We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

From 9 June 2021 to 11 July 2021, the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) invited public comment on frequency congestion in the vicinity of Ballina and the allocation of a different common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for Lismore, Casino and Evans Head aerodromes.

The survey asked a number of questions.

  • Should Lismore and Casino Airports be allocated a different CTAF to Ballina?
  • If Lismore and Casino Airports are allocated a different CTAF, should CASA declare a broadcast area 10 nautical miles (nm) around Lismore and Casino aerodromes?
  • If a broadcast area is declared around Lismore and Casino - what would be an appropriate upper limit (in feet above mean sea level)?
  • Should the Evans Head CTAF change?
  • Should the Ballina broadcast area be reduced in size from 15nm to 10nm in radius of Ballina?
  • Should the upper limit of the Ballina broadcast area be lowered from 8,500 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) to 4,500 feet AMSL?

Respondents were also asked for other suggestions or concerns with the airspace in the vicinity of Ballina, Lismore and Casino aerodromes.

You said

The OAR would like to thank all of the contributions provided by respondents and acknowledges that their feedback is beneficial for the consultation process. The consultation received responses from 84 individuals or organisations.

Key feedback

Responses validated the issues of frequency congestion and over transmission of radio calls. Responses were largely supportive of the proposal to allocate Lismore and Casino aerodromes a different CTAF to Ballina.

The results of the survey are published on the Consultation Hub.

We did

In response to the consultation, the OAR will develop a formal proposal to change the CTAF of Lismore and Casino and will consult with industry prior to making a final determination.

The results of the survey and comments received will be included in an airspace review of Ballina which is currently underway.

We asked

This consultation asked industry and stakeholders to identify any effects from implementing the proposed changes to the Part 60 Manual of Standards (MOS). The consultation has now closed, and a summary of the feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

Prior to the consultation, CASA had informal feedback from industry stakeholders indicating that the changes were appropriate and are welcome. CASA noted this feedback when developing the policy for the changes and, to gain perspective from the widest possible audience, undertook formal consultation.

The consultation asked respondents if the proposed changes provided sufficient time to make upgrades to upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) capable devices and if it would present any safety issues. Further, the consultation asked if the addition of a CASA qualification system as a standard would lead to inadequate devices becoming qualified.

Respondents were also asked to provide input on any additional issues they would like considered by the post implementation review.

You said

There was 1 response to the discussion paper. The respondent represented a flight crew training and checking organisation and requested their submission be confidential.

Summary of feedback

The respondent indicated they supported the change providing additional time to make the upgrades to UPRT capabilities. Of note, the respondent indicated that without the proposed change, operators would likely bear significant costs and would face other operational impacts. For example, the respondent highlighted that without the proposed changes, UPRT would not be able to be integrated into recurrent training (which is undesirable for both CASA and operators) and mandatory training would be outsourced to other countries.

Regarding the proposed addition of FSD-1 as a qualification standard, the respondent was also supportive. The respondent noted the significant costs required to meet the latest alternative qualification standard, which for an older device would be prohibitive, and would deliver additional training activities for UPRT.

We did

Next steps

Overall, through the formal consultation survey and from informal feedback, industry stakeholders have strongly supported the proposed changes. As a result, CASA will now undertake to implement the changes for the Part 60 MOS to reflect the proposals.

We asked

The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) received an application from local stakeholders, proposing that a broadcast area and discrete frequency in the vicinity of Tyagarah, Murwillumbah and Gold Coast flying training area be established, intended to reduce frequency congestion.  

Aircraft are currently required to transmit on 126.7 MHz when operating within the vicinity of Tyagarah, Murwillumbah and within the Gold Coast flying training area, including danger area D656A-D. Aircraft operating from further afield are also required to transmit on 126.7, including the areas of:

  • Kagaru (Archerfield’s training area)
  • Morton Island
  • Grafton/South Grafton
  • Tenterfield, Stanthorpe
  • Inglewood
  • Pittsworth
  • Millmerran
  • Clifton
  • Gatton.

A mix of operations including parachute operations, recreational aircraft, gliders and gyrocopters operating from the Tyagarah aerodrome as well as circuit training at Murwillumbah is adding to the frequency congestion.

The OAR sought comments from stakeholders regarding this proposal.

You said

We received a total of 17 responses from airspace users operating within the vicinity of the proposed area. Twelve respondents consented to having their comments published, 5 did not give their consent.

Summary of feedback

All respondents agreed with the proposal however some modifications to the proposed area were suggested.

The common message in all responses was the improvement in safety that would be achieved by removing the proposed area from the already saturated frequency.

We did

Consideration was given to those suggestions however through consultation with the proponents of the change, and other stakeholders, the originally proposed area is to be adopted.

The proposal was submitted for and subsequently received approval and will be implemented as described in the consultation documents effective 2 December 2021 AIRAC cycle date.

We asked

We recently invited feedback on guidance material for remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) holders who conduct operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

We asked you to comment on:

  • 5 BVLOS standard scenarios
  • guidance material developed by CASA.

