New rules for a better aviation maintenance industry
Australia’s aviation maintenance industry has a new and improved set of safety standards.
The new suite of maintenance Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) came into effect on 27 June 2011.
The regulations in the new maintenance suite cover continuing airworthiness requirements (CASR Part 42), maintenance personnel licensing (CASR Part 66), approved maintenance organisations (CASR Part 145) and maintenance training organisations (CASR Part 147).
The regulations deliver a clearer focus on safety outcomes, while allowing maintenance organisations flexibility in the way they conduct important aspects of their operations. Maintenance organisations will now work to a set of rules more closely aligned with those of other leading aviation nations.
The outcome-based approach of the new regulations means that there is a clear focus on safety outcomes at all times, and allows maintenance providers and affiliated organisations to respond positively to innovation and technological developments.
This can reduce the complexities of doing business in the international aviation market, improving Australia’s competitive edge in the world air transport industry.
CASA conducted a comprehensive information and education campaign early in 2011 to ensure that the aviation industry was ready for the new regulations well before the commencement date.
More than 7,000 licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (lAMEs) have been issued with new licences under Part 66 of the regulations. Eligible lAMEs have retained their existing rights to work on aircraft and CASA has undertaken a rigorous transition process to make sure that the new licences accurately show their privileges.
The rules covering continuing airworthiness and maintenance organisations currently apply only to regular public transport aircraft and associated aeronautical products, and are being phased in over two years. Revised maintenance regulations for other sectors of aviation, such as charter, aerial work and private operations, will be developed at a later date, after wide consultation with all relevant stakeholders.