From the Director of Aviation Safety
There has been some comment in recent months suggesting a simple solution to updating the aviation safety regulations would be for Australia to adopt the current New Zealand rules. While this may sound attractive to some people there are real issues to be considered. Right now the New Zealand rules could not simply be adopted and enforced in their current form as Australian regulations. Many provisions in the New Zealand rules are not written in a manner consistent with Australian legislative drafting standards. In addition, some content is not consistent with the definitions, terminology and requirements set out in our Civil Aviation Act and regulations. This means adopting the New Zealand rules could well require a broad reconsideration and revision of the Australian aviation safety legislation in its entirety. If we went in this direction we may need to amend the Civil Aviation Act and rework the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations that have already been made. This would be a long-term undertaking, involving several additional years of legislative redrafting and industry consultation.
The New Zealand rules often provide for considerable discretion to be exercised by the New Zealand Director of Civil Aviation in regard to the intent of the regulations and what is acceptable in terms of compliance. Adoption of these principles could significantly hinder CASA's efforts to achieve a high level of standardisation in applying and enforcing the aviation safety legislation of Australia. CASA views increased standardisation as a key outcome of the regulatory reform program. In some cases this means less discretion being exercised by CASA officers and more certainty being provided directly in the regulations and standards. It should also be understood the contravention of any New Zealand civil aviation rule is a criminal offence for which a person may be prosecuted. In some cases, there may also be an infringement notice process. While offences or penalties are not specified in the rules themselves they are contained in another piece of legislation—the Civil Aviation (Offences) Regulations 2006. This contains a lengthy schedule setting out the penalties corresponding to each rule. In Australia we set out the offences and penalties in the aviation rules themselves, making our legislation more transparent and up front about penalties.
The New Zealand rules for aircraft operations contain more differences to International Civil Aviation Organization standards than Australia currently registers. CASA is striving to further reduce the number of these differences in the rewrite of the new operational Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The New Zealand rules in some areas are also not as up to date as the new Australian regulations. We believe some rules may not offer adequate levels of safety and do not take into account Australian conditions and considerations. In summary, the New Zealand rules could not simply be adopted in their current form as Australian regulations. That said, where New Zealand rules are seen to be useful and advantageous, CASA is always willing to consider how and to what extent we can take advantage of their beneficial features by adapting them to the Australian aviation safety environment.
John F McCormick
Cessna SIDs inspection requirements clarified
Details of requirements for a range of structural inspections on Cessna series aircraft have been released by CASA. The original deadlines for Cessna structural inspections have been extended and a phased timetable has been developed to give aircraft owners and operators the appropriate time to have the work completed. These requirements apply to Cessna 100, 200, 300 and 400 series aircraft. The new timetable and requirements have been set out in an aviation ruling from CASA which relates to Cessna’s Supplemental Inspection Documents. CASA developed the ruling in response to requests from owners, operators and maintainers. Supplemental Inspection Documents were developed by Cessna and the United States Federal Aviation Administration due to concerns that critical principal structural elements of aircraft are susceptible to fatigue or corrosion damage. In many cases these components have not been inspected since the aircraft were manufactured decades ago. The structural inspection program, which complements existing scheduled maintenance, requires a detailed inspection of a range of structural areas such as wing spars, wing attachment points, strut attachments, rudder bars and attachment points and horizontal stabiliser attachment points. Inspections are conducted to identify any metal corrosion damage or metal fatigue. Damaged components must be replaced or repaired.
The new aviation ruling makes it clear the structural inspections must be conducted on Cessna aircraft in all categories of operations – private, aerial work and charter. Regular public transport aircraft are already required to undergo the inspections. Inspections are mandatory for all types of maintenance systems – the manufacturer’s schedule of maintenance, CASA’s schedule five and approved systems of maintenance. The cost of the inspections and any repair work will vary from aircraft to aircraft. Every aircraft ages in a unique way depending on how it has been operated, maintained and stored. Inspections will be required on up to 3600 Cessna series aircraft in Australia. The timetable for the completion of the inspections ranges from 31 December 2014 for Cessna 300/400 aircraft to 30 June 2016 for Cessna 100 aircraft.
An explanation of the inspection requirements and photos of corrosion damage are in a Cessna SIDs airworthiness bulletin.
New flying training rules made simpler
The new regulations covering a large number of flying training organisations are being simplified. This follows a review by CASA of Part 141 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The simplification of the rules and requirements will cut red tape and reduce costs for about 300 flying training schools across Australia. CASA estimates the changes will lower costs in the flying training industry by nearly $2 million a year. Optimal safety outcomes for flying training will be maintained by retaining the core elements of the new Part 141. The new licensing suite of regulations, which includes Part 141, will take effect from 1 September 2014. Simplification of the requirements will be made before the regulations come into effect. Part 141 covers flying training for recreational, private and commercial pilot licences, ratings and endorsements for flying in single pilot aircraft. It does not extend to intensive integrated training for private and commercial licences, which is contained in Part 142 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, John McCormick, said the review of flying training regulations was conducted in line with the Federal Government’s direction to look for opportunities to reduce the cost and burden of regulatory compliance on industry. “I am very pleased the new regulations in Part 141 can be simplified and made less costly while at the same time maintaining high safety outcomes,” Mr McCormick said. “Naturally, safety can never be jeopardised in the pursuit of simpler regulations but with hard work the two outcomes can be achieved. CASA has listened to the views of people in the flying training sector and responded to their concerns with positive action.” Key changes to Part 141 include the removal of the requirements for safety management systems, quality assurance managers and expositions during transition to the new rules. To help reduce the administrative burden on flying schools CASA will provide training course and off-the-shelf operations manual materials.
