From acting CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody
My first weeks in the role as CASA’s acting CEO and Director of Aviation Safety have been very busy, with visits to most of our offices and meetings with a range of people and organisations across the aviation community. CASA faces many challenges in today’s aviation environment and discussing issues and listening to feedback is one of the keys to finding the right responses to these challenges. I have made it very clear I intend to lead CASA to be a firm, fair and balanced regulator. We need to get the right safety outcomes without unintended consequences, unreasonable requirements or unnecessary costs to the aviation community. It is not an easy balance to strike, yet that is our job. Of course, this doesn’t mean CASA must be a ‘heavy-handed’ regulator either - our intention is to keep everyone flying in a safe environment. To achieve this, we need to work hard to ensure we have a robust and effective safety system that allows risks to be identified without sanction, and addressed quickly. A system that only interferes with the legitimate day-to-day activities of the aviation community when necessary and in the interests of safety. This balancing act between a weak regulator and a harsh binary (black and white) regulator is a fair but firm regulator.
I made these points in a speech to the Regional Airlines Association of Australia, where I stated I was absolutely confident of the support of the CASA Board in this approach. I also said I look forward to the support of the aviation community to contribute to this significant commitment through a collaborative and co-operative approach. To ensure we harness the support of the aviation community I will continue to meet with people and organisations from across all sectors to listen to ideas and concerns. As my predecessor made clear on many occasions, CASA doesn’t have all the answers and isn’t the source of all aviation safety wisdom. We are continuing to work hard on key areas such aviation medicals, fatigue regulation and regulatory reform to take into account the various views from across the aviation community while striving for the best possible safety outcomes.
Please read my speech in full.
Runway strips not for normal ops
Pilots are being reminded that runway strips should not normally be used for landings and taking offs. Concerns have been raised with CASA about pilots using the grass or dirt surface next to a sealed runway surface, inside the gable markers, for standard operations. This is not the usual intention of the runway strip area. The purpose of the runway strip is to reduce the risk of damage to an aircraft if it runs off a runway and to protect aircraft flying over it during take-off or landing operations. This purpose is set out in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 139 manual of standards. Clearly, this does not imply suitability for normal aircraft operations. However, this does not prevent an aerodrome operator preparing a runway strip for landings and take-offs if they choose. When considering using a runway strip for landings or take-offs pilots should first check in the En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA) if the runway strip is suitable for operations or directly contact the aerodrome operator. Unless it is clear the runway strip is suitable for normal operations it should not be used. An example of where a runway strip can be used for normal operations is Temora aerodrome. This runway strip has been prepared and maintained for glider operations and is also available for use by tailwheel aircraft. The availability of the runway strip for these operations is notified in ERSA.
Find out more in the Part 139 manual of standards.
Private aircraft have longer to fit ADS-B
Changes have been made to the requirements for fitting and using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast equipment (ADS-B) in private aircraft. Private aircraft flying under the instrument flight rules will now have longer to fit ADS-B equipment - with the deadline extended from 2 February 2017 to 1 January 2020. This aligns with the ADS-B deadline in the United States. However, aircraft conducting private operations under the instrument flight rules without ADS-B will be subject to a number of conditions. They will be required to operate below 10,000 feet in uncontrolled class G airspace and in class D airspace they will be subject to air traffic control clearance. They can only operate in class C and E airspace to facilitate arrival or departure from a class D aerodrome, with prior clearance from air traffic control and only if fitted with a secondary surveillance radar transponder. The new ADS-B deadline for private operations will mean the remaining aircraft can be fitted with the equipment in an orderly manner - reducing the burden on owners, operators and avionics suppliers. All Australian regular public transport, charter and aerial work aircraft must still be fitted with ADS-B equipment by 2 February 2017. To date 88 per cent of instrument flight rules operations are conducted in aircraft fitted with ADS-B. This is anticipated to increase to 94 per cent by February 2017. Aircraft flying under the visual flight rules are not required to fit ADS-B equipment.
CASA’s acting Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the changes to ADS-B requirements will benefit a small number of private aircraft operators who have not yet been able to fit the equipment while ensuring safety. “CASA continues to strongly encourage all aircraft owners and operators to fit ADS-B equipment due to the many safety benefits this technology provides. ADS-B provides better air traffic information outside controlled airspace, greater ability to avoid bad weather, more accurate and faster search and rescue and more direct flight paths.” CASA is also making a provision for a very small number of foreign registered aircraft to continue operating without ADS-B until the European deadline of 6 June 2020, subject to air traffic control clearances and flying under 29,000 feet in continental airspace.
