemption becomes enduring, we may change a rule to end the need for the exemption. We will generally not amend a rule if the exemption covers a one-off or short-term circumstance.

How we issue exemptions

Exemptions are one type of non-legislative instrument that we have the power to create to react quickly to short-term matters.

We can issue exemptions from provisions in the CAR, CASR, CAO and MOS that impose an obligation on you.

Before issuing an exemption, we conduct a detailed analysis of your application and the associated safety case.

More detail about exemptions and the application process is in:

Advisory Circular AC 11-02 Exemptions against the CASR, CAR and CAO

How to apply for a standard exemption

Follow the process below to apply for a standard exemption. You can use the form for exceptional circumstances if you choose.

  1. Complete the form

    Download and fill out the form: Exemption application.

  2. Submit your application

    Email the completed form with supporting documents to the address included in the form.

  3. Pay the fee

    We will estimate the cost to assess your application and give you a quote.

    You must pay the fee before we start assessing your application.

  4. Assessing your application

    We will start assessing your application when we have received all your documents.

    We may need other documents or more information during the assessment. We will request these as needed.

  5. Processing timeframes

    Allow at least 90 days for processing from the date we get your application and all documents.

  6. Granting or refusing the exemption

    We will only grant an exemption if we find that an acceptable level of safety remains after granting the exemption.

    We will notify you in writing with reasons if we decide not to grant the exemption.

How to apply for an exceptional circumstance’s exemption

In exceptional circumstances you can apply for an exemption in any way that is reasonable under the circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances include:

  • a major natural disaster
  • some other large-scale emergency
  • situations where a national emergency declaration relates (within the meaning of the National Emergency Declaration Act 2020), that requires air transport, or some other aviation activity, in a way that is not reasonably possible in compliance with the Regulations.

We cover exceptional circumstances in Advisory Circular AC 11-02.

Last updated:
15 Sep 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//rules/regulatory-framework/exemptions-explained
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