From acting Director of Aviation Safety and CEO, Shane Carmody
I am thoroughly enjoying my time back at CASA and I am looking forward to getting stuck into the work in 2017, assisting the aviation community to deliver the best possible safety outcomes. Since starting in October I have been looking at governance and accountability within CASA and I expect to be making some adjustments in the New Year. I have also been reviewing our performance management and training regimes and will do some fine tuning in those areas as well. I have been impressed by CASA’s strong relationships with the aviation community and encouraged by many positive messages I have received during the last two months.
I wish everyone in Australian aviation a safe and enjoyable Christmas and hope that as many people as possible can get out and go flying over the holiday period. Right across the aviation community there is a great passion for flying and the holidays are a perfect time to express this passion and share it with others. Like many organisations CASA will be taking a short break between Christmas and New Year, although we will have people on standby to meet any urgent aviation safety related requests.
Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2017 from everyone at CASA.
Comment now on medical certification
Australia’s aviation community is being called on take part in a detailed discussion about the future of aviation medical certification requirements. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has issued a comprehensive discussion paper setting out a range of medical certification issues and options. This discussion paper forms the basis for any future consultation between CASA and the aviation community on potential changes to medical certification. The paper does not contain any proposals or draft regulations. Six options that may be considered for future consultation are identified, although further options will be considered on the basis of responses to the discussion paper. Options range from continuing existing medical requirements to developing a new medical certificate for the sport and recreational sectors. Other options are re-assessing risk tolerances, streamlining certification practices, aligning sport and recreational standards and mitigating the risks of any changes through operational restrictions. The discussion paper looks at a range of relevant issues such as CASA’s approach to aviation medicine, the approach to medical certification in four other nations, pilot incapacitation in Australia, accidents and risks, psychiatric conditions and the protection of third parties. CASA’s acting Director of Aviation Safety and CEO, Shane Carmody, said aviation medicine is a complex area of decision making involving medical, regulatory and legal considerations. “Due to these complexities CASA recognised a wide discussion with the aviation community is essential before any proposals for change should be considered,” Mr Carmody said.
Smart phones top dangerous goods list
Smart phones have been ranked the least wanted dangerous goods in Australian aviation for 2016. This follows an increasing number of passengers accidently crushing their phone in the reclining mechanism of their aircraft seat. This can result in the damaged smart phone battery going into thermal runaway, possibly igniting a fire. The growing rate of these incidents has seen airlines review seat designs and update safety videos to warn passengers not to move their seat if they lose their smart phone. There were 39 reports of lost or damaged smart phones in 2016, with nine cases requiring emergency procedures. Lithium batteries and portable power packs come in at number two on the least wanted dangerous goods list with passengers still failing to carry spare batteries safely. Spare batteries must never be carried in checked luggage at any time but should be taken on board aircraft in carry-on baggage with the battery terminals protected. Hover boards have made the least wanted dangerous goods list for the first time, with passengers still packing the self-balancing scooter in luggage despite widespread warnings.. The lack of manufacturing standards for hover boards is believed to have caused several fires around the world. Compressed oxygen also makes the dangerous goods list, with passengers requiring oxygen for medical purposes failing to contact their airline before travelling. While medically required oxygen canisters are allowed on aircraft, travellers must gain approval from their airline before flying and cylinders, valves or regulators fitted on the cylinder must be protected from damage. Other least wanted dangerous goods include chainsaws, whipper snippers and other devices with internal combustion engines, gas cylinders and camping stoves, paint and paint related products, fireworks, lighters and matches.
We need healthy, happy pilots
The Christmas-New Year holiday period is a great time to go flying with family and friends. Before getting behind the controls there is a lot to plan and think about and one of those is the health and well-being of the pilot. To help pilots focus on their well-being CASA has developed a suite of on-line information and advice on topics such as fatigue, diet, hydration, alcohol and other drugs and mental health. Pilots need to have the knowledge and self-awareness to monitor their own fitness and performance and address any issues that could affect safe operations. The old adage of ‘you are what you eat’ applies both on the ground and in the air. In fact, the leading cause of pilot incapacitation over the last decade wasn’t laser pointer strikes, fatigue or hypoxia - it was upset stomachs and food poisoning. Diet can have a significant impact on how a pilot feels and performs. Large meals require energy to digest and a full stomach draws blood away from the brain, leaving you feeling tired. Smaller meals, more often, can avoid this effect. Keeping properly hydrated is also very important, with the recommended daily amount of water around two litres, or more in physically demanding or hot conditions. Certain medications as well as alcohol and caffeine consumption can also impact hydration and performance levels.
