CASA Consultation Hub

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is committed to working cooperatively with the aviation industry and community to maintain and enhance aviation safety. This hub is a place for you to find and participate in consultations that interest you.

Your feedback is important and if you have any specific circumstances or challenges in participating during the current environment, please contact us using the details listed in each consultation.

Recently updated consultations are displayed below. Alternatively, search for consultations by keyword and interests.

Open Consultations

  • Bunbury radio congestion

    The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) has received feedback that there are ongoing issues with radio congestion at Bunbury. Breakthrough from distant aerodromes on Multicom 126.7 is a common occurrence at Bunbury airport. Other Multicom 126.7 aerodromes in the... More

    Closes 25 April 2021

  • VFR communication and surveillance equipment

    We want to understand what communication and surveillance equipment you use when you fly under visual flight rules (VFR) conditions so we know how potential future airspace changes may impact you. If you don’t have any surveillance and communication equipment, we’d still like to hear... More

    Closes 16 May 2021

  • Register your interest for our Technical Working Groups

    The Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) has been established to provide the CASA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Aviation Safety (DAS) with informed, objective high-level advice from the aviation community on current, emerging and potential issues that have, or may have,... More

    Closes 30 June 2021

Closed Consultations

  • Draft guidance for RPAS BVLOS operations

    CASA is developing guidance to help remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) holders wanting to conduct remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). We have developed several draft standard scenarios to provide clarity... More

    Closed 7 April 2021

  • Broome and Karratha 2020 preliminary airspace review

    The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) is now seeking industry feedback on the preliminary airspace review of Broome and Karratha. The review was conducted in 2019 on our Consultation Hub . Further information about airspace regulation and the airspace change process is... More

    Closed 10 February 2021

  • Obstacles (Wind Farms) outside the vicinity of a CASA certified aerodrome - draft advisory circular 139.E-05 v1.0

    This is the second version of an advisory Circular (AC) which relates to obstacles (wind farms) outside the vicinity of a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Part 139 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations aerodrome. AC 139.E-05 v1.0, replaces AC 139-18 v0 - obstacle marking and lighting... More

    Closed 10 February 2021

  • Albany proposed broadcast area

    The Office of Airspace Regulation is proposing a broadcast area in the vicinity of Albany, Western Australia, following issues raised by local stakeholders. Due to the diversity in operations and a number of aerodromes in the vicinity, local stakeholders proposed the... More

    Closed 8 February 2021

  • Preliminary Airspace Review Albury 2021

    The Office of Airspace Regulation is conducting a review of the airspace within the Albury region in New South Wales. The review will evaluate the fitness for purpose of the airspace within 25 nautical miles radius of Albury Regional Airport (YMAY) from the surface up to 8,500 feet.... More

    Closed 31 January 2021

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

From 9 to 23 September 2020 we invited public comment on proposed changes to the rules for drones, also known as remotely piloted aircraft (RPA).

The summary of proposed changes included:

  • the operation of foreign-registered drones under a permission in Australian territory
  • the proper conduct of online examinations (operator accreditation)
  • all registered RPA to, at all times, display CASA-generated registration mark(s) legibly
  • registered drone modifications and the criteria any modified drone must meet for it to be re-registered, or registered, as a new drone
  • replacing the requirements for excluded category notifications with registrations to reduce administrative burden on operators.

We also proposed additional relief in response to COVID-19, including a transitional amendment to Chapter 2 of the Part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS) for remote pilot licence (RePL) training courses and an 18-month extension for RePL training instructors to obtain the required qualifications.

The consultation asked if participants agree the proposed amendments to Part 101 reflect the policy change as set out in the summary of proposed changes, if it will work as intended and that the amendments will not result in unintended consequences.

You said

CASA thanks the contributions provided by respondents and acknowledges that their feedback is beneficial for the consultation process. The consultation received responses from 56 individuals or organisations, including 17 remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) holders, 14 remote pilot licence (RePL) holders, seven training organisations and eight excluded category RPA pilots.

Key feedback

Responses were largely supportive of the proposed amendments. Sixty-seven per cent of respondents agreed that the proposed amendments reflected the change in policy and that they will work as intended. Thirty per cent of respondents did not agree. Almost 58 per cent agreed the proposed amendments would not result in unintended consequences and 39 per cent did not agree.

Respondents provided additional comments to support their response. Overall, additional responses provided feedback outside the scope of the consultation’s proposed amendments and mostly related to the registration requirements and drone safety rules, such as operating near aerodromes, maximum operating height and operating 30 metres from people. As part of our continuous improvement process we have documented this feedback which may inform future consultation and amendment.

Some responses highlighted that elements of the proposed policy relating to the COVID-19 transitional amendment for RePL training courses should be moved from 31 January 2021 to coincide with the respective state or territories first school term of 2021 to allow students to complete their RePL courses at school.

