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Legislative changes - Explanatory statementStatutory Rules 2002 No. 167

Explanatory statement
Statutory Rules 2002 No. 167

Civil Aviation Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2)
Statutory Rules 2002 No. 167

Civil Aviation Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2) (353K Adobe Acrobat file)
Attachment - Details of the amending regulations (95K Adobe Acrobat file)
Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Explanatory Statement

Subsection 98(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations for the purposes of the Act and in relation to the safety of air navigation.

Under subsection 98(3) of the Act, the regulation making power includes the planning, construction, establishment, maintenance, operation and use of air route and airways facilities. By definition in the Act, air route and airways facilities include air traffic control services and facilities, communication services, non-visual aids to approach and landing at aerodromes, non-visual aids along the air routes, flight services and facilities and airways. The regulation making power extends to the planning, construction, establishment, maintenance, and use of services of the kind referred to in paragraph 8(1)(b) of the Air Services Act 1995. The services referred to are those for the purposes of giving effect to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention) to which Australia is a signatory, or otherwise for the purposes relating to the safety, regularity or efficiency of air navigation, and include an aeronautical telecommunication service and an aeronautical radio-navigation service.

Subsection 9 (1) of the Act specifies that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has the function of conducting safety regulation of civil air operations by means that include, among other things, developing and promulgating appropriate, clear and concise safety standards and issuing certificates, licences, registrations and permits.

Under paragraph 98(3)(c) of the Act, the regulation making power extends to requiring persons performing specified functions in relation to the operation or maintenance of aircraft and aerodromes to be the holders of licences, permits or certificates of specified kinds, and providing for the grant, issue, cancellation, suspension or variation of such licences, permits and certificates.

The Air Services Act 1995, Division 2, Section 8 states that Airservices Australia will provide rescue and fire fighting services, or provide those services under contract. The Airports Act 1996, Part 14, Section 216 states that an entity other than Airservices Australia can provide rescue and fire fighting services with an arrangement approved in writing by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services.

Currently, there are no civil aviation safety regulations in Australia that cover the services provided by Airservices Australia. These services include air traffic, aerodrome rescue and fire fighting, aeronautical telecommunications, radio navigation, and training and licensing for air traffic controllers and aerodrome fire-fighters.

The Government has acknowledged this gap in safety regulation by directing CASA to develop an appropriate safety regulatory framework for these services. These new safety regulations address this direction by the Government.

The overall regulatory framework will not permit the provision of air traffic control by providers other than Airservices Australia (and, where appropriate, the Australian Defence Force). However, if control tower services were made contestable in the future, the safety regulatory framework would apply to other air traffic control service providers.

The Regulations establish an appropriate framework of safety regulations for the provision of air traffic services and aerodrome rescue and fire fighting services by inserting the following parts into the Principal regulations:

  • Part 65, entitled Air Traffic Services Licensing, which establishes safety regulations in relation to the licensing and performance of functions by individual personnel in connection with the provision of air traffic services (within the meaning of Annex 11 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation) in Australian territory. The Regulations establish requirements with which persons will have to comply if authorised to act in air traffic control and flight service activities together with the requirements to do with licensing of air traffic controllers and flight service officers, including details of the various licence annotations that authorise the performance of particular functions at specific localities and certain training requirements.
  • Part 139 - Subpart H, entitled Aerodrome rescue and fire fighting services which establishes the minimum standards for service provision in relation to Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services and support services. The Regulations establish requirements for application and approval of prospective aerodrome rescue and fire fighting service and training providers, to provide that all service providers, including Airservices Australia, will be subject to the same level of safety regulations and to provide for the administrative control of approvals to provide Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services.
  • Part 143, entitled Air Traffic Services Training Providers, which establishes safety regulations for the provision of air traffic services training. In particular they apply to a person (an individual or a body having legal responsibility) that wants to become, or is, an Air Traffic Service training provider. The Regulations establish requirements with which applicants for approval as Air Traffic Service (ATS) Training providers have to comply and the provisions applying to approvals issued to ATS training providers together with the requirements with which approved ATS training providers have to comply, such as requirements for a training plan, qualifications for certain personnel and reference materials, documents and records.
  • Part 171, entitled Aeronautical Telecommunication Service and Radionavigation Service Providers, which establishes safety regulations for the provision of aeronautical telecommunication and radionavigation services. The Regulations establish requirements for application and approval of prospective aeronautical telecommunication and radionavigation service providers together with the safety related requirements with which applicants for approval as an aeronautical telecommunication or radionavigation service provider have to comply, such as requirements for an operations manual, high level requirements and procedures for aeronautical telecommunication and radionavigation service provision, and organisation and personnel and management standards, including the requirement for a safety management system.
  • Part 172, entitled Air Traffic Service Providers, which establishes safety regulations for the provision of air traffic services. The Regulations establish requirements with which applicants for approval as an Air Traffic Service (ATS) provider have to comply and the provisions applying to approvals issued to ATS providers together with the requirements with which approved ATS providers have to comply, such as requirements for an operations manual, standards for air traffic service, standards for facilities and equipment, organisation and personnel standards and management standards, including the requirement for a safety management system.

The Regulations also establish the requirements:

  • In relation to the content of individual service providers' operations manual; and
  • In an interim method to do with applications for approval, variations of approval and suspension and cancellation of approvals.

The Regulations commence on 1 May 2003 to permit an adequate transitional and implementation period for service providers to prepare for compliance and provision of the relevant service.