The documents consulted on were:

  • Draft Standard Scenario application and documents – guidance material
  • Draft AU-STS 1: Applicant response – BVLOS operations near a vertical object(s) with a controlled ground environment
  • Draft AU-STS 2: Applicant response – BVLOS operations near a vertical object(s) with a sparsely populated ground environment
  • Draft AU-STS 4: Applicant response – BVLOS operations in a remote area within 3 NM of a registered or certified non-controlled aerodrome
  • Draft AU-STS 6: Applicant response – BVLOS operations in remote Australian airspace (below 400 ft AGL)
  • Draft AU-STS 7: Applicant response – BVLOS operations in remote Australian airspace (400 ft AGL to 5000 ft AMSL).

Each standard scenario details:

  • a type of operation
  • the required operational mitigations
  • information needed to apply to CASA.

These standard scenarios use the Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) developed by the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS). The SORA is an internationally recognised risk assessment method.

You said

We received 44 responses to the consultation:

  • 18 ReOC holders
  • 1 RPAS training organisation
  • 9 commercial or professional RPAS pilots
  • 2 sport or recreational drone pilots
  • 2 government organisations
  • 1 identified themself as ‘other aviation’
  • 11 identified themselves as other, with backgrounds ranging from RPA manufacturing, technology development, and engineering.

Of the 44 responses received:

  • 25 provided feedback for an organisation
  • 19 provided personal feedback

CASA values the feedback from all respondents.

Your feedback

Responses to the consultation were positive. Most respondents found the standard scenarios either usable or requiring minor changes.

The feedback also revealed some common questions and themes about the scenarios. These included:

  • whether a ReOC holder needs approval from CASA if an operation is carried out in alignment with a published standard scenario
  • whether a 1:1 ground risk buffer is enough to ensure safe operations
  • the definition and meaning of the 'J-curve'
  • the impacts continuing evolution of the SORA will have on these scenarios in the future

In addition, several respondents commented on the IREX qualification needed to meet the aeronautical knowledge requirements in CASR 101.300 (4) (a).  It was noted that the IREX felt like an unnecessary burden for the standard scenarios and may not be fit for purpose. Safety concerns were also raised about electronic conspicuity requirements for non-remotely piloted aircraft.

We did

We considered all feedback provided and incorporated or further clarified in this summary of consultation.

CASA approval is required for any BVLOS operation. The purpose of the standard scenarios is to lessen the time and resource burden on ReOC holders in the application process. The scenarios do not replace the need for a ReOC holder to seek CASA approval to operate BVLOS.

The 1:1 ground risk buffer detailed in the scenarios is the minimum buffer set out in the JARUS SORA. This buffer will not be suitable for all operations. The ReOC holder must show in their application that this buffer is enough or apply a larger buffer, where needed.

CASA acknowledges the documents provided did not define the term ‘J-curve’ in the context of the standard scenarios. This definition will be in the final versions.

The standard scenarios used the latest iteration of the SORA (at the time of publication). JARUS is continuing to develop and improve the SORA method. CASA will update the standard scenarios to align with the latest international standards and Australian regulations, when required.

CASR 101.300 (4) (a) mandates the remote pilot in command (RPIC) must hold an IREX qualification. This is beyond the scope of this consultation. This regulation was developed to allow medium and large RPA to operate BVLOS in the same airspace as piloted aircraft in the future. An IREX qualification would be essential to make sure these operations are safe. Some alleviations are already available in legislative instrument EX46/21. Separately, CASA is considering other pathways for remote pilots to gain the knowledge and skills needed for lower risk BVLOS operations.

We have noted feedback raised about the electronic conspicuity requirements for non-remotely piloted aircraft. This is beyond the scope of this consultation. 

What to expect

We will publish the final documents by the end of August 2021. Following their release, we will review the standard scenarios to find out if they have been useful guidance for BVLOS operations. We will make any updates or changes as required.

We will also aim to develop new scenarios based on your feedback. We will review the scenarios to ensure international consistency with our own standards and any new advice from JARUS.

Your feedback on the standard scenarios will be helpful in guiding the direction of the RPAS and Advanced Air Mobility strategic regulatory roadmap. This roadmap will aim to give industry a clear understanding of the future direction of RPAS regulations in Australia. The BVLOS standard scenarios are a step towards streamlining and improving the application process for complex operations in Australian airspace.

We asked

From 13 January 2021 to 10 February 2021, aerodrome and aircraft landing area operators, planning authorities, pilots, persons involved in the design, construction and operation of wind farms and wind monitoring masts and internal CASA personnel were invited to review and provide feedback on the suitability of guidance material on matters that should be considered when assessing a wind turbine development so that all necessary measures can be taken to protect aviation safety.

You said

We received a total of 6 responses, all from different areas of industry. Three respondents consented to having their comments published, 2 did not give their consent and one respondent was a CASA officer.

Summary of feedback

Most respondents recommended changes that were editorial in nature.

Several matters were raised that required further consideration and clarification, including:

  • Aeronautical studies commissioned by wind farm proponents can lack independence and down-play the extent and impact of the wind farm proposal on aviation activities. There is potential need for an independent accredited auditor to review aeronautical assessments to ensure non-biased assessments are being provided to CASA.
  • Inclusion of more detail in the 'early review by proponent' stage to ensure proponents do not miss uncertified aerodromes and aircraft landing areas nearby to proposed sites.
  • Providing clear guidance on what conditions and criteria CASA will base advice upon when aviation hazard lighting is recommended.

The need for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to update the National Airports Safeguarding Framework Guideline D: Managing Wind Turbine Risk to Aircraft to reflect current windfarm technology was noted.

