We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We asked

We sought industry feedback between 17 and 31 August 2022 on proposed changes to the privileges of the Grade 1 training endorsement.

Industry had previously told us that parts of the flight training and testing scheme are not working as efficiently as intended. Not all of the privileges of the Grade 1 Flight Instructor Rating under the old scheme were transferred to the Part 61 Grade 1 training endorsement and this has diminished the incentive for flight instructors to seek a Grade 1 training endorsement.

We proposed changing the rules to allow some Grade 1 training endorsement holders to conduct:

  • flight training for a Grade 2 training endorsement, design feature training endorsement, flight activity training endorsements and low-level training endorsements
  • assessments (flight tests) and grant of nominated ratings and training endorsements.

About this consultation

We received 43 responses, mostly from flight instructors and flight examiners, pilots and flight training operators.

You said

The consultation survey asked respondents “Do you have any comments about the proposed instrument?”. Twenty-nine responses were clearly in support of the proposed instrument. Ten responses implied support for the objectives of the policy, while either suggesting changes to the technical detail of the instrument, proposing changes that are out of scope of the instrument, or posing questions on the operation of the instrument.

Common themes from the free text responses included opinions that the new rules will:

  • encourage more uptake of Grade 1 training endorsements and support the retention of experienced instructors in the flight training industry
  • streamline the pathway for Grade 1 training endorsement holders to attain flight examiner ratings
  • provide better flexibility and efficiency, and reduce barriers and burdens for flight training operators
  • improve access to training and assessment (flight test) activities for nominated authorisations
  • maintain aviation safety as the additional privileges are within scope of ability of Grade 1 training endorsement holders.

Four responses did not support the proposed instrument. These free text responses included comment that the instrument could:

  • decrease the level of skill within the industry, and lead to reduced aviation safety or increased risk
  • permit Grade 1 training endorsement holders to conduct activities that they are not competent to conduct, and for which flight training operators are unable to adequately prepare the Grade 1 training endorsement holders to conduct
  • lead to conflict between the motivations of flight training operators and the required independence of assessment activities conducted by Grade 1 training endorsement holders
  • create two standards for assessments.

Summary of feedback

Common themes, issues and suggestions raised in responses included:

Conduct of assessment (flight test)

Seven respondents made comments relating to the proposal to allow relevant Grade 1 training endorsement holders to conduct nominated assessments (flight test) and grant authorisations. The comments related to:

  • Grade 1 training endorsement holders conducting assessment (flight test) activities without a significant amount of experience conducting training for the authorisation, and suggest that minimum training and experience requirements be included
  • concern that CASA may be overestimating the industry’s current capabilities to safely conduct assessment (flight test) activities
  • ongoing oversight from CASA
  • potential conflict between the motivations of flight training operators and the required independence of Grade 1 training endorsement holders who conduct assessment (flight test) activities
  • indemnity insurance under CAAP ADMIN-1 that will not apply to Grade 1 training endorsement holders who conduct assessment (flight test) activities.

We recognise that the Grade 1 training endorsement holders who can make use of the instrument are experienced in training pilots and/or other instructors. Assessment of competency is a fundamental capability of all instructors, and as such these instructors have demonstrated their ability to assess trainees undergoing training at least at the basic level. What they have not covered in their training is the administration aspects of conducting flight tests and granting authorisations. While we acknowledge the possibility of a Grade 1 training endorsement holder conducting an assessment (flight test) for a training endorsement which the Grade 1 training endorsement holder themselves recently attained, it should be noted that the core competency of the Grade 1 training endorsement includes the ability to assess trainee competency. Grade 1 training endorsement holders will need to comply with the general competency rule in regulation 61.385 of CASR and ensure they are competent to conduct the activity in an aircraft.

We will review how the proposed instrument has worked before amending Part 61 of CASR, to further consider whether the assessment for the grant of the additional training endorsements needs to be a flight test. This would mean that Grade 1 training endorsement holders would be permitted to assess and grant the endorsements without conducting a flight test, as for flight activity and design feature endorsements and indemnity will therefore not be extended to Grade 1 training endorsement holders.

Further expansion of Grade 1 training endorsement privileges

Four responses suggested that the proposal does not adequately address problems experienced by the rotary sector conducting training for specialised activities typically associated with the low-level, aerial application or night VFR ratings and endorsements, and should be extended. These responses suggested that:

  • Grade 1 training endorsement holders should be able to conduct assessment (flight test) for the grant of the aerial application rating (day) and aerial application rating (night) training endorsements
  • Grade 1 training endorsement holders with either a low-level training endorsement or a night VFR training endorsement should be permitted to conduct flight tests for a low-level rating or night VFR rating (as relevant)
  • experienced pilots should not need a Grade 1 training endorsement to train, assess and sign off for activities such as low-level, aerial application, firefighting, sling and winch operations.

