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Annual Report 2005-06: Output 1: Aviation Safety Standards

Output 1: Aviation Safety Standards


  • A closer partnership with the aviation industry to develop safety-focused rules
  • Completion of CASRs on aircraft registration
  • Development of new aviation maintenance regulations
  • Flight crew examination pass rates benchmarked against international standards
  • Amendments to CAOs for cropdusting, mustering, aviation sports activities and anti-terrorist training.


A safer aviation community is achieved through development and application of quality safety standards.

CASA defines quality standards as effective standards. This requires rules that are:

  • clear, concise and unambiguous
  • easily understood and consistently applied and enforced
  • developed in line with regulatory best practice to be relevant, workable and cost effective.

We engage the aviation community fully in standards development to achieve general acceptance of the rules and a general willingness to abide by them, and ensure that those affected are aware of, understand, and can implement rule changes.

Continuing amendments have been made to the CAOs to reduce the requirement for industry to come to CASA for approvals or exemptions.

Because Australia operates legally and practically within a global aviation community, rules must be internationally harmonised as appropriate. CASA plays a part in developing international standards through contributing to the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Initiatives, developments and issues in 2005–06

In 2005–06, CASA worked more closely with the aviation industry to develop safety-focused rules. For example, an industry–CASA team has been developing new maintenance regulations, based on European regulations, that take unique Australian conditions into account. This approach shares responsibility for a safe aviation system between industry and the regulator. These regulations may enable Australia and the European Union to establish mutual recognition of maintenance operations, maintenance training and licensing standards.

CASA completed CASRs on aircraft registration, and implemented the transition of 12,000 aircraft previously registered under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CARs). CASA also completed the transition of approximately 300 airports to registered or certified status under the new CASR Part 139. This was done on time.

CASA initiated a project for the introduction of the new ICAO multi-crew pilot licence. Training for this new qualification is expected to commence in 2006–07. CAO 40.2.1 was amended to allow for new navigation technology and to clarify requirements for pilot qualification and the use of radio navigation aids. We continued the development, consultation, review and editing of draft Part 61 flight crew licensing standards.

We began the development and integration of new standards for threat and error management for inclusion in the competency standards for all flight crew licence levels, and began liaison with the Department of Education, Science and Training to rationalise National Aviation Competency Standards based on CASA’s flight crew licensing standards.

Flight crew examination pass rates were benchmarked against international standards. Australian rates were found to be similar to those in other major aviation countries. We implemented statistical performance analysis of our examination question database to enhance the integrity and quality of CASA’s flight crew examinations, and developed draft standards for English language testing to meet new ICAO English language testing requirements, to become effective in 2008.

CASA released the findings of a validation study into the issue of medical certificates to pilots and air traffic controllers using antidepressant medication, and initiated a review of Class 2 medical certification.

CASA participated in an interdepartmental group examining the regulatory controls and licensing of ozone-depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse substances, to ensure a whole of-government approach to the import, export, trading, storage and disposal of these substances.

We completed the CASR Part 137 (Aerial Application) Directive 16 Review, which is now awaiting Regulatory Advisory Panel assessment. Aerial application involves the dropping or spraying of material for agricultural or other purposes.

Our amendments to CAOs 95.4, 95.12 and 95.12.1 reduced the need for certain sport aviation activities involving non–fare paying passengers to consume CASA services and resources. We also made amendments to CAOs to permit sport aviation activities in Class E airspace.

We amended CAO 82.0 to permit charter substitution under some circumstances, and CAO 29.11 to permit rapelling and winching operations from helicopters involved in anti-terrorist activities. CAO 29.10 was amended to enable an industry pilot to approve another pilot to undertake mustering activities.

In other work during the year, CASA completed the Directive 16 review of CASR Part 146, Engineering Representatives, amended CASR Part 21 to introduce certification rules for light sport aircraft, and began preparation of a notice of proposed rule making for amendments to CASR Part 39—Airworthiness Directives.

Performance measures

Overall effectiveness measures

The contribution of Output 1 to the portfolio outcome can be measured by:

  • enhanced level of safety in the aviation industry
    • reducing trend in number of accidents per hours flown by industry sector
    • reducing trend in number of incidents per hours flown by industry sector
  • clear, concise and unambiguous national safety standards, internationally harmonised as appropriate
  • the addressing of significant safety-related trends and risk factors in the system of civil aviation safety.

Output-specific measures

Strategy Simple to use, clear and concise aviation standards and rules based on risk to aviation safety
Measure Reducing trend in average number of exemptions to Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs) over 10-year period
Result Over the past three financial years, central office issued the following numbers of exemptions: nine in 2003–04, three in 2004–05, seven in 2005–06.

One of the key intentions of the Regulatory Reform Program is the development of simple and unambiguous regulations. Therefore, it is expected that the aviation industry’s need for exemptions will be reduced considerably over the 10-year period.
Progress Ongoing
Measure Reducing trend in average number of amendments to CASRs
Result Amendments to CASR 1998: seven in 2003–04, three in 2004–05, six in 2005–06.
Progress Ongoing