Some respondents advised that some elements of the proposed amendments were unclear, including the removal of the requirement for excluded category operators to notify CASA, registration requirements for modified drones and how this applies to modified drones used for research and development, and that the proposed 18-month extension for RePL training instructors to obtain the relevant qualifications is too long.

Other responses included specific feedback on RePL training course syllabi, the use of registration marks for drones registered in Australia and foreign registered drones operating in Australia.

We did

In response to the consultation, we will extend the transitional amendment to allow any student who commenced a RePL course on or after 3 April 2020, but before 10 October 2020, to complete the course and its examinations and assessments under the relevant syllabi by 30 April 2021. This extension will allow those students and training organisations impacted by COVID-19 to complete their RePL courses during the first term of the 2021 school year. Any course commenced on, or from, 10 October 2020 must be completed against the new syllabi.

We will retain the proposed 18-month extension for RePL training course instructors to 10 April 2022 for Part 101 MOS paragraph 2.30 (2) (c) in Division 2.7. While we recognise some training instructors were able to obtain their qualifications, COVID-19 has had different impacts around Australia and the additional time will provide further support for all training instructors and organisations.

By incorporating the excluded category notification into the RPA registration process, CASA aims to reduce red-tape by simplifying the notification requirements. Combined with the requirement to register the RPA, the requirement for excluded category operators to obtain RPA operator accreditation before they fly will provide data about who is operating an excluded RPA. CASA does not believe the oversight of these operations will be diminished by simplifying the notification requirements.

CASA will consider all feedback as part of a post-implementation review.

We asked

From 25 August to 13 September 2020 we invited public comment on proposed charges for drone regulatory services, including:

  • an initial fee-free registration period for commercial drones registered before 30 June 2021
  • the introduction of a simplified fee structure for other commercial drone services.

The consultation asked you to comment on changes from an hourly rate charge to fixed fees for some services, continued hourly rate charges for complex commercial drone operations, a $0 drone registration fee and whether you thought our estimates of the expected volume and demand for services from commercial drone operations over the next five years reflected the available data.

You said

CASA appreciates the contributions made by respondents and acknowledges that their feedback has been beneficial to the consultation process. The consultation received responses from 262 individuals or organisations—including 162 remote pilot licence (RePL) holders and 108 remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) holders.

60 per cent of respondents reported operating a very small drone (2 kg or less) and 35 per cent of respondents reported operating a small drone (between 2 kg and 25 kg) – approximately 3 per cent operate a drone more than 25 kg.

Responses were largely supportive of the proposed initial fee-free registration period, with 77 per cent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing they support the proposal. Some respondents partially supported the proposed fees and fewer did not support any element of the proposal at all.

Many agreed or strongly agreed (53 per cent) that the simplified fee structure provided greater certainty of business costs. Fewer (33 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed it would reduce administrative burden on their business when applying for CASA services, while 30 per cent neither agreed nor disagreed.

40 per cent of respondents reported they disagree or strongly disagree that the simplified fee structure would result in cost savings for their business. A smaller proportion neither agreed nor disagreed (34 per cent), while 6 per cent reported they didn’t know if it would result in costs savings for their business.   

Most respondents (58 per cent) reported they did not know if the proposed fees reflected the estimated demand for services and volume of commercial operators in Australia – 23 per cent agreed.

Consultation feedback highlighted that some elements of the registration and accreditation process were unclear, including how to deregister a drone if it is sold or damaged beyond repair and if unused drones are required to be registered. Other feedback included specific questions about future fees, exemptions for some operators and partial refunds for deregistered drones.

We did

In response to the consultation, CASA will introduce a fee waiver for commercial drones registered before 30 June 2021, allowing for a $0 drone registration fee.

Registration will open on 30 September 2020 and be required by 28 January 2021. It will be valid for 12 months from the date of registration.

Any future registration fees, exemptions and refunds will be considered in early 2021.

More information about the registration and accreditation requirements and the process is now available on our website – casa.gov.au/drones

The Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) will be published after the Australian Government’s consideration and its deliberations on the future funding arrangements for CASA. This will include consideration of fixed fees for other RPAS related regulatory services.

We asked

The revised Part 139 Manual of Standards (MOS) was made on 05 September 2019. In support of the new rules CASA committed to provide additional guidance material in the form of 'advisory circulars' (AC) to assist aerodrome operators in design, operation, and maintenance of certified aerodromes.

AC 139.C-06 'Skid resistance of aerodrome pavements' and AC 139.C-07 'Strength rating of aerodrome pavements' were subsequently drafted to explain regulatory or standard requirements associated with runway pavements, as well as to provide context for the legislation and its application. It should be noted that the content of an AC is intended to provide good practice and guidance and is not mandatory. CASA acknowledges, in some instances, there may be alternative methods that provide for an acceptable means of compliance, and as such, it is the aerodrome operator's responsibility for determining the best way in which they will meet their regulatory responsibilities.