CASA is developing an alternative pathway for the training, assessment and grant of nominated 'specialised pilot endorsements' as part of its GA Workplan: Improving pilot licensing rules | Civil Aviation Safety Authority (casa.gov.au). The generic term specialised pilot endorsements has been used by CASA to refer to the aerial mustering, sling operations, winch and rappelling operations, and firefighting endorsements to the low-level or aerial application rating (as relevant). CASA expects that this project will provide benefit for operators and pilots who conduct some of the specialised activities mentioned above. The focus of the alternative approach is to facilitate the training, assessment, and grant of nominated low-level or aerial application endorsements to experienced pilots, rather than to facilitate the training, assessment and grant of nominated training endorsements to other instructors.

We expect to make a draft instrument for the alternative 'specialised pilot endorsements' pathway available for consultation in the near future and will seek feedback to determine if that instrument will address the problems and proposals mentioned above.

Noting these factors, we intend to proceed with the proposals as drafted.

Questions posed by respondents regarding how the instrument will work

Seven respondents also asked questions on how the instrument will work. These questions (edited for length and consistency) and CASA's responses are presented in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Respondent questions and CASA responses

Question

CASA response

Will there be a specific form and applicable e-learning module link created for those who meet the necessary prerequisites?

Yes. Grade 1 training endorsement holders who seek to conduct assessments (flight tests) under the instrument will need to use a form to apply for access to the e-learning modules. This form will be made available on the CASA website upon commencement of the instrument.

Why do Grade 1 training endorsement holders need to complete the e-learning modules?

Training for the Grade 1 training endorsement currently does not address administrative matters and other matters to ensure consistency in assessments across industry. During the e-learning modules, Grade 1 training endorsement holders will also be required to develop workbooks to facilitate their conduct of assessments (flight tests) and will be able to view sample workbooks produced by CASA.

Will you need to complete the e-learning modules for each type of assessment (flight test) you want to conduct?

No. A Grade 1 training endorsement holder only needs to complete the e-learning modules once.

Will the Grade 1 training endorsement holders conducting assessments (flight tests) need to complete an instructor proficiency check with a flight examiner?

Yes. A Grade 1 training endorsement holder must have successfully completed an instructor proficiency check conducted by a flight examiner within the previous 24 months before conducting an assessment (flight test).

Will the grant of an additional training endorsement be taken to satisfy an instructor proficiency check?

For an instructor (the trainee) who successfully completes an assessment (flight test) conducted by a Grade 1 training endorsement holder under the instrument, the grant of the additional training endorsement will satisfy the trainee’s instructor proficiency check.

A Grade 1 training endorsement holder conducting assessments (flight tests) must have successfully completed an instructor proficiency check conducted by a flight examiner within the previous 24 months before conducting an assessment (flight test).

This means that the grant of an additional training endorsement to a Grade 1 training endorsement holder following an assessment (flight test) conducted by another Grade 1 training endorsement holder will not 'reset' their instructor proficiency check for the purposes of the instrument.

Can a Grade 1 training endorsement holder who conducts training for the Grade 2 training endorsement also grant the Grade 2 training endorsement?

No. A Grade 1 training endorsement holder is only permitted to conduct training for the Grade 2 training endorsement. The flight test for the grant of the Grade 2 training endorsement must be completed by an appropriately qualified flight examiner.

Will Grade 1 training endorsement holders who also hold a flight examiner rating and who become authorised to conduct assessments (flight tests) under the instrument be able to have those approvals added to their flight examiner rating?

No. The privileges allowed under the instrument are privileges of the Grade 1 training endorsement, rather than the flight examiner rating. The instrument provides a temporary pathway while it is determined if flight tests are required for these types of competency assessments.

If the Grade 1 training endorsement holder conducting the flight test must be approved to conduct flight training for the same kind of authorisation by a flight training operator, does this mean responsibility for the conduct of the flight test and grant of the authorisation falls on the flight training operator?

No. The conduct of flight tests is not a Part 141 or Part 142 flight training activity. Although a Grade 1 training endorsement holder must be authorised to conduct the training by a flight training operator, responsibility for the assessment and grant will lie with the Grade 1 training endorsement holder.

This will reflect the likely future state whereby the relevant authorisations can be granted by instructors without a flight test (as flight activity and design feature endorsements are currently granted by instructors).

Can both Part 141 and 142 flight training operators use Grade 1 training endorsement holders to conduct activities authorised by the instrument?

Yes. The instrument is not intended to be limited to Part 141 flight training operators. Generally, operators conducting training for training endorsements are Part 141 flight training operators.

We will ensure the instrument refers to both Part 141 and 142 flight training operators.

 

We did

The consultation demonstrated broad support for the proposed instrument and the changed privileges of the Grade 1 training endorsement. Minor changes will likely be made to improve the clarity of the instrument. However, any changes will not impact the intended effect of the instrument or the underpinning policy.

