From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore
As we begin the New Year, I call on everyone in Australian aviation to make a commitment to work cooperatively and constructively with CASA to effectively address any issues relating to safety regulation that arise during the year. On behalf of CASA, I renew our commitment to listen and engage meaningfully with the aviation community on safety issues and to find lasting solutions to any problems identified. Where you have genuine problems with CASA we will give you a fair hearing and a timely response. If you have suggestions for improvements they will be welcomed and given close consideration. But we need people and organisations that have problems and concerns to work with us towards a common understanding of the issues and to find workable solutions. In other words, there needs to be a culture of mutual respect between the aviation community and CASA. Too often in the past some CASA people and some members of the aviation community have taken a defensive or ideological approach to matters on which reasonable people can and will differ. Trading hostile and provocative barbs across a barren space benefits no one, and certainly does little to advance our shared interests in aviation safety. Let’s all agree to take a mature and professional approach in what can and should be a concerted effort to achieve better relations and better outcomes.
Of course, I understand respect has to be earned and I will continue to work to deliver on the Federal Government’s response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review recommendations to improve CASA’s performance across the board. Last year we delivered on eleven of the recommendations including publishing our new regulatory philosophy, the implementation of which is well underway. Governance arrangements for the Industry Complaints Commissioner have been enhanced and the CASA Board is actively engaged in the process of fulfilling its critical responsibilities under the Civil Aviation Act and in accordance with the Minister’s Statement of Expectations. Work on the other review recommendations relevant to CASA continues, with some well progressed. We will have key performance indicators for service delivery functions in place shortly, a survey of the aviation community has been conducted and results are being collated and our online services are being improved. I have already seen feedback from people who are experiencing a real and positive change in the way CASA is working and in how our people are interacting with the aviation community. I will work tirelessly to ensure this kind of improvement continues and is maintained.
A reminder too that I will be running Flight Plan 2030 forums at Jandakot on Thursday 4 February 2016 and Townsville on Thursday 25 February. Both forums run from 09:00 to 12:00. I look forward to seeing as many people as possible from the Perth and Townsville regions coming along and having a say on how we meet the challenges ahead.
Book your place at the forums.
Pilots get more on CASA Self Service
Extra features are now available to pilots who use the online CASA Self Service facility. Pilots can now view their licences, endorsements and ratings at any time by using CASA Self Service. More than 12,000 people from the aviation community are already registered users of CASA Self Service, with more people joining all the time. The latest changes mean pilots, maintenance licence holders and air traffic controllers can all now view their licence details. CASA Self Service offers users a range of other features including viewing and updating their personal and contact details, viewing their flight crew licensing medical and examination details, downloading and submitting a number of forms, uploading additional documentation for service requests that are in progress and viewing the status of service requests. There is a quick and easy registration process to gain access to CASA Self Service which requires some personal information and an aviation reference number. Once registered a password provides secure access to the online services. Pilots with Civil Aviation Regulation 5 qualifications issued by entries or stamps in their logbook or by any other instrument will not be able to view this information in CASA Self Service. This information will be available online once these pilots move across to a new Part 61 licence.
Go to CASA Self Service now.
Licensing taskforce making solid progress
Work to address outstanding issues with the flight crew licensing suite of regulations is making solid progress. A taskforce was set up late in 2015 and has already delivered a number of solutions to unintended consequences in the new regulations, and in collaboration with the newly appointed industry advisory panel, a priority list of issues has been agreed that will drive the work of the taskforce over the coming months. Outcomes already delivered include an exemption to provide additional pathways for multi crew co-operation training, standards published for aeroplane flight simulator multi-crew co-operation training devices and the finalisation of the Part 141 sample operations manual and supporting material. The sample operations manual will now be independently reviewed prior to public release. The supporting material will include an amended assessor guide, amended worksheets and additional training for CASA staff. Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 141 covers recreational, private and commercial pilot training. Other work underway includes reviews of the Part 61 flight review and instrument proficiency check requirements, the Instructor Rating, aircraft for which training can be conducted by a 141 operator and integrated pilot training requirements. Responding to concerns from the helicopter sector, CASA has worked closely with the aviation community to facilitate the first air transport pilot licence (helicopter) flight tests and will continue to accelerate necessary changes in this field. CASA has also responded to feedback from the mustering sector about the need for additional instructors and examiners. Work continues in many other areas including on the Part 61 flight examiner rating course, drafting amendments to the Part 61 manual of standards and developing and revising additional industry support material such as sample training syllabi.
Keep up to date with the licensing suite.
Regulations updated to benefit aviation community
A package of improvements to a range of airworthiness requirements and the regulations covering nationality and registration marks has been introduced. The improvements benefit people and operators across the aviation community. Manuals of standards will be introduced for Parts 21 and 45 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations containing the detailed standards for each set of regulations. Part 21 covers certification and airworthiness requirements for aircraft and aircraft parts. Part 45 covers the display of nationality and registration marks. Creating a manual of standards for both Parts will improve the flexibility, clarity and functionality of the regulations. In addition this meets two of the recommendations in the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Report which were supported by the Federal Government. The Part 21 manual of standards will provide improved flexibility for approved design organisations and dedicated airworthiness standards for unmanned aircraft. Changes will also be made to the nationality and registration regulations to harmonise aircraft marking requirements with current International Civil Aviation Organization standards and recommended practices. Part 60 – which sets the requirements for simulators and training devices – has been updated to include the latest European standards. Several minor amendments have been made to Schedule 5 – the generic CASA maintenance schedule that can be used instead of the manufacturer’s schedule - to remove obsolete requirements. The package of changes also maintains the current requirements on transport aircraft seat cushion flammability while the issue is reviewed by a joint CASA and industry working group.
