Project OS 12/43 - Amendment to CAO 95.55 to clarify CASA's policy in regard to operations by RA-Aus pilots and RA-Aus aircraft in active military restricted areas
Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 95.55 was amended in April 2011 in order to give early effect to some CASA policy changes that have been approved for inclusion in the proposed Part 103 (Sport and Recreational aviation operations). The amended CAO also removed a provision which generally prohibited RA-Aus aircraft from operating in active restricted areas. The current CAO provides for RA-Aus aircraft being permitted to enter restricted areas provided the pilot and aircraft meet the requirements set down for operations in controlled airspace.
The previous version of CAO 95.55 which was cancelled with the making of the current version in 2011, stated in subparagraph 5.1(e ):
The aeroplane must not be flown inside an area that has been designated in the AIP as a prohibited or restricted area at such times as any such prohibited or restricted area is active;
When CAO 95.55 was amended in 2011, the reference to prohibited and restricted areas was deleted because the AIP ENR describes restricted areas as Class C airspace when active. Additionally, paragraph 7.3 of the current CAO prescribes the requirements for operations in controlled airspace which includes active restricted areas by virtue of their Class C designation in the AIP.
Paragraph 7.3 covers:
- Aircraft certification design standard;
- Engine design and manufacture standard;
- Radio communications equipment requirements;
- Transponder requirements;
- Pilot licence requirements;
- Pilot airspace qualification requirements; and
- Pilot currency requirements.
When the current CAO was published, the deletion of the old paragraph 7.3 was interpreted by group of RA-Aus pilots as meaning that previous prescriptions governing access by RA-Aus aircraft into active restricted areas had been rescinded. This is a selective interpretation but it was reinforced by terminology used by the military airspace operators who state: "when a restricted area is active, a Class C service will be provided".
This use of words has generated confusion among some pilots about the distinction between Class C controlled airspace and airspace in which a Class C services is provided.
The result of this lack of clarity is that some RA-Aus certificated pilots without CASA FCL qualifications believe that they now have a right under the regulations to transit active restricted areas for which a Class C service will be provided regardless of pilot qualifications or aircraft certification basis. This is contrary to CASA policy on this matter: CASA Policy is as set out in paragraph 7.3 of the CAO and applies to access to both controlled airspace and restricted areas.
Amend CAO 95.55 to correct an erroneous interpretation of the provisions relating to active restricted areas.
- Clarification that operations in active restricted areas area subject to the same requirements as operations in Class A, C or D airspace.
- Amend the AIP to correct misleading reference
This project was approved by Peter Boyd Executive Manager Standards Division and Jonathan Aleck, Associate Director of Aviation Safety on 4 December 2012.
Project Leader: Mick English, Standards Officer, Sport Aviation and Small Aircraft
Project Sponsor/s: Jonathan Aleck, Associate Director of Aviation Safety Wing Commander Sheryl Steele, Military Manager, officer of Airspace Regulation
Standards Officer/s: Andrew Ward, Senior Standards Officer, Sport Aviation and Small Aircraft
Standards Consultative Committee (SCC)
|Consultation updates in 2012|
|Project OS 12/43 - Amendment to CAO 95.55 to clarify CASA?s policy in regard to operations by RA-Aus pilots and RA-Aus aircraft in active military restricted areas||Project approved.||6 Dec 2012|