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Legislative changes - Explanatory statementStatutory Rules 2003, No 365

Explanatory statement
Statutory Rules 2003, No 365

Civil Aviation Act 1988
Civil Aviation Safety Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 8) (336K Adobe Acrobat file)
Attachment - Details of the amending Regulations (80K 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, in part, that the Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with the Act, prescribing matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act, and regulations in relation to safety of air navigation, being regulations with respect to any other matter with respect to which the Parliament has power to make laws.

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

The Regulations amend the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) by inserting a new Part 92, entitled "Consignment and carriage of dangerous goods by air", into those regulations. The Regulations also make consequential changes to the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) to reflect the new Part 92.

CASR Part 92 is a completely revised regulation, developed as part of CASA's Regulatory Reform Programme, to provide a regulatory regime that covers the consignment and carriage of dangerous goods by air, including measures to prevent the consignment and carriage of undeclared dangerous goods, and the associated administrative and training requirements.

The key changes incorporated by the Regulations:

  • reflect current International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards regarding requirements for training courses in regard to approvals, examinations, revalidation periods and the issue of certificates;
  • introduce a training requirement for shippers of dangerous goods, an ICAO standard since 1997;
  • enable training courses to be tailored to meet individual needs without requiring multiple approvals;
  • remove anomalies from existing legislation whereby certain employees of Australian based foreign operators, and overseas based Australian operators, are compelled to undergo similar training under different regulatory regimes;
  • move the responsibility for training of ground handling agent and security screening employees from the aircraft operators they support to the agencies that employ them;
  • specify those operations that were not intended to be subject to training and/or dangerous goods manual requirements;
  • reflect current ICAO standards regarding operations requiring dangerous goods manuals;
  • provide for the validity period for training undertaken in accordance with the current regulations to remain;
  • modify existing requirements for a statement of contents of cargo to require the statement be signed, and add a requirement that operators not accept cargo unless they have received a statement;
  • transfer the obligation to provide dangerous goods information to passengers at airport terminals, and with their tickets, from the aircraft operators to those who operate the terminals or issue the tickets when the aircraft operators themselves do not operate the terminal or issue the tickets; and
  • provide relief from full compliance with the regulations for those operations where such compliance would be impractical or adversely impact on the operation. These include law enforcement, emergency services, helicopter-slung loads and some private operations.

The Office of Regulation Review (ORR) has given an exception from the requirement to prepare a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) as the Regulations are considered minor or machinery in nature, do not have a significant impact and are matters of clarification and a transposition of current practices.

Details of the Regulations are set out in the Attachment.

Regulations 1 to 4 and Schedule 1, dealing with the transitional provisions for Part 92, commence on gazettal. Schedule 2, introducing new CASR Part 92 and Schedule 3, the consequential amendments to the CAR, commence on 1 January 2004 to coincide with the commencement of the aviation industry's dangerous goods training cycle, which is generally aligned to the commencement of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Schedule 4, introducing new requirements for shipper training and information to passengers, commence six months after Schedule 3 on 1 July 2004, effectively providing a six month transitional period for the new requirements.

Schedule 5 repeals certain regulations from the CAR relating to training, which had been saved (at Schedule 3) to enable existing shipper training arrangements to remain pending the commencement of Schedule 4. Schedule 5 commences on 1 July 2004.