The instrument will be in place by the end of September 2022.

We asked

We asked people to provide feedback on a proposal that would extend the period within which terminal instrument flight procedures (TIFPs) are revalidated by CASA from 3 to 5 years. The consultation has now closed, and a summary of the feedback is provided below.

About this consultation
From 8 July 2022, CASA consulted on a proposal to amend paragraph 6.1.4.2 of the Part 173 Manual of Standards (MOS) that requires all TIFPs to be revalidated by CASA at intervals not exceeding 3 years. In line with ICAO Annex 11 and PANS-OPS Volume II, the proposal was to amend the MOS provision so that all TIFPs are revalidated at intervals not exceeding 5 years.

The consultation closed on 22 July 2022 and there were 14 responses. Respondents included 2 unknown/unspecified respondents, 1 air operator, 1 aerodrome industry consultant, 1 aircraft owner, 1 pilot, 1 air traffic controller, and 7 Part 173 certified flight procedure design organisations. Eleven respondents consented to having their comments published and 3 requested their submissions be kept confidential.

You said

The consultation survey asked respondents whether they agree with and support the proposed amendment that all TIFPs are revalidated at intervals not exceeding 5 years.

All the respondents agreed that it is a good idea to align this regulatory amendment to existing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS). The respondents were in favour of the proposed change and overall supported the proposal.

Summary of feedback

Proposal – Amend the flight revalidation interval standards in section 6.1.4 of the Part 173 MOS
Responses were positive and constructive. Generally, respondents were in favour of the proposed change and supported the extension of the flight revalidation interval from the current not exceeding 3 years to not exceeding 5 years to align with ICAO SARPS. Most respondents agreed that the proposed change would reduce the cost of compliance for the industry without affecting safety.

One respondent provided no feedback on this proposed amendment.

Another respondent, although supporting the alignment with ICAO SARPS, felt by changing the time interval from three to five years would allow for hazards to go unchecked for longer.

CASA's response
Paragraph 6.1.5.1 of the Part 173 MOS states:

Before the effective publication date of a TIFP, the certified designer must forward to the aerodrome operator for which a procedure has been designed, diagrams and obstacle data sufficient to enable the aerodrome operator to fulfil obligations to report and monitor obstacles in the vicinity of an aerodrome as required under Part 139 of CASR.

There are no differences in obstacle monitoring and reporting regimes as obstacle restrictions and limitations are required by Chapter 7 of the Part 139 MOS.

Chapter 7 of the Part 139 MOS relates to obstacle restrictions and limitations. It requires an aerodrome operator to monitor the manoeuvring area of, and the airspace around, an aerodrome; maintain them free from obstacles in accordance with the Part 139 MOS; and report new or changed critical obstacles to the certified procedure designer.

Under section 7.03 of the Part 139 MOS, an aerodrome operator must establish and monitor the obstacle limitation surfaces (OLS). OLS means a series of planes, associated with each runway at an aerodrome, that defines the desirable limits to which objects or structures may project into the airspace around the aerodrome so that aircraft operations at the aerodrome may be conducted safely applicable to the aerodrome, and, as far as possible, ensures that the OLS within the aerodrome boundary is maintained clear of obstacles.

Under subsection 7.20 (3) of the Part 139 MOS the aerodrome operator must inform the certified designer of a TIFP at the aerodrome of the following:

  (a)  any change in the status of an existing critical obstacle;
  (b)  any proposed development that is to be higher than the critical obstacles within the area depicted by the designer;
  (c)  any new object or structure that is higher than the critical obstacles within the area depicted by the designer.

Therefore, CASA has assessed that extending the intervals at which CASA must conduct a flight revalidation of a TIFP does not impose any new obligations on TIFP design organisations, aerodrome operators or airspace users.

We did

Overall, the respondents were in favour of the proposed change and strongly supported the proposal. CASA will now undertake to implement the changes in the Part 173 MOS.

CASA is also currently undertaking a complete Post Implementation Review of the Part 173 MOS (Project AS 04/02 - CASR PART 173 - Review of CASR Part 173 Manual of Standards (MOS) - Instrument Flight Procedure Design) and will further update the existing Part 173 MOS as a result of more discussions with industry.

We asked

We sought industry feedback over the 2-week period 21 June – 4 July 2022 on proposed changes to multi-engine helicopter ratings.

Industry had previously told us that our current approach of requiring a type rating for each multi-engine helicopter limits access to qualified flight instructors, flight examiners, and flight training operators for some multi-engine helicopters. The issue is compounded by the very small number of these types of helicopters in Australia and it has led to increased costs and time to access training and assessment.

We proposed changing the rules to create a class-like system as the first step in introducing a new multi-engine helicopter class rating.

About this consultation

We received 20 responses, mostly from pilots, flight instructors and flight examiners. Three responses were submitted on behalf of flight training operators and commercial operators. Three responses did not provide any comments.

