Plain English Guide for new flight operations regulations

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We have developed a Plain English Guide to make it as easy as possible to understand the new general operating and flight regulations for all pilots.

The guide contains the general operating and flight rules you need, including some helpful hints that explain what’s expected of you and what you might need to consider when complying with the rules.

The Plain English Guide sets out the regulatory requirements of the Part 91 Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and the associated Manual of Standards in a concise, clear easy to read and practical format.

In December 2021, these new rules will apply to all pilots and operators who fly in Australia. It’s one of the final steps in moving from the old Civil Aviation Regulations (CARs) and Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs).

The Part 91 rules are the general operating rules for all pilots and operators. They provide the foundational rules to support the other new flight operations regulations being air transport, aerial work and flying training operations.

Who will benefit from this guide?

The guide is primarily intended for general aviation pilots and flying schools. However, it is expected all pilots could find it useful as it contains the foundational rules for all flight operations.

What has changed from the old rules?

Primarily, it retains the existing rules. However, there are a small number of new rules designed to enhance operational flexibility, enhance safety and increase compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.

Following changes have been made to some old rules. The new rules:

  • restrict the simulation of certain in-flight emergencies and who can be onboard at the time
  • require cabin crew when carrying 20 or more passengers on non-air transport flights
  • introduce an approach ban in weather conditions consistently below landing minima at certain aerodromes
  • expand the requirement to preserve flight recordings and recorders for immediately reportable matters
  • provide greater discretion for the pilot to determine which portable electronic devices may be used by passengers without compromising safety
  • provide greater choice in how to apply certain rules, such as for the carriage of animals and firearms
  • relax oxygen requirements for non-air transport operations
  • permit the carriage of documents electronically.

Print copies of the guides can be ordered through CASA’s online store.


We are encouraging feedback on whether this guide provides regulatory information in a simple, easy-to-read and understandable language. We are also interested to know if the structure and format of the information is intuitive.

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