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Legislative changes - Explanatory statementStatutory Rules 2003, No 75

Explanatory statement
Statutory Rules 2003, No 75

Civil Aviation Act 1988
Civil Aviation Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 2) (368K Adobe Acrobat file)
Attachment - Details of the amending Regulations (121K Adobe Acrobat file)

Issued under the authority of the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

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.

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

Paragraph 98(3) (e) and (s) 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, maintenance, operation and use of air route and airway facilities and the planning, construction, establishment, maintenance, operation and use of facilities of the kind referred to in paragraph 8(1)(a) of the Air Services Act 1995, (being facilities for the safe navigation within Australian administered airspace) and services, of the kind referred to in paragraph 8(1)(b) of the Air Services Act 1995, (being, inter alia, air traffic services, rescue and fire fighting services, an aeronautical radio navigation service, and an aeronautical telecommunications service).

The Regulations amended the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (herein termed the Aviation Safety Services Regulations) by revising the requirements for the provision of certain airport services, changing some administrative arrangements and attending to other technical matters in accordance with an undertaking made in the Parliament by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services.

The Regulations addressed concerns that:

  • much of the detail of the regulatory regime for aviation safety services was put in Manuals of Standards (MOSs), which were not subject to Parliamentary scrutiny;
  • the Aviation Safety Services Regulations provided for the regulation and approval of any person to provide the services, which to date have been provided predominantly by Airservices Australia. The Regulations were therefore seen as part of a "back-door" attempt by Government to privatise Airservices;
  • the Aviation Safety Services Regulations required certain aerodrome operators to arrange for the provision of aerodrome rescue and fire fighting services (ARFFS), which a few airport owners objected to;
  • provisions relating to the characteristics of personality and psychological attributes of applicants for, and holders of, air traffic controller licences were potentially draconian; and
  • the Aviation Safety Services Regulations contained technical errors.

The Regulations amended the Aviation Safety Services Regulations to include:

  • Manual of Standards (MOSs) published by CASA, incorporated by reference into each Part of the Aviation Safety Services Regulations, are made disallowable instruments under the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, with CASA to fulfil certain public notification and consultation processes prior to issue or any amendment of a MOS;
  • CASA can only grant approvals to those prospective providers of Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS), Air Traffic Services (ATS), Air Traffic Service Training, and Aeronautical Telecommunication/Aeronautical Navigation services that are specifically nominated in the Regulations. CASA is empowered to limit approvals granted to contractors and agents of Airservices to the scope of the commercial arrangement that exists between Airservices and the contractor or agent. When such a contract or arrangement ceases, CASA is empowered to cancel the contractor's or agent's approval;
  • Aerodrome operators will not be obliged to ensure the provision of ARFFS as a requirement for the holding of an aerodrome licence;
  • References to personality characteristics and psychological attributes of applicants for, and holders of, air traffic controller licences have been removed from Part 65. CASA will rely instead on existing medical standards for air traffic controllers to address the safety issues arising from such matters; and
  • The Australian Defence Force and officers of the Defence Force acting in the course of their duties will not be subject to the Aviation Safety Services Regulations.

In addition, a number of miscellaneous amendments have been made to address the consequential changes mentioned above, as well as various technical changes or corrections of omissions, since the Regulations were first drafted.

The Office of Regulation Review (ORR) advised that the preparation of a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is not mandatory for the Regulations. However, the ORR approved minor adjustments being made to the two original Regulation Impact Statements (CASA #005 and CASA #003) that were previously approved by the ORR for the Aviation Safety Services Regulations.

Details of the Regulations are set out in the Attachment.

Regulations 1 to 4 and Schedules 1 and 2 commenced on 1 May 2003 and coincided with the commencement of the principal Aviation Safety Services Regulations.

Schedule 3 commenced on 3 May 2003 and inserted amendments to Subpart 139.H into Part 139 which commenced on 2 May 2003.