Commitment to collaboration and service
CASA’s Board chairman Jeff Boyd has given a commitment to a continuing focus on collaboration with the aviation community while ensuring service delivery obligations are met. The commitment was delivered in CASA’s latest annual report. Mr Boyd said CASA will be a regulator that listens and develops safety partnerships that benefit everyone. “The travelling public and people in the aviation community expect safety to come first for all sectors of aviation,” Mr Boyd said in the 2015-16 annual report. “CASA was cognisant of the need to keep the regulatory burden as reasonable as possible to get the right safety outcomes without unintended consequences, unreasonable requirements or unnecessary costs. However, increasing the pace of change associated with the reform of regulation can be a source of regulatory burden. CASA will continue to strive for an appropriate balance. I believe that the aviation community generally welcomes the better regulation reforms and would like to see more tangible progress in a shorter period of time, but it recognises that better regulation is also about cultural change, which will not happen overnight.”
Go to CASA’s 2015-16 annual report.
Plan your aviation Christmas now
CASA will be closing as usual for the Christmas-New Year holiday period. That means CASA services to the aviation community will be unavailable from close of business Friday 23 December 2016, until Tuesday 3 January 2017. All services will resume from start of business on Tuesday 3 January 2017. Anyone who anticipates needing CASA services during the holiday period should contact CASA well before the closure. Please contact the relevant regional office or the CASA Client Services Centre for the assistance you require. CASA will be available to help with urgent aviation safety matters during the Christmas-New Year period but resources are limited. If urgent assistance is needed call 131 757 and follow the prompts. Foreign air operators who require urgent assistance over the Christmas-New Year period should contact CASA through +61 7 3144 7400. This is for urgent matters such as non-scheduled medical flights. There will also be a 24 hour telephone contact for emergency or urgent airspace requests. These can be lodged on +61 2 6217 1177.
Get all the details on the Christmas-New Year arrangements.
Office of Airspace Regulation review positive
A comprehensive review of the operations and functions of CASA’s Office of Airspace Regulation has been released. The review found the current structure of the Office of Airspace Regulation and allocation of responsibilities and tasks is sound. It also found the Office of Airspace Regulation was generally effective and efficient, although improvements can be made to processes, tools and systems. A total of ten recommendations were made in the report, with a suggested timeframe for implementation. Recommendations include the development of a strategic work plan, greater standardisation of airspace studies, setting up an airspace classifications database, strengthening key performance indicators and greater identification of future challenges such as unmanned aircraft. The report also made two recommendations in relation to Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committees (RAPACs) based on feedback from members. Some RAPAC members said in submissions to the review there was frustration at getting issues resolved. The review recommends CASA set up an online portal to direct people to the appropriate consultative forum to raise a specific issue or topic. It also recommends investigating the benefits of having a nationally elected RAPAC representative to be a part of CASA’s other national consultative forums.
Videos explain new licensing regs
A package of five online videos covering essential elements of the new flight crew licensing and training regulations is now available. The videos provide an overview of the new regulations, managing training, competency based training, safety management systems and helicopter training. They explain the reasons and approaches behind the new licensing and training regulations and set out the support and tools CASA is providing for transition by the aviation community. The videos feature of a range of people from aviation organisations across Australia who talk about how they are working with the new regulations and the benefits flowing to their operations. One chief pilot says the new licensing requirements in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations provide flexibility, while a chief executive officer of a flying school says they provide a stronger framework. Another chief pilot says it is not difficult to develop competency based training. In relation to safety management systems, a chief pilot states they add value to business. The head of training and checking of a large helicopter operator says they have been working collaboratively with CASA on the transition to the new training regulations.
Better rules for warbirds
New rules regulating the operations of ex-military, certain historic and replica aircraft will come into effect early in 2017. The rules are in Part 132 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. They apply to the owners, operators, and pilots of limited category aircraft. The new rules also affect individuals and organisations that sell and conduct adventure flights in warbirds. There are important administrative and safety enhancements to the previous regulatory requirements for these operations and the new rules provide more flexibility and clarity around recreational use and operational limits. People who currently hold an experimental certificate for ex-military aircraft will need to transition to a limited category certificate. The regulations introduce new permissions for air racing, glider towing and personal flights. For paying passengers of adventure flights in warbirds, the rules bring in a requirement for an additional safety briefing at the point of sale for the flight. They also set out the qualifications an individual must hold and the procedures that must be followed to issue certification, advice and approvals for modifications, damage and repairs for limited category aircraft. Transition to the new limited category rules will begin on 28 January 2017 and end on 28 July 2017.
Learn more about the new limited category regulations.
Bunbury lucky last 2016 pilot safety seminar
Bunbury in Western Australia will the last location to host a safety seminar for pilots in 2016. The Bunbury lessons for life seminar will be held on Wednesday 14 December at 18:30 at the Quality Hotel Lighthouse. Issues to be covered will include fuel management and handling partial power loss in a single engine aircraft. Lessons will be learnt from accidents, with everyone asked to consider how accidents could have been avoided. Other issues may be discussed such as electronic flight bags, regulatory changes, correct procedures to follow at non-controlled aerodromes and the requirements for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast. The Bunbury seminar provides an important opportunity for local pilots to give feedback and suggestions to CASA.
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CASA has a wide range of challenging and interesting jobs. Find out about the latest employment opportunities at CASA.
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Need to keep up-to-date with what's happening with the regulation of flying schools? Then keep an eye on CASA's web site flying training pages.
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.