From the acting Director of Aviation Safety Terry Farquharson
CASA has many stakeholders ranging from members of the aviation industry to members of Parliament. People from industry and Parliament make their opinions known to CASA frequently. But CASA has a much larger, often overlooked and generally silent group of stakeholders to which, through the Minister and, the Parliament we have a significant responsibility – the Australian travelling public. As a whole this group rarely makes known its views concerning aviation safety so it is imperative that periodically CASA takes steps to see if they have any major issues of concern. Recently, CASA commissioned a national survey to find out what Australians think about aviation safety and the performance of the aviation safety system. Respected polling organisation Galaxy Research conducted the research on behalf of CASA in September 2014. A nationally representative sample of people was asked a series of questions about the level of aviation safety in Australia, how Australia compares to other leading nations and the performance of CASA.
The good news is Australians do have a high level of confidence about aviation safety. Everyone in Australian aviation can be proud that a large majority of the public views safety in a positive light and ranks safety in Australia ahead of the United States or Europe. CASA has strong support amongst the public, with 83 per cent of people believing CASA is doing a great, good or reasonable job.
The majority of Australians - 75 per cent - are very or completely confident about arriving safely if travelling on an airline flight within Australia while just three per cent are not confident. Most Australians – 80 per cent - believe airline flights in Australia are just as safe or safer now than they were five years ago. When asked to compare safety in Australia with the United States and Europe, 61 per cent of people said Australian aviation was safer. Asked about the safety of charter flights, 59 per cent said they were confident, while 55 per cent are confident about the safety of private flights. On the question of the supervision of airline flights by CASA, 44 per cent of people want more CASA supervision and 33 per cent support the current levels. Asked about the supervision by CASA of charter flights, 54 per cent support more scrutiny and 20 per cent say no change is needed. On the same question for private flights, 49 per cent support more CASA supervision and 21 per cent say no change is needed.
Where people had concerns about aviation safety these centred on fears about recent high profile international accidents, a lack of proper maintenance, cost cutting, less regulations for smaller aircraft operations and news about smaller aircraft accidents. Overall, the news from this research is very good for Australian aviation and highlights how hard we must all work to protect and enhance our safety record.
Read the full public survey report.
Have your say on small aircraft maintenance licences
People across the aviation industry are being asked to comment on proposals for a new maintenance personnel licensing system for working on small aircraft. A notice of proposed rule making has been issued setting out the details of the small aircraft maintenance personnel licensing arrangements. These would cover licensed engineers working on aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 5700 kilograms. The proposed small aircraft licence would have a positive statement of licence privileges, rather than the current use of exclusions and limitations. The new proposals are the results of consultation by CASA with the aviation industry, including a maintenance licence working group made up of people from representative groups, maintenance organisations and training organisations. New small aircraft maintenance licences would be structured in the same way as the current maintenance personnel licences and be modular to allow licence privileges to be built up. They will be consistent with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and be under-pinned by competency based training delivered by approved maintenance training organisations. The holder of a small aircraft maintenance licence could work independently or within an approved maintenance organisation.
Read the small aircraft maintenance licensing notice of proposed rule making and comment by 21 November 2014.
Lithium batteries top dangerous goods campaign
Carrying lithium batteries safely is the focus of a new dangerous goods campaign by CASA. Lithium batteries are the top of the list of the least wanted dangerous goods in aviation. A new video posted to CASA’s YouTube channel explains simply and clearly the risks associated with carrying lithium batteries on aircraft and how they can be transported safely. The most important message to passengers is to always carry lithium batteries in their carry-on luggage and not in checked luggage. This is so any problem with the batteries during flight can be detected and managed quickly, rather than being out of sight in an aircraft hold. The only batteries that can be transported in the hold are ones fitted to a device. Spare batteries must have their terminals taped and be placed in separate plastic bags to prevent shorting or arcing. If passengers have any doubts about the carriage of batteries they must talk to their airline or airport staff. CASA has also produced a new app on dangerous goods that allows passengers to find out what they can and cannot pack in their luggage or take on board an aircraft. Dangerous goods posters and flyers form part of the new information campaign and can be obtained through the CASA online store. CASA is encouraging airports and air operators to use the posters and brochures to draw the attention of passengers to dangerous goods.
