From acting CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody
I am very pleased to be back at CASA after leaving more than seven years ago. The CASA Board has asked me to step in as Acting Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety while the recruitment process for permanently filling the position is underway. It is expected this process will run until well into 2017, with an international and domestic search being conducted. I will continue Mark Skidmore’s commitment to regularly meeting people and organisations across the aviation community to listen to ideas, issues and concerns. Over almost two years Mark implemented a wide range of important changes in CASA, including the renewing CASA program, the restructuring of numerous positions and engaging a new management team. I intend to continue to implement his key reforms. I am mindful of the need to avoid disrupting CASA’s day-to-day operations as we continue to focus on maintaining, enhancing and promoting aviation safety.
The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, has made it clear to me the implementation of the reforms contained in the Government’s response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review remains the highest priority. The Government expects CASA to finish implementing required reforms by the end of this year, except where CASA and the aviation community have agreed that implementation should be deferred. A majority of the changes flowing from the Aviation Safety Regulation Review have already been put in place and work on the remaining reforms is progressing well. In addition to the Review, there are a number of other important matters I intend to focus on over the next few months. I am committed to delivering positive outcomes from reforms that will benefit people and organisations across the aviation community while achieving the best possible safety outcomes.
Better service via electronic forms
Work is underway to make major improvements to CASA’s delivery of regulatory services. An important part of the changes will be the introduction of more online forms, which will be rolled out progressively from 2017. Forms to go online include the aviation reference number application, pilot licencing notification, air operator certificate and certificate of approval renewal and aircraft registration. These forms will be interactive and dynamic to save time and improve accuracy. Other benefits include faster turnaround times for completing and processing forms, the automation and simplification of business processes and reducing the amount of paperwork the aviation community has to manage. Where possible forms will be consolidated to create further efficiencies. Business processes within CASA are being re-engineered to improve efficiency and the management of workloads, with the aim of reducing service delivery times and providing better outcomes for the aviation community. CASA will consult with the aviation community during the development of the electronic forms, including conducting structured user acceptance testing, to make sure the new forms deliver the planned improvements.
New defect reporting service starts
A new CASA Defect Reporting Service has been launched. It provides enhanced functionality and allows the aviation community to access more information on defects. The new system replaces the former Service Difficulty Reporting system. CASA uses defect reports as a means of identifying trends in design and maintenance reliability, as well as to develop publications such as Airworthiness Directives and Airworthiness Bulletins. The new system represents a change of focus in defect reporting. New functionality adds more value to the system and improves ease of use to ensure more defects are reported. This will provide valuable information for not only CASA but the global aviation community as the information can be more effectively shared. The new system allows anyone to search and view defect report summaries. People who need to submit defects are asked to register, with the process of submitting reports now more streamlined as some fields are pre-populated depending on the information being entered. Users can subscribe to areas of interest such as engine type or part numbers with information automatically sent on new defect reports.
Go to the new defect reporting service.
Licensing taskforce winding down
The taskforce set up to address issues in the new licensing suite of regulations is formally winding down. CASA established the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 61 taskforce in November 2015, with a list of 99 issues identified through a range of industry feedback. The taskforce worked with an industry advisory panel, representing a new and extremely productive way of CASA co-operating with the aviation community. This involved validating and prioritising the 99 initial issues, as well as identifying additional issues for resolution. Over the last 11 months CASA has worked to deliver a range of solutions including guidance material and document templates for flying training organisations, changes to the flight review and instrument proficiency check policies and a range of instruments and exemptions to allow the smooth continuation of operations until the regulations themselves are amended. Amendments to the Part 61 Manual of Standards are expected to be published in early 2017. In the first half of 2017 the aviation community will also be invited to comment on a proposed regulation amendment package before it is implemented. The closure of the taskforce does not mark the end of CASA’s work to resolve a small number of outstanding issues with the licensing suite. Work is continuing on the development of the flight examiner rating course, which is expected to provide better support for flight examiner candidates. The new course will combine online learning, face-to-face teaching, a candidate interview and a flight test. Any remaining, lower-priority issues will continue to be addressed as part of CASA’s normal business. The final taskforce closure report will be published on the CASA website once it has been endorsed by the industry advisory panel.
New managers take the reins
Five appointments to senior management roles within CASA have been made recently. They are Fred van der Heide as regional manager Sydney, Gerard Nolan as regional manager northern Australia, Anthony Green as regional manager Western Australia, Andrew Tiede as manager Air Navigation, Airspace and Aerodromes and Mark Sullivan as Client Services Manager. Fred van der Heide joined CASA as a flying operations inspector after a career as a line pilot and then training and checking captain. Gerard Nolan came to CASA as an airworthiness inspector after working as an engineering manager and chief engineer and owning an aircraft maintenance business. Gerard has also owned and operated general aviation aircraft. Anthony Green previously worked in air traffic control and aerodrome management and has a private pilot licence. Andrew Tiede worked for Airservices Australia in senior management roles before joining CASA. Mark Sullivan has a background in project planning and delivery, along with process and service reform, having worked for PwC Australia. Mark is involved in recreational aviation.
Some changes have also been made to the geographic areas of responsibility of CASA’s regional offices. CASA’s Northern Region now covers the northern half of Queensland, most of the Northern Territory and some of north-west Western Australia. The Western Region includes most of Western Australia, all of South Australia, a part of southern Northern Territory and parts of western Victoria and NSW.
Find a map of CASA’s regions.
