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CASR Part 131 - Balloons and hot air airships
The proposed Part 131 of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) aims to improve the focus of Australian balloon transport operators on the potential for human and organisational factors to cause accidents, and in so doing, enhance aviation safety for the travelling public.
Part 131 will largely consolidate existing requirements contained in the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) and Civil Aviation Orders. It also works together with Part 91 of CASR to describe all the general operating and flight rules for manned free balloons and hot air airships.
Part 131 will define the standards applicable for manned free balloons that are operated:
- privately for sport and recreation
- for commercial charter scenic flight operations to be known as balloon transport
- specialised operations (currently known as aerial work).
The term 'free balloons' includes the following classes:
- hot air balloons
- gas balloons
- mixed gas and hot air balloons
- hot air airships.
The term excludes powered airships that derive their lift from gases other than heated air. This terminology change will align Australia with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) terminology.
Earlier policy decisions to locate the maintenance rules for manned free balloons in Part 131 are not yet being implemented pending a review that will follow the completion of other projects that are developing the continuing airworthiness rules for aircraft conducting private, aerial work and charter operations.
Also, earlier policy decisions to locate the licensing rules for manned free balloons in Part 131 are not yet being implemented pending a review that will evaluate recent regulatory changes made, or still being drafted, by foreign regulators in relation to balloon licensing.
Parts 11, 13, 21, 39, 45, 47, 67 and 99 would apply equally in respect of free balloons as to any other activities or aircraft, as these cover aspects that have general applicability. The existing Part 31 is specific to manned free balloons and will remain independent of Part 131.
Part 103, sport and recreational aviation operations, will not include balloon operations.
Part 131 is currently under development through standards development project OS 00/08. The key proposals are for Part 131 to:
- maintain privileges and requirements for sport and recreational ballooning
- detail the extra regulations and standards that apply to air operator and any other Part 131 approval certificate operations
- include specific information on:
- flying operations
- pilot licensing and certification (currently under review)
- balloon maintenance and continuing airworthiness (currently under review)
- balloon maintenance personnel authorisations and training (currently under review)
- balloon maintenance organisations (currently under review)
- application for, and grant of, air operator certificates and approval certificates.
- maintain the private pilot authorisation issued by an approved self-administering aviation organisation (ASAO) as a qualification for recreational and sport flying
- ensure Part 131 air operator certificate (AOC) holders will be audited for compliance with their exposition and manuals as a means of increasing industry involvement and accountability for safe operations
- establish a balloon maintenance personnel authorisation and a balloon maintenance organisation (BMO) authorisation that will include provision for training of balloon maintenance personnel (currently under review)
- allow for independent balloon maintainers not employed by a BMO (currently under review).
Part 131 will be supported by a Manual of Standards (MOS). A Plain English Guide to the Part 131 regulations is also being developed. This guide will bring together all the rules that affect balloon operations – whether they are from the new CASR Part 131 or other flight operations regulations.
Who Part 131 affects
Part 131 affects balloon owners, pilots and operators who:
- currently hold an air operator’s certificate (AOC)
- hold a commercial pilot licence (CPL balloon)
- hold a private pilot certificate (PPC) issued by the Australian Balloon Federation.
Depending on future policy decisions, Part 131 may affect maintainers who:
- hold a maintenance authority under Subpart 33B of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR)
- Hold a certificate of approval under CAR 30.
Projects are opened to revise a CASR Part.
Part 131 open projects include:
Consultation and project activities
The future rules for Part 131 include:
- Part 131 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998
- Part 131 Manual of Standards (yet to be issued)
Advisory circulars (ACs) provide advice and guidance to explain particular regulatory requirements of a CASR Part.
|AC 131-01 v1.2 (pdf 116.53 KB)||Manned free balloons - airworthiness and operations||August 2018|