Find all the information on dangerous goods on the CASA website.
Small cargo operators face simpler rules
A simplified approach to the safety regulation of domestic cargo operations in small aircraft has been proposed by CASA. Under the proposal domestic cargo-only flights could be conducted without the need for an air operator’s certificate. The operations would be subject to a number of conditions relating to aircraft size and complexity, fleet size, aircraft maintenance, business management and pilot qualifications. While an air operator’s certificate would not be required, domestic cargo small aircraft operators would have to notify CASA of their operations through an online system. Under the current regulations domestic cargo operations in small aircraft are classified as charter. The forthcoming new operational regulations will lift the safety requirements for charter operations to a similar level as low capacity regular public transport. On a risk management basis, CASA considers that some of the requirements in the proposed new operational rules are not necessary for domestic cargo-only operations in small aircraft. In a notice of proposed rule making CASA says removing the requirement for an air operator’s certificate would provide considerable savings to operators. The proposal is open for comment until 28 November 2014.
Read the full small domestic cargo operations proposal and have your say now.
Comment now on red tape reduction analysis
The aviation industry is being asked to comment on an analysis undertaken by CASA as part of the Federal Government’s red tape reduction program. The Government has committed to cutting red tape to boost productivity and improve competitiveness across the economy. As part of the program an audit of Government regulations is being undertaken, as well as an estimation of regulatory compliance costs. The estimation of compliance costs is being done through a sampling process. To play its part in the red tape reduction program CASA has listed its regulations and ranked them according to their estimated burden on the aviation industry. Regulatory burden is estimated as high, medium or low, with a total of 71 regulations ranked. Compliance costs for a sample of specific regulations have been estimated for three groups of regulations. These cover dangerous goods, the alcohol and other drugs program and a group of maintenance related requirements. CASA consulted with a selected group of aviation industry people and organisations in producing the cost estimates. The methodologies for the ranking and cost estimates were developed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Examine the red tape reduction regulatory rankings and cost estimates and send comments to CASA by 10 November 2014.
All you need to know about aircraft log books
Updated advice on aircraft log books has been published by CASA. Aircraft log books are required under the regulations and those that comply with the updated civil aviation advisory publication do not need to be submitted to CASA for approval. Any proposed alternative to a log book or section of a log book needs to be submitted to CASA. If the proposed alternatives meet the outcomes set out in the advisory then CASA would normally approve the alternative without change. The CASA logbook can be ordered through the CASA online store as a complete document or in sections or parts. Sections cover instructions, aircraft, engines and major assembly and component history. Many organisations already use computer software, card systems or other databases to maintain the information required within an aircraft log book. These must provide a records system equivalent to that of a log book and must be approved by CASA. They must produce reports that contain a legible and complete record of the aircraft, be capable of tracking changes or preventing alterations and detail the sequence of maintenance.
Read the updated aircraft log books advisory now.
Give your gyros care and respect
Instruments such as the artificial horizon and turn and bank indicator can be taken for granted. But a new airworthiness bulletin explains the importance of treating these instruments with care and respect. Instruments fitted with a spinning-mass gyroscope are precision pieces of equipment and a failure can lead to loss of control of an aircraft. Pilots of light aircraft with air-driven gyros in the artificial horizon and directional instruments are advised of the dangers of moving the aircraft on the ground too soon after the engine is shutdown. It takes up to 20 minutes for the gyros to spin-down and stop after the engine driven air pump stops operating. This means the gyro is at risk of damage if the aircraft is moved while the gyro is without the stabilising forces provided by the vacuum/pressure pump. Pilots are also advised to use this spin-down period to listen to the gyro instruments for growling or grinding noises and to feel for vibrations. If these symptoms are present the instrument should be checked by qualified maintenance personnel. Gyro instruments cannot withstand the shock of being dropped or jarred, so they must be handled like eggs.
