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Project AS 14/24 - Post Implementation Review (PIR) of CASR Part 139 - Aerodromes legislative framework including standards and related advisory circulars
The Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR 1988) Part 139 - Aerodromes and the subsidiary Part 139 Manual of Standards (MOS) - Aerodromes were implemented in 2003. These regulations were amongst the first rule parts to transition from the former Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR 1988) and Civil Aviation Orders.
The current Part 139 legislative framework applies to the operators of Certified, Registered and 'Certain Other' aerodromes.
Certified Aerodromes present the highest risk as they facilitate Air Transport Operations above 30 passenger seats.
Registered Aerodromes, like Certified Aerodromes, can support operations under the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). For aircraft operators, these procedures involve a degree of risk and therefore require aerodrome operators to continually monitor the airspace critical to these procedures and to report any obstacles.
Certain Other aerodromes also present risk as they can facilitate Air Transport Operations between 9 and 30 passenger seats on a weekly basis or more.
CASA and industry both recognise that a comprehensive review of the Part 139 framework is necessary. A PIR is required to ensure the Part 139 regulatory framework aligns with current regulatory policy including ICAO, industry developments and also the many evolutions in technology since their original inception.
In particular, aerodrome operators and the wider aviation industry are currently experiencing unnecessary cost and operating impacts resulting from:
- the ongoing transition from legacy standards which existed prior to the CASR Part 139 implementation
- requirements in Part 139 MOS which exceed equivalent ICAO Annex 14 requirements without clear justification
- disconnects between Part 139 and other CASA regulatory parts, standards and advisory information
- inflexible standards which necessitate compliance with legacy technology when superior infrastructure and equipment has since become available
- standards which don't reflect the operating requirements for current-generation aircraft
- complexities with understanding the three types of aerodrome categorisation under Part 139 as well as Aeroplane Landing Areas and Helicopter Landing Sites which are unregulated.
Many issues currently exist both in the current design of the Part 139 framework and the ability for industry to comply. The latter has resulted in high regulatory service workload for both industry and CASA to facilitate ongoing exemptions to aerodrome operators. Further regulatory development will likely improve rates of compliance whilst maintaining the expected standard of safety.
At present, Australia only provides guidance material for Heliport facilities and the need to introduce ICAO standards for such facilities will be considered as part of the review.
Another key feature of the Part 139 framework is Subpart 139.E Obstacles and Hazards. While obstacles around aerodromes clearly pose a hazard to aircraft operations, towers and other structures within enroute airspace are also a significant risk. The location of Subpart E exclusively in the Part 139 framework is ambiguous and needs to be considered in the broader CASR context.
It is likely that many of the above challenges can only be overcome with appropriate changes being made to the current Part 139.
The consequence of no action being taken to review the Part 139 framework will result in additional costs to industry, increasing demand on CASA's finite resources and a potential increase in ICAO non-compliances and lack of standardisation.
The overall aim of the project is to conduct a comprehensive review of the Part 139 rule set and develop a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). The NPRM will then set out regulatory options for industry to consider. Amendments to the Part 139 rule set will also likely result in amendments to the existing suite of CASA advisory materials.
The project objectives include, but are not limited to:
- A complete gap analysis of the existing Part 139 framework against the ICAO Annex 14 (and supporting Annexes), the Aerodrome Design Manuals and also the related circulars. The resultant aim is to ensure the Part 139 framework will continue to meet Australia's international responsibilities to ICAO.
- Incorporate design of Heliport facilities into the Part 139 framework.
- Consider the approach taken by other regulators worldwide. The aim being to ensure the Part 139 framework remains aligned with the standards and practices of leading aviation countries whilst being tailored to suit operating conditions unique to Australia.
- Consider the obstacle identification, assessment and notification framework under the CASR. The key aim is to ensure both industry and the community have a clear understanding from CASA as to the potential hazard that obstacles pose to aircraft operations.
- Engage and work collaboratively with industry, identify their key challenges and to facilitate improvements to Part 139 where possible; whilst maintaining the expected standard of safety and meeting our national and international responsibilities as a safety regulator.
Notification of this project will need to be made to key industry stakeholders.
This project is associated with:
- Part 139 of CASR 1998
- Part 139 Manual of Standards
- The Aerodrome certification, registration and approved persons manual
|Consultation updates in 2019|
|Civil Aviation Safety Amendment (Part 139) Regulations 2019||Regulation made 21 February 2019. These regulations amend Part 139 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998, which contains provisions related to the regulation of aerodromes. The regulations commence on 22 August 2020.||28 February 2019|
|Consultation updates in 2018|
|Summary of consultation on NPRM 1426AS - Post-implementation review of the legislative framework for Part 139 - Aerodromes||Summary of consultation on NPRM 1426AS has been published.||11 July 2018|
|Consultation updates in 2017|
|NPRM 1426AS – Post-implementation review of the legislative framework for Part 139 - Aerodromes||Comments close 8 December 2017.||29 Aug 2017|
|Summary of consultation on amendment of the Part 139 Manual of Standards for reduced taxiway/taxilane separation distances for aerodromes (Notice of consultation 1702AS)||This Summary of consultation on notice of consultation has been published.||22 June 2017|
|Notice of Consultation (1702AS) - Amendment of the Part 139 Manual of Standards for reduced taxiway/taxilane separation distances for aerodromes||Comments close 29 March 2017.||1 March 2017|
|Consultation updates in 2014|
|Project AS 14/24 - Post Implementation Review (PIR) of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR 1998) Part 139 - Aerodromes legislative framework including standards and related advisory circulars||Project approved.||5 Nov 2014|
Other Part 139 activities
The CASR Part 139 history page includes:
- other projects
Technical lead: Darren Angelo, Senior Standards Officer (Aerodromes & Heliports), ATMS Standards Branch
Policy manager: Manager, ATMS Standards Branch