From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore
A lot of work has been underway behind the scenes to improve CASA’s presence online. Our website is being upgraded, the new online medical records system will be launched shortly and CASA Self Service has been expanded. These are important improvements to assist the aviation community in its interactions with CASA. We understand your need to get regulatory and other information, advice, support and services in the quickest and most efficient ways. There will be ongoing work to expand and upgrade CASA’s online services as resources allow and we will continue to consult with the aviation community to get a better understanding everyone’s needs and priorities.
The new medical records system is scheduled to begin operations from mid-March 2016 and the feedback to date from people who have tested the system has been positive. If anyone has issues with the new system CASA will be ready with support to make the transition as smooth as possible. I am pleased to say the number of people using CASA Self Service has grown steadily and impressively over the last six months. More than 15,500 people are now users of CASA Self Service and this figure is growing all the time. Self Service allows pilots, maintainers and air traffic controllers to view and manage information and to lodge and track various service requests. Users can also download a number of interactive PDF forms, some of which come pre-filled with the user's data, and we will be expanding this service in the future. I know CASA’s website has needed upgrading for some time, but it does take a lot of work and time to go through the thousands of pages of content to assess what is current and still needed and to present the information in a more user friendly manner. Even after the new site has been launched this work will continue to make sure it best meets the needs of the aviation community.
The online improvements are part of CASA’s commitment to strive to be more efficient and effective, as well as to deliver on the important recommendations of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review which were supported by the Government. There was a specific recommendation about improving online services.
In March 2016 I will be running two Flight Plan 2030 forums - at Wagga on Wednesday 2 March and Melbourne on Wednesday 16 March. Both forums run from 14:00 to 17:00. It would be great to see lots of people at both locations to have a say on how we meet the aviation challenges of the future.
New online medical system starts soon
The new online medical records system is due to start from 21 March 2016. After this date all aviation medicals will need to be completed by both the holder of the medical certificate and medical examiners using the online medical records system – known as MRS. This new system is safe and secure and allows pilots and air traffic controllers to manage their medical certification from end to end. This includes applying for a medical certificate, recording medical information, submitting examinations, making payments, checking on the progress of current applications, checking medical certification status and updating contact information. Medical certificate holders will get an email notification well before the expiry of their current certificate to notify them it is time for renewal. The new system has been developed after wide consultation with the aviation community and medical examiners.
Pilots and air traffic controllers with medicals due before 1 March 2016 should follow the current processes for medical certificate applications. Any pilots or air traffic controllers with a medical application or renewal due from 1 March to 31 March 2016 should book an appointment as soon as possible with their designated aviation medical examiner. The current system will close on Thursday 17 March for the transition to the new online system, so all applications must be completed and lodged with CASA by Wednesday 16 March 2016. Any applications not submitted to CASA by 16 March 2016 will need to be lodged online in the new system after 21 March 2016.
Tennis ball on cockpit control sparks warning
A tennis ball stuck on the end of a control in a Cessna has sparked a new warning about unapproved aircraft modifications. During an audit of the aircraft, which was involved in parachute operations, CASA found the co-pilots roll and pitch control had been modified by removing the control yoke and covering the open end of the tube using the tennis ball. The forward and aft motion of the control column had been disabled by disconnecting one end of the pitch control push-pull tube from the elevator control system, with the rod-end loosely secured to an electrical loom under the instrument panel. In an airworthiness bulletin CASA identified this unapproved modification as a significant threat to safety of flight. The bulletin warns all aircraft operators and owners of their obligation to ensure their aircraft conforms to the type design and is maintained in a serviceable and airworthy condition. Unapproved modifications render an aircraft un-airworthy. All modifications must be done in accordance with the approved data and all unapproved and conflicting modifications must be removed by a qualified person to return an aircraft to a serviceable and airworthy condition. There must be applicable flight manual supplements for modifications and the continuing airworthiness requirements of each modification must be properly incorporated into the aircraft maintenance program.
Changes proposed to fuel rules
An update is proposed for the regulatory requirements for carrying sufficient fuel and oil on aircraft. Comments are being sought on a package of proposals to change the fuel and oil regulations, introduce a new legislative instrument and revise a civil aviation advisory publication. CASA is proposing the changes following revised international fuel practices and policies from the International Civil Aviation Organization, along with Australian Transport Safety Bureau research into fuel related occurrences. The proposal is to repeal the existing set of fuel and oil regulations and to create separate regulatory sets for fuel and oil. Until the new operational Parts of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation become effective, these provisions would be contained in 234 and 234A of the Civil Aviation Regulations. A new instrument would then prescribe the fuel-related requirements - setting out mandatory fixed fuel reserve and variable fuel reserve quantities, closely based on the current guidelines. The instrument would also cover matters to be considered when determining if an aircraft is carrying sufficient fuel, the amounts of fuel to be carried, the procedures for monitoring fuel quantity during a flight and the procedures to be followed if fuel reaches a specified lower limit during a flight. In addition, the proposed instrument would introduce minor amendments to the existing fuel regulations, mandating a variable fuel reserve of at least five minutes on short duration charter and regular public transport flights. The instrument would cover fuel requirements for pressurisation and engine failures and introduce additional fuel requirements. CASA has sought to balance the operational, cost and environmental requirements to reduce unnecessary fuel uplift without compromising safety.