Read the gyro airworthiness bulletin.
Book now for flight test seminar
If you are involved in flight testing aircraft or in flight test safety then it is time to book now for an upcoming seminar. A certification flight testing seminar is being held in Adelaide on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 November 2014. Anyone involved in the aircraft type certification process will benefit from attending the seminar. This includes pilots, engineers and aviation managers. The seminar is free and places are limited. The certification flight testing seminar will look at the flight requirements associated with the aircraft type certification process. A general review of the certification process is also provided, with a description of flight test techniques and procedures. The safety of certification test flying is emphasised. If you can’t make the seminar in Adelaide, there is a section of CASA’s web site dedicated to flight testing and evaluation. This includes information on the experimental, developmental and certification flight testing of new aircraft types, as well as testing of modifications to older aircraft types and the post-production testing of newly manufactured aircraft. There are flight test guides for simple light aircraft, amateur built aircraft and modified aircraft.
Make a booking now for the certification flight testing seminar.
Go to the flight test and evaluation web pages.
Port Macquarie airspace in the spotlight
A study of the airspace around Port Macquarie aerodrome has made six recommendations for change. These include consideration of the introduction of a certified air/ground radio service prior to the commencement of Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 aircraft operations or the significant influx of foreign student pilots. The recommendations were made in response to a range of issues raised by Port Macquarie airspace users. Issues covered the growth in air traffic, radio frequency congestion and over transmission, aircraft on the wrong frequency or not responding to radio calls, radio frequency boundaries, student pilot radio broadcasts being hard to understand, aerodrome infrastructure, restricted areas and RNAV approaches. The airspace study, which was conducted by CASA’s Office of Airspace Regulation, said the Port Macquarie – Taree broadcast area should be dis-established and that the two aerodromes be given discrete common traffic advisory frequencies. It also recommends stakeholders should submit an airspace change proposal for a corridor through restricted airspace between Port Macquarie and Lord Howe Island.
Read the full Port Macquarie airspace report.
Get along to learn about new licence rules
Nine seminars for pilots focusing on the new suite of pilot licensing regulations are being held during November 2014. Locations for the seminars are across five states and the Northern Territory. CASA’s aviation safety advisors will provide information on the look and structure of the new Part 61 licence, as well as details on the four year transition arrangements. Pilots will be shown the extensive resources available to help them understand the new flight crew licence. A briefing will also be provided on the progress of the regulatory reform process. This will include the next phase of regulation reform, how to find information, who will be affected and what the changes will mean for pilots. Additionally, there will a presentation on the new interactive education programs and resources available online to help keep pilots safe in the air and on the ground. This includes the updated and improved On-Track interactive guide to operating in and around controlled airspace, new videos on CASA’s YouTube channel and the Flight Safety Australia news site.
Find an AvSafety seminar near you.
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If you believe aviation safety is at risk, call the CASA safety. Ring 1800 074 737.
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Find out how CASA's safety advisors provide safety education, training and advice to the aviation industry.
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Looking to contact CASA's Industry Complaints Commissioner? Find out how here.
If you have a question or request about licensing or aircraft registration remember you can email the CASA Licensing and Registration Centre:
Do you know the easiest way to find the CASA office closest to you? Simply go to our national map and click on your region. Use this link.
There's a special number for contacting CASA's Office of Airspace Regulation outside of normal business hours. For urgent airspace requests call: 02 6217 1177.
CASA has a wide range of challenging and interesting jobs. Find out about the latest employment opportunities at CASA.
CASA's self service portal is an on-line tool that makes doing business with CASA easier. Find the portal here.
There's a special page on CASA's web site to help international operators flying in Australia. Find out everything about international operations.
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.