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Project OS 14/08 - Categorisation of aeroplane and helicopter 'ambulance function' flights as Air Transport Operations
Amongst leading aviation nations, Australia is unique in classifying Medical Transport (MT) flights as aerial work under the prescribed purpose of 'ambulance functions', outlined in subregulation 206 (1) (a) of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR). This classification subjects Australia's MT operations to a different standard of regulation than would be the case under the ICAO Air Transport (AT) standards and those of most other ICAO Member States.
In the proposed new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR), aerial work operating under Part 138 of CASR will be regulated quite separately from AT operations. This means that aerial work operations can have an aerial work-specific certification system, which may or may not involve the issue of an AOC, and a set of simple task-specific regulations that will be primarily of a domestic nature. For example, it is envisaged that the policy for Part 138 would only be applicable to operators conducting aerial work within Australian Territory or in oceanic airspace. This situation immediately highlights that, at the very least, international aeromedical flights will need to be classified as AT operations to permit regulatory compliance.
A reclassification to AT operations will bring MT flights into line with the ICAO AT Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). This provides Australia's aeromedical operations with greater recognition of the international nature of AOCs issued for such operations. ICAO outlines in Annex 6 to the Chicago Convention that:
'Contracting States shall recognize as valid an air operator certificate issued by another Contracting State provided that the requirements under which the certificate was issued are at least equal to the applicable Standards specified in this Annex.'
The requirements of Part 119 of CASR will ensure this equivalence of standards with Annex 6 of the Chicago Convention is in place for Australian operators.
CASA has proposed this project with the objective whereby for the CASRs, MT operations would be reclassified from an 'ambulance function' under the prescribed aerial work purposes to an AT operation. Operations would consequently be authorised by an AOC issued in accordance with Part 119 of CASR. Medical transport operations would be subject to the requirements of the applicable air transport regulation (i.e. Parts 121, 133 or 135 of CASR) and any overarching regulations from Part 91 of CASR, as applicable. Although these flights will be classified as an AT operation, specific MT type operational requirements will be addressed through appropriate carve ins and carve outs in the relevant operational Part to allow the flexibility needed for MT operations.
This project is associated with:
- Part 119 of CASR
- Part 121 of CASR
- Part 133 of CASR
- Part 135 of CASR.
As this project has various CASR Part linkages, CASA has decided to register a separate project for aeroplane and helicopter 'ambulance function' flights rather than include it within the CASR Part 135 Project OS 01/11.
|Consultation updates in 2014|
|SOR 1304OS - Regulation of aeroplane and helicopter 'ambulance function' flights as Air Transport operations||This SOR has been published.||9 Oct 2014|
|Project OS 14/08 - Categorisation of aeroplane and helicopter 'ambulance function' flights as Air Transport Operations||Project approved.||4 Apr 2014|
|Consultation updates in 2013|
|NPRM 1304OS - Regulations of aeroplane and helicopter 'ambulance function' flights as Air Transport operations||This NPRM closed for comment 11 October 2013.||14 Oct 2013|
|NPRM 1304OS - Regulations of aeroplane and helicopter 'ambulance function' flights as Air Transport operations||Comments to this NPRM has now been extended until 11 October 2013.||26 Sep 2013|
|NPRM 1304OS - Regulations of aeroplane and helicopter 'ambulance function' flights as Air Transport operations||Comments close 27 September 2013.||31 Jul 2013|
Technical lead: Dale South, Strategic Policy & Regulatory Advisor
Policy manager: Branch Manager, Flight Standards