Part 131 of CASR Balloons and hot air airships

Rule status

Current

Part 131 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations came into effect on 2 December 2021. A limited number of rules within Part 91 of CASR apply to manned free balloons and hot air airships (called Part 131 aircraft). Part 131 is intended to be supported by a Manual of Standards (MOS) that contains requirements of greater technical detail.

As a result of industry input, including advice from the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel and Part 131 technical working group, the Part 131 MOS will be subject to further consultation and is not yet in effect.

We’ve updated Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) 95.53 and 95.54 to ensure a continued effective regulatory scheme for Part 131 aircraft operations. While we work with the balloon community to finalise the MOS, balloon operations will be subject to these legal instruments that effectively keep the previous requirements in place.

An Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) is required to be held to conduct balloon transport operations and commercial balloon flying training. Common requirements related to all AOCs are contained in the Civil Aviation Act 1988. Complementary requirements for the issue and management of AOCs for balloon transport operations are contained in Part 131, but the requirements for commercial balloon flying training remain in a combination of Civil Aviation Orders 82.0 and 82.7 which were extensively revised on 2 December 2021.

In relation to operational standards, Part 131 is intended to specify the requirements applicable to operations that are conducted:

  • privately for sport and recreation
  • for commercial passenger carrying (previously known as charter and now as balloon transport operations)
  • as specialised balloon operations (previously known as aerial work)
  • for commercial balloon flying training.

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

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

Non-legislative instruments

Non-legislative instruments include exemptions to particular regulatory requirements in aviation regulations or a Manual of Standards, but which apply to a particular person. 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.

6 guidance material available

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

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 AC 1-01

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 AC 131-01

Advisory circular AC 131-02 provides guidance and acceptable means of compliance for operators of manned free balloons and hot air airships.

Advisory Circular AC 131-02

Advisory Circular AC 131-03 provides advice in the form of guidance material (GM) and, in limited circumstances, includes an acceptable means of compliance (AMC) with an outcome-based regulatory requirement of Part 131 of CASR.

Advisory Circular, Flight ops - General resource AC 131-03

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 AC 131-04

Supporting resources

6 supporting resources available

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 CASR (Part 131)

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.

The document supports the commencement of the flight operations regulations and represents the definitions from across the legislative suite as it will appear when those rules commence on 02 December 2021.

Date published:
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