From Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
Everyone with an interest in remotely piloted aircraft should take a few minutes to read an important discussion paper issued by CASA. This paper canvasses a range of key safety issues in relation to the recreational and commercial operation of drones. The comments CASA receives on these issues will inform an important review of the safety regulation of the remotely piloted aircraft sector. With the rapid growth in the numbers of drones and constant advances in technology a review is essential to address emerging risks, take account of international regulatory developments and keep pace with the views and expectations of the Australian community. Estimate s indicate there are at least 50,000 recreational drones being flown around Australia today and there are more than 1100 certified remotely piloted aircraft operators. The growth in these numbers shows no sign of slowing, meaning the safety and regulatory challenges are not abating.
The discussion paper covers five key issues. These are: drone registration, training and education of drone operators, geo-fencing, counter drone technology and future approaches to drone aviation safety regulation. The paper sets out issues to consider such as costs and overseas practice and poses questions for consideration. I am pleased to say the initial response to the discussion paper has been strong, with hundreds of people taking the opportunity to have their say using our new consultation hub. The consultation hub is easy to use, with text boxes to capture detailed comments, as well as simple questions to answer. The discussion paper is open for comment until 22 September 2017.
While we are taking the time to consult on key issues about the future safety regulation of drones, this does not mean current activities within CASA in this area are static. We have recently established a remotely piloted aircraft systems branch to strengthen our focus on the sector. The new branch brings together operational and standards staff already working in this area into one team, as well as taking responsibility for regulatory services, safety oversight and enforcement, safety education and engagement. I believe our new branch will deliver high quality safety, regulatory and educational outcomes for the remotely piloted aircraft sector, other airspace users and members of the public.
Have your say now on the remotely piloted aircraft systems discussion paper.
Review of fatigue rules underway
A team of leading international specialists is conducting an independent review of the new fatigue rules. The review is benchmarking the new fatigue regulations against those of other leading aviation countries and regulators, including the European Aviation Safety Agency, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. It will also look at results of investigations into fatigue related accidents and incidents and how CASA's philosophy and approach to fatigue regulation compares with that of other transport regulators and high-risk industries. The outcomes of the review will provide CASA with an informed basis for finalising the reform of the fatigue rules for air operators and pilots. Dédale Asia Pacific has assembled a team of specialists to carry out the review, which will provide a full report and recommendations to the CASA Board early in 2018. The specialists have experience and expertise in studying the effects of fatigue on operational performance in a range of safety critical industries, as well as developing and evaluating fatigue models. They have worked with airlines and other transport operators to implement effective fatigue risk management systems. CASA will extend the implementation period for new fatigue regulations by an additional six months to enable sufficient time for the review to be carried out and recommendations to be considered. Air operators will be required to submit their draft operations manual changes or an application for a fatigue risk management system to CASA by 30 April 2018, and complete the transition to the new fatigue rules by 31 October 2018.
Find out more about the fatigue review.
Warning to check vintage aircraft spars
Owners and operators of a range of vintage De Havilland aircraft need to be aware of issues with replacement wing and aileron spars produced by the Croydon Aircraft Company of New Zealand. These spars could be fitted to all variants of De Havilland DH60 Moth, DH82 Tiger Moth and DH83 Fox Moth aircraft. Airworthiness directives and an airworthiness bulletin have been issued in relation to these wing and aileron replacement spars. The airworthiness directives prohibit aerobatics or other flights involving high load factors in aircraft fitted with the identified Croydon replacement spars. Owners, operators and maintainers must review aircraft records and determine if an affected spar is fitted to their aircraft. In an airworthiness bulletin CASA asks for reports to be lodged where any Croydon spars are fitted to aircraft. Reports should be made as soon as possible using the defect reporting service or the unapproved part form. Additionally, if there is any evidence an affected aircraft has other Croydon Aircraft Company parts installed contact should be made with the manufacturer. Advice should be sought in relation to the status of current manufacturing approvals for parts. In an information notice on the issue, the UK Civil Aviation Authority says some spars manufactured by the Croydon Aircraft Company appear not to comply with the original De Havilland drawings. The most notable features are differences in the spindled cross-section of the spars. These spars may be undersize with reduced structural reserves. This issue is the subject of ongoing investigation by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.
Get all the details in the wing and aileron spar airworthiness bulletin.
Go to the airworthiness directives.
Service delivery a focus of new plan
CASA's latest corporate plan continues to focus on safety as the highest priority, while setting out how regulatory activity will be pragmatic, practical and proportional. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, released the 2017–18 CASA corporate plan, saying it is a strong blueprint for the future of aviation safety regulation in Australia. Mr Chester said CASA will maintain and enhance a fair, effective and efficient aviation safety regulation system. He said CASA will collaboratively engage with the aviation community to promote and support a positive safety culture and continually improve its organisational performance. "I am particularly pleased to see CASA is committed to modernising its service delivery to meet the evolving needs of all sectors of Australian aviation," Mr Chester said. "In 2017–18 CASA will develop a customer service charter that will shape the way it delivers client services. It will optimise client service channel options and will drive a digital first approach to medical certification. The overarching objective will be to create an efficient, simple and accessible experience for the people and organisations in aviation that conduct regulatory business with CASA." Other important initiatives in the latest CASA corporate plan include a review of the safety regulatory strategy for remotely piloted aircraft systems, commencing implementation of the final tranche of regulatory reform, and continuing the implementation of the Government's response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review.