We did

Next steps

All comments provided by industry have been carefully considered and where appropriate, incorporated into the AC. The AC 139.E-05 v1.0 - Obstacles (wind farms) outside the vicinity of a CASA certified aerodrome is now available on the advisory circular page of the CASA website.

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.

We asked

From 30 July to 28 August 2020 we invited public comment on consequential amendments to Subpart 101.H - Rockets.

This consultation proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR), primarily to:

  • ensure the definition of 'high power rocket' in regulation 101.425 of CASR does not overlap with the definition of 'high power rocket' in section 5 of the Space (Launches and Returns) (High Power Rocket) Rules 2019, which commenced on 30 June 2020
  • clarify the existing regulatory framework by amending a small number of relevant provisions to enable CASA to continue regulating model rockets and rockets which are not high power rockets
  • ensure that launch of high power rockets and the launch of space objects using rockets may only be undertaken in an approved area.

You said

Six submissions were received from six respondents. All respondents supported the draft amendment, five without changes (83 per cent of respondents), one (17 per cent of respondents) with suggested changes.

None of the suggested changes were related to the specific intent of the draft regulations which was to align CASA regulations with the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 The two suggestions were to:

(1)  change to the draft amendment to require CASA to interact with ASA

(2)  amend the Airspace Act 2007 to provide rockertry applications higher      priority when the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) assesses equitable acces to airspace.

          1.  

For the first proposal one respondent suggested:

"If the intention is that CASA and the ASA are in constant communication during at least a partial phase of the ASA launch permit assessment process this is not in the Act, nor in the Rules, and the legislation should be amended to reflect that."

CASA proposes that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two agencies is a better mechanism to achieve the outcome the respondent requests. This will facilitate timely communication and business process interactions between the agencies on these matters.

For the second proposal the same respondent also noted that additional changes to aviation legislation is required, in this case, to adjust the priority given to rocketry operations access to airspace under the Airspace Act 2007:

"…to give equal priority to space activities as to other aviation and ADF activities."

CASA notes that the current Australian Airspace Policy Statement 2018 

<https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L01386> specifically mentions, in clause 8 of the statement, that " the administration of Australian-administered airspace shall consider the current and future needs of the Australian aviation industry, which includes civil and military aviation; as well as shall consider cost implications for all airspace users, and shall be in the best interests of Australia."

No other comments suggested any change to the draft amendment. However, extensive feedback was received in relation to non-legislative matters. To ensure clarity to industry, major concerns emerging from this additional feedback is addressed below.

Timelines for approval from CASA and ASA

Four of the six respondents were concerned with the time it may take to achieve approval from two regulators (CASA and ASA). The majority of the respondents were concerned that the process would be serialised in fashion, first with the ASA approving the risk to people and property (ground risk), before CASA would subsequently be consulted and then secondly approve the risk to other aviation stakeholders (air risk). Both agencies are committed to ensuring as smooth a process as possible and propose to enter into an MoU to address such matters.

In addition, it is not envisaged by CASA that the process will be serialised as this does not consider the trade space between an appropriate airspace volume and ground area and the required discussions with both CASA and ASA to ensure compliance with both regulatory frameworks. As described by one consultation respondent:

"The process to obtain a High Power Rocket permit or Launch permit is extremely detailed and requires substantial effort to develop the various plans (Program Management, Operations, Environmental, Technology Security, etc.) as well as the Risk Hazard Analysis, to assess the ground based risk. There is absolutely no point in the launch provider initiating this process unless they know that they have a reasonable chance of obtaining a CASA Area Approval for their proposed launches and flight paths."

Use of the Term amateur rocket

Two respondents raised issue with the term amateur rocket used for rockets that are:

  • not a model rocket
  • not a High Power Rocket as defined by the Space (Launches and Returns) (High Power Rocket) Rules 2020.

We did

Timelines for approval from CASA and ASA

CASA agrees it will be important for it to be part of early engagement with an applicant, facilitated by the ASA as entry control regulator for high power rockets and space objects. CASA is engaging with the ASA on these matters to establish early discussion processes between the applicant and both agencies to ensure that all parties are aware of the considerations CASA must apply as part of its regulatory approval (that is, an area approval under Part 101 of CASR).

Use of the Term amateur rocket

CASA understands that this term can cause confusion as it implies a non-business aspect to the activity. CASA would first note that this term is not a defined term in the regulations, as these rockets are defined by exception, rather than inclusion and as such there is no requirement for area approvals to specifically mention this term. To provide some additional context on the intended use of this term, CASA was seeking to reflect the United States definition of amateur rocket as defined under Subsection 1.1 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations:

Amateur rocket means an unmanned rocket that:

(1) Is propelled by a motor or motors having a combined total impulse of 889,600 Newton-seconds (200,000 pound-seconds) or less; and

(2) Cannot reach an altitude greater than 150 kilometers (93.2 statute miles) above the earth's surface.

However, given the feedback received, CASA will instead consider adopting the term medium power rocket when describing the rockets within Grouping C as defined in the Summary of Proposed Consultation.

In the longer term, CASA considers an MoU describing interagency processes is the most appropriate way to ensure that an applicant, CASA and the ASA, are aware of their obligations under such an MoU, and that the process is transparent. Likewise, in the course of their industry engagement, CASA has raised this issue for the ASA's consideration. However, in the shorter term, CASA will work with the ASA using interim ad-hoc processes, which will provide important process learnings and feedback, to ensure near term applications are not unnecessarily delayed.

