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Legislative changes - Explanatory statementStatutory Rules 2003, No 58

Explanatory statement

Statutory Rules 2003, No 58

Civil Aviation Act 1988

stat058.pdf (pdf 427.04 KB) (419K Adobe Acrobat file)

stat058attach.pdf (pdf 146.26 KB) (139K Adobe Acrobat file)

Regulatory Impact Statement RIS 0205 - Aerodromes

Issued under the authority of the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Explanatory Statement

Section 98 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.

Paragraph 98(3) (d) of the Act provides that the power to make regulations includes the power to make regulations for or in relation to the planning, construction, establishment, operation and use of aerodromes, including the licensing of aerodromes.

The Regulations amend the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (the Principal Regulations) to introduce a new Part 139, entitled 'Aerodromes' which will provide a revised regulatory regime that covers the rules for certification, registration and the operation of aerodromes used in air transport operations. The Regulations also make minor changes to the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 as a consequence of introducing Part 139.

Part 139 has been developed as part of CASA's Regulatory Reform Program for incorporation in the Principal Regulations. The Regulations cover the rules for certification, registration and the operation of aerodromes used in air transport operations.

Existing legislative requirements about aerodromes are set out in Part 9 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988. Under these provisions, aerodromes that are used in regular public transport operations by aircraft certified to carry more than 30 passengers or which have a payload of more than 3,400 kg, are required to be licensed. Under Part 139, this same requirement will be extended to aerodromes that are used in any air transport operations, i.e. for both regular public transport operations and charter operations. Examples are aerodromes serving mining companies currently used by aircraft conducting charter operations.

Under Part 139 existing, aerodrome "licences" will be replaced by aerodrome "certificates". This is in line with the practice of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) under which individuals are licensed whereas facilities and organisations are certified.

Although the existing legislative scheme allows other aerodromes to be licensed, the burden of complying with all the licensing requirements does not make it a practical option for smaller aerodromes. Part 139 will provide an alternative registration regime whereby aerodromes that are not required to be certified can become registered when they meet certain specified standards and quality assurance criteria. The creation of this category of aerodromes is intended to provide pilots with some assurance of their safety status. Canada has a similar two-tier aerodrome certification and registration system.

The aerodrome registration system will not be mandatory. Operators of aerodromes used in air transport operations, which are not required to be certified, can remain outside the aerodrome regulatory system. The existing regulatory regime puts the onus on air operators to ensure that those aerodromes meet specified standards and are safe for their intended operations.

However, to ensure that those aerodromes used with some regularity in air transport operations attain a reasonable standard, the Regulations will require operators of specified aerodromes to comply with several safety measures in relation to checking, and notification to aircraft operators, of aerodrome conditions. Such operators will also be required to submit an aerodrome safety inspection report to the CASA on an annual or periodic basis.

The Regulations will require operators of certified aerodromes to implement a Safety Management System (SMS) at their aerodromes. To facilitate a smooth introduction, the SMS requirement will only apply to aerodromes used in international operations in the first instance and will apply from 1 November 2005. For aerodromes used in domestic operations, the SMS will only apply from 1 January 2007. This is in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements.

The Regulations contain a number of provisions in relation to aerodrome requirements, which have been implemented in the form of standards. To comply with the principle that requirements are to be prescribed in regulations, Part 139 will include the following provisions:

  • appointment and training of aerodrome reporting officers;
  • appointment and training of works safety officers;
  • provision of visual approach slope indicator (VASI) system;
  • flight and specialist checking of aerodrome lighting systems, including VASI systems;
  • aerodrome emergency planning;
  • aerodrome serviceability and technical inspections; and
  • planning and execution of aerodrome works.

The Regulations will also introduce an approval scheme for persons who wish to conduct safety inspections of aerodromes and prepare aerodrome safety inspection reports for aerodromes which are required to submit such reports. This will allow private sector aerodrome specialists, who meet specified qualification criteria, to carry out the inspection function subject to CASA oversight.

The Regulations call up a Manual of Standards (MOS) which contains the technical specifications and standards required of individual aerodrome facilities and procedures.

A number of offences in the Regulations are strict liability offences. Those offences carry a penalty of no more than 50 penalty units and the physical elements of those offences do not have any express fault elements.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS), CASA #0205, has been prepared and approved by the Office of Regulation Review (ORR) in support of the regulations.

stat058.pdf (pdf 427.04 KB).

Schedules 1 and 2 of the Regulations commence on 2 May 2003 to allow the commencement of Subpart 139.H, relating to the provision of aerodrome rescue and fire fighting services, to commence unhindered on 1 May 2003.

Regulations 1 to 5 and Schedule 3 of the Regulations commenced on gazettal.

Details of the Regulations are set out in the stat058attach.pdf (pdf 146.26 KB).