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Fatigue rule (CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013) transition timeline
We are now starting to implement our response to the independent review of the fatigue rules. Content on this page will be updated soon. Read more about these changes.
Learn about the fatigue rule (CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013) transition timeline including extensions to the transition period and what it might mean for you.
Who should read this information?
- New operators (those who applied for and became an Air Operator's Certificate holder or Part 141 training operator after 30 April 2013) and future new operators.
- Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders.
- All Part 141 Certificate holders.
What is the current fatigue rule (CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013) transition timeline?
Operators currently have until 31 October 2018 to transition to the provisions of CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013.
The deadline for operators and Part 141 certificate holders to submit draft operations manual changes or apply for a fatigue risk management system (FRMS) by 30 April 2018 no longer applies.
An independent review of the fatigue rules is currently underway, with a final report to be delivered in March 2018. CASA will fully consider all recommendations contained in the final report of the independent review team, including any impact on transition periods.
A summary of changes to the CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013 transition timeline
April 2013: CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013 was introduced with a three-year transition period. Operators had until April 2016 to transition to the new rules.
August 2015: 12 month extension to transition period announced (rule amended to reflect extension in November 2015). Operators required to submit a draft operations manual amendment by 31 October 2016 and transition to the new rules by 1 May 2017. This extension gave more time for CASA to develop improvements to the rules in response to feedback on how the new rules were impacting different types of operators and included new limits and appendices.
October 2016: Transition period extended by 12 months. Operators required to submit a draft operations manual amendment by 31 October 2017 and transition to the new rules by 1 May 2018.
The extension was in response to industry feedback that more time was needed to incorporate amendments made to the rules in July 2016 (including new appendices to cover ballooning, medical transport and emergency services, and daylight only aerial work operations including helicopter mustering). Operators wanted more time to consider their options and extra time to develop and implement fatigue risk management systems. CASA recognised the need to provide more support through education, information and support tools on the new fatigue rules. The extended transition period will be used to conduct an independent review of the fatigue rules.
September 2017: CASA formally extended the transition period by six months, after announcing its intention to do so in May. The timeline was reviewed in conjunction with the appointment of a team of industry experts to conduct the independent review of the fatigue rules. The extension will enable sufficient time for the review to be carried out and recommendations to be considered. The deadline for operators to complete the transition to the new fatigue rules will be 31 October 2018.
February 2018: CASA removed the 30 April 2018 deadline for air operators and Part 141 certificate holders to submit draft operations manual changes or apply for a fatigue risk management system (FRMS) in preparation for transition. The decision is based on preliminary findings detailed in the interim report from the team conducting the independent review of Australia’s fatigue rules. The interim report suggests both CASA and industry will require more time to respond to the final review findings, on track for delivery to CASA in March 2018. CASA will fully consider all recommendations and seek industry feedback on the final report prior to establishing a final position and announcing a new transition deadline.
Transition extension questions and answers
Some commonly asked questions about extensions to the transition period are answered below.
Will new operators (those who became a new AOC holder after the rules commenced in April 2013) have the option to implement the old rules (CAO Part 48)?
No. New operators are still required to comply with the requirements of CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013.
My operation has already transitioned to CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013. What are our options?
If you have already transitioned to CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013, then you must continue to comply with the requirements of CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013. You can choose to transition to the amended new rules (incorporating the changes contained in CAO 48.1 Amendment Instrument 2016 (No. 1)) at any time before the transition deadline.
I am operating under CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013. Should I be operating to the new rules or the amended new rules?
CAO 48.1 Amendment Instrument 2016 (No. 1), which amends CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013, provides improvements to prescriptive limits including new appendices to cover ballooning, medical transport and aerial work. This amendment will become effective on 31 October 2018; however, operators may opt to take advantage of these improvements earlier by notifying CASA.
We are planning to implement a fatigue risk management system (FRMS) under CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013. Can we still apply for an FRMS?
Yes. Operators can still apply for an FRMS and be approved to commence a trial. The extension to the CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013 transition period will make FRMS available to more operators.
FRMS provides 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. Feedback received at fatigue workshops held throughout Australia in May-July 2016 indicated a significant number of operators were interested in adopting an FRMS and additional time was needed for preparation.
The current transition timeline requires operators to have approval to commence trialling an FRMS on or before 31 October 2018.
Operators (of any size or complexity) are encouraged to consider an FRMS if more flexibility is desired. However, development of an FRMS is more complex. It requires a trial FRMS implementation approval based on an operator's preparatory work. For that approval to be in place on or before the transition deadline, preparations must commence well in advance. If you wish to implement an FRMS, please advise CASA of your intention so that we can guide and assist you through the process. Please contact your CASA regional office to discuss planning your FRMS application now.
What happens if I have already provided my draft operations manual amendments to CASA?
If you have already provided your draft operations manual amendments to CASA (detailing how fatigue risk will be managed to comply with CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013) then you can continue to work towards transitioning to the new rules. If you have not yet passed your specified date of compliance then you can notify your CASA regional office of a revised date, if required.
Can operators choose to transition early?
Yes. An operator can specify a date of compliance with CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013 before the transition deadline.
Will there be an option to renew a standard industry exemption or direction?
In April 2017, CASA extended the following exemptions and directions:
- Instrument number CASA 49/17 – CAO 48.0 Extension of exemption instruments ('fatigue omnibus') extends most current industry exemptions to 30 April 2018.
- CASA 40/17 - Direction – flight time limitation for helicopter mustering operations replaces CASA 37/16. CASA 40/17 applies until 30 April 2018.
- Instrument number CASA EX92/16 – Exemption CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013 – aerial application operations (in aeroplanes) applies until 31 May 2019.
For any future extensions, CASA will develop a process to assess and, where appropriate, extend existing exemptions and directions.
CASA will seek to minimise the burden of this process on industry, and will communicate the process once it has been finalised. Contact your regional office if you have any concerns about your existing exemption or direction.
Learn more about the independent review of the fatigue rules.
Visit our fatigue rules for operators and pilots page for detailed information about the rules currently in force.