High take up of ADS-B
The take up rate of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology by aircraft owners and operators remains high. More than 1,800 Australian registered instrument flight rules aircraft are now fitted with ADS-B equipment, with a further 380 non-instrument flight rules aircraft having voluntarily fitted the equipment. All pilots and operators of instrument flight rules aircraft should ensure they are equipped with ADS-B before 2 February 2017 if they wish to continue to fly under the instrument flight rules from this date. ADS-B technology has been gradually introduced in Australian skies over a number of years to supersede the legacy radar system, enabling far greater surveillance coverage across Australia and introducing a range of improved safety and efficiency benefits. Benefits for pilots of ADS-B equipped aircraft include reduced separation and direct tracking in controlled airspace, safety alerts and improved assistance for weather diversions and emergencies. The benefits will be optimised by having all instrument flight rules aircraft using the same technology. This upgrade in surveillance technology is an important way Australia and the world is future-proofing the skies for an ever-increasing volume of air traffic.
Find more information on ADS-B.
More time for fatigue rule implementation
The implementation period for new fatigue regulations has been extended by one year. Air operators will now have until 1 May 2018 to transition to the provisions of Civil Aviation Order 48.1. The implementation period extension is in response to extensive feedback from the aviation community. This feedback indicated there was a need for CASA to provide more support through education and information on the new fatigue rules. Air operators also wanted more time to consider their options under the new rules, with a number asking for extra time to develop and implement fatigue risk management systems. CASA is in the process of developing additional and revised guidance material on the fatigue changes. In addition, the extended transition period will be used to conduct an independent and comprehensive review of fatigue limits. CASA is committed to modernising and improving the safety regulation of fatigue and is encouraging a continued focus on fatigue management by air operators. Air operators that have already transitioned to the fatigue rules in CAO 48.1 can continue to operate under the new provisions. CASA will continue to support air operators that are in the process of transitioning to CAO 48.1, including trials of fatigue risk management systems. In preparation to operate under CAO 48.1 air operators are required to submit their draft operations manual changes or an application for a fatigue risk management system to CASA by 31 October 2017.Read more about the fatigue rules implementation.
Package of drone videos now online
There’s now a package of videos online to assist people flying drones to follow the safety rules. A new video is aimed at people flying commercial drones weighing less than two kilograms maximum take-off weight. Two other videos are targeted at people flying their drones for fun – one setting out the rules for all recreational flyers and the other an animation aimed at young people taking to the skies for the first time. The new video for operators of less than two kilogram commercial drones explains how the recent changes to the regulations reduce red tape and costs while protecting safety. People and organisations in this category no longer need a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate and a remote pilot’s licence. However, these drones must only be flown according to a strict set of operating conditions. Less than two kilogram operators must obtain an aviation reference number from CASA and then fill out and submit an online notification form setting out their contact details and nature of operations. These operators are warned about the need to protect aviation safety at all times, as they share airspace with manned aircraft. If drone operators see an aircraft nearby they are instructed to land immediately.
Watch the drone videos now.
Time for pilots and engineers to learn
There will be 14 safety seminars for pilots around the nation during November 2016. Lessons for life seminars are scheduled for Perth, Gawler, Warnervale, Naracoorte, Mt Gambier, Mittagong, Lethbridge, Latrobe, Coffs Harbour, Murray Bridge, Port Macquarie, Bairnsdale, Warrnambool and Kalgoorlie. These seminars will focus on fuel management and handling partial power loss in a single engine aircraft. Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation reports nominate these issues as the cause of a high number of accidents. Lessons will be learnt from accidents, with everyone asked to consider how the accident 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 seminars also provide an important opportunity for pilots to give feedback and suggestions to CASA.
Four engineering knowledge development seminars are being held during November 2016. They will be take place at Launceston, Perth, Jandakot and Hobart. These seminars will focus on professional development, continuing airworthiness, certification, maintenance licensing and ageing aircraft. They are ideal learning opportunities for everyone involved in aviation maintenance, with lots of opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback to CASA.
Safe operation of manned balloons
Advice on manned free balloon maintenance and the safe operation of inflation fans has been issued by CASA. The maintenance advice covers manned free balloon airworthiness standards, maintenance schedules, repairs, maintenance certification and maintenance records. Manned balloons are classified as class B aircraft and are required to have a maintenance schedule, which can be the manufacturers or an approved system of maintenance. Major balloon repairs may only be performed under the control of an appropriate certificate of approval holder. Eleven recommended safe operating procedures for inflation fans are set out in the manned balloon advisory circular. Fan blades or propellers should be protected by a guard, grill or cage so clothing, hair or loose items cannot be drawn in and tangled in moving parts. Fans should be clearly marked with signs or placards indicating danger and the need to keep clear and all fans should be fitted with a kill switch facilitating an instant shut down. The immediate area surrounding an operating fan should be marked with a safety cone or cones and/or barrier to define an exclusion zone for all but trained personnel and during operation the fan should be placed so that the pilot-in-command or a trained person attending the fan can easily reach the kill switch. Passengers should be briefed to stay clear of the fan while it is running and not to approach the fan wearing loose items of clothing or scarves.Read the manned balloon advisory.
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If you believe aviation safety is at risk, call the CASA safety. Ring 1800 074 737.
If your aircraft has a serious or major defect make sure you report it to CASA. Forms and information are on the CASA web site.
Find out how CASA's safety advisors provide safety education, training and advice to the aviation industry.
Do you need to renew your Aviation Security Identification Card?
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 online self-service is available for a range of applications. Go to CASA Self-Service.
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.