Fatigue management rules: latest news
Fatigue rules amendments include new limits for specific sectors
Changes to improve the fatigue management rules are now finalised.
Since 2013, the aviation industry has provided valuable feedback to CASA on the implications and effects of the new rules. This feedback has been sought and welcomed by CASA. It has enabled us to refine our understanding of current industry fatigue risk management practices and review and revise the limitations and requirements in new CAO 48.1.
In response to feedback, we have developed new sets of limitations tailored to specific sectors of the aviation industry.
Additionally, some provisions that caused difficulties in interpretation or implementation have now been clarified.
Key changes include:
- The introduction of a new appendix (Appendix 4A) available to ballooning operations.
- The introduction of a new appendix (Appendix 4B) available to medical transport or emergency service operations.
- The introduction of a new appendix (Appendix 5A) available to daylight aerial work operations, such as helicopter mustering.
- changes to Appendix 1 to enable operators to access a larger part of the day to conduct any operation (from the beginning of morning civil twilight to 1am the next day).
- recognition of prior fatigue training undertaken, allowing ‘portability’ of an flight crew member’s fatigue training to a new operator
View the guidance document to see how the amendments will be incorporated into Civil Aviation Order 48.1 Instrument 2013.
No further changes to the rules are currently planned – this will be the final amendment to the prescriptive appendices until a formal post-implementation review is conducted.
To transition to the new fatigue rules, operators must submit draft operations manual amendments or an FRMS application to CASA by 31 October 2016. Operators must complete their transition to the new rules by 1 May 2017.
14 April 2016
Renewed direction for helicopter mustering operators
Direction CASA 37/16 effective 14 April 2016 replaced the repealed CASA 98/14 to ensure helicopter mustering operators can continue to use existing flight time limitations and requirements until the 1 May 2017 deadline to transition to the new fatigue rules. In addition to the flight and duty limits the direction specifies that operators must submit their draft, updated operations manual or application for FRMS approval to CASA no later than 31 October 2016. Operators will then have a further six months to ensure their operations and flight crew is ready for the final transition deadline of 1 May 2017.
An additional appendix to CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013 containing fatigue rules that specifically address the conditions of helicopter mustering operations has been developed to ensure the needs of the helicopter mustering sector continue to be met.
View the exemption on the Federal Register of Legislation website.
Read more about the fatigue rules for helicopter mustering operators.
24 March 2016
Have your say on proposed improvements to the rules including new limits for medical transport
CD 1510OS-2 – Improvements to the new rules for fatigue management for flight crew members is now available for comment.
We have been working with representatives from industry on the latest proposed amendments and we now want your feedback.
Key changes we are seeking feedback on include:
- The introduction of a new appendix (Appendix 4B) available to medical transport or emergency service operations. The new appendix has been developed in consultation with affected stakeholders taking into account their unique operating characteristics.
- Clarification that an in-flight crew rest facility must be sufficiently comfortable for a flight crew member (FCM) to obtain sleep.
- A less prescriptive definition of 'suitable sleeping accommodation' for aerial work operations.
- The extension of Appendix 5A to all aerial work operations. The proposed prior sleep opportunity requirements under this appendix have also been amended to ensure the FCM does not undertake any duties during the three local nights prior to a flight duty period (FDP).
- The ability for an operator to consistently use an alternative 'local time' for a specified location, if its use meets certain criteria.
- Clarification that the Order does not apply to private operations.
- Further clarification of the off-duty period requirements under Appendix 1.
- Clarification for augmented crew operations under Appendix 2.
- Provision for operator proficiency checks and flight reviews to be conducted under the limits of Appendix 5 and 5A (where relevant to an operator conducting operations under those appendices).
- Amendments to flight duty limits within Appendix 5.
It is intended that this will be the final amendment to the prescriptive appendices until the formal post-implementation review is conducted. We are working to incorporate industry feedback and finalise improvements to the rules as soon as possible to enable a smooth transition by 1 May 2017.
All comments should be sent to the Fatigue Management team, by close of business 11 May 2016.
More time for fatigue rule transition confirmed
Air operators are being given an extra year to make the transition to the new fatigue management rules which came into effect on 30 April 2013. This follows consultation with the aviation community that found both CASA and air operators needed more time to make a smooth and safe transition to Civil Aviation Order 48.1 (2013).
Under the new arrangements, operators that held an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), or had applied to become an AOC holder prior to 30 April 2013 will have an extra 12 months to transition to the new fatigue management rules.