Next steps

Due to the nature of the comments which are overwhelmingly supportive of the amendments being made, there will be no further changes to the draft amendment. The comments provided will be used by CASA in formulating its partnership with the ASA in future, particularly with respect to the timing of approvals.

We asked

Between 30 June 2020 and 28 July 2020 aerodrome operators, aircraft operators, pilots and internal CASA personnel were invited to review and provide feedback on the suitability of guidance material developed to communicate CASA's recommendations for the design and operation of water aerodromes that facilitate air transport operations.

You said

We received a total of 21 responses. Fourteen respondents consented to having their comments published, 4 did not give their consent and 3 respondents were CASA officers.

Summary of feedback

Respondents raised several important issues and concerns which required further consideration. Much of the feedback was from seaplane pilots and seaplane base operators who were concerned that the proposed guidelines were unrealistic, overly prescriptive and would be unachievable for the Australian seaplane industry.

The common issues, questions or suggestions encompassed:

  • existing seaplane pilot landing procedures
  • the viability of the proposed guidelines in application to current seaplane operations
  • what defines a water aerodrome
  • effects on recreational and private seaplane operations.

We did

Due to the issues raised during consultation, CASA has amended the Advisory Circular (AC) to take into account current seaplane operations and provide outcome-based guidance.

The AC 139.F-01 v1.0 - Design and operation of Australian water aerodromes for air transport operations will be available soon on the advisory circular page of the CASA website.

We asked

The revised Part 139 Manual of Standards (MOS) was made on 5 September 2019. The revised MOS introduces new roles of responsibility, and places further requirements on aerodrome operators to ensure appointed personnel have the appropriate competence through training, knowledge, qualifications and/or experience.

AC 139.C-02 'Aerodrome personnel' was drafted to assist aerodrome operators to:

  • identify all roles and responsibilities required by the MOS
  • understand the minimum level of training and assessment deemed necessary to ensure personnel appointed to carry out the required roles and responsibilities have the appropriate knowledge, qualifications and/or experience.

As past CASA surveillance activities identified a lack of understanding of other regulatory roles and responsibilities, the scope of this AC was expanded to include roles and responsibilities required under Part 99 of CASR - Drug and alcohol management plans and testing and Part 175 of CASR - Aeronautical information management.

Between 12 and 26 June 2020 aerodrome operators, consultants and internal CASA personnel, were invited to review the proposed guidance and provide comment. The consultation has closed and a summary of feedback is provided below.

You said

Respondents

A total of 10 submissions were received—three from consultants and seven from aerodrome operators.

Seven respondents consented to their comments being made public, three requested their submission remain confidential. Of note, two respondents referred in support to another respondent's submission.

Summary of feedback

The following provides a summary of feedback received:

  • Further clarity was requested about the appointment of an Accountable Manager.
  • The introduction of PANS-Aerodromes raised concern, as there is no obligation under Part 139 to adopt procedural content described.
  • The necessity for a qualified trainer and assessor was cited as an additional cost burden. The cost of recurrent training was also identified as a concern.
  • Matters raised with respect to pilots operating airside, passenger supervision and the appointment of RV assessors who perform a specific function and who require specific assessment were not representative of the intent in which this information was provided.
  • Personnel engaged to perform technical inspections was identified as being outside the scope of this AC.

We did

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

The AC was amended to make clear that the method to ensure personnel are competent is the prerogative of the aerodrome operator. Reference to a qualified trainer and assessor has been removed and it was reinforced that for a person to assess another's competency, that person would be required to have current or recent experience, and/or comparable relevant qualifications in the area of competency being assessed. The five year interval for recurrent training has been re-instated, with a recommended period of two years retained as best practice.

Additional guidance was provided to clarify competency requirements for contracted work safety officers (WSOs). As each aerodrome operating environment is unique, demonstrated competency extends beyond the holding of a training certificate, and there is an expectation that contracted WSOs should demonstrate knowledge and skill requirements specific to the aerodrome site in which they are performing their duties.

To support the appropriate appointment of an Accountable Manager guidance was expanded. The Accountable Manager should be a person at the highest level within the organisation who is responsible for the aerodrome certificate, and for aerodrome operations and developments. The appointee must also have the necessary knowledge and appropriate level of authority to fulfil the role.

The transitional period for existing certified and existing registered aerodromes does not extend to the appointment of personnel. Whilst there is a delay in the requirement to submit administrative documentation to CASA, an aerodrome operator is expected to have, on the date of commencement of the new rules:

  • identified and assigned all roles and responsibilities that are required by the legislation
  • ensured the suitability of those persons appointed.

CASA would like to thank industry for providing feedback and comments in support were appreciated.

AC139.C-02 has now been published on our website.

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

We asked

Between 12 and 27 November 2019 aerodrome operators, consultants and internal CASA personnel were invited to review and provide feedback on the suitability of guidance material developed to assist aerodrome operators transitioning to the new Part 139 regulations and manual of standards (MOS), specifically:

  • applying for aerodrome certification
  • application of aerodrome standards.

The consultation has closed, a summary of feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

After extensive industry consultation and a recommendation provided by the Technical Working Group in support of making the new Part 139 regulations and MOS, the Part 139 MOS was made on 5 September 2019. Comments provided by two of the six respondents on the increased runway strip width provisions for Code three runways was therefore considered outside the scope of this consultation.