Read the latest corporate plan.
New security card requirements
The Federal Government has made changes to a number of requirements for aviation security identification cards. From 1 August 2017 people applying for aviation security identification cards – known as ASICs - must verify their identity in person with the body issuing their card. Applicants will need to present their original identity documentation in person to the issuing body or their representative. This requirement is in line with the practices used for obtaining other proof of identity documents such as passports or drivers licences. People applying for an ASIC should check the issuing body they are using has a local representative who can verify their identity in person before lodging an application. There are currently 46 organisations authorised to issue ASICs under the transport security arrangements administered by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. The changes to ASIC requirements also include new categories of identification documents to ensure a more robust, risk-based approach to identity proofing. Applicants need to provide identification documents covering four categories. These include a birth certificate or naturalisation certificate, a government issued photographic proof of identity such as a drivers licence, a Medicare card or tax documents and evidence of a current residential address. Certified copies of identification documents are not acceptable. CASA can only issue ASICs to applicants with a defined operational need. This means applicants must either hold a valid flight crew licence and a current medical certificate or be enrolled and undergoing training with a certified flying training organisation.
Find out more about the ASIC changes and requirements.
SIDs and STARs changes make communication clearer
Changes are coming to SIDs and STARs. SIDs – standard instrument departures – and STARs – standard instrument arrivals – are the charted instrument procedure routes used for operating at suitably equipped aerodromes. Various level and speed restrictions apply along the routes. Standard communication procedures between air traffic control and pilots are used to avoid long and complex radio transmissions. However, over time non-harmonised practices have been introduced and different phrases have been given different meanings. The result is there can be a mismatch in understanding of SID and STAR communications between pilots and air traffic control. The safety risks from this situation have led to action at the international level to harmonise SID and STAR communications. From 9 November 2017 Australia will introduce changes to standard communication phraseology for SIDs and STARs in accordance with amendments published by the International Civil Aviation Organization. This updated phraseology positively reinforces that the lateral, vertical and speed requirements embedded in a SID or STAR continue to apply unless explicitly cancelled or amended by an air traffic controller. From 9 November 2017 there will also be changes to SID and STAR charts, arrival speeds, speed limitations based on airspace and general air traffic control speed restrictions.
Get full details on the SIDs and STARs changes in an aeronautical information circular.
Get to a seminar for pilots
Pilots at 14 locations have the opportunity to brush up their safety knowledge at AvSafety seminars in September 2017. Safety seminars are being held at: Tamworth, Albany, Moree, Tyabb, Wollongong, Rawnsley Park, Wilpena Pound , Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Nhill, Cowra , William Creek, Clare Valley and Darwin. Pilots taking part in the seminars will look at previous accidents and incidents to learn lessons for the future. In focus will be pilot decision making, flying within your limits and hazards on arrival. Case studies of accidents and incidents covering each phase of flight will be set out, with a mix of fixed wing and helicopter events to be examined. CASA's safety advisers will ensure the seminars are interactive and open, with pilots encouraged to talk about their own experiences and offer their own lessons. The seminars have been developed with the support of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Airservices Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Bureau of Meteorology.
Book your place at an AvSafety seminar for pilots now.
Warbird regulations transition complete
Most ex-military aircraft must now have a new limited category certificate to continue to operate. This follows the end of the six month transition period for Part 132 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The Part 132 regulations apply to owners, operators and pilots of limited category aircraft. They also apply to individuals and organisations that conduct or sell adventure flights in warbirds. Most owners and operators who needed to obtain a limited category certificate did so well before the 28 July 2017 deadline. Under the new limited category regulations operations and airworthiness authorisations are managed by a self-administering organisation in cooperation with CASA. The new rules require operators of adventure flights to provide an extra safety briefing at the point of sale – in person, online or over the telephone. This briefing is in addition to a safety briefing given to all passengers before they board an aircraft for an adventure flight. A warning placard must also be placed in the aircraft where it is visible to passengers.
Find out more about the rules for limited category aircraft.
Comment on limited category maintenance
Feedback is being sought on options for the future regulation of maintenance for limited category aircraft. Maintenance of warbirds and other limited category aircraft is currently governed under a mix of the Civil Aviation Regulations, Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, Civil Aviation Orders and legislative instruments. Now that a new set of operational regulations for limited category aircraft is in place under Part 132 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations there is an opportunity to make a change to maintenance arrangements. A discussion paper has been issued setting out three options for comment. The options are to retain the present regulatory structure, incorporate maintenance rules for limited category aircraft into Part 42 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations or create a maintenance subpart in the new Part 132 regulations. The discussion paper sets out a range of issues associated with each option. Everyone with an interest in warbirds and other limited category aircraft is asked to use CASA's new consultation hub to indicate which option they support and to provide detailed comments.
We want your comments and questions.
Please send feedback to CASA Briefing now.
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