The extended transition will take effect in two stages. First, operators that are yet to transition will be required to submit a draft operations manual amendment to CASA detailing how they will manage fatigue (and comply with CAO 48.1) by 31 October 2016. Operators will then have a further six months to finalise their operations manual in time for the final transition deadline of 1 May 2017.
The extended transition period gives operators the opportunity to receive feedback on their operations manual from CASA, implement systems, and train staff on the revised procedures. CASA will continue to deliver training, develop supporting material, and work with operators and industry sectors to assist with transition to the new rules.
CASA will ensure that existing exemptions are renewed to cover operators for the extended transition period. The process is currently being finalised and will be advertised in a future update.
New report and video on the case for change and science behind the fatigue rules
To support the requirement to move to a modernised fatigue system CASA has released a new video and report outlining the importance of managing pilot fatigue and the principles that underpin the latest fatigue management rules.
The seven-minute video, featuring a number of fatigue experts, sets out some of the reasons for changing the rules, highlighting the importance of effective fatigue management in aviation and providing real examples of the consequences of fatigue.
The video has been released along with a 16-page review which sets out the scientific support for Civil Aviation Order 48.1.
- Watch the CASA Safety Video - Fatigue on CASA’s YouTube channel
- Read the report A review of the case for change: Scientific support for CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013
Implementing an FRMS
Any operator can choose to implement a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS). Of all transition options, an FRMS gives the most operational flexibility for successfully managing fatigue—and for many it is likely to be an investment that will pay dividends in safety and efficiency.
Operators (of any size or complexity) are encouraged to consider an FRMS if the new prescriptive limits are not suitable and if more flexibility is desired.
Development of an FRMS is inherently more involved than a prescriptive limits approach and must commence well before the transition date. With time now running out, anyone considering FRMS should contact their local CASA regional office now.
Some operators currently operate under an exemption from the old CAO 48 via a safety case based on a fatigue management system (FMS). FMS is also commonly referred to as FRMS under the old fatigue rules (CAO 48). There are key differences between the old FMS and the new FRMS—for example, the old FMS and the new FRMS are assessed to different standards.
Find out more about how to develop a fatigue risk management system, learn about the differences between an FMS and FRMS, and access tools and resources to assist you implement an FRMS.
Proposed amendments planned
During August-October, CASA consulted on proposed amendments to the fatigue rules, including changes to the basic limits and adding new appendices for ballooning and mustering. CASA would like to thank the aviation community for contributing to the consultation.
In response to your feedback, we are proposing further amendments to improve the regulations, including new limits for medical transport. Consultation is expected to commence in early December with the rules coming into place in February 2016. The consultation will be advertised through the normal channels including email updates to subscribers.
For more information
Visit the fatigue management pages on the CASA website for information about the new fatigue rules, including resources such as information sheets and operations manual templates to help you understand and apply the new rules.
If you would like further assistance, or would like to make an appointment with CASA to start planning your transition, please contact your local CASA regional office.
Proposed amendments and extension to transition
At present, operators have until 30 April 2016 to transition to the new CAO 48.1. Operators who first applied and became an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) holder after 30 April 2013 must comply with the new CAO 48.1 immediately upon certification. Part 141 certificate holders who did not have an AOC before 30 April 2013 must also comply with the new CAO 48.1 immediately upon certification.
In response to industry feedback on how the rules are impacting operators, CASA has developed amendments to the rules which will change limits and add new appendices. CASA is also proposing to extend the transition period by 12 months to provide time for industry to incorporate the proposed amendments into their operational manuals.
Under proposed extension, operators will be required to submit a draft operations manual amendment detailing how they will manage fatigue (and comply with CAO 48.1) by 31 October 2016 and transition to they new rules by 1 May 2017. This will provide CASA with a six-month period to review manual amendments and liaise with operators to implement any required changes. An operator may nominate a date prior to 1 May 2017 if they wish to commence complying with the new rules early.
Consultation document open for comment
CD 1510OS - Civil Aviation Order 48.1 Amendment Instrument 2015 (No.1)
New limits for medical transport planned
CASA is working with representatives from the medical transport industry on a further amendment to introduce a medical transport limit set—planned for early 2016. This amendment will be open for consultation later this year.
Implementing an FRMS
Operators considering transitioning to a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) are reminded that development of an FRMS is more complex and must commence well before the transition date. Please contact your local CASA regional office to discuss planning your FRMS application now.
For more information
Visit the fatigue management page on the CASA website for information about the new fatigue rules, including resources such as information sheets and operations manual templates to help you understand and apply the rules.
For further assistance, please contact your local CASA regional office