While CASA acknowledges there will be a different, or a 'lesser' standard in runway strip width and separation distances for existing aerodromes applying the grandfathering provision, to the standards for new facility developments, the changes align with ICAO Annex 14 and provide a safety enhancement.

Some comments regarded the content as too technical or written from a legal perspective. An inadequate timeframe for considering and preparing a review and comments were also raised.

You said

Respondents

A total of six submissions were received, three from aerodrome operators and three from aerodrome consultants. Five consented to their comments being made public, one requested their submission remain confidential.

Summary of feedback

In addition to the responses discussed above, clarification was sought on the following:

  • Application for certification:
    • cost(s) for existing aerodromes in transitioning
    • submission of an incomplete aerodrome manual at time of certification where elements are not yet known.
  • Transition timeframes:
    • time limitations on grandfathering aerodrome facilities yet to be constructed were reported as contrary to that previously stated by CASA
    • acceptance of applications within three months of the new rules commencing.
  • 'Grandfathering' existing aerodrome facilities:
    • the age of the aerodrome and the aerodrome operator not being aware of the standard to which the facility was constructed
    • existing registered aerodromes not required to have manuals, and therefore no records of grandfathered facilities or any commissioning documentation etc. is available
    • administrative oversight should not preclude the ability for a facility to be grandfathered.
  • Definitions:
    • 'grandfathered facility' to include reference to the OLS
    • 'OLS' to be made clear that not each surface is applicable to each runway type
    • 'air transport passenger movement numbers' requires clarification as the department does not publish charter operations. Aircraft and passenger movement rates are required to be known by the aerodrome operator as these influence ATI requirements.
  • Whether a TIFP includes a circling approach, likewise potential implication on instrument runway classification.
  • The ability to apply new visual aids standards, clarification requested on whether this extended to aerodrome lighting.
  • Application of the ARC.
  • RV/RVR:
    • minima are determined by obstacle clearances not RVR
    • instrument approach procedures are determined by procedure designer
    • aerodrome operator only facilitates low visibility operations.

We did

Comments provided by industry have been considered for both ACs and incorporated, where appropriate.

Since this consultation, CASA has refined the transition policy and industry were invited to review the proposed policy under the 'Proposed Part 139 (aerodromes) transition strategy - (PP 1916AS)' consultation. As there were no issues identified outside those provided in the transitional policy consultation please refer to the Summary of Consultation (AS 14/24) as published on the CASA website.

Additionally, following both consultations on these ACs and the transition policy, industry requested a 12-month deferment of the commencement of the new MOS. As this could prejudice aerodrome operators in the process of developing aerodrome facilities in accordance with the new regulations and MOS, this wasn't considered appropriate. However, industry was provided with an additional three months for the transition timeframes. The transition policy and three month deferment of transition timeframes were incorporated in the Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment (Part 139 Aerodromes-Transitional provisions and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2020 (the transitional Regulations) and the Part 139 (Aerodromes) Manual of Standards 2019 (the transitional MOS). AC 139.A-03 v1.0 has been amended to incorporate the transitional Regulations and MOS.

A grandfathered facility is an existing aerodrome facility—and for a runway, its associated obstacle limitation surfaces—that fully complies with the aerodrome standards that were in force immediately before the commencement of the MOS. This applies if the aerodrome manual documents how the facility does not comply with the MOS. The administration is now less onerous, and while there is presently no requirement for existing registered aerodromes to maintain an aerodrome manual, they are currently required to maintain a record of each facility that does not comply (refer MOS para 12.1.1.2A). Likewise, there is nothing that precludes the requirement to maintain lighting commissioning documentation.

Post consultation, Manual of Standards (MOS) – Part 139 Aerodromes Amendment Instrument 2020 (No. 1) came into effect on 26 March 2020, authorising early access to all provisions in Chapter 8 and the use of inset runway edge lights in Chapter 9. AC 139.A-03 v1.0 has been updated to reflect the availability of the new MOS provisions.

In relation to AC 139.B-01 v1.0 on 'Applying for aerodrome certification', the current rules require the submission of an aerodrome manual concurrently with an application for certification. This requirement has not changed. CASA cannot make an adequate assessment for aerodrome certification on receipt of an incomplete aerodrome manual. There are no costs incurred by existing certified and registered aerodrome operators transitioning to the new rules. They will be deemed to hold a 'transitional aerodrome certificate' under the transitional Regulations and a new aerodrome certificate will be provided, at no cost, when the revised or new aerodrome manual is submitted to CASA and assessed as compliant with the new MOS.

Responsibilities associated with reduced visibility operations were made clearer and clarification was provided that an aerodrome with a circling approach is considered to have a terminal instrument flight procedure (TIFP). While a TIFP dictates whether an aerodrome is certified or not, a TIFP in itself does not dictate whether the runway is an instrument runway or not.

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

We asked

In May 2019, we asked people to answer some questions regarding an airspace change proposal (ACP) to trial the lowering of Class E airspace to 5,500 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) over Ayers Rock Aerodrome. Notification of the consultation process included:

  • an email sent to all pilots at the start of the consultation period and a reminder email was sent prior to the consultation period closing (approx. 40,000 pilots)
  • CASA Briefing newsletter (May 2019) – reached approx. 7,000 subscribers
  • being promoted via a link on the CASA home page (www.casa.gov.au) during the consultation period
  • an email to advise all RAPAC members (641 individuals and organisations) that consultation had opened, and the proposal was placed on the agenda at RAPAC meetings held during the consultation period
  • being promoted via CASA’s social media channels.