You said

The consultation survey asked respondents “Do you have any comments about the proposed instrument?”. Nine responses were clearly in support of the proposed instrument.

Common themes from the free text responses included opinions that new rules will:

  • reduce barriers and regulatory burdens for commercial operators, and make it easier for small operators to make the switch to multi-engine helicopters
  • reduce costs for operators, including those who operate multiple types of helicopters
  • make it easier for pilots to become authorised to operate multi-engine helicopters across multiple types, thereby increasing the number of qualified aircrew in general aviation
  • improve safety by encouraging the use of appropriate multi-engine aircraft for aviation activities
  • support the ongoing improvement of the competency-based regulatory framework.

Seven responses implied support for the objectives of the policy, while suggesting changes to the technical detail of the instrument. Four responses provided comments that identified minor errors in the instrument, posed questions on the operation of the instrument or proposed changes that are out of scope of the instrument.

Four responses did not support the proposed instrument. These free text responses included comment that the proposed instrument:

  • does not go far enough and the parameters of the 'class' should be expanded
  • goes too far, and type ratings should be retained while providing for a streamlined pathway to attain subsequent type ratings.

Summary of feedback

Common themes, issues and suggestions raised in responses included:

Comments on the 'complexity' of aircraft nominated to be in the 'class'

Four responses commented that the use of the term 'less-complex multi-engine helicopters' was inappropriate. These respondents noted that the multi-engine helicopters included in the Prescription of Type Ratings Excluded from CASR Part 142 Flight Training (Edition 6) Instrument 2018 did not reflect the characterisation of a 'less-complex helicopter'. CASA acknowledges that characterisation is broad and open to interpretation. However, since assigning these single-pilot types to be Part 141 flight training activities CASA has not identified any negative safety impacts. It is the link between the complexity of the training (organisational systems) and the operation of the aircraft, especially for multi-crew operations, that is significant and the rationale for assigning multi-crew type rating training to Part 142 of CASR.

Noting that there were no comments on the appropriateness of the training being under Part 141 of CASR for helicopters included in the system, CASA intends to proceed on the basis that existing training activities in these helicopters can be maintained with minimal impact.

Proposed significant or beyond-scope changes

Multiple respondents also proposed significant changes to the proposed multi-engine class or suggested other changes beyond the scope of the policy. These suggestions included:

  • expanding the multi-engine class rating to encompass any multi-engine helicopter below 5700 kg MTOW, and to still prescribe type ratings for any multi-engine helicopter 5700 kg MTOW or above or for multi-crew certified multi-engine helicopters
  • retaining the existing type rating system, but creating an alternative streamlined pathway to facilitate instructors and examiners to gain multiple type-specific training or testing endorsements
  • permitting instructors and examiners who hold any type-specific training or testing endorsement for any multi-engine helicopter type to conduct training or testing (as relevant) for the multi-engine helicopters prescribed in the class.

CASA notes these responses are significant or beyond the scope of change therefore they will be brought forward in future policy considerations prior to including the class rating in the regulations.

Errors in Schedule 1 of the proposed instrument

Two errors in the schedule of prescribed helicopters were identified and will be corrected prior to commencement of the instrument. These were:

  • Schedule 1 incorrectly refers to SK76(SP). The correct type rating is “SK76”
  • Schedule 1 does not include the BK 117 D-3. This will be added to the same cell as the BK 117 D-2.

We did

The consultation showed there is broad support for the proposed instrument and the establishment of a multi-engine helicopter class rating. Minor changes will be made to correct identified errors in Schedule 1 of the instrument. Minor changes will likely also be made to improve the clarity of the instrument and to prevent any unintended consequences. However, any changes will not impact the intended effect of the instrument or the underpinning policy.

The instrument will be in place by 15 August 2022.

We asked

This consultation asked industry to provide feedback on the draft advisory circular (AC) on heliport design and operation. The issue of this AC, in concert with AC 91-29, replaces CAAP 92-2(2) and CAAP 92-4(0) and represents a comprehensive adoption of the international standards and recommended practices contained in Annex 14 Volume II. A heliport is a helicopter landing site (HLS) that is designed, constructed and operated in accordance with the specifications outlined in the AC. Heliports are typically dedicated helicopter operating areas supporting air transport operations, medical patient transport and offshore oil and gas operations.

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

You said

A total of 6 responses were received with 1 each from a heliport owner/operator, a certified aerodrome operator, and a planning authority as well as 3 heliport consultants/designers.

Of the respondents who made written submissions, 1 consented to having them made public and 5 requested their submissions be confidential.

Summary of feedback
In addition to some relatively minor editorial and typographical matters raised, the main actionable subjects that were identified included:

  • marking flexibility
  • safety device details for elevated heliports and helidecks
  • the location of specifications for means of escape
  • FATO and TLOF surface slopes
  • flight path alignment lighting.

