Streamlining airworthiness and maintenance

Ensuring that aircraft are designed safely and kept safe is critical for an aviation safety framework to succeed. Aircraft design, manufacture, maintenance, and continuing airworthiness management is a global industry and Australia needs to ensure its regulations are consistent with international arrangements to ensure our stakeholders are not disadvantaged.

Our design and manufacturing industry has told us our regulations don’t match up with our international partners and that this makes it difficult to export Australian designed and manufactured aircraft and parts.

Industry also continues to tell us that maintenance regulations for general aviation are too burdensome. They also tell us that this impacts the availability of appropriately qualified maintenance engineers for the sector’s needs. This has resulted in increased costs for aircraft owners, potentially disproportionately impacting those located in regional and remote Australia.

CASA is committed to supporting the government’s broader efforts to ease barriers to international trade and open new markets, and we will work toward ensuring that the airworthiness regulations are better tailored so they are proportionate to the risk profile for general aviation and provide the best outcomes for the contemporary Australian environment.

Overview of reforms and timeframes

Table key:

  • • (bullet circle) shows when work is planned
  • Q1 ends 31 Mar
  • Q2 ends 30 Jun
  • Q3 ends 30 Sep
  • Q4 ends 31 Dec.
Reform Q1 2022 Q2 2022 Q3 2022 Q4 2022 Q1 2023 Q2 2023 Q3 2023 Q4 2023+

Establish new Part 43 maintenance regulations which are specifically for general aviation

     
Consider more progressive, less onerous maintenance licence pathways tailored for light aircraft      
Create generic maintenance training requirements for legacy helicopters and increasing recognition of training delivered overseas      
Reconsider the mandatory applicability of Cessna Supplemental Inspection Documents (SIDS) - COMPLETED            
Update the Part 21 regulations and manual of standards to align with international best practices for the design, manufacture and certification of aircraft and parts          
Implement continuing airworthiness regulations that introduce proportionate sector risk profile improvements for non-scheduled air transport operators  

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Establish new Part 43 maintenance regulations which are specifically for general aviation

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • establishing new maintenance regulations for general aviation and based on Part 43 of the United States Federal Aviation Regulations. This should provide a more flexible and proportionate regulatory approach without compromising safety outcomes.
  • providing a Part 43 plain English guide which will clearly and succinctly communicate regulatory requirements to maintainers, private and aerial work operators.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • prepare drafting instructions by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • provide plain English guide and exposure draft of regulation to Technical Working Group (TWG) for comment by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • consult by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2022)
  • make regulations by end of Q1 (31 March 2023)
  • Incremental benefit available to industry from end of Q1 (31 March 2023).

Consider more progressive, less onerous maintenance licence pathways tailored for light aircraft

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • considering improved, less onerous and more flexible pathways to maintenance licences. We will tailor this for light aircraft and provide a stepping-stone towards existing licences for more complex aircraft. We expect this initiative will build a better pipeline of licensed aircraft engineers that can perform maintenance across the industry, including general aviation.

Activities and timeframes:

  • preparation of draft policy by end of Q4 (31 Dec 2022)
  • Technical Working Group (TWG) to consider policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2023)
  • provide drafting instructions to TWG for comment from Q2 (30 Jun 2023) and beyond
  • draft amendments to the Manual of Standards (MOS) from Q3 (30 Sep 2023) and beyond
  • benefit available to industry from Q2 (30 Jun 2023) or beyond. This licence proposal requires Part 43 to be made first in order to underpin the regulatory environment.

Create generic maintenance training requirements for legacy helicopters

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • reviewing type ratings and associated training requirements for legacy helicopters for which specific training is no longer available. This will include recognition of training delivered overseas. This will address the declining availability of maintenance training for various types of early model helicopters.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2022)
  • Technical Working Group (TWG) to consider by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • consult by end of Q4 (31 Dec 2022)
  • draft amendments to MOS by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2023)
  • benefit available to industry by end of Q1 (31 Mar 2023).

Reconsider the mandatory applicability of Cessna Supplemental Inspection Documents (SIDS) - COMPLETED

CASA has:

  • exempted a range of operations from the mandatory applicability of Cessna Supplemental Inspection Documents (SIDS). This provides a range of general aviation operators greater flexibility in adopting the requirements of these documents. It potentially alleviates maintenance costs which may be disproportionate to the risks of these activities.

Update Part 21 regulations and manual of standards to align with international best practices

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • updating the Part 21 regulations and MOS relating to certification and airworthiness requirements for the design, manufacture and certification of aircraft and parts. This will better align with equivalent international regulations while introducing proportionate outcomes appropriate for Australia.

Activities and timeframes:

  • scope policy in Q2 (30 Jun 2023) and beyond.

Implement proportionate continuing airworthiness regulations for non-scheduled air transport operators

Initiatives under this measure include:

  • finalising the continuing airworthiness requirements for passenger non-scheduled air transport operations that previously operated as charters, so that they are proportionate to sector risk. We will do this as part of the Air Transport Continuing Airworthiness Project underway.

Activities and timeframes:

  • develop and consult transition guidance material with the TWG by end of Q2 (30 Jun 2022)
  • prepare drafting instructions by end of Q1 (31 March 2023)
  • consult draft legislation by end of Q3 (30 Sep 2023)
  • make regulation by end of Q4 (31 Dec 2023) or beyond.
Published date: 6 December 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//streamlining-airworthiness-and-maintenance
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