Find out more about the package of regulatory changes.
More time for some Cessna SIDs
There has been an extension to the deadline for the completion of Cessna Supplemental Inspection Documents - or SIDs - on two groups of aircraft. The extension applies to Cessna 100 series aircraft used in charter and aerial work and Cessna 200 series aircraft used in private operations. SIDs compliance dates for both these operational categories have been extended by three months to 31 March 2016. The extension recognises the growing backlog of aircraft awaiting SIDs inspections at maintenance and repair organisations, particularly in rural regions where access to specialist technical staff is restricted. The deadline for the completion of private category Cessna 100 series aircraft remains 30 June 2016. SIDs inspections were developed jointly by Cessna and the United States Federal Aviation Administration due to concerns relating to potential corrosion and fatigue damage to principal structural elements of the aircraft. In many cases these components, which are critical to the airworthiness of the aircraft, have not been inspected since the aircraft was manufactured many decades ago. The SIDs program, which complements existing scheduled maintenance, requires the additional detailed inspection of a range of critical structures including wing spars, wing attachment points, wing struts attachments as well as horizontal and vertical stabiliser attachment points. About 3,600 Cessna aircraft in Australia are covered by the SIDs program.
Safety management system rules to be streamlined
The regulatory requirements for safety management systems are being streamlined. Currently safety management system requirements are spread across nine Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and Civil Aviation Orders. There are also eight advisory publications which cover safety management systems. CASA has established a project to create a new Part 5 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations to address the inconsistencies. This new Part will replace all current safety management system regulations and orders. To assist the aviation community before the new Part is developed, CASA will publish common safety management system guidance material. This will address any existing inconsistencies in the requirements for different aviation organisations which can make it difficult for operators to comply with the rules and for CASA to apply the requirements. The safety management system requirements will also be brought in line with International Civil Aviation Organization requirements, with any additional necessary elements in the interests of Australian aviation safety.
Find out more about the safety management system project.
Piston cylinder leak tests
New advice has been issued on carrying out piston engine cylinder leak tests. In an airworthiness bulletin CASA says piston cylinder leak tests are needed to effectively establish engine trend monitoring levels. The trends can then be used to plan engine maintenance in a proactive manner, a practice no different to turbine engine trend monitoring. A cylinder leak test should be carried out at specified intervals to establish and monitor the condition of the engine cylinders. The procedure should not only establish the rate of cylinder leakage but also the source of the leakage. For example, a level of leakage past piston rings may be acceptable but any leakage past a valve seat or from the head to barrel joint makes the cylinder being tested unserviceable. Cylinder leak tests should be carried out by a person or an organisation approved for the purpose in accordance with the requirements of Civil Aviation Regulations. The use of a calibrated differential pressure tester is mandatory for accurate readings. Leak rates acceptable to CASA in the absence of manufacturer’s data are set out, with a leakage past the piston rings of more than 25 per cent requiring action.
Safety lessons for pilots in 2016
The popular and valuable series of AvSafety seminars for pilots continues in 2016. Pilots at nine locations will have the chance to learn safety lessons for life in February 2016. Lessons for life AvSafety seminars are being held at Shepparton, Tyabb, Adelaide, Strathalbyn, Forbes, Gympie, Bundaberg, Maryborough and the Sunshine Coast. There will be a 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. Each AvSafety seminar will feature a discussion about at least one case study from accident reports about low visibility and low flying. Pilots will be asked to look at why the accidents occurred and how they could have been avoided. 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. Each seminar also provides an important opportunity for pilots to give feedback and suggestions to CASA.
Find an AvSafety seminar near you.
Deadline for IFR satellite switch nears
A key deadline in the move to performance based navigation is approaching. On 4 February 2016 all instrument flight rules aircraft must be equipped with an approved Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based area navigation system. The switch to GNSS is mandatory, with the deadline set more than three years ago after wide consultation with the aviation community. All instrument flight rules aircraft will be required to satisfy the aircraft equipment requirements set out in Civil Aviation Order 20.18. Instrument flight rules pilots must make sure they meet the training and licensing requirements for using the GNSS equipment in their aircraft. From 26 May 2016 Airservices Australia will begin decommissioning 181 ground-based navigation aids which are past their operational lifespan. The remaining network of conventional ground-based aids will be upgraded or replaced to create a backup navigation aid network if GNSS navigation is not possible. The transition from ground-based to satellite navigation has the potential to realise a range of benefits. These include a reduced requirement to use legacy ground-based aids for relative navigation or point-to-point tracking, while offering operational flexibility, reduced track miles, step-down and circling approaches, reduced fuel burn and flight times. The transition to using GNSS as the primary means of navigation positions Australian aviation at the forefront of countries adopting these future technologies. On 4 February 2016 all aircraft conducting instrument flight rules operations within a 500 nautical miles quadrant from north through to east of Perth must also have automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast equipment.
Find out more about GNSS.
- Current rules update
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- Policy notice update
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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 website.
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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 website 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 website flying training pages.
Interested in sport aviation? Want to find out how sport aviation is regulated. CASA's website is a good source of more information. Find out more on the sport aviation pages.