There were some comments on important matters that could not be addressed within the scope of this AC development. They include:

  • Rotorwash guidance. The specifications provided in this AC go beyond the requirements in Annex 14 Volume II but further work is required to develop specification similar to Part 139 MOS. This work will be undertaken as part of future revision work.
  • Night vision imaging system (NVIS) accommodation. A note on NVIS appears below the heading for section 5.3 but numerous comments asked for more detail and consideration. This is an important issue that requires further analysis and consultation. It will be considered in future standards development.
  • Rescue and firefighting (RFF) standards. Numerous comments outlined a need for review of this section to provide more clarity on RFF specifications. This too requires further analysis and will be considered in future standards development.
  • Inspections and reporting. Similar to the issues noted above, this topic requires detailed consideration and will be included in the scope of work for future revisions of this AC and any associated standards development.
  • Helicopter facilities at certified aerodromes. Any amendment to Part 139 MOS was beyond the scope of this project but future revisions to the MOS may include additions to align with this AC.
  • Definitions. The definitions contained in this document need to align with existing definitions in the regulations (such as rotorcraft) while giving effect to the specifications based on Annex 14 Volume II.
  • Document structure. The document's structure aligns closely with Annex 14 Volume II as it was considered the most appropriate at this stage of development. Further revisions and development will look to consolidate some specifications as appropriate.

Also, there was a comment regarding need for this document, and another, to address the potential lack of adoption by industry of the specifications. While these comments are noted, it is necessary for CASA to incorporate these specifications within our regulatory suite to give it effect within Australia. As they remain guidance, different sectors and industry bodies that have developed and/or adopted different specification (including more prescriptive models) are able to consider these specifications within their broader environment and with respect to their risk appetite.

We did

All comments were appreciated and, as result of the feedback, the AC is a better document. Each comment was reviewed and, where feasible, incorporated into the AC.

With respect to the 5 areas of comments the following summarises changes with the AC:

  • some diagrams were amended to show different options for markings
  • references to the relevant sections on safety devices contained in ICAO's Heliport Manual (Doc 9261) were added to the identified specifications
  • cross-references to section 6.8 (means of escape) were added to the relevant sections in Chapter 3
  • minor amendment to slope clauses sought to address modern construction techniques
  • adoption of the wording in the Heliport Manual with respect to the colour of flight part alignment guidance lighting system lights.

We asked

We asked people to provide feedback on proposed amendments to the Part 42 MOS to include Japan as a recognised country for the purposes of aeronautical product maintenance. We also asked for feedback on a draft Advisory Circular (AC) which provides guidance to Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) seeking approval under the Technical Arrangements on Aviation Maintenance (TA-M) between CASA and JCAB.  The consultation has now closed, and a summary of the feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

Prior to the consultation, CASA entered into a TA-M with JCAB limited to maintenance of aeronautical products. The consultation survey asked respondents whether they currently conducted maintenance of Japanese aeronautical products and whether the TA-M with JCAB would have an impact on their business.

Respondents were also asked to provide input on whether the draft AC provided suitable guidance and was fit for purpose.

You said

In total, there were 2 respondents to the consultation. Both requested their submissions remain confidential.

The responses received were from an aircraft operator and approved maintenance organisation, and an approved maintenance organisation.

Summary of feedback

One respondent requested the Note to section 7.2 of the proposed MOS amendment be changed to clearly state that only aeronautical products from Japanese AMOs approved under the TA-M were acceptable. Both respondents provided feedback on the draft AC highlighting areas for improvement including clearly describing the scope of the TA-M in the 'Purpose' section, documentation for acceptance on new products from Japan and the requirements for maintenance record keeping.

We did

Overall, respondents saw the TA-M as positive and generally did not object to the Part 42 MOS amendment. As a result, we will now undertake to make improvements to the proposed Part 42 MOS amendment and the draft AC.

We asked

From 8 March to 19 April 2022, we sought feedback on the draft Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Strategic Regulatory Roadmap. The consultation asked industry if our approach to aviation safety regulations for drones and AAM over the next 10 years and beyond had been captured.

This consultation has now closed, and a summary of feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

On 6 May 2021, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications released the National Emerging Aviation Technologies (NEAT) Policy Statement.

This statement tasked CASA with producing a safety regulatory roadmap RPAS and AAM.

CASA developed the initial roadmap with industry experts between July 2021 and January 2022 by setting up a technical working group under the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel.

You said

We received 109 responses to the consultation:

  • Commercial Remotely Piloted Aircraft: 34
  • Model aircraft: 26
  • Training organisations: 4
  • Industry associations: 4
  • Government: 10
  • Other aviation: 12
  • Other: 19

We thank respondents for their contributions and feedback.

