Proposal to change initial helicopter pilot licence training requirements (1714FS)

Closed 3 Dec 2017

Opened 20 Nov 2017


Changes to the helicopter flight crew licensing regulations in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) are being proposed.

These changes include:

  • adding a 105 hour training course option for the commercial pilot licence with helicopter category rating – CPL(H),
  • this course would be conducted by an organisation with an approval under Part 141 of the CASR, and
  • removing the mandatory requirement for basic instrument flight training for the grant of the following:
    • recreational navigation endorsement
    • private pilot licence with helicopter category rating
    • commercial pilot licence with helicopter category rating.

The proposal has been developed following ongoing consultations between the Australian Helicopter Industry Association, helicopter flight training operators and CASA. Transition regulations which are consistent with this proposal, have been in place since the commencement of the flight crew licensing regulations in September 2014. The transition provisions continue until 31 August 2018.

Consequences of implementing the proposals

The proposal would allow continuation of practices which have been successfully employed by the Australian helicopter training industry. Implementing the changes would be relatively straightforward, as existing courses of training and licensing processes which are based on the old regulations, reflect what is being proposed. The proposal would need to be incorporated into Part 61 of CASR prior to expiry of the transitional provisions on 31 August 2018.

If accepted, the proposal would remove doubt over the continued use of the 105 hour CPL(H) course and the requirement for basic instrument flight training. This would help support and encourage operators to complete their Part 141 transition.

Details on the how the proposal would be implemented, such as managing changes to Operations Manuals, if required, will be provided once the proposal has been settled.

CASA is working with the helicopter flight training sector to provide a sample CPL(H) 105 hour course of training, that operators would be able to use once incorporated into their Operations Manual. An assessment of the course would not be required if it is implemented without amendment.

CPL(H) licences granted on the basis of the proposed standards would be issued with a note identifying its non-compliance with ICAO Annex 1 standards. This is no different from the current situation where licences are granted under the old licensing standards (according to the transition rules).

As is the case for licences issued under former Part 5 of CAR; pilots with non-compliant licences require the approval of a foreign State to operate an Australian aircraft in that State. In addition, a foreign State may impose additional training and testing requirements for conversion and might not validate the licence. These conditions also applied under the licensing system under Part 5 of the CAR Part 5.

The option of integrated training under Part 142 of CASR or a 150 hour course under Part 141 of CASR to achieve an ICAO Annex 1 compliant licence would remain available.

Why We Are Consulting


CASA recognises the valuable contribution that community and industry consultation makes to the regulatory development process. This policy proposal  asks you to consider a range of proposed changes to initial helicopter pilot licence training requirements.

A copy of the proposal is provided below. You can read it on this screen using the scroll bar, or save it to your computer using the popup options.

Please read the document before providing your feedback in the online survey.

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What Happens Next

At the end of the response period for public comment, we will review each comment and submission received through the online response form. We will make all submissions publicly available on the CASA website unless a respondent requests that their submission remain confidential. Information about how we consult and how to make a confidential submission is available on the CASA website.


  • Flight training organisations


  • Licensing