From the Director of Aviation Safety
A key step in the preparation for the start of the new pilot licensing regulations has been taken with the publication of the first stage of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 61 manual of standards. This document sets out in detail the knowledge and practical competency standards required for all licences, ratings and endorsements covered by the new licensing regulations. It also covers authorisations for non-licensed personnel to taxi aeroplanes and use aircraft radios. The Part 61 manual of standards will replace the current day visual flight rules syllabuses for aeroplane and helicopter licences, as well as practical standards in a number of Civil Aviation Orders. A prime function of the manual of standards is to ensure the minimum training and testing standards are maintained so the licensing system delivers the best possible safety outcomes. By having these standards published outside of the regulations themselves CASA can make sure they are regularly updated as required.
CASA is releasing the Part 61 manual of standards in two stages to give people in the aviation industry and CASA additional time to read and understand the information. There are eight schedules in the manual of standards, with those covering pilot training the first to be released. The schedules relating to flight tests, proficiency checks and flight reviews will follow shortly. It is important to remember the Part 61 manual of standards is focussed on the end-point standards or outcomes. This allows flying training organisations flexibility in the way they structure their training courses. Students must achieve the required outcomes, however, training organisations can decide how to get there. Most of the standards are the same as those in the day visual flight rules syllabus, so training organisations can continue to deliver their current courses. As minor changes have been made in some areas CASA is advising training organisations to review their courses. Courses for ratings outside the day visual flight syllabus will need to be reviewed and possibly adapted. CASA is allowing three years to transition to the new rules starting from 1 September 2014, so there is plenty of time for this work to be undertaken.
To make it easy for everyone to learn about the new Part 61 manual of standards a series of fact sheets and guides have been published setting out key information. Read the fact sheets, guides and the first stage of the Part 61 manual of standards.
John F McCormick
National campaign on model aircraft safety
A new education campaign aimed at people operating model aircraft has been launched by CASA. Up to 100,000 point-of-sale fact sheets are being distributed by CASA to people who are purchasing model aircraft from major retailers. To date 16 retailers have agreed to distribute the fact sheets nationally, including Harvey Norman, Jaycar, Teds Cameras and Hobby Co. CASA is encouraging more retailers to take part in the campaign and electronic versions have been posted on a number of model aircraft online forums as well as sales sites. The fact sheet is titled “Flying with control – get to know the rules”. It makes six key points about operating model aircraft safely. These include the requirements to operate in line of sight, not to fly closer than 30 metres to people and buildings, not to fly over populous areas such as beaches or crowds, to stay under 400 feet and not to fly within 5.5 kilometres of an airfield. It is also made clear it is illegal to fly a model aircraft for money or reward without an approval from CASA. In a media campaign to support the release of the fact sheet CASA is stressing the rules covering the operations of model aircraft are common sense and easy-to-follow. CASA wants people to have fun flying their model aircraft, but it is important for everyone to be aware of the rules and to follow them. Even relatively small model or remotely piloted aircraft can cause injuries if not flown safely, with a recent incident in Western Australia still under investigation by CASA.
Find out more about model aircraft operations.
Proposed rule changes for remotely piloted aircraft
A package of changes is being proposed to the rules covering remotely piloted aircraft used in commercial operations. The most significant change would see the removal of the requirement for approvals from CASA to operate small remotely piloted aircraft in standard conditions. It is proposed that remotely piloted aircraft weighing less than two kilograms would not require approval through the issue of an Operators Certificate and a Remote Pilot Certificate. This would only apply in the standard operating conditions, which includes operations in visual line of sight, less than 400 feet above ground level, non-populous areas, more than 30 metres from people and outside controlled airspace. Remotely piloted aircraft weighing more than two kilograms and all operations outside the standard conditions would still require approvals from CASA. The proposal to remove approvals for small remotely piloted aircraft operations has been made after an investigation of the risks and potential harm to people, property and other airspace users. A human injury predication model shows small remotely piloted aircraft have a very low kinetic energy and thus pose a low risk to people, property and airspace users. In the notice of proposed rule making a number of other changes are proposed relating to remote pilot training and certification, maintenance and approvals. CASA has also developed three proposed advisory documents covering general issues, training and certification and operations.