Summary of feedback

Responses were positive and constructive. The feedback we received revealed some common themes, including:

  • the roadmap should be reviewed regularly to make sure it continues to reflect the needs of industry
  • the timelines noted will not keep pace with the anticipated development of technology in these areas
  • emergency services should be included as an individual use case
  • the needs of the sports and recreation community were not addressed in the roadmap.

We did

We considered all feedback and will incorporate changes and further clarify content in the final roadmap.

To address the above themes, we intend to report on and review this roadmap regularly. A short section will be included in the final published version of the roadmap outlining this intent.

We also note that the development of new technologies will likely outpace our regulatory change processes. However, we will look to use tools such as regulatory sandboxes and digital enablement to help keep up with the progression of technology in support of future regulatory processes.

The requirements for emergency services operations was considered under various use cases during the development of the roadmap. To make sure consultation feedback is reflected, we have changed the ‘operations’ section to clarify our intention to consider ways for improving approval processes for RPAS and AAM use in emergency service operations.

In response to the feedback regarding the sports and recreational community, extra activities will be added to the final roadmap to better address the needs of this sector.

We have added changes and expansions to the roadmap to better clarify the original meaning and intent. We also added recreational accreditation to the roadmap, noting its deferment from 2022 to 2023.

Next steps

The RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap will be published by the end of June 2022.

We asked

We sought industry feedback over  the 2-week period 4-17 April 2022.

We are proposing to exempt operators and maintainers of Cessna aircraft in the broader private and aerial work sectors from the requirements to carry out Cessna Supplemental Inspection Documents (SIDs).

Cessna SIDS are significant documents for managing continued airworthiness of ageing Cessna aircraft. The new instrument provides flexibility for registered operators of aircraft in the private and aerial work sectors to consider relevant SIDs and take appropriate action to maintain their aircraft. We encourage operators to continue to apply SIDs but recognise not all SIDs are necessary in all cases.

About this consultation

We received 30 responses. Most responses received were from aircraft owners/operators, pilots, maintainers and maintenance organisations. Three responses represented the view of type club, flying school or aero club. One response from design engineer Part 21.M and 1 response from IOA holder/CASA delegate. Four responses provided no comments for the free text question of "How will the proposed instrument work in practice?".

You said

The consultation survey asked respondents their views on "How the proposed instrument will work in practice".

Fourteen responses were clearly in favour of the proposed exemption instrument. In the free text these were voiced as a blend of:

  • a welcome common-sense approach, excellent initiative
  • the CASA mandate for SIDs should never have happened in the first place
  • the cost of full SID compliance had been way too much for most aircraft owners/operators.

Ten responses indicated they are not in favour of the proposed instrument. Extracting from the free text responses these can be aggregated as a blend of:

  • the proposal is unsafe and will cause accidents 
  • a dislike that CASA will now exempt from SIDs compliance
  • there will be a risk to safety by exempting from mandatory compliance.

Four responses provided no comments for the free text question and two responses provided comments that were unable to be as assessed as in favour or not in favour. Therefore, these six we are not able to gauge their submission as 'for' or 'against' the proposed exemption instrument.

Summary of feedback

The majority of respondents who commented were in favour of exempting private and aerial work operators from the current CASA mandate for Cessna SIDs compliance.

Comments were mixed, with the majority favouring the change but others raising concerns about safety and others observing it was 'too little, too late' or 'about time'.

Respondents also raised several important issues and concerns.

The common issues, questions or suggestions were:

  • There has been a huge cost to aircraft owners in complying with SIDs due to the CASA mandate and now you are doing a complete turnaround and providing exemption. Will the industry be reimbursed? Too little help, too late.
  • Higher risk operations like low level aerial work where aircraft fatigue can be a significant factor should not be exempt from complying with SIDs.
  • Under the previously issued Instrument even the twin-engine Cessna aircraft had been relieved from compliance with the 'ATA32' tasks for landing gear but now aircraft in air transport operations that are twin-engine will not gain exemption from those landing gear SIDs inspections.
  • At least four respondents indicated that they severely dislike the way that whole SIDs issue has been handled by CASA since 2014.

We did

Next steps

The consultation showed that there is the majority who are in favour of CASA relaxing the compliance rules around Cessna SID compliance for private and aerial work operations. Therefore, the exemption will be issued as consulted and will be in place by the end of April 2022.

This policy will bring forward corresponding outcomes from the proposed general aviation maintenance regulations (Part 43 of CASR). It brings us into line with global practices and only the specific SIDs elements required by an airworthiness directive will be mandatory.

Under Part 43 of CASR aircraft will be inspected at regular intervals and if action is needed, we will require it to be taken.

We asked

From to 23 March to 13 April 2022 we sought feedback on the Proposed amendments to CAO 95.55 - Removal of the 45 knot stall speed limit for certain sport and recreation aeroplanes. The consultation asked if the removal of the 45-knot stall speed limit for lightweight aeroplanes would, in relation to the operation of these aeroplanes under Approved Self-administering Aviation Organisation (ASAO) administration, maintain an acceptable level of aviation safety.