Find out more about Part 141 and the licensing suite.
Changes proposed for air ambulance rules
CASA is proposing to reclassify medical transfer operations, placing them in the air transport category. Under the new operational regulations this would mean medical transfer flights would be authorised by an air operator’s certificate issued under Part 119 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Medical transport operations would also be subject to the requirements of the other applicable air transport regulations such as Parts 121, 133 or 135 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Although these flights would be classified as air transport, specific air ambulance operational requirements would be addressed in the regulations to provide the flexibility needed for medical flights. The change is being proposed because amongst leading aviation nations Australia is unique in currently classifying medical transport flights as aerial work. This classification subjects Australia's medical transfer operations to a different standard of regulation than the International Civil Aviation Organization standards and those of most other nations. Bringing Australia into line with international standards means the approvals for Australia’s aeromedical operators will be more easily recognised by other nations.
Find out more about the medical transfer operations project.
Video explains bowser refuelling safety
Refuelling an aircraft seems like a simple task. But there are important steps to take to ensure you and your aircraft stay safe and are fuelled correctly. CASA’s YouTube channel features a short video setting out all the steps pilots need to take when refuelling from a bowser. After positioning the aircraft radio, magnetos and the ignition must be turned off. The ignition key should then be removed. It is vital to check the correct grade of fuel is being used and safety instructions in the aircraft flight manual must be followed. Before beginning to refuel make sure safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, spill kits and the emergency shut off button have been identified and located. Of course, making sure the fuel nozzle is bonded to the aircraft is vital before the fuel cap is removed. This short, step-by-step video is a great refresher on bowser refuelling for all pilots.
Watch the bowser refuelling safety video now.
You can pay for more services online
The range of CASA regulatory services that can be paid for online has expanded. CASA’s online payments system now includes maintenance personnel licences, pilot licence reprints, licence wallets and trans–Tasman licence registration. These services are in addition to aviation medicals, flight crew licensing and aircraft registration which have been covered by the online payment system since earlier in 2014. Fees can be paid using MasterCard or Visa, with the online payment system accessed through a button on the home page of the CASA web site called ‘Making a Payment’. Payments for services can still be processed manually by credit card, cheque or money order. Manual payments can be sent to CASA by email, fax or mail. When making a payment people need to complete the appropriate application form for the listed services and make sure all required services are paid. The payment page of each application form provides advice on both online and manual payments.
Go to the online payments system.
Seminars for pilots in all states in May
Eighteen AvSafety seminars for pilots are scheduled to be held in six states and the Northern Territory during May 2014. Seminars are being conducted at locations in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. There are three themes for AvSafety seminars this year – an update on regulatory reform, the latest safety trends identified by CASA, Airservices and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and information about new interactive online education programs and resources. Seminars focussing on regulatory reform will provide a high level overview of the new flight crew licensing suite of regulations and coming operational regulations. All seminars will provide a chance for pilots to discuss what the new regulations mean for their flying and to provide comments and feedback. There will also be plenty of opportunities for people to ask questions and raise other issues. All seminars are free but bookings are needed through CASA's website using AviationWorx.
Find an AvSafety seminar in your area and book now.
Five locations for engineer’s seminars
Aircraft maintenance personnel at five locations should attend a safety seminar during May 2014. Seminars are being held at Bankstown, Moorabbin, Essendon, Alice Springs and Jandakot. The theme of the engineering AvSafety seminars is maintaining knowledge. The seminars look at the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 66 licence, as well as the potential transition of Civil Aviation Regulation 30 maintenance organisations to Part 145 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Part 145 covers approved maintenance organisations for regular public transport operations. In addition the seminars will discuss Part 42 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, which covers continuing airworthiness requirements for regular public transport operations, other regulatory reforms and human factors for engineers. There will also be a demonstration of CASA educational resources including safety management system kits. Local CASA airworthiness inspectors will attend the seminars to answer questions and discuss issues. Seminars are planned to be held at all Class D aerodromes and major airfields during the course of 2014.
Register to attend the seminars for engineers.
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Need to keep up-to-date with what's happening with the regulation of flying schools? Then keep an eye on CASA's web site flying training pages.
CASA's ever popular Flight Safety Australia magazine is online. View the current edition and back issues here.
Interested in sport aviation? Want to find out how sport aviation is regulated. CASA's web site is a good source of more information. Find out more on the sport aviation pages.