Read the remotely piloted notice of proposed rule making and comment by 16 June 2014.
We have apps to keep you in touch with safety
People across the aviation industry now have two new ways to keep up to date with the latest news in air safety. CASA’s industry-leading safety publication Flight Safety Australia can now be downloaded as an app or viewed on a news website. The tablet app can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play Store. It gives access to Flight Safety Australia in a digital magazine format that notifies readers when each new bi-monthly edition is published. The news site is refreshed weekly to keep readers informed about all the latest aviation safety news, including maintenance service difficulty reports. There are also feature articles and ‘close calls’ stories from the digital Flight Safety Australia magazine. The news site, which is optimised for smart phones, allows people to post comments on stories, share information and interact with fellow readers. The aim is to foster an online aviation safety community that will help raise awareness about safety issues and promote safer skies for all. Flight Safety Australia delivers topical, technical, but reader-friendly articles covering all the key aviation safety issues including flying operations, maintenance, safety management systems, aerodrome safety, human factors, airspace, training and aviation medicine.
Get a free subscription and read the latest edition of Flight Safety Australia.
Visit the news web site. www.flightsafetyaustralia.com
New report helps fight fatigue
A new report has been released to support the management of fatigue in the aviation industry. CASA has published updated guidance on biomathematical fatigue models, which are tools for predicting crew member fatigue levels based on a scientific understanding of the factors that contribute to fatigue. They can be used effectively to assess relative fatigue risk, although they cannot determine whether a particular crew member’s work schedule is acceptable or safe. The new report was commissioned by CASA to provide the aviation industry with advice based on the evolving science of fatigue modelling. It will assist aviation operators to decide whether to incorporate a biomathematical fatigue model into their fatigue risk management system. There is a survey of the capabilities of currently available biomathematical fatigue models, with seven models evaluated. These were chosen on their level of availability, suitability for use within the civil aviation environment, scientific basis and rigour and their capacity to contribute to the identification and management of operational fatigue risk. The capabilities and limitations of each model are reviewed and compared, with the information summarised to assist aviation operators to understand and compare the different models.
The new report on biomathematical models is part of the fatigue management tool kit.
Comment now on proposed new helicopter rules
New modernised and standardised rules covering helicopter sling load, winching and rappelling operations are being proposed by CASA. The proposed rules reflect the latest concepts in risk assessment and management and align with industry best practice. Currently rules for helicopter sling load, winching and rappelling operations are contained in two Civil Aviation Orders. In the future these operations will be covered by Part 138 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, however, CASA believes there are safety benefits in updating the rules now. Four key changes to the Civil Aviation Orders are being proposed. In winching and rappelling operations there would be a requirement to conduct a pre-flight risk assessment for helicopter medical emergency operations. This provides patients with additional protection through consideration of factors such as the operational environment, human factors, suitability of equipment, the patient’s level of injury and potential other ways of recovery. The pre-flight risk assessment would also be reassessed in flight to address any changed circumstances. Helicopter operators undertaking winching and rappelling would be required to document pre-flight risk assessment procedures in their operations manuals. Other key changes include standard requirements for human external sling load operations and the setting up of aerial work zones where external load operations are conducted over a populous area.
Read the helicopter notice of proposed rule making and have your say by 27 June 2014.
