Proposed Part 43 legislation - Maintenance of aircraft in private and aerial work operations - (CD 2104SS)

Closed 3 Jul 2022

Opened 19 May 2022

Overview

The general aviation (GA) industry has been asking for some years for less complex maintenance rules that reduce costs. We are moving to deliver on that this year as part of our GA workplan.

This includes finalising Part 43 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) 1998 governing aircraft in private and aerial work operations.

Much work and consultation has already gone into this process, including input from a technical working group, online consultation, industry seminars and publication of over 20 information sheets on our website.

The aim was to base the new ruleset on existing overseas regulations, and we asked industry which of the several overseas regimes were appropriate. Almost 80% nominated the US Federal Aviation Regulations.

We took that advice, and we believe the result, Part 43, will simplify compliance, provide business opportunities, and reduce red tape for private and aerial work operators.

We are now seeking your feedback to ensure the final policy (consulted earlier) has been accurately reflected in the regulation, Manual of Standards (MOS), and associated advisory materials. All the details for the final policy are in the Policy Decision Summary in December 2020 linked below.

We understand that regulations can be difficult to read, so we’ve made it easier for you to have your say by publishing a draft Plain English Guide to Part 43. It is based on the regulation and MOS and is a great place to start. It explains how the agreed policy will work in practice. 

The proposed new rules

Part 43 will apply to maintenance of aircraft engaged in private and aerial work operations and limited category aircraft. This includes aircraft engaged in flight training, mustering, firefighting and emergency service operations, search and rescue, aerial surveying and photography, towing, and private flying.

Part 43 will provide additional flexibility for the general aviation sector in various areas but does not change the rules that apply for aircraft used for air transport operations. Aircraft that are occasionally used in non-scheduled air transport will continue to be maintained by either a Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) 30 approval holder or a Part 145 approved maintenance organisation, regardless of other general aviation uses.

More information about what a registered operator will need to consider is available in the draft information sheet “Transitioning an aircraft maintained under Part 43 to air transport operations”. See related documents section below to download and review.

Continuing airworthiness management and maintenance rules that are currently under development for Part 133 and Part 135 of CASR, will address maintenance of aircraft currently engaged in non-scheduled air transport operations.

Our aim is for Part 43 and its associated MOS to reflect US Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR).

We will incorporate the adopted US-FAR into CASR 1998 with as little amendment as possible.

Changes will only be made:

  • where words, titles, phrases, or legal terminology are incompatible with Australian legal terms
  • to clarify the current FAR including removing ambiguity or uncertainty
  • to make necessary formatting, paragraph structure and numbering changes
  • to incorporate any differences to the proposed policy outcomes that have been consulted with the GA sector.

Main changes

The main changes that will be introduced by Part 43 and its associated MOS are:

  • maintenance organisation approval will not be required for carrying out maintenance of aircraft, engines, or components other than repairs to instruments, major repairs or modifications to propellers and specified maintenance of aircraft certificated in the transport category. Note: Aircraft maintenance technician certificates (AMTC) will be an available alternative to maintenance organisation approvals for maintenance of propellers and instruments, subject to conditions set out in the MOS
  • a new individual authorisation - Inspection Authorisation (IA)
  • CAR 30 approval holders will have the option of:
    • taking up a Part 43 AMTC authorisation, or
    • continuing to do business under the licence privileges of licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, or
    • transitioning to a future maintenance regime under the air transport continuing airworthiness (ATCA) maintenance rules Note: The ATCA maintenance rules are unrelated to Part 43 and are being developed under a separate CASA/industry project.
  • annual or progressive inspections will form an essential component in the management of airworthiness of an aircraft.

Webinars

View recording of the live webinars:

More Information

Feedback received on the consultation in 2018 identified several key themes, including:

  • loss of business income
  • reduced safety and safety standards
  • type rating requirements
  • lack of insurance cover for independent licensed aircraft maintenance engineers
  • loss of B2 privileges
  • costs associated with obtaining/maintaining an inspection authorisation
  • requirement for an inspection authorisation
  • inclusion of charter aircraft.

These have been considered as we’ve worked through drafting the legislation for consultation. You can view more details about these themes and the feedback on our 2018 consultation.

More Information

In August 2018, we conducted an initial public consultation that sought the views of the aviation community on the current challenges associated with maintenance of aircraft involved in general aviation and AWK and to identify opportunities to improve Australia's regulatory system.

Our consultation also requested they consider how United States (US), New Zealand (NZ), Europe, and Canada approach GA maintenance, and comment on whether one or more of those regulation structures would be a suitable model for Australia.

Most respondents (78%) to the 2018 consultation indicated a preference for the United States – Federal Aviation Regulation’s (US-FAR) model. Of the 11% of respondents who indicated a preference for the New Zealand Civil Aviation Regulations (NZ-CAR), most indicated the FAR as their second choice.

