Proposed amendments to Part 101 CASR and MOS - Unmanned aircraft and rockets - (PP 2107US)

Closed 21 Feb 2022

Opened 15 Dec 2021

Feedback updated 1 Apr 2022

We asked

Between 15 December 2021 and 21 February 2022, we invited public comment on proposed amendments to the drone rules following a regulatory post-implementation review (PIR) of Part 101 of CASR and its MOS.

The aim of the PIR is to recognise what:

  • is working well
  • could work better
  • will be needed in the future to support the rapidly evolving drone industry environment.

In addition to Part 101 of CASR and its MOS, CASA also administers several legal instruments in the form of:

  • directions
  • exemptions
  • approval conditions.

The proposed amendments seek to streamline these instruments to create a set of regulations and standards, with built-in flexibility, and provide clarity and consistency for industry.

We asked you to comment on:

  • Policy Proposal 2107US, which provided background on the proposed amendments

Supporting documentation and links were:

  • Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (legislation.gov.au)
  • Part 101 (Unmanned Aircraft and Rockets) Manual of Standards 2019 (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA 55/20 — Operation of Certain Unmanned Aircraft Directions 2020 (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA 01/17 - Approval — operation of RPA at night (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA EX38/21 – Obtaining Experience for Grant of RePL for Medium RPA, and for RePL Upgrade to Different Category of Small or Medium RPA – Exemption Instrument 2021 (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA EX46/21 — Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operations Beyond Visual Line of Sight Instrument 2021 (legislation.gov.au)
  • Drug and alcohol management plans | Civil Aviation Safety Authority (casa.gov.au)
  • DAMP exemption for micro-businesses | Civil Aviation Safety Authority (casa.gov.au)

You said

We received 255 responses to the consultation:

  • RePL holder 74
  • ReOC holder 71
  • Drone/ Model aircraft retailer 1
  • Model aircraft flyer 18
  • Model aircraft association member 2
  • Emergency services employee or volunteer 9
  • Excluded category operator 26
  • FPV pilot/ enthusiast 12
  • RPAS training organisation 6
  • Education and/or research organisation 3
  • Other 33

We thank respondents for their contributions and acknowledge their feedback is beneficial.

Responses to the consultation were positive. Most respondents agreed to the proposed changes, or agreed with changes and specified those suggested changes.

We did

We considered all feedback provided and incorporated or further clarified the proposed amendments.

The amendments to the Part 101 MOS and CASA55/20 reflect CASAs intent to continue to streamline these instruments to create a set of regulations and standards, with built-in flexibility, and provide clarity and consistency for industry.

Further amendments to CASR Part 101 and its MOS will be made throughout 2022.

Published responses

Comments will be published shortly.

Overview

The drone industry is rapidly expanding. To keep pace with growth and demand in the sector, laws governing drones must be regularly reviewed to provide effective and efficient safety regulations for all airspace users and the community.

In 2016, major amendments were made to the:

  • Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 101 (Unmanned Aircraft and Rockets)
  • Part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS).

We have now commenced a regulatory post-implementation review (PIR) of Part 101 of CASR and its MOS.

The aim of the PIR is to recognise what:

  • is working well
  • could work better
  • will be needed in the future to support the rapidly evolving environment.

In addition to Part 101 of CASR and its MOS, CASA also administers several legal instruments in the form of:

  • directions
  • exemptions
  • approval conditions.

The proposed amendments seek to streamline these instruments to create a set of regulations and standards, with built-in flexibility, and provide clarity and consistency for industry.

Improvements have been identified through several sources, including:

  • structured policy review and regulatory development within CASA
  • formal and informal feedback from industry, Airservices Australia, the recreational sector and the public.

The proposed new rule set/standards

The proposed amendments will affect all types of aircraft and rocket operators under Part 101 of CASR.

The proposed changes will:

  • have far-reaching positive effects for operators
  • increase regulatory efficiencies
  • reduce red tape, cost, and administrative burden on industry. 

Benefits include:

  • using automated systems for low-risk regulatory decision-making
  • accurate data points for the measurement of 3NM from controlled aerodromes in CASA-verified drone safety apps
  • creating a more efficient and streamlined regulatory suite by integrating several exemptions and other instruments, clarifying definitions, and reducing duplication and conflicting requirements
  • deregulating indoor (enclosed) operations, providing further opportunities for operators by reducing red tape and the requirement for additional approvals (i.e. 30 metre rule), and aligning model aircraft and RPA regulations for enclosed operations
  • directly supporting innovative operations, such as research, development and testing, through increased flexibility to assess and approve novel operations and technological advancement
  • reducing record keeping requirements for low-risk operations and defining ‘significant change’ for operations manuals
  • adoption of gender-neutral language
  • clarifying requirements across Part 101 of CASR and its MOS.