Australia/Singapore agreement offers new business opportunities
A new technical arrangement on airworthiness certification between Australia and Singapore will open up fresh opportunities for Australian maintenance businesses. The new arrangement covers areas such training and knowledge exchange, sharing of safety information and joint research. Last year Australia’s CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore signed an arrangement covering aviation maintenance. These two arrangements now allow for a mutually accepted set of safety oversight requirements, resulting in smoother reciprocal access to regulatory approvals. This will benefit both the aviation industry in Australia and Singapore. The arrangements will help improve operational and cost efficiencies for aviation companies, as well as presenting new business opportunities in areas such as the design and production of aeronautical products. Several Australian companies have expressed support for the arrangements. Chris Stefoulis of Airline Technical Services says they will allow Australian companies to offer more in areas such as aircraft continuing airworthiness and training. “The arrangements will enhance our ability to provide ‘around the clock’ service to aircraft/engine leasing companies through our offices in Singapore, Europe and major capital cities in Australia”, Mr Stefoulis says. Mr. Ian Kitson, head of design of the AEA Aerospace Group in Australia, says the initiative is a positive sign of closer regional as well as international cooperation which will “lead to further convergence of airworthiness requirements fostering greater efficiencies of aircraft operations across borders.
Wellcamp aerodrome airspace issues reviewed
A detailed preliminary assessment of the airspace issues associated with the under-development Wellcamp aerodrome in south-east Queensland has been released. CASA’s Office of Airspace Regulation has identified a range of issues based on predicted air traffic at Wellcamp and made 13 initial recommendations. Wellcamp, which is scheduled to be completed during 2014, is located near Oakey and Toowoomba aerodromes, as well as a number of aircraft landing areas. The study looked at airspace within 50 nautical miles of Wellcamp, from the surface to 8500 feet. Wellcamp’s operator will seek certification of the aerodrome under Part 139 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. It is anticipated Wellcamp will be used by domestic passenger services and in the future international freight operations. The aerodrome will have one code four runway of 2870 metres long and 45 metres wide. This will handle aircraft up to the Boeing 747 size. The report makes recommendations relevant from the start of operations until 2016. It is recommended the airspace surrounding Wellcamp should remain as class G airspace, with CASA closely monitoring traffic and passenger volumes. CASA should also conduct a review of the Oakey airspace changes and of Wellcamp operations 12 months after the start of operations. Consideration may be given to re-positioning the Toowoomba flying training area, a broadcast area may be introduced and non-standard circuit procedures may be implemented at Wellcamp.
Read the Wellcamp airspace preliminary assessment and provide comments by 31 May 2014.
Fourteen seminars for pilots in June
Fourteen AvSafety seminars for pilots are scheduled to be held in four states and one territory during June 2014. Seminars are being conducted at locations in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. There are three themes for the AvSafety seminars – an update on regulatory reform, the latest safety trends identified by CASA, Airservices and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and information about new interactive online education programs and resources. Seminars focussing on regulatory reform will provide a high level overview of the new flight crew licensing suite of regulations and coming operational regulations. All seminars will provide a chance for pilots to discuss what the new regulations mean for their flying and to provide comments and feedback. There will also be plenty of opportunities for people to ask questions and raise other issues. All seminars are free but bookings are needed through CASA's website using AviationWorx.
Find an AvSafety seminar in your area and book now.
Safety seminars for engineers in June
There are three safety seminars being held for engineers in June 2014. Seminars are being run at Darwin, Gold Coast and Brisbane. The theme of the engineering AvSafety seminars is maintaining knowledge. The seminars look at the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 66 licence, as well as the potential transition of Civil Aviation Regulation 30 maintenance organisations to Part 145 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Part 145 covers approved maintenance organisations for regular public transport operations. In addition the seminars will discuss Part 42 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, which covers continuing airworthiness requirements for regular public transport operations, other regulatory reforms and human factors for engineers. There will also be a demonstration of CASA educational resources including safety management system kits. Local CASA airworthiness inspectors will attend the seminars to answer questions and discuss issues. Seminars are planned to be held at all Class D aerodromes and major airfields during the course of 2014.
Register to attend the seminars for engineers.
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Interested in sport aviation? Want to find out how sport aviation is regulated. CASA's web site is a good source of more information. Find out more on the sport aviation pages.