Improving pilot licensing rules

Pilot training and flight testing are essential activities that underpin aviation safety and industry growth.

Industry has told us that the current pilot licensing rules are too complicated, and the availability of instructors and flight examiners causes bottlenecks. We are working on reforms focused on delivering tangible benefits to better support general aviation.

Overview of reforms and timeframes

Table key:
• (bullet circle) shows when work is planned
Q1 ends 31 Mar
Q2 ends 30 Jun
Q3 ends 30 Sep
Q4 ends 31 Dec.

Reform Q1 2022 Q2 2022 Q3 2022 Q4 2022 Q1 2023 Q2 2023+
Improve the competency standards for flight examiners      
Expand delivery of examiner proficiency checks to industry        
Expand delivery of flight examiner rating course delivery to industry      
Expand privileges for Grade 1 training endorsement holders      
Establish a multi-engine helicopter ‘class rating’        
Create a tailored pathway for task specialist pilot endorsements      
Review the requirement to notify CASA of a flight test  
Ongoing review of licensing and flight training regulations  
Simplified and fast-tracked application and assessment process for independent flight instructors        

Learn more about changes to support flight examiners.

Improve the competency standards for flight examiners

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • establishing a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by:
    • reducing the number of endorsements that require a flight test and making more use of the ‘train to standard’ approach
    • replacing the generic competency standards for the flight examiner rating with endorsement-specific standards, to reduce reliance on experience as a requirement.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • develop competency standards by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • consult on draft competency-based standard by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • implement competency standards by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022). We may initially implement this via exemption instrument with regulatory amendments to follow.

Expand delivery of examiner proficiency checks to industry

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • establishing a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by taking a flexible approach to examiner proficiency checks (EPCs), including authorising more industry examiners to conduct these checks.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • consult on draft protocol by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • implement protocol by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q2 (30 June 2022). We may initially implement this via exemption instrument with regulatory amendments to follow.

Expand delivery of flight examiner rating course delivery to industry

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • establishing a more flexible approach to flight testing and requirements for flight examiners, by expanding the option for industry to deliver flight examiner rating training courses.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • consult on draft protocol by end of by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • implement protocol by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022). We may initially implement this via exemption instrument with regulatory amendments to follow.

Expand privileges for Grade 1 training endorsement holders

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • reducing the demand on flight examiners. We will increase the privileges of grade 1 flight instructors. They will be authorised to train, assess and grant a range of endorsements for nominated activities.

Activities and timeframes:

  • draft instrument by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • consult on draft legislative instrument by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • make legislative instrument by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022). We may initially implement this via exemption instrument with regulatory amendments to follow.

Establish a multi-engine helicopter ‘class rating’

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • establishing a multi-engine helicopter ‘class rating’.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • draft instrument, guidance material and associated artefacts by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • make legislative instrument by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022). We may initially implement this via exemption instrument with regulatory amendments to follow.

Create a tailored pathway for task specialist pilot endorsements

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • creating a training pathway for pilots to obtain endorsements for aerial work operations. We will support more training to be done ‘on the job’ by:
    • qualified and experienced pilots
    • working for capable aerial work operators who conduct those activities and have core training capabilities.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • draft instrument, training guides and associated artefacts by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • make legislative instrument by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022). We may initially implement this via exemption instrument with regulatory amendments to follow.

Review the requirement to notify CASA of a flight test

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • reviewing the need for flight examiners to inform CASA of a flight test and considering further improvements that could achieve administrative benefits.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • Technical working group (TWG) to consider proposal by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022)
  • implementation of this potential reform from Q4 (31 Dec) 2022 and beyond will be subject to CASA consideration of advice from the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) following recommendations of the TWG.

Ongoing review of licensing and flight training regulations

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • requesting the ASAP to continue reviewing the regulations relating to licensing and flight training to identify and prioritise further opportunities to streamline the system.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scoping by ASAP/TWGs by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • implementation details subject to ongoing identification of opportunities by the ASAP from Q4 (31 Dec) 2022 and beyond.

Simplified and fast-tracked application and assessment process for independent flight instructors

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • making it easier for flight instructors to operate independently by establishing the option of a simplified application and fast-tracked assessment process for ‘independent’ instructors seeking to obtain a Part 141 of CASR training approval.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • issue guidance material by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022).
Published date: 27 April 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//search-centre/corporate-plans/general-aviation-workplan/improving-pilot-licensing-rules
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