CASA maintenance schedule updated
The CASA aeroplane maintenance schedule has been updated. Known as Schedule 5 of the Civil Aviation Regulations, this document can be used instead of the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for aeroplanes that are not certified in the transport category or used in regular public transport. The changes to the schedule bring it up to date with current regulations, in particular licensed maintenance engineer categories. There are also changes relating to radio navigation system checks which remove references to obsolete regulations. Transponder testing has been taken out of the schedule and is now covered by either an airworthiness directive or a Civil Aviation Order. A revised civil aviation advisory publication has been issued including the changes. This publication has sections that can be copied and used as worksheets by licensed engineers. Where the CASA maintenance schedule is used it covers both daily and periodic inspections. The time-in-service between periodic inspections is 100 hours aeroplane time-in-service or 12 months, whichever is the earlier. For aeroplanes below 5700 kg engaged in private operations this inspection may be performed annually irrespective of hours flown. Before Schedule 5 is used CASA recommends the manufacturer’s schedule be considered as an alternative as they are generally more appropriate for the maintenance of aeroplanes.
We’ll soon have a better website for you
CASA will soon have new and improved website. The design and information architecture has been updated to help users find the information they need quickly and easily. Changes have been made after extensive consultation with the aviation community and user testing. Features of the new website will include a better structure with intuitive navigation menus, easy to use top level pages to guide users through information, better accessibility on mobile devices and improved search functionality. All the essential information required by the aviation community will remain on the website, although users may find the need to update some bookmarks. There will be nine main sections of the website covering CASA’s key functions such as the regulations, education, licensing, certification and safety management. The new design includes additional space on the front page to highlight CASA’s latest activities, information and news. Further improvements to the website will be made progressively during 2016.
Go to the CASA website. https://www.casa.gov.au/
First approvals under new rules for aeronautical data
CASA has issued the first approvals under the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 175. These regulations are designed to protect the quality of aeronautical data as it is processed through the information chain. A data service provider certificate was issued to Jeppesen, an international company providing navigation solutions, in December 2015. Airservices Australia was issued an aeronautical information service provider certificate in February 2016. The Part 175 rules commenced on 5 March 2015 and cover aeronautical information service providers, aeronautical data originators, data service providers and obstacle data providers. They relate to a number of areas that impact on data integrity such as the systems used to collect data, the qualifications of those handling the data and the process for correcting errors. Aeronautical data originators including CASA need to meet a number of requirements including conducting annual reviews of data that is published in the Aeronautical Information Publication and on aeronautical charts.
Take a look at aviation 1950s style
Stepping back into post-war Australian aviation is a fascinating journey. There are flying boats taking off from Sydney Harbour on the way to New Zealand, it takes four days to fly to London and pedal radios are used to contact the flying doctor from outback stations. The detail of Australian aviation in 1950 is captured in a vintage Department of Civil Aviation film called Flight Plan – A Review of Civil Aviation in Australia Today. The film covers all aspects of aviation including domestic and international passenger services, mail runs, medical services, air traffic and weather services, aerodrome construction and aircraft maintenance. In 25 minutes the film captures the glamour and importance of aviation in building post-war Australia. The narrator talks about the “roadways in the sky” and how aviation has “brought the people of Australia closer together”. There are shots of the Qantas Constellation aircraft VH-EAB and a simulated engine failure on approach to Sydney Kingsford Smith aerodrome.
Fourteen safety seminars for pilots in March
Pilots at fourteen locations in six states and the Northern Territory will have the chance to learn safety lessons for life in March 2016. Lessons for life AvSafety seminars are scheduled to be held at Archerfield, Caboolture, Hobart, Gawler, Airlie Beach, Cooma, Ballarat, Naracoorte, Temora, Albany, Kununurra, Mt Gambier, Esperance and Jabiru. Each seminar will focus on two key safety issues that continue to feature in accidents - flight in low visibility and unplanned or unapproved low flying. Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigations nominate these issues as top safety concerns. There will be a discussion about at least one case study from accident reports about low visibility and low flying. Other issues may be discussed such as regulatory changes, pilot responsibilities in relation to maintenance releases and correct procedures to follow at non-controlled aerodromes. The seminars also provide an important opportunity for pilots to give feedback and suggestions to CASA.
Find an AvSafety seminar near you.
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If you believe aviation safety is at risk, call the CASA safety. Ring 1800 074 737.
If your aircraft has a serious or major defect make sure you report it to CASA. Forms and information are on the CASA web site.
Find out how CASA's safety advisors provide safety education, training and advice to the aviation industry.
Do you need to renew your Aviation Security Identification Card?
Looking to contact CASA's Industry Complaints Commissioner? Find out how here.
If you have a question or request about licensing or aircraft registration remember you can email the CASA Licensing and Registration Centre:
Do you know the easiest way to find the CASA office closest to you? Simply go to our national map and click on your region. Use this link.
There's a special number for contacting CASA's Office of Airspace Regulation outside of normal business hours. For urgent airspace requests call: 02 6217 1177.
CASA has a wide range of challenging and interesting jobs. Find out about the latest employment opportunities at CASA.
CASA online self-service is available for a range of applications. Go to CASA Self-Service.
There's a special page on CASA's web site to help international operators flying in Australia. Find out everything about international operations.
Need to keep up-to-date with what's happening with the regulation of flying schools? Then keep an eye on CASA's web site flying training pages.
Interested in sport aviation? Want to find out how sport aviation is regulated. CASA's web site is a good source of more information. Find out more on the sport aviation pages.