Consultation through CASA’s website was open for 30 days and was also available to all members of the public. Respondents included aircraft operators and airspace users, air traffic controllers and other interested persons. The process sought responses to questions which related to the background of the respondent, the nature of their operations, the impact of the change on them and their opinions on cost and safety impacts of the change.

You said

A total of 27 respondents provided feedback to this proposal through CASA’s Consultation Hub. One written submission was received by email and not via the Consultation Hub.

Of the responses received 10 supported the proposal; 11 did not support the proposal, six were supportive but with changes (in design or altitude); one did not answer.

We did

Feedback from the consultation hub was considered and assessed as part of the ACP process.

The proposal was submitted in response to the Minister for Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) - Statement of Expectations 2018-2019, which stated that ‘Airservices will work with DIRD, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Defence to provide options for enhancing the level of safety and efficiency of Australian controlled airspace including at major regional airports’. Non towered locations such as Ayers Rock have surveillance capability to the ground. An enhanced level of service along with segregated departure and arrival tracks could be provided to IFR aircraft, commensurate with the level of electronic surveillance.

In response to public comments, the final airspace design was reduced to lessen the impact on visual flight rules pilots and still be beneficial to instrument flight rules aircraft. The trial of Class E airspace in the vicinity of Ayers Rock Aerodrome will commence on 20 May 2020.

We asked

In May 2019, we asked people to answer some questions regarding an airspace change proposal (ACP) lower Class E airspace to Flight Level (FL) 125 where the current base is FL180. Notification of the consultation process included:

  • an email sent to all pilots at the start of the consultation period and a reminder email was sent prior to the consultation period closing (approx. 40,000 pilots)
  • CASA Briefing newsletter (May 2019) – reached approx. 7,000 subscribers
  • being promoted via a link on the CASA home page (www.casa.gov.au) during the consultation period
  • an email to advise all RAPAC members (641 individuals and organisations) that consultation had opened, and the proposal was placed on the agenda at RAPAC meetings held during the consultation period
  • being promoted via CASA’s social media channels.

Consultation through CASA’s website was open for 30 days and was also available to all members of the public. Respondents included aircraft operators and airspace users, air traffic controllers and other interested persons. The process sought responses to questions which related to the background of the respondent, the nature of their operations, the impact of the change on them and their opinions on cost and safety impacts of the change.

You said

A total of 77 respondents provided feedback to this proposal through the Consultation Hub. The majority of the responses received were airspace users (41), followed by other (17) with six air traffic controllers responding. One additional written submission was received by email and not via the Consultation Hub. Overall, 39 supported the change; 29 did not support the proposal and nine were supportive but with changes.

Two respondents provided a written response in addition to their submission through the Consultation Hub. One additional written submission was received by email and not via the Consultation Hub.

We did

Feedback from the consultation hub was considered and assessed as part of the ACP process.

An improvement in surveillance capability due to the installation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers nation-wide will provide benefits to airspace users. To realise these benefits, Airservices proposed to lower the base of Class E airspace over low density continental areas to F125 where it is currently FL180.

The lowering of Class E airspace to FL125 will commence on 20 May 2020.

We asked

The 2017 aeronautical study of Hobart made three recommendations that included the monitoring of passenger and aircraft movements at Hobart for two years. We asked various stakeholders from aviation, aerodrome and community sectors to provide feedback regarding the Hobart airspace via our Consultation Hub and through face-to-face meetings. A draft report of this feedback was made available to the public for comment. This was closed in November 2019.

You said

A total of 14 respondents provided feedback through our Consultation Hub. There were eight separate face-to-face meetings and one additional written submission received by email, not via the Consultation Hub.

The responses raised various topics including:

  • the consultation process undertaken during the implementation of new instrument flight procedures at Hobart
  • the increase in recorded occurrences involving aircraft flying the new procedures
  • the suitability of the airspace classification at Hobart with continued growth in aircraft and passenger movements
  • support for air traffic control at Hobart Tower and the work they do regarding efficient aircraft movement
  • the notable benefit to airspace users operating in Class G airspace from an additional step introduced after the aeronautical study
  • an opportunity to further enhance the airspace by introducing a Class C tower service supported by Class C terminal airspace by Airservices Australia. This was generally supported however further information would be required, noting that procedural separation in Class C airspace would cause delays to aircraft operating at Cambridge.

These comments are included in the final report on the Airspace reviews webpage. A change to the wording of the recommendation was made as a result of that feedback to provide consistency with the context of its purpose.

We did

We considered and assessed feedback as part of the airspace review process.

The Hobart airspace review 2019 found:

  • that three recommendations made in the 2017 Hobart aeronautical study are finalised
  • combined data at Hobart and Cambridge aerodromes recorded yearly average increases in total aircraft movements (6.6%), air transport movements (5.4%) and passenger movements (6.1%)
  • new flight routes, SIDs, STARs and terminal instrument flight procedures have been completed and were introduced in November 2019
  • the airspace classification is fit for purpose however there is an opportunity for Airservices Australia to enhance the level of service provided and the efficiency of controlled airspace – this opportunity should be examined
  • a recommendation that Airservices Australia submit an airspace change proposal for the introduction of a Class C tower service supported by Class C terminal airspace within 12 months from published the report.

