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New taskforce to implement licensing suite solutions

A special taskforce is being set up within CASA to address outstanding issues with the new licensing suite of regulations.

The 26-person taskforce will work full-time on finding solutions to issues identified with Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Parts 61, 64, 141 and 142.

The taskforce will work closely with a new advisory panel made up of people representing a wide range of sectors across the aviation community.

Key aviation representative organisations have been invited to take up positions on the advisory panel.

These include The Australian Aviation Associations Forum, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, the Australian Helicopter Industry Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Australian Business Aviation Association, the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia and the Aerial Application Association of Australia.

Representatives will also be included from the regular public transport and mustering sectors, along with key people from flying training schools and the tertiary education sector.

CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore, said the Part 61 Solutions Taskforce and the advisory panel will work intensively to address unintended consequences in the licensing suite.

“CASA has already addressed many concerns that have been identified in the new licensing regulations but I understand more needs to be done,” Mr Skidmore said.

“This is a priority and that’s why I need a dedicated team of people within CASA working full-time on the issues.

“Just as importantly we need advice and guidance from the aviation community to prioritise actions and verify that successful solutions have been found.

“The advisory panel will meet formally as required and at other times I expect its members to be in close contact with the CASA taskforce as work progresses.

“I require real solutions to the issues with the licensing suite as quickly as they can be delivered.”

It is expected the taskforce will begin by reviewing transition arrangements and then prioritising issues.  The taskforce will begin work immediately.

The taskforce will ensure known or likely safety risks continue to be effectively addressed by the licensing regulations.

At the same time it will make sure unnecessary costs are not imposed by the regulations and that they are not an impediment to participation in aviation or potential future growth.

To date 98 issues with the licensing suite have been raised with CASA through feedback and input from the aviation community.  More than half of these have been addressed, with work well advanced on the balance.

Action taken to date includes publishing legislative instruments, extending the 14 day dual check requirement for student pilots to 30 days, R22 and R44 helicopters no longer classified as type-rated aircraft, information sheets have been produced to provide clearer guidance and information, instruments are in place to ensure CAR 217 organisations are properly authorised to conduct flying training activities during the transition period, authorisations are in place for check pilots to conduct operator proficiency checks, changes have been made to English language proficiency requirements and an exemption in relation to low-level rating requirements.

CASA has also announced an extension of the transition period for Parts 141 and 142 of the licensing suite.

Transition for these Parts – which cover flying training – was scheduled to be completed by 31 August 2017.  This has now been extended by 12 months to 31 August 2018.

The additional transition time will give CASA more time to arrange a smooth transition by providing additional guidance material and for identified issues to be resolved.

Media contact:
Peter Gibson
Mobile: 0419 296 446
Email:peter.gibson@casa.gov.au
Ref: MR13215