Notice of Final Rule Making –
Sport and Recreational Aviation Operations - CAO 95 changes to bring early implementation to some policies consulted in the NPRM for proposed future Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 103
NPRM 0603OS 'Sport and Recreational Aviation Operations – Proposed CASR Part 103' was publicly released on 22 December 2006.
The consultation period for NPRM 0603OS was held open until a common closing date with NPRM 0704OS 'Recreational Aviation Administration Organisations – Proposed Part 149' of 24 September 2007.
Because of the long consultation period and extensive involvement of the industry participants in drawing up the proposals, and the encouragement by RAAOs of their individual members to respond, a total of 1075 individuals responded to the CASR Part 103 proposal. Only 10 of these 1075 had serious objections to the philosophical approach, whilst over 900 gave the proposals complete support.
Most of the comments that suggested some changes were made in relation to small details of the draft and they were accommodated in the final drafting instructions to the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing (OLDP). Four major changes were made at the instigation of the respondents and legal drafting commenced in December 2007.
However, implementation of CASR Part 103 has been delayed due to delays in obtaining priority for legal drafting of this Part because of the higher priority dedicated to other CASR Parts. Other projects having been given precedence, the agreed changes to standards and privileges could not easily proceed without the legislative mechanisms to administer them.
CASA received requests from a number of the sport aviation organisations to introduce some of the new privileges which had already been catered for in their Operations manuals and for which policy had been agreed but no legal head of power existed. CASA was faced with the alternatives of issuing a large number of specific exemptions under CAR 308, incurring significant CASA workload and industry cost, without the certainty of regulatory support on a long-term basis or making amendment to the existing CAOs.
Consequently, the CASA Project Sponsor determined it was more sustainable to amend the CAOs to ensure the Part 103 privileges could be introduced by extending the exemptions and applicable conditions using the existing CARs. CAOs are able to be drafted in-house by the Legal Services Division of CASA. This removes the need for further workload to prepare further exemptions. CASA has further consulted with the affected organisations as to how best to introduce these extended privileges and responsibilities and further harmonise the operating conditions with the CASR Part 103 proposals.
As a result, changes have been made to the following CAOs:
- 95.4 – Gliders and powered sailplanes;
- 95.8 – Hang Gliders and Paragliders;
- 95.10 – Privately-built single place aeroplanes up to 300 kg maximum take-off weight (MTOW) – now called ‘Low-momentum Ultralight Aeroplanes’ to reflect the Part 103 terminology;
- 95.12 – Single-place privately-built gyroplanes;
- 95.12.1 – Two-place gyroplanes – extended to include the single-place aircraft that meet the Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association (ASRA) two-place standard as well as those qualifying as Light Sport Aircraft (LSA);
- 95.32 – Weight shift controlled aeroplanes and powered parachutes;
- 95.54 – Manned Balloons and hot-air airships; and
- 95.55 – Single place and two place aeroplanes registered with Recreational Aviation Australia, other than those covered by CAOs 95.10 and 95.32.
The making of these CAOs completes the interim adoption of the standards and practices consulted via NPRM 0603OS, until CASR Part 103 and Part 149 can be finalised and made. Some further refinement of the Operations manuals and Technical manuals of the affected organisations will be necessary should the organisations decide they wish to give full effect to the changes.
This interim outcome retains some CASA involvement which will effectively ease the transition to the proposed change of Part 149 under which CASA proposes to formally devolve some of its functions to the administering organisations.
The changes to the CAOs will still require CASA involvement in approving changes to their respective Operations manuals, whilst giving the organisations the ability to issue authorisations in line with CASA-approved Manuals. Many of the standards to be implemented through the Operations manuals relate to existing knowledge and training standards that apply to CASA licences and have been voluntarily adopted by the self administering organisations. In some cases, privileges which Part 103 had envisaged being in the Operations manuals must remain spelled out in the CAOs.
The CASA Director of Aviation Safety, Mr John McCormick (the Director) wrote to the Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association, the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia and Recreational Aviation Australia on 27 July 2009 advising them that he was not in favour of pilots operating sport or recreational aircraft in controlled airspace without holding at minimum a CAR Part 5 Private Pilot Licence. The organisations were advised that access to controlled airspace would continue to be contingent upon a CASA issued licence as has been the case historically.
On 13 August 2009 the Director conducted a review of proposed sport and recreational aviation standards policy. All proposed Part 103 policy was endorsed as consulted except the following items:
- Air Experience Flights (AEF) will be limited to one ‘instructor’ and one ‘student’ including flights conducted in balloons. Previous policy had considered 2 persons on board for all aircraft except up to 6 persons on board balloons conducting AEFs. This was amended to a maximum of 2 persons on board for all sport and recreational aircraft classes.
- Aircraft categories with CAO altitude limitations of 5000 feet will now be limited to 10 000 feet rather than having no limitation as was originally proposed by Part 103. This is consistent with Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 103 rules in the United States of America.
- HGFA and RA-Aus weightshift aircraft can tow hang gliders. RA-Aus aeroplanes can tow sailplanes and hang gliders and GFA motor gliders can tow sailplanes providing they are on a list of aircraft acceptable to CASA. CASA has elected to publish this list in the form of a new Civil Aviation Advisory Publication. Draft CAAP 149-1(0) - RAAO registered aircraft acceptable to CASA for the aero-towing of other aircraft. All aircraft currently approved by the manufacturer that CASA has been able to obtain information for this purpose are have been listed. The use of a CAAP as the mechanism for publishing the list of acceptable aircraft means that types can be added (or removed if necessary) easily without the need to change legislation.
- Current policy of RA-Aus aeroplanes not being permitted to do aerobatics will continue.
- Legislation for overwater flights other than for balloons and gliders will be changed to 25 nm from land providing the aircraft carries an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), life jackets, and giving lodgement of a SARTIME. Requirements for crossing Bass Straight will not be limited to 25 nm from land to allow greater pilot discretion of the route with due regard to safe passage clear of inclement weather.
- Mustering of livestock using gyroplanes will be permitted on a private basis over ASRA members’ own land in CAOs 95.12, and 95.12.1 - similar to CAO 29.10.
- Commercial mustering of livestock using gyroplanes will remain outside present regulations. In the future, proposals using CASA licensed pilots with certified aircraft operating on an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) may be subject to fresh regulator consideration.
Contact Andrew Ward, Project Leader
- NFRM 0603OS - Preamble
- Annex A – Summary of Responses (SOR) to NPRM 0603OS
- Annex B – CAO 95.4 - Gliders, powered sailplanes and power-assisted sailplanes
- Annex C – CAO 95.8 - Hang gliders
- Annex D – CAO 95.10 - Low-momentum ultralight aeroplanes
- Annex E – CAO 95.12 - Gyroplanes having an empty weight not in excess of 250 kg
- Annex F – CAO 95.12.1 - 2-Place gyroplanes and single-place gyroplanes certificated as light sport aircraft
- Annex G – CAO 95.32 - Weight shift controlled aeroplanes and powered parachutes
- Annex H – CAO 95.54 - Manned balloons and hot air airships - private operations
- Annex I – CAO 95.55 - Certain ultralight aeroplanes
- Annex J – List of Respondents to NPRM 0603OS consenting to publish their name
- Annex K – Draft CAAP 149-1(0) - RAAO registered aircraft acceptable to CASA for the aero-towing of other aircraft