About this consultation
CAO 95.55 was amended in December 2021 to support the commencement of the new flight operations regulations. Added to the scope of the CAO were lightweight aeroplanes that can have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 760 kg and a maximum stall speed of 45 knots. Consultation to increase the MTOW to 760 kg recognised there was further consultation to conduct in relation to the 45 knot stall speed. That was the purpose of this consultation.

Sport and recreation aeroplanes that are the subject of CAO 95.55 are grouped into ultralight aeroplanes, light sport aircraft and lightweight aeroplanes. These groupings are based on the aeroplane's maximum take-off weight (MTOW) and the airworthiness standards to which the aeroplane has been designed, including its landing configuration stall speed.

The focus of this consultation was on the safety aspects of removing the stall speed limitation from the definition of lightweight aeroplane.

The aim of the proposed changes to CAO 95.55 is to provide greater flexibility to the sport and recreation flying sector, as it will provide for a wider range of aircraft that can now be utilised, some which had been previously excluded.

You said

In total, there were 134 respondents to the consultation. Responses came from various groups (some respondents said they were associated with more than one group); 87 identified as being sport and recreational aircraft owners or operators, 87 identified as a pilot of sport and recreational aircraft, 65 identified as a Part 61 licenced pilot, 27 identified as being a sport and recreational aviation maintainer or organisation, 2 identified as a maintenance engineer or a CAR 30 approval holder, 15 identified as being a flight school (sport and recreational aircraft - other than gliders), 2 identified as being gliding clubs and 2 identified as being a sport aviation body or as a prospective ASAO. Of the submissions, 95 consented to allow their responses to be published and 39 requested their submissions to be confidential.

Summary of feedback
Most responses (80%) agreed that the proposed change to the light aeroplane definition would maintain an acceptable level of aviation safety in relation to the operation of lightweight aeroplanes under ASAO administration.

For the rest of the respondents, who either disagreed or agreed to the proposed amendments with changes, the common themes across their feedback were:

Theme 1 - Pilots - scope of aircraft, pilot competencies and medical
Feedback in support of the proposal but with changes mentioned the following benefits:

  • Broadening the range of aeroplane types greater than 600kg available for operation by pilot certificate holders.
  • The removal of a barrier to entry to recreational operation of sport and recreation purposes for aeroplanes with stall speeds greater than 45 knots that are suitable for sport and recreation purposes, potentially contributing to arresting the decline of GA by broadening the suite of aeroplane types available to the recreational sector with its more relaxed pilot medical requirements.

Feedback opposed to the proposal mentioned the following concerns:

  • An increased level of discomfort in relation to pilot competencies and operation of aeroplane types greater than 600kg with stall speeds exceeding 45 knots that are not training types.
  • Landing incidents are not unusual with light sport aircraft and increasing the light sport aircraft allowable stall speed will only increase the accident statistics as it relates to LSA.

Theme 2 - Aircraft - certification and maintenance
Feedback in relation to certification mentioned the following issues:

  • Concern that increasing the stall speed lowers safety standards by not simultaneously amending the certification basis of aeroplanes to increase structural integrity.
  • The potential safety benefits that arise from modern advanced technology. The change in stall speed will encourage the introduction of modern more technologically advanced aeroplane designs which will, over time, raise the safety profile for these aeroplanes.
  • The relationship between stall speed and MTOW. Clarification was sought on the operation of aeroplanes up to MTOW in accordance with their certification.
  • That the structure around and in front of the occupants must protect the occupants from injury, in the event of a crash at approach configuration airspeeds.

Theme 3 - Administrative oversight by ASAOs
Feedback in relation to administrative oversight highlighted the issue of pilot competency and the role of the ASAO, with the following mentioned:

  • That pilots of lightweight aeroplanes should be competent to operate the type of aeroplane, including the upset recovery techniques applicable to the type.
  • That the pilot training, maintenance oversight and most importantly culture of these organisations must be appropriate for the safe operation of these aeroplanes.

CASA's responses
While there were a few responses which disagreed with the proposed amendments, overall they were generally accepted. CASA is satisfied that because the change applies only in relation to lightweight aeroplanes for which a certificate of airworthiness is in force and not to light sport aircraft or ultralight aeroplanes, most of the safety concerns identified by the submissions are acceptable and can be managed within the existing CAO 95.55 framework.

For lightweight aeroplanes, CASA agrees with the responses regarding the need for pilot training to include a broader range of skills. CASA supports greater pilot and organisational responsibility for general competency in relation to the operation of heavier, faster, and more complex aircraft. CASA agrees that, with the expanded availability of appropriate training types, the competency standards for pilots of these aircraft should encompass training not possible in the LSA/ultralight group, including the training of instructors in the demonstration of stalls, spin avoidance, and recovery techniques in lightweight aeroplanes to pilot certificate holders where appropriate for the type.