We asked

From 18 December 2018 to 31 January 2019 we invited public comment on our proposal to set a new minimum safety standard for community service flights (CSF). The consultation asked you to comment on a draft legislative instrument that would apply additional safety requirements for the conduct of CSF and included 16 provisions that related to licensing and medical requirements for pilots; minimum CSF pilot experience; a requirement that flights at night be conducted under the instrument flight rules (IFR); and maintenance-related enhancements intended to align with requirements governing similar operations in Australia.

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 233 individuals or organisations—including 115 people who said they were a pilot who had flown a CSF. Responses were evenly split between a group of respondents that did not support any element of the proposal and a combined group of those respondents that partially or fully supported the proposal. Consultation feedback highlighted that some elements of the proposal were disproportionately costly compared to their safety benefits. A detailed analysis of the feedback in provided in the Summary of Consultation (published below).

We did

In response to the consultation, CASA has modified the new minimum standard to provide appropriate safety protections to CSF passengers at a significantly reduced cost compared to the initial proposal.

Key changes are:

  • Specific engine maintenance requirements have been removed.
  • Factory-built light sport aircraft registered under Part 47 of CASR may be used.
  • The definition of CSF has been refined to provide that the pilot and passengers are introduced through a charitable or community service organisation, and the passengers are not charged for the flight.
  • The PPL multi-engine 100-hour experience requirement has been reduced to 25 hours and applied to all pilots.
  • The flight notification requirement has been clarified to be a full flight details or SARTIME notification with a remark stating the flight is a CSF operation.

The requirements will come into effect on 19 March 2019.

Further information about the new requirements for CSF is published on the CASA website.

We asked

In September 2018 we asked for feedback on our flagship aviation safety magazine Flight Safety Australia. We asked a variety of questions to explore current reading habits and satisfaction levels, whether the magazine has an impact on aviation safety (knowledge, awareness and behaviour), and to source ideas for improvement (including audience preferences regarding the magazine’s format, frequency and content, and how to grow readership).

You said

We received 1,299 responses from a wide range of people in the aviation industry. About 70 percent of respondents were current readers, and the rest had not read Flight Safety Australia within 12 months.

The results show that Flight Safety Australia magazine has a positive influence on knowledge and awareness about safety issues, and also behaviour. Of those who currently read the magazine, 95 per cent agree/strongly agree that they have learned useful information from Flight Safety Australia and 85 per cent agree/strongly agree it has influenced them to become safer in their aviation role. A majority of current readers surveyed (89%) would recommend it to other people in the industry because the content is well written, informative and enjoyable, it provides opportunities to learn from other’s mistakes, and it provides a relevant connection to real life practices.

The results show a high level of satisfaction with the current mixture of stories and a range of additional story ideas were received.

Almost 30 percent of respondents said they have not read Flight Safety Australia in the last 12 months mainly because the digital format doesn’t suit them (they prefer print).

We did

We are changing our publishing model for Flight Safety Australia magazine in response to the feedback.

From September 2019 we will introduce the option for people to subscribe to a quarterly print magazine. It will cost $39.95 for a 12-month subscription (four issues per year delivered to your door including postage and handling within Australia). It is necessary for us to charge a subscription fee to make this option sustainable in the long term.

From our research we know that some of you would prefer to receive the content for free. As a result, we will continue to publish all the features of the print magazine on the Flight Safety Australia website and will also update it regularly with unique ‘digital only’ content (including topical news, safety videos, audio close calls and more).

Subscribe now to Flight Safety Australia print edition at the CASA Online Store.

We asked

CASA published a consultation draft of the proposed regulatory instrument for performance-based communication and surveillance on the CASA Consultation Hub from 18 April to 2 May 2018.

You said

CASA received a total of three responses to the proposed instrument.

One of the main objectives of the consultation was to obtain feedback on whether open-ended relief statements for aircraft documentation, agreement with the communication service provider and the Minimum Equipment List (MEL) would be acceptable to foreign authorities in the long term. One response indicated that such open-ended statements didn't appear to be a problem. Another response queried if CASA would be prepared to accept the open-ended statements and how certain older aircraft equipment would be treated if it is determined or declared to be non-compliant by the State of design.

There was a suggestion to prepare and publish guidance on the subject in the form of an Advisory Circular (AC).

Other comments indicated preference for the use of less-restrictive statements concerning monitored performance of aircraft data link operations and training of the personnel.

Finally, a suggestion was provided to use the definitions contained in ICAO documents.

We did

As PBCS is a recently developed concept and that it may take some time for operators to obtain the required documentation, CASA and foreign authorities should accept operator's request(s) to appropriate authorities or entities for documentation as an acceptable means of compliance. Otherwise, affected operators would be disadvantaged due to no fault of their own.

The comment regarding the possibility of certain aircraft equipment being declared non-compliant by State of design has been addressed so that the subject aircraft are no longer authorised to declare applicable RCP and RSP capabilities.

A new Advisory Circular on PBCS has been published by CASA to provide general guidance on the subject.

Suggestions to use less-restrictive statements on the monitoring of aircraft data link operations and training of the personnel have also been taken into consideration. The word "notification" has been replaced by "advice" in the context of data link monitoring. Furthermore, requirements for flight crew and other personnel have become more general so that having appropriate knowledge is considered acceptable. 

