The differences within sport aviation activities have led to special oversight rules within Australian aviation legislation.
Australian sport aviation operates under self-administration. This means that we set the regulations and then work with self-administering organisations to ensure the regulations are applied and enforced.
Many self-administering organisations operate under a series of exemptions and delegations. These sets of rules allow specialised craft such as balloons and aircraft that don’t meet certification standards to operate through a series of exemptions from the regulations that apply to broader aviation activities.
Sport aviation participants wanting to undertake an exempted activity must be members of a self-administering organisation. Without membership you are not legally allowed to take part in these exempted activities.
The self-administering organisations exist to oversee members activities and provide safety assurance to us that activities are being conducted safely.
Self-administering organisations provide us with specialist knowledge about the sport aviation industry.
We also receive regular reports about self-administering organisation activities and safety performance. This helps to create a safer sport aviation industry for participants and the general public.
Self-administration rules are changing, find out more.
CASA currently oversights the following self-administration organisations:
- Australian Ballooning Federation (ABF)
- Australian Parachute Federation Ltd (APF)
- Australian Skydiving Association (ASA)
- Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association (ASRA)
- Australian Warbirds Association Limited (AWAL)
- Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA)
- Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA)
- Model Aircraft Association of Australia (MAAA)
- Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus)
- Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA)
Australian Ballooning Federation
The Australian Ballooning Federation (ABF) administers recreational ballooning, including the training, checking and certification of private balloon pilots.
For further details refer to the ABF.
The Australian Ballooning Federation (ABF) and commercial operators maintain a register of sensitive and prohibited areas where property owners have requested that pilots don’t land, or observe a minimum height when flying overhead.
Australian Parachute Federation Ltd
The Australian Parachute Federation (APF) administers parachuting regulations, including issuing licences, certifications and instructor ratings for the majority of parachuting activities across Australia.
For further details refer to the APF.
Australian Skydiving Association
The Australian Skydiving Association (ASA) administers parachuting regulations.
For further details refer to the ASA.
Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association
The Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association (ASRA) administers operational and airworthiness standards and issues gyroplane pilot certificates.
For further detail refer to ASRA.
Australian Warbirds Association Limited
The Australian Warbirds Association Limited (AWAL) administers the airworthiness of limited category aircraft and the oversight of adventure flight operators in limited category aircraft.
CASA has delegated responsibility to AWAL to approve certain air displays involving limited category aircraft.
Adventure flight operators of limited category aircraft must be approved by AWAL before undertaking operations.
To find out more about adventure flights see Adventure flight safety explained.
For further detail refer to AWAL.
Gliding Federation of Australia
The Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) administers operational and airworthiness standards and issues pilot certificates. Aeronautical experience on gliders may also be recognised towards the requirements for flight crew licences issued by CASA.
To find a club near you, contact the GFA.
Hang Gliding Federation of Australia
The Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) administers hang gliding, paragliding and weight shift microlights operations. The HGFA provides standards for pilot training, pilot and instructor certifications and operational procedures.
For further detail refer to the HGFA.
Model Aeronautical Association of Australia
The Model Aeronautical Association of Australia (MAAA) administers operational standards for a variety of model aircraft including drones. The MAAA assists clubs provide education, pilot training and instructor training. The MAAA has also special interest groups such as aerobatics, gliding and first-person-view (FPV) racing.
For further detail refer to the MAAA.
Recreational Aviation Australia
Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) administers ultralight, recreational, weight shift microlight and LSA aircraft. RA-Aus train and certify pilots, flying instructors and maintainers, register their aircraft fleet and oversee a large number of flight training schools across Australia.
For further detail refer to RA-Aus.
Sport Aircraft Association of Australia
Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA) provides support for aircraft builders through training, test flights and airworthiness administration and approval processes. The SAAA administers training standards for maintenance training courses.
The SAAA has developed an analytical tool, the ‘risk profile radar’ for guiding identifying and mitigating risk. You can find more information in an article published in the Nov/Dec 2013 edition of Flight Safety Australia or contact the SAAA.
Find out more about being an informed participant in sport aviation.