The rationale for change is set out in the Policy Proposal document.

Amendments have been set out to help you find the information you’re looking for, noting the interdependencies between several CASR and MOS amendments.

More Information

CASA receives formal and informal feedback on drone-related issues and pain points from stakeholders including operators, industry bodies and the public. Feedback is collated and reviewed by subject matter experts (SMEs) and forms part of the consultative, policy development and regulatory review process.

Through the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), a formal technical working group (TWG) was established comprising representatives from various areas of the drone industry. This was done to ensure representation of all stakeholders affected by these proposed policies and amendments.

Participants met over video conference on 14, 15 and 20 July 2021 to consider the policies and amendments. The TWG was attended by representatives from:

  • Advanced Aerial Solutions
  • Airservices Australia
  • Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS)
  • Australian Certified UAV Operators (ACUO)
  • Aviation Australia
  • Fire Rescue Queensland
  • HoverUAV
  • Innovaero
  • Insitu Pacific
  • JFP Services
  • Model Aeronautical Association of Australia (MAAA)
  • Morrison Aerial Robotics
  • SUA ROV
  • Swoop Aero

The TWG reached general consensus in support of the proposed policies and amendments and recommended that CASA proceed with public consultation. This consultation draft sets out the full policy proposals for Part 101 of CASR and its MOS for public consideration and comment.

Why your views matter

We are consulting on these proposed policies and amendments to seek feedback on whether what is proposed meets industry’s needs, and to identify any unforeseen consequences.

We want to ensure the changes are fit for purpose, easing pain-points by reducing red tape (and subsequently reducing cost and administrative burden), while maintaining a high level of safety. Some amendments introduce new administrative requirements, such as the proposed introduction of a Chief RePL Instructor position but ease current requirements in other areas to ensure balance of the overall requirements for training organisations. 

Documents for review

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

  • Policy Proposal 2107US, which provides background on the proposed amendments
  • 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.

Links:

  • Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (legislation.gov.au)
  • Part 101 (Unmanned Aircraft and Rockets) Manual of Standards 2019 (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA 55/20 — Operation of Certain Unmanned Aircraft Directions 2020 (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA 01/17 - Approval — operation of RPA at night (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA EX38/21 – Obtaining Experience for Grant of RePL for Medium RPA, and for RePL Upgrade to Different Category of Small or Medium RPA – Exemption Instrument 2021 (legislation.gov.au)
  • CASA EX46/21 — Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operations Beyond Visual Line of Sight Instrument 2021 (legislation.gov.au)
  • Drug and alcohol management plans | Civil Aviation Safety Authority (casa.gov.au)
  • DAMP exemption for micro-businesses | Civil Aviation Safety Authority (casa.gov.au)

It is important that you read the Policy Proposal (2107US) consultation document before providing your feedback in the online survey.

The survey has been designed to give you the option to provide feedback on the proposed amendments in their entirety or to provide feedback on the policy topics applicable to you.

Comments on the Proposed Policy (2107US) should be submitted through the online response form.

What happens next

At the end of the consultation period, we will review each comment and submission received.

Feedback that improves the proposed amendments and is consistent with the civil aviation legislation and CASA policy will be incorporated prior to legislative drafting with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

We will make all submissions publicly available on the CASA website, unless you request that your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a summary of consultation, summarising the feedback received, any intended changes, and our plans for the proposed amendments.

CASA anticipates making of the proposed rules from September 2022, some of which will come into effect shortly after. The feedback we receive from this consultation will also assist CASA in developing adequate implementation and transition timeframes.

CASA proposes a transition period for some of the proposed CASR and MOS amendments to ensure that industry has sufficient time to adapt to the new requirements. Timeframes may change depending on the date the draft rules are signed, registered and implemented by CASA.

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 further proposed changes to the Part 101 of CASR regulations and MOS to support unmanned aircraft operations.

Audiences

  • CASA Staff
  • Aircraft owner/operator
  • Rocketry organisation member
  • Unmanned balloon operators
  • Commercial drone operator
  • Recreational drone flyer
  • Model aircraft enthusiast
  • Training organisation representative

Interests

  • Drones / unmanned aircraft systems
  • Airspace and infrastructure
  • Drug and alcohol management
  • Model rocket enthusiast/operator
  • Unmanned balloons
  • First person view (FPV)
  • Model aircraft/ remote control aeroplanes