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Notification of Making of Civil Aviation Safety Amendment Regulations - CASR Part 47

Notification of Making of Civil Aviation Safety Amendment Regulations
New CASR Part 47 - Aircraft registration and related matters

Civil Aviation Amendment Regulations 2004 (No.1)
Stat Rules 2004 No. 134 - CASR Part 47

Issued under the authority of the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Civil Aviation Safety Amendment Regulations 2004 (No.1) (190kb)
Attachment - Details of the amending Regulations (87kb)

Explanatory Statement

Subsection 98(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act) provides, in part, that the Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with the Act, prescribing matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act, and regulations in relation to safety of air navigation, being regulations with respect to any other matter with respect to which the Parliament has power to make laws.

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

The Regulations amend the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) by inserting a new Part 47, entitled "Registration of aircraft and related matters", into those regulations. The Regulations also make consequential changes to the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) to reflect the new Part 47. The registration of aircraft is presently regulated by CAR Part 3. The consequential changes to the CAR include the repeal of Part 3.

CASR Part 47 is a completely new regulation, developed as part of CASA's Regulatory Reform Programme to provide a regulatory regime that covers the registration of aircraft and related matters. CASR Part 47 has been re-developed following disallowance in November 2000.

CASR Part 47 was previously made and became effective on 1 October 2000, however it was subsequently disallowed by the Senate on 8 November 2000 primarily because of concerns raised by registration holders regarding the interpretation of "ownership" and the way it would impact on other operational responsibilities and perceived asset management.

The Minister for Transport and Regional Services directed CASA on 8 November 2000 to set up a project committee, the Standards Consultative Committee - Aircraft Registration special Sub-Committee (SCC Special Sub-Committee), comprising CASA staff and key stakeholders from the Australian aviation community, to address the concerns raised in the Senate.

The Minister specifically requested that the SCC Special Sub-Committee should:

  1. Draft a Discussion Paper (DP) that sets out an effective, simple system for registering aircraft, taking into account the best elements of previous work. The proposed system must:
    • Provide a robust and a simple system for allocating, amending, transferring, and cancelling aircraft registrations;
    • Ensure that CASA can definitely identify the person or organisation responsible for making decisions about maintenance of an aircraft; and
    • Be consistent with Australia's obligations under the Chicago Convention - the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  2. Consider whether it would be desirable to establish a system to provide conclusive information about aircraft ownership, or to maintain a list of encumbered aircraft.
    The sub-committee could consider the following options:
    • Upgrading the registration system so aircraft owners could use it reliably as proof of ownership; or
    • Establishing a register of encumbered aircraft (including identifying who should maintain the register).
  3. Access the cost of introducing any system proposed under reference (2), and set out options for recovering the costs from the aviation industry.

The SCC Special Sub-Committee developed a Discussion Paper (DP 0106MS) and CASA published and issued the DP 0106MS on 24 August 2001 inviting comment on the proposed redeveloped aircraft registration standards. CASA received 35 responses, (mainly from individual aircraft owners) to the DP. Generally, respondents found the proposals acceptable, but suggested the proposals could be improved.

CASA evaluated the comments to the DP and subsequently developed and published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM 0212MS) on 10 May 2002 inviting comments on the proposed new regulatory standards relating to the registration of aircraft, which incorporated the findings from DP 0106MS. CASA received 30 responses to the NPRM from airline and other aviation organisations representatives and individual aircraft owners. The proposals were generally well accepted.

Following input from the aviation industry and other relevant stakeholders, based on the DP and NPRM, the revised CASR Part 47 regulations have addressed the Senate's concerns and now implement a simplified and clear system of registration of aircraft in Australia. Its main features include:

  • Assigning the management and effective control of the registration processes to the owner of the aircraft. Under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 such functions were previously assigned to the person who operates' manages or maintains the aircraft (known as the Entitled Person). This person is not necessarily the owner of the aircraft.
  • Issuing the aircraft certificate of registration in the name of the owner, contrary to the previous requirement of issuing it to the Entitled Person.
  • Entitling the owner to nominate a person (a registered operator), if they wish to do so. The registered operator is now responsible for the airworthiness and maintenance control of the aircraft under a mutual arrangement and without the need for the owner to transfer the certificate of registration to this person.
  • An option for owners to apply for the initial registration of an aircraft by telephone, prior to the submission of a written application. The interim certificate of registration will reduce the time necessary for the owner to obtain a certificate of airworthiness and will allow the aircraft to operate for a period of up to 14 days, within Australian territory pending receipt of the official certificate of registration.
  • Reinstatement of provisions similar to those specified previously under Division 7 of Part III of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 for reservation of registration marks and for change of registration marks on aircraft. After the disallowance by the Senate of Part 47, the re-instatement of Part III (Divisions 1 to 6 only) inadvertently omitted the process for reserving registration marks. The new provisions will restore this process.
  • Reintroduction of dealer marks (trade plates) to enable relevant sectors of the aviation industry to demonstrate and test fly new aircraft on the same principles available to motor vehicle dealers. This will overcome the need for double registration.
  • No voluntary encumbrance register. During discussions regarding preparation of a register covering encumbered aircraft the SCC Special Sub-Committee came to the conclusion that it was not considered necessary to advise CASA whether the aircraft was encumbered and if a person purchasing the aircraft was unsure of whether the aircraft was encumbered or not, that was a matter for the purchaser and the seller. Since there was no direct effect on safety, it was agreed therefore that any such system should be on a voluntary basis, hence the use of the term "Voluntary Encumbrance Register". Whilst the SCC Special Sub-Committee analysed the viability of a limited voluntary encumbrance register, CASA sought the view of the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) who advised that a voluntary encumbrance register cannot be established by regulation under the Civil Aviation Act 1988 as currently in force. The view of the AGS is that "…making of such regulations would not be authorised by Section 98 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988, on the basis that the scheme is designed as a consumer protection scheme and is not related to the safety of air navigation." Accordingly, CASA has not proceeded with including a voluntary encumbrance register in CASR Part 47.

CASR Part 47 is aligned with corresponding registration regulations of the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand. This characteristic enables the aviation industry, especially foreign-based leasing and financing institutions, to confidently negotiate with the Australian aviation industry the purchase and operation of aircraft. CASR Part 47 entitles them to be recorded in the Australian Civil Aircraft Register as the owners and holders of certificates of registration with the authority to control their assets in matters such as registration and cancellations, transfer of ownership and assignment of operational control.

CASR Part 47 also ensures that Australia continues to comply with its international obligations under:

  • Relevant articles of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention on International Civil Aviation in respect of registration of aircraft; and
  • ICAO Annex 7 - Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks - in respect of the recommended procedures and standards for registration of aircraft.

The Office of Regulation Review (ORR) has assessed that the regulations have only a minor impact on business and that the preparation of a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is not mandatory.

The Regulations commence on 15 November 2004 to provide a transitional period for the conduct of an industry awareness/education program, and the implementation and application of the necessary administrative procedures, processes and systems relating to aircraft registration.