Flight Safety Australia annual edition in print now
Everyone who would like a high quality printed edition of the best of CASA’s Flight Safety Australia magazine should place an order now. The second annual printed edition of the Flight Safety Australia online magazine is now available. The 2016 Flight Safety Australia collectors’ edition is a bumper edition of more than 50 stories published in the online magazine during 2016. Features cover human factors, flight operations, training, maintenance and aviation medicine. There are also stories about the latest research on the risks of collision between manned aircraft and drones, the importance of human-machine interface design and how medicine uses a combination of theatrical and technical simulation to develop interpersonal skills in surgical teams. The close calls section-written by pilots who share their experiences in the name of safety-covers incidents ranging from the terrifying to the merely troubling. Close calls are in aircraft as diverse as warbirds, gliders, and business jets. This is a 168 page publication packed with great reading for everyone involved in all sectors of Australian aviation.
The 2016 Flight Safety Australia print edition costs just $15 for packing and postage and can be ordered through the CASA online store.
New fatigue fee waiver
A fee waiver for a ‘like for like’ transition to a fatigue risk management system under the new fatigue rules is now available. The fatigue risk management system fee waiver is consistent with CASA’s current practice to not charge operators transitioning to new rule sets on a ‘like for like’ basis. The waiver applies to operators transitioning to a fatigue risk management system under Appendix 7 of the Civil Aviation Order 48.1 instrument 2013. All operators with an existing application for a fatigue risk management system have received a refund. Fatigue risk management system applications that include a variation of scope will continue to have the relevant fees applied. In October 2016, CASA announced that the transition period for the fatigue rules would be extended by 12 months. The extension provides more time for operators to consider their options under the Civil Aviation Order 48.1, including extra time to develop and implement a fatigue risk management system. The extension has also provided an opportunity for CASA to conduct an independent review of the new fatigue rules. CASA is planning to announce the terms of reference for the review in early 2017.
CASA closing for Christmas
Don’t forget CASA will be closed over the Christmas-New Year holiday period. CASA services to the aviation community will be unavailable from close of business Friday 23 December 2016, until Tuesday 3 January 2017. All services will resume from start of business on Tuesday 3 January 2017. Anyone who anticipates needing CASA services during the holiday period should contact CASA as soon as possible. Please contact the relevant regional office or the CASA Client Services Centre for assistance. CASA will be available to help with urgent aviation safety matters during the Christmas-New Year period but resources are limited. If urgent assistance is needed call 131 757 and follow the prompts. Foreign air operators who require urgent assistance over the Christmas-New Year period should contact CASA through +61 7 3144 7400. This is for urgent matters such as non-scheduled medical flights. There will also be a 24 hour telephone contact for emergency or urgent airspace requests. These can be lodged by calling +61 2 6217 1177.
Get all the details on the Christmas-New Year arrangements.
It’s easy to learn the drone rules
The unmanned sector of Australian aviation is growing and developing rapidly and everyone who operates a drone must understand the rules and their safety responsibilities. CASA has developed a new online learning tool to help both commercial and recreational drone operators to fly safely. The e-learning tool steps through the various regulations that apply to remotely piloted aircraft, with users selecting the rules relevant to their operations. The regulations are explained in plain language or can be read in extracts directly from Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. There is information on the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate and the Remote Pilot Licence. For commercial operators there is also advice on insurance and other relevant issues. The e-learning for sport and recreational drone fliers warns no matter how large a drone is or what it is used for, the first rule of flying is that it must not be operated in a way that creates a hazard to people, property or aircraft. Drones must be kept away from the approach and departure paths of aerodrome runways and landing areas.
Gliders to dominate local airspace
Pilots flying in northern Victoria and southern NSW will see an increasing number of gliders in the sky in December 2016 and January 2017. The 34th Federation Aeronautique Internationale World and Continental Gliding Championships are being held at Benalla between 8 and 22 January 2017. Practice flying will get underway before the championships, with airspace being used in the Goulburn Valley, Hume, London and Mallee regions. Some pilots have already been participating in a week of coaching and training at Horsham in Victoria. There will be 114 competitors from 29 countries taking part in the championships. The event consists of a series of races around courses that are set each day depending on weather, and can range from 300km to 700km or more. Launching time will usually be between 12pm and 2pm, and it will take 10 tow planes over an hour to launch the fleet. The gliders will return to land in the late afternoon, usually between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. All pilots flying in northern Victoria and southern NSW should take the gliding activity into account when planning operations in late 2016 and January 2017.
Find out more about the World Gliding Championships.
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