Between 12 August and 10 September 2020 aerodrome operators, aerodrome consultants and internal CASA personnel, were invited to review the proposed guidance and provide comment on the suitability of the material in support of the revised MOS.

The consultation has closed, and a summary of feedback is provided below. CASA would like to thank industry for providing this feedback.

You said

A total of nine submissions were received— six from consultants and three from aerodrome operators.

Eight respondents consented to their comments being made public, one requested their submission to remain confidential.

Summary of feedback

In addition to recommended changes that were largely editorial in nature, a number of important matters were raised that required further consideration and clarification, these included:

  • requirement to meet surface texture or surface friction characteristics
  • terminology (consistency and definitions) as well as inclusion of references to support content
  • functionality of aircraft tyres in water dispersal
  • phenomenon of aquaplaning
  • surface testing means, locations, frequencies, and the principle of 'averaging'
  • expected timeframes for adopting a new pavement classification system
  • inclusion of information to support assessment of the bearing strength of unrated pavements
  • inclusion of risk-based considerations for pavement concessions.

We did

All comments provided by industry have been carefully considered and where appropriate, incorporated into each AC.

AC 139.C-06 was amended, based on apparent differences in interpretation, to make clear the requirement for surface texture or surface friction testing. Runway grooving is not an acceptable means of compliance in its own right, as they are prone to deterioration over time and even closing up. Grooved runways must meet friction requirements and sealed runways that are not grooved must meet either the minimum standards for surface friction or surface texture.

Sand patch testing has been clarified as the only approved method for measuring surface friction. Should an aerodrome operator seek to utilise an alternate method, CASA approval will be required. The principles associated with establishing an average surface texture depth were further explained. While one test per location is agreed, 'average' refers to within a test location and not across them. The intent is that given the criticality of these areas low texture wheel paths cannot be 'fixed' by averaging with high texture runway edges. Additional guidance was also provided with regard to performing continuous friction measuring equipment (CFME) surveys.

Regarding the life expectancy of sealed pavements, no airport should be planning its maintenance based on 15 years. CASA recommends aerodrome operators should, in addition to complying with the minimum legislative requirements, make their own assessments for the need to conduct additional measured assessments based on the type of aircraft movements and frequency of operations at their aerodrome.

While there was reported confusion by interchangeability of terms skid resistance and friction, it is important to understand that skid resistance equals surface texture and friction, working in combination. Each of the terms are clearly defined in the definitions table and the terms are used very specifically to indicate different issues.

Contrary to feedback received, aircraft tyres do have a tread pattern. Although limited, the circumferential grooves assist in providing escape paths for water.

The phenomenon of aquaplaning was expanded to include explanations on dynamic hydroplaning, reverted rubber, and viscous hydroplaning, as requested, and as a means to assist understanding issues that may require resolution.

To address the question of accuracy, it has been demonstrated that for a dense grade mix, the size of the large stones has very little effect on the macrotexture. This is because the gaps between the larger stones are still filled by the finer particles. Therefore, the resulting texture is almost always 0.4-0.6 mm.

Given the small number of block paving surfaces and, in the absence of full-length concrete runway surfaces in Australia, specific comments on these surfaces were not considered warranted. CASA will consider their inclusion in future revisions.

Additional references were added throughout the document as requested. Aggregate quality assurance was considered beyond the scope of this document, and preparing NOTAMs is addressed in other guidance material.

AC 139.C-07 is about pavement strength rating and is not intended to educate designers. Amendments were made to make clear that the new strength rating system (ACR-PCR) has not yet been adopted by Australia. A target date for implementation (November 2024), has been advised, and CASA will provide ongoing industry education and support well in advance of the transition.

Content was included to support use of APSDS (Airport Pavement Structural Design System) software (commercially developed in Australia) which provides another methodology for the design and construction of aerodrome pavements.

K-values for pavement design are 'indicative' values which come from published literature which has now been referenced.

Equivalence factors relative to the thickness of types of pavement materials have also been referenced as requested, and an example as to how equivalence is applied has been included.

Content from the now redundant AC (139-25(0)) - Strength Rating of Aerodrome Pavements, has been incorporated based on the request for guidance on assessment of bearing strength of unrated pavements.

Further explanation, including an example and referencing, has been provided to explain normalised values with respect to flexible and rigid pavement thicknesses.

Additional guidance has also been included in support of a risk-based decision-making process when considering a pavement concession.

To avoid the potential for erroneous information, ACN values are not included in CASA guidance, this information should be obtained from the airline or aircraft manufacturer as appropriate.

AC 139.C-06 and AC 139.C-07 will be published concurrently with this summary of consultation.

CASA will monitor the effectiveness of the new Part 139 of CASR and the MOS with a view for further revision based on industry feedback and safety outcomes. A post-implementation review is planned to occur after the end of the transition period of 13 November 2022.