Address to Safe Skies Conference October 2011
Address to Safe Skies Conference October 2011
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.
I would like to briefly touch on three pieces of work that we are currently undertaking at CASA that link in with the Safeskies theme of ‘future growth: future challenges”, our Future Technology Discussion Paper, the General Aviation Task Force and the Review of Regulations and Guidance Material relating to Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
Future Technology Paper
A revised strategy and regulatory plan for the introduction of new technology for aircraft satellite navigation and to provide inter-operability with the future air traffic management system was released by CASA on 5 September this year.
The strategy includes amended proposals for the fitting of aircraft communication, navigation and surveillance equipment. This follows responses from the aviation industry to CASA’s first discussion paper covering the technology issues, which was released for consultation in December 2010.
Proposals that were put forward in the original discussion paper that received strong support from the aviation industry will proceed to the next stage of regulatory development via NPRM.
However, proposals that were not supported by some industry sectors or that attracted varying comments have been revised, with new proposals now issued in this discussion paper. Industry has been invited to comment on the latest discussion paper by 31 October 2011.
The objective of the proposed mandates is to provide significant safety, efficiency and cost benefits by introduction of GNSS navigation under IFR, to support future air traffic management with the use of Australia-wide electronic surveillance, and for air-to-air conflict avoidance.
This will be achieved by requiring modern communication by data-links and navigation and surveillance equipment on aircraft undertaking IFR flight, using satellite and ground based electronic systems. The equipment includes GNSS receivers, Mode S transponders with ADS-B capability, and the latest version of TCAS II for new aircraft..
Overall there were 35 responses to the original 2010 proposals, with all the key representative organisations providing input. The airline and commercial sectors strongly supported most proposals, while the visual flight rules sector of general aviation and the sport and recreational sector had a range of concerns.
For the visual flight rules general aviation and recreational and sports sectors, the primary concern was the proposal for all aircraft to be fitted with ADS-B OUT equipment in all classes of airspace. The new discussion paper says: "CASA has decided that it will not proceed with any mandate for the carriage of ADS-B OUT by general aviation visual flight rules aircraft at this time".
CASA intends to issue an NPRM on the aircraft technology mandates that have been supported by industry by the end of this year.
GA Task Force
In recognition of the significant changes and challenges facing the general aviation sector in Australia, today and in the future, CASA has established a General Aviation Task Force to review regulatory issues affecting activities and participants within the GA Sector.
The task force will look at various aspects of existing and proposed legislation, and the activities regulated by that legislation, canvassing the views of industry representatives and participants with the intention of gathering fresh perspectives from those most directly involved in the regulated activities under review.
The task force will liaise closely with relevant standard-setting, oversight, technical and operational areas within CASA, to help ensure the work and work products of those areas are fully informed by, and meaningfully responsive to, the legitimate needs, interests and expectations of all relevant stakeholders in the GA sector.
The task force’s engagement with the industry is intended to complement and supplement CASA’s existing consultative and outreach mechanisms, not to supplant or supersede those activities.
You should expect to see members of the taskforce in a town or city near you over the coming months. In the meantime you can contact Peter John or Simon Denby who are here today; with any specific issues.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are covered by CASR Part 101, a regulation that is now nearly 10 years old. Given this, we have established a Review of Regulations and Guidance Material relating to UAS.
While many parts of the community believe that unmanned technology is coming, the fact is that it is here and already providing important services to the community, such as powerline survey, vegetation assessments, pollution surveys, mammal surveys, the list is almost endless; with fire fighting support and law enforcement coming in the near future.
So given the understanding and experience of the existing UAS industry participants, and those who are preparing to join, as well as the many advances in UAS technology over the recent years, work on this project will provide more guidance to industry on the regulatory requirements and approval processes for commercial operation of UAS in Australia. The guidance will consider the long term integration of UAS into normal aviation operations in all classes of airspace. The project will be undertaken in two phases.
Phase 1 will involve the development of a suite of Advisory Circulars covering:
- Training and Licensing
- Manufacturing and Initial Airworthiness
- Maintenance and Continuing Airworthiness
- Safety Management
Phase 2 of the project will consist of a review and where necessary amendment of CASR Part 101.
We are calling for industry nominations to form a joint CASA/Industry UAS Working Group – indeed, CASA’s work on this project, the GA Taskforce and the Future Technology Paper are all enhanced though the valuable contributions of people in the aviation industry.
Finally, I would like to thank the board and staff of Safeskies to the substantial time and effort they put in to running this excellent event – CASA is very happy to be a supporter.