The definitions will remain the same. They are slightly reworded from those contained in ICAO documents and are for the purpose of the subject instrument only.

The regulatory instrument CASA 33/18 – Required Communication Performance and Required Surveillance Performance (RCP 240 and RSP 180) Capability Declarations – Direction 2018 – is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.

We asked

In March 2018, we asked the aviation community to comment on the 24 recommendations made by a team of leading international specialists after they conducted an independent review of fatigue rules for operators and pilots. The final report of the independent review and a copy of the consultation survey is available at the bottom of the consultation webpage. The consultation asked you to raise any implementation issues and provide feedback to CASA on the highest priorities for action to help us develop our response to the review.

You said

We received 26 responses from a wide range of stakeholders including unions and industry representative organisations covering aerial mustering, aerial application, rotary, charter, small and large air operators, as well as feedback from a number of individuals.

Feedback was generally supportive of the review recommendations including the need to modernise Australia’s fatigue rules.

We received mixed feedback on the need to develop a process to approve variations to prescriptive limits and multiple tiers of fatigue risk management systems.

Feedback was also mixed on the merits of aligning closer to international averages. Some argued that the use of simple averages ignored additional mitigations within other rule sets. In contrast, some argued that the Australian aviation environment was less demanding than other jurisdictions regarding terrain, weather and traffic.

Several additional suggestions were provided to improve the fatigue rules including gathering regular fatigue data, modifying off duty requirements when transitioning between prescriptive rule sets, mitigating the effects of consecutive early starts and standby arrangements.

Further consultation

The Aviation Safety Advisory Panel appointed a Technical Working Group including representatives of operators, pilot associations, industry associations and academia to assist us with finalising our response to the review recommendations. The working group met in July 2018 and considered industry feedback and CASA’s proposed response to the review recommendations. The Technical Working Group report is available on the CASA website.

In August 2018 the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel considered the Technical Working Group report. Based on their advice, the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel is generally supportive for CASA to progress with drafting the revised CAO 48.1. The Aviation Safety Advisory Panel recommend an additional Technical Working Group meeting to review the drafted regulations and seek to achieve further consensus on outstanding policy matters prior to further public consultation.

We did

Overall, CASA will adopt 21 of the 24 review recommendations.

This includes the review’s recommendation for a staged approach to transition to the new fatigue rules. The new transition timeline provides time for us to amend CAO 48.1, develop improved guidance material, prepare our staff, and for industry to work with us to implement the changes.

High capacity regular public transport operators will transition to the new fatigue rules by 30 September 2019. To support these operators, we will revise flight duty periods to align more with international averages and improve the operation of fatigue risk management systems (FRMS). We will also establish an FRMS manager to oversight the review, approval and monitoring of industry FRMS and appoint an internal FRMS panel with additional training in FRMS management.

All other air operators will need to adopt the new fatigue requirements by 26 March 2020. To support the transition of these operators we will provide improved guidance for prescriptive limits and FRMS. This will include a sample FRMS manual and examples of acceptable means of compliance.

Aerial application operations will be aligned with the fatigue limits in Sub-Part 137.Q of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and rules regarding standby and off duty periods will be reviewed to reduce complexity.

For those operators already transitioned, or in the process of transition, we will continue to review and approve applications under the existing CAO 48.1 Instrument 2013 and 2016 and will develop transitional arrangements to continue recognition of these approvals.

Ongoing actions including monitoring fatigue data and international regulations to inform future changes, monitoring transition to the new rules to review the need for an approved variation process and multiple tiers of FRMS, and assessing whether aerial application flight duty periods should be subject to regulation.

Industry engagement and consultation including ‘road-testing’ regulation amendments, and seeking industry input on guidance material, forms, education and communication material will be integral to our approach.

Additional detail regarding CASA’s response to the independent review, including further discussion of consultation feedback and the agreed action for each recommendation is available on the CASA website.

We will maintain the status of the recommendations and actions on the fatigue pages of our website, and will seek feedback from the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel prior to closing recommendations.

Subscribe to CASA Briefing and our ‘regulatory implementation’ mailing list to stay up-to-date on progress.

We asked

CASA published the Draft CAAP 20.4-01 v 1.0 — Supplemental oxygen requirements for cabin crew members in pressurised aircraft operating at flight level 250 and below — on the CASA website from 22 February 2018 to 9 March 2018. We asked should the cabin crew supplemental oxygen requirements, as set out in Civil Aviation Order 20.4, apply in emergency situations where cabin crew may not be able to promptly access a supply of supplemental oxygen apply in certain circumstances.

You said

Respondents

CASA received a total of three submissions. All the respondents consented to having their comments published on the CASA website.

Key feedback

All responses received support the consultation explanation that CAO 20.4 need not be narrowly and strictly applied to supplementary oxygen requirements for pressurised aircraft engaged in flights not above flight level 250 when a sudden emergency results in extraordinary circumstances that mean cabin crew may not immediately be able to access a supply of supplementary oxygen.

We did

Future direction

CASA will issue the final CAAP 20.4-01 v 1.0 verifying that cabin crew can use their professional judgment to deal with any number of threats to the aircraft, passengers and themselves during an emergency. Departure from narrow regulatory compliance may be excusable in situations where the evidence shows that the departure was necessary due to a sudden or extraordinary emergency.