CD 1620OS - NVIS special fire endorsement - proposed amendments to CAO 82.6
In 2007, CASA introduced Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 82.6 to provide a legislative framework for night vision imaging system (NVIS) helicopter operations. CAO 82.6 also included NVIS pilot and aircrew member qualifications.
Initially, the operations authorised under the CAO were limited to emergency medical services, search and rescue (SAR), law enforcement, aerial fire fighting, aerial fire fighting support, marine pilot transfer and NVIS initial and recurrent training and checking. A trial conducted in 2010 of NVIS fire mapping and incendiary dropping necessitated a number of changes to CAO 82.6 in 2012, including:
- amendment of the already included definition of 'aerial fire fighting' to include incendiary dropping
- introduction of an NVIS special fire endorsement (SFE) applicable to NVIS incendiary dropping and fire mapping.
With the introduction of Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) in 2014, CASA relocated the NVIS pilot qualifications from CAO 82.6 to Part 61. During this process, the NVIS SFE requirements were unintentionally left in CAO 82.6. This has resulted in a situation in which CAO 82.6 now outlines the pre-requisite experience for an SFE but does not provide an appropriate training and competency assessment framework for a pilot to be able to obtain an NVIS SFE.
The NVIS SFE currently applies to NVIS incendiary dropping and mapping. The NVIS fire qualification framework is still under consideration as part of a larger review of the NVIS legislative framework (Standards Development Project OS13/19). This and other policy changes will be consulted separately with industry in early 2017. However, as those proposed changes would not be completed in time for the current fire season, CASA has proposed a pre-emptive amendment to ensure that the current NVIS SFE operates within a suitable framework in time for this fire season. This proposal is solely to rectify the Part 61 omission and to correct some errors in CAO 82.6-it makes no changes to CASA's policy or the intent of CAO 82.6.
- SPC to CD 1620OS
- Annex A - Draft Civil Aviation Order 82.6 Amendment Order (No. x) 2016
- Annex B - CAO 82.6 NVIS Special Fire Endorsement Certificate of Competency
How to respond
Please forward your response to the Project Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org, by close of business 19 December 2016.
Summary of consultation
CASA published CD 1620OS - NVIS special fire endorsement - Proposed amendments to CAO 82.6 on the CASA website from 9-19 December 2016, and invited the Standards Consultative Committee, aviation industry and public to make comment on the proposed amendments. Individual NVIS operators known to be involved in NVIS helicopter firefighting were also contacted directly for comment.
CASA received 7 submissions in response to the consultation. Respondents requested CASA to not publish responses publically.