CASA also observes that this expanded capability is likely to have a flow-on safety benefit to the sector as more pilots will gain exposure to these kinds of manoeuvres and handling considerations. This was identified as one of the benefits of the earlier proposal to raise the MTOW for light weight aeroplanes covered by ASAOs.

CASA is dedicated to assisting ASAOs to build capacity and capability in delivering outcome-based flight training and the further promotion of a safety culture within the recreational sector. Mechanisms to address these issues have been drafted for the proposed Part 103 Manual of Standards.

In relation to aircraft certification, CASA notes that the removal of the 45 knot stall speed limit for lightweight aeroplanes has no impact on the certification status of the aeroplane. Any lightweight aeroplane to which a certification standard that includes a stall speed limit applies, would be constrained by that limit.  For example, if an aeroplane is certificated to JAR-VLA/CS-VLA, the 45 knot stall speed would remain as a certification limit for the aeroplane. For lightweight aeroplanes which are not certificated (amateur-built aeroplanes) the stall speed is determined during the aeroplane's flight testing and is dependent on the aeroplanes design and construction.

We did

Next steps
CASA thanks the many highly qualified people and organisations contributing their time and thought to this consultation and acknowledges the feedback as beneficial to the effectiveness of the consultation process.

Based on industry feedback, CASA will proceed with amending CAO 95.55. The amendment will include:

  • removal of the stall speed limit; and
  • inclusion, as appropriate, of requirements in relation to competency standards and units of competency for the operation of lightweight aeroplanes, including for the flying training mentioned in section 11 of the CAO; and
  • minor mechanical changes to correct existing errors and omissions.

In addition, CASA will investigate the development and promulgation of further educational tools to assist ASAOs further enhance their competency standards, flying training and safety culture.

We asked

From 15 February to 1 March 2022 we sought feedback on draft advisory circular (AC) 61-09 - Competency-based training and assessment for flight crew. The consultation asked if the AC contained sufficient explanation for the implementation of competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) and recognition of prior learning (RoPL) in the flight crew training environment.

This consultation has now closed, and a summary of feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

Prior to this consultation, there has been inconsistent awareness and implementation of CBTA systems and the use of RoPL for Australian aviation training. While CBTA training concepts are not new in vocational education and training environments, they may not yet have been completely introduced and accepted in a flight crew training setting. This consultation enquired into the understanding and experience of CBTA and RoPL, asking respondents if the AC provided a sufficient explanation of the concepts, and an opinion of its success if and when implemented.

You said

In total, there were 10 respondents to the consultation. Responses came from various groups (some respondents were part of more than one group); 4 flight training operators, 5 flight instructors, 5 flight examiners, 1 CASA inspector and 1 trainee. Of the submissions, 5 consented to allow their responses to be published and 4 requested their submissions be confidential.

Summary of feedback

The majority of responses agreed with the amount and relevance of the information within the AC, although various responses requested clarification or additional guidance.

Common themes across the feedback were:

  • CBTA and RoPL has a diverse meaning amongst a wide range of training environments
  • there were several suggestions to include guidance on specific matters or training
  • the terminology used around CBTA and RoPL can be confusing, particularly when comparing other training sectors
  • these methods may already have been implemented by some FTO's but further guidance will be helpful.

We did

There were few responses which disagreed with the AC contents which confirms the information is generally accepted.

CASA accepts CBTA training methods are varied and broad in many environments. CASA recognises the challenges faced by many training organisations to implement or transform their current training methods to a CBTA framework, while keeping up with industry standards.

CASA agrees with the responses regarding some difficulties in interpreting information on the RoPL Candidate Application (Annex A). Minor amendments will be made to improve this sample form. Similarly, amendments will be made to the AC to include information that may have originally been omitted.

CASA is dedicated to assisting training operators with a smooth, simple transition to, and maintenance of CBTA methods.

Next steps

CASA thanks the many highly qualified people and organisations contributing their time and thought to this consultation and acknowledges the feedback as beneficial to the effectiveness of the consultation process.

Relevant stakeholders will be notified of the AC, a Notice to Instructors circulated and a proposal to develop further education and training on CBTA and RoPL.

Based on industry feedback, CASA will proceed with the publishing of AC 61-09 and will undertake the following activities:

  • provide comparison of traditional training methods against CBTA methods to assist with interpretation of CBTA methodology
  • investigate the development and promulgation of further educational tools to assist training operations with CBTA and RoPL methods.

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.

We asked

Since May 2021, CASA and Airservices Australia have been conducting an automated airspace authorisation trial in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.

The trial allows operators who hold a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC), or those who operate under one with a remote pilot licence (RePL), to quickly and easily