CASA conducted a detailed technical review of the US-FARs and found them to be a well-established set of regulations. The policies are sound, and requirements are clear. There is scalability across a wide range of aircraft and operations, pathways for industry growth, and safety outcomes which are historically, slightly better than Australia.

A Technical Working Group (TWG) appointed by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel met in September 2018 to review the consultation feedback and consider the policy options. The technical review and consultation and engagement with industry, confirmed the US-FAR as the best model on which to base the proposed new maintenance regulations for GA.

Prior to the release of this summary of proposed change, CASA has consulted widely via a new Technical Working Group (TWG), consisting of representatives from CASA and the aviation industry. Alterations and additions were made to the draft CASR as a result.

Acting on the results of those consultations we published CD 1812SS - Part 43 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) - Maintenance of aircraft, seeking public comment on our policy proposal that aimed to adopt the FARS. This consultation was open for comment from 7 December 2018 to 31 January 2019.

The policies covered every aspect of maintenance of aircraft engaged in private and aerial work operations including:

  • the role of a B1 LAME including expanded privileges and limitations
  • the role of a B2 LAME including expanded privileges and limitations
  • provisions for an Inspection Authorisation (IA)
  • the role, privileges and limitations of an IA holder
  • provisions for an aircraft maintenance technician certificate (AMTC)
  • the role, privileges and limitations of an AMTC holder
  • the responsibilities of a registered operator
  • performance rules for carrying out maintenance, preventive maintenance, inspections repairs, modifications and overhauls
  • maintenance of light sport aircraft, limited category aircraft and amateur-built aircraft.

Throughout both consultations, the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) and its associated Part 43 Technical Working Group (TWG) were involved to oversee our processes and industry engagement to ensure the policy remained appropriate for the sector.

Why your views matter

We are consulting to ensure that the proposed new Part 43 of CASR and MOS reflect the policy outcomes supported by the aviation industry and agreed by our Aviation Safety Advisory Panel. Your feedback will assist us in meeting our commitment to provide legislation that is accurately based on the agreed policy outcomes.

We welcome comments from every sector of the community. This includes the general public, government agencies and all sectors of the aviation industry, whether as an aviator, aviation consumer and/or provider of related products and services. 

Completing the survey

You can choose to comment on as many topics as you like. If you do not have enough time to complete the consultation in one go, don’t worry. You can save your input and come back later.

Information for member-based organisations

We look forward to receiving input from both organisations and individuals.

We welcome responses from member-based organisations but would also encourage them to promote this consultation and invite members to submit their own response. This will ensure all views are given equal consideration and available for everyone to see following consultation.

Documents for review

All documents related to this consultation are in the ‘related’ section at the bottom of the page. This includes an MS Word copy of the online survey to make it easy for you to peruse or coordinate feedback within your organisation.

Please submit your feedback through the Consultation Hub using the survey provided. If you are unable to provide feedback this way, please contact us for advice through regulatoryconsultation@casa.gov.au

What happens next

At the end of the response period, we will review each comment and submission received. We will make all submissions publicly available on the Consultation Hub unless you request your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a summary of consultation which summarises the feedback received and outlines next steps.

Relevant feedback that identifies divergences from the agreed policies will be considered and changes made as required to ensure an outcome that accurately embodies the agreed policies.

We intend to make the proposed rules by end-2022. The feedback we receive from this consultation will also assist us in developing implementation and transition timeframes.

We propose a transition period of 12 months for maintenance authorisation holders to transition to aircraft maintenance technician certificates and a transition period of 36 months for CAR30 organisations to cease issuing maintenance releases for Part 43 aircraft.  This will ensure industry has sufficient time to adapt to the new requirements. Timeframes may change depending on when the draft rules are signed, registered and implemented.

Audiences

  • CASA Staff
  • Aerodrome operator
  • Manufacturers
  • Pilot
  • Sports aviation operators
  • Traveling public / passengers
  • Amateur/kit-built aircraft owners and builders
  • Part 147 of CASR Maintenance training organisations
  • Parachute operators
  • Sport and recreational aircraft maintainers
  • Sport aviation bodies & prospective ASAOs
  • Aircraft owner/operator
  • Part 145 of CASR approved maintenance organisations (AMO)
  • Regulation 30 of CAR maintenance organisations (CAR 30)
  • Licensed aircraft maintenance engineers (LAME)
  • Aircraft maintenance engineers (AME)
  • Aerial work operator
  • Part 142 operators
  • Part 141 operators

Interests

  • Sport and recreational aviation
  • Licensing
  • Limited category aircraft
  • Private operations
  • Amateur/kit-built aircraft
  • Airworthiness/maintenance (CAR 30 and CASR Part 145 maintenance orgs)
  • Self administration aviation activities