Proposed minor amendments to the RPA and model aircraft registration scheme - (CD 2113US)

Closed 18 Nov 2021

Opened 5 Nov 2021

Overview

CASA is seeking feedback on minor amendments to:

  • Parts 47, 101 and 202 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR)
  • Part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS).

These amendments are required to implement model aircraft registration as intended by the Australian Government.

Minor changes are also required to address some ambiguities in the existing drone registration and operator accreditation regulations.

A Technical Working Group (TWG) appointed by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel met on 3 November 2021 to consider the proposed amendments. They considered the changes pragmatic.

The proposed amendments

The proposed changes include:

  • amending the commencement date for recreational drone registration and operator accreditation from 1 March 2022 to 1 July 2022
  • moving the transitional registration incentive period to follow the new commencement date
  • removing registration requirements for remotely piloted aircraft test flights that currently impact on aircraft innovation, development, and manufacturing
  • aligning the recreational drone registration provisions so they are registered separately, and expires 12 months after initial issue
  • removing ambiguity to reinforce that a person may not sit the operator accreditation quiz, or hold a valid operator accreditation until the person is at least 16 years old (this is implied by the current rules but is not explicitly stated)
  • updating Part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS) to require recreational drone operators to update any changes to their contact details, or any other information provided to CASA as part of registration or accreditation. For example, a change of address or new email address.

In August/September 2017, CASA published a drone discussion paper. Consultation showed that most respondents supported some form of registration, training, and proficiency for the use and operation of drones.

The Australian Government supported the introduction of mandatory registration for all remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), and the requirement for operators to successfully complete a basic online competency test regarding the safe use of RPAS. Accordingly, CASA developed a proposed registration and accreditation scheme for RPA and model aircraft.

In May 2018, CASA published a Review of aviation safety regulation of RPAS.

In November 2018, a technical working group (TWG) was established and included representatives from both the commercial and recreational industry, to consider drone registration and operator accreditation.

The TWG was established by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), whose role is to support CASA's engagement with industry and seek input on regulatory and associated policy approaches.

The TWG members strongly supported the introduction of a drone registration and operator accreditation scheme. However, there were some concerns expressed about the impact on some model aircraft owners and operators.

Between 25 January and 22 February 2019, CASA consulted publicly on a proposal to introduce remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and model aircraft registration and operator accreditation. A summary of consultation was released on 30 July 2019.

Why your views matter

CASA recognises the valuable contribution community and industry consultations make to the policy decision-making process and future regulatory change. We are consulting to ensure that the proposed new rules are clearly articulated and will work in practice and as they are intended.

Documents for review

All documents related to this consultation are attached in the ‘related’ section at the bottom of the page. They are:

  • Summary of proposed change on CD 2113US, which provides background on the proposed change
  • MS Word copy of online consultation for ease of distribution and feedback within your organisation

Note: The MS Word document is not to be used as an emailed submission, unless there are extenuating circumstances, and this form of submission has been agreed to by the consultation project lead.

Comments on the CD 2113US should be submitted through the online response form.

What happens next

When consultation closes, we will review each submission received. We will make all submissions publicly available on the CASA website, unless you request your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a Summary of Consultation which summarises the feedback received, outlines any intended changes and details our plans for the regulation.

All comments on the proposed changes will be considered. Relevant feedback that improves upon the proposed regulations and is consistent with the regulations and other CASA policy, will be incorporated in the final ruling.

CASA expects to make the proposed amendments in December 2021, which will come into effect from 1 July 2022. The feedback we receive from this consultation will also assist CASA in developing implementation and transition plans.

Post-implementation review

CASA will monitor and review the new rules during the transition phase and on an ongoing basis. We will also continue work on proposed further changes to the Parts 47 and 101 regulations to better support drone operations.

What happens next

When consultation closes, we will review each submission received. We will make all submissions publicly available on the CASA website, unless you request your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a Summary of Consultation which summarises the feedback received, outlines any intended changes and details our plans for the regulation.

All comments on the proposed changes will be considered. Relevant feedback that improves upon the proposed regulations and is consistent with the regulations and other CASA policy, will be incorporated in the final ruling.

CASA expects to make the proposed amendments in December 2021, which will come into effect from 1 July 2022. The feedback we receive from this consultation will also assist CASA in developing implementation and transition plans.

On 3 November 2021, the original TWG was reformed to consider these minor amendments to the drone registration and operator accreditation regulations.

TWG members reiterated earlier comments about the relationship between compliance and realisation of the intended safety objectives and expressed concerns that this could be impacted by a requirement for individual registration of model aircraft. However, it was acknowledged that this will be dependent on the required levy and that this is subject to separate consultation.

The TWG members reacted positively to the initiative on drone test flights. Comments on other matters were neutral and overall, the TWG members considered the changes pragmatic.

Post-implementation review

CASA will monitor and review the new rules during the transition phase and on an ongoing basis. We will also continue work on proposed further changes to the Parts 47 and 101 regulations to better support drone operations.

Audiences

  • Sports aviation operators
  • Drone operators
  • Self-administering Aviation Organisations
  • Drone manufacturers
  • Drone repairers

Interests

  • Drones / unmanned aircraft systems
  • Sport and recreational aviation
  • Carers of children who own drones
  • Owners of drones or model aircraft