From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore
I am very pleased to have released CASA’s new regulatory philosophy, which sets out ten key principles to guide and direct the way our organisation will regulate Australian aviation. These principles will be reflected in regulatory policies and practices and in the way CASA engages with the aviation community. The principles include building trust and respect, taking a risk-based approach, being consultative and collaborative, balancing consistency with flexibility, embracing a just culture, taking actions that are appropriate and in proportion to the circumstances, exercising discretion fairly and limiting CASA’s role in support of punitive action where it may be necessary. I believe this new regulatory philosophy is an important milestone for both CASA and the aviation community. There is now a clear and concise set of principles to guide all our actions. I am committed to ensuring these principles make a real, positive and lasting difference to the way CASA operates and the way we interact with the aviation community.
I will take action to ensure every member of CASA understands these principles, how they apply to the work they do and the need to ensure they adhere to them in practice. The principles will guide and direct the making and implementation of regulations, safety education and support, the delivery of regulatory services, operational surveillance and enforcement, as well as our consultation and communications. Many of these principles are already reflected in existing policies and practices but the adoption of this regulatory philosophy will sharpen the focus on how and how well we are performing. Where necessary, we will develop new policies and procedures to give meaningful effect to our regulatory philosophy. I appreciate some people may be sceptical at first about how or whether these principles will make a practical change to the way we carry out our regulatory responsibilities. But to regain trust CASA must earn trust and as an organisation we are looking forward to the opportunity to do just that. I invite the aviation community to use CASA’s regulatory philosophy as a benchmark against which our performance can be measured.
Read the details of CASA’s regulatory philosophy.
Comment now on proposed new aerial work rules
A simplified approach to the regulation of aerial work operations has been proposed by CASA. Comment is being sought on proposals to create a new set of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations to cover most aerial work operations. The requirements and safety standards for aerial work would be set out in Part 138 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and a supporting manual of standards. The new rules would cover both aeroplane and helicopter operations. This approach would reduce the current 41 aerial work classifications to three. They would be external load, dispensing and task-specialist operations. Aerial work operators would no longer need an air operator’s certificate, instead operating under a Part 138 certificate. This would allow requirements such as training and checking to be scaled according to the complexity of the operation. The proposed rules would define and identify aerial work operations that could carry task specialists and some passengers, with specific risk criteria. The new set of rules would replace the current individual exemptions which impose a regulatory and cost burden on aerial work operators. CASA is proposing the rules would take effect in 2018, with a three year transition period. Aerial work operations to be covered by the new rules would include emergency services, mustering, spotting and survey, media, external load, marine pilot transfers and surveillance.
Read the proposed aerial work rules and standards and have your say before 10 November 2015.
Get involved in Flight Plan 2030
There are now two ways to take part in CASA’s aviation safety future forums, known as Flight Plan 2030. A series of face-to-face meetings are being held at key centres over coming months, with next in north-west Western Australia in early October 2015. If it is not possible to attend a meeting everyone can contribute through a new online consultation forum. This online tool allows people to have their say on the safety issues facing the aviation community over the next five, ten and fifteen years. People are then asked how the safety challenges of the future can be met. Anyone can post comments and take part in the discussion and CASA will use the contributions to guide the development of Flight Plan 2030, which is scheduled to be released in 2016. CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore, is the driving force behind Flight Plan 2030. He says: “We need the support and participation of everyone in the Australian aviation community to manage the safety issues of today and to plan effectively for the future. I urge everyone involved in aviation to come along to these forums or use the online tool to contribute to the development of Flight Plan 2030. We are committed to listening to your views as part of our future planning.” Issues to be discussed at the forums and online include the impact of new technology, how the growth in commercial remotely piloted aircraft will affect traditional aviation and the challenges of ageing aircraft. The first future forum was successfully held in Mildura in late July 2015.
A future forum is being held in Kununurra on Thursday 8 October and in Broome on Saturday 10 October 2015. It is important to make a booking to attend the free forums as soon as possible.
Find out more and book a place now for the Broome and Kununurra forums.
Have your say online about the future of aviation safety.
Call to support new technology for sake of safety
The aviation community has been called on to continue to support new technology that improves safety. In a letter to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association CASA’s Director Mark Skidmore said there will be a range of safety improvements from technology such as automatic dependant surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B). Mr Skidmore listed eight specific benefits including increased accuracy of directed traffic information, narrower search areas for rescue operations, short term conflict alerts, height monitoring and adherence and accurate traffic situational awareness through ADS-B IN displays. There is also vastly increased surveillance coverage of areas currently not covered by radar which reduces the likelihood of mid-air collisions. Mr Skidmore pointed out ADS-B development and implementation has been ongoing for many years around the world and is part of the International Civil Aviation Organization global air navigation plan. Many nations are implementing the technology including Asian and European states, Canada and the United States. “ADS-B provides a cost effective method for Australia to provide vastly increased surveillance coverage and catch up with countries such as US and European states which have taken advantage of widespread national (radar) surveillance coverage for decades,” he said. By 2 February 2017 existing aircraft flying under instrument flight rules must be equipped to transmit ADS-B.
Find out more about ADS-B.
Flexible hose failure warning
Catastrophic in-service failures of flexible aircraft hoses in both large and small aircraft continue to be reported. The hose failures are in critical systems such as fuel, oil, braking and flight control. An updated CASA airworthiness bulletin on flexible hoses says hoses are failing due to a range of reasons. These include incorrect installation and handling, chemical incompatibility with the system fluid, impact damage, maintenance, age and manufacturing faults. The airworthiness bulletin says inspection, testing and replacement recommendations from hose and aircraft manufacturers cannot cover all the conditions hoses may be exposed to and more stringent inspection and replacement requirements may be needed to prevent hose failures. A maintenance program that does not include periodic in-situ inspections could be deficient. These inspections should look for hose flexibility, chafing damage, leaking, security and routing. Pressure tests and a hose retirement schedule should also be in the maintenance program. CASA recommends replacing flammable fluid carrying airframe hoses every ten years and engine compartment hoses every five years or at engine overhaul. This should be done unless approved maintenance data has other requirements. Despite these recommendations operators should determine if more frequent replacement is required for their aircraft.
New licensing system basics explained
There’s now extra help for people still working to understand the basics of the new flight crew licensing regulations. CASA has produced an information package that steps through the new licensing system from obtaining licences, ratings and endorsements to flight reviews and proficiency checks. In easy-to-follow sections the information package explains how the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 61 works and what it delivers. Concepts such as the general competency rule are explained, along with how training is managed, the role of instructors and flight tests. The package also covers training and checking systems, operator proficiency checks and instruments and exemptions. Under Part 61 competency standards now apply to all licences, ratings, endorsements, flight tests, flight reviews and proficiency checks. Licences are granted by CASA, while flight examiners can issue ratings and endorsements. Flight instructors issue design feature and flight activity endorsements. Ratings and endorsements are granted when the examiner or instructor enters them on the pilot’s licence and can be used immediately. The manual of standards for Part 61 contains all the aeronautical knowledge and practical flight standards for all licences, ratings and endorsements.
Go to the Part 61 basics package now.
Keep up to date on volcanic ash risks
Pilots, aircraft owners and air operators are being reminded of the need to understand issues relating to flying in or near volcanic ash. The recent Indonesian eruptions highlight the fact that Australia is located near to a high concentration of active volcanos. Eruptions can affect Australian aircraft flying through airspace near volcanos and clouds can move across mainland Australia. CASA has just updated an airworthiness bulletin about flying in airspace with volcanic ash contamination. This sets out recommendations about ash hazard identification, risk assessment and risk management. It also looks at airworthiness issues and the reporting of ash events. The advice covers both regular public transport and other operations. Smaller general aviation aircraft and helicopters are subject to physical hazards from ash and guidance and recommendations from the aircraft manufacturer should be taken into account. Flying through an ash cloud must be avoided due to the extreme hazard it presents. Volcanic ash can cause extreme abrasion to all forward facing parts of the aircraft. Visibility through the windshields may be totally impaired, aerofoil and control surface leading edges severely damaged, airspeed indications become unreliable through blocking of the Pitot heads/static ports, and engines may even shut-down rapidly or lose power gradually. Volcanic eruption columns also contain many gases including water vapour, sulphur dioxide, chlorine, hydrogen sulphide and oxides of nitrogen. Following the eruption the sulphur dioxide forms sulphuric acid droplets. This resulting ash/acid mix is highly corrosive and can cause further damage to engines and other structures.
Read more about the risks of volcanic ash.
Firefighting pilots have extra time for licence changes
Pilots engaged in firefighting operations have been given more time to transition to specific requirements under the new pilot licensing rules. Firefighting pilots authorised before 1 September 2014 now have until the end of August 2016 to transition to the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 61 licensing rules. The new rules recognise firefighting as a unique aviation activity and provide specific safety standards. Training for firefighting pilots is covered in more detail to ensure pilots have the right competencies for the job. CASA extended the time for firefighting pilots to move to the new rules after feedback from the aviation community. The extra time for transition avoids any disruption to the coming fire season. Before conducting firefighting pilots need to make sure that within the preceding 12 months they have successfully completed an assessment of competency in firefighting operations.
Firefighting pilots can begin the process of transition to the new licensing regulations by completing form 61-2FF Transition for pilots authorised to conduct firefighting operations.
Lessons that could save your life
Pilots at nine locations will have the chance to learn safety lessons in October 2015 that could save their life in the future. Lessons for life AvSafety seminars are being held at Mildura, Canberra, Gunnedah, Wilpena Pound, Jandakot, Moree, Horsham, Darwin and Southport. There will be a focus on two key safety issues that continue to feature in accidents - flight in low visibility and unplanned or unapproved low flying. Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigations nominate these issues as top safety concerns. Each AvSafety seminar will feature a discussion about at least one case study from accident reports about low visibility and low flying. Pilots will be asked to look at why the accidents occurred and how they could have been avoided. Other issues that can be covered in the seminars are regulatory changes, pilot responsibilities in relation to maintenance releases and the correct procedures to follow at non-controlled aerodromes. Discussion about non-controlled aerodromes will look at radio frequencies, radio use and procedures. As usual each seminar provides an important opportunity for pilots to give feedback and suggestions to CASA.
Find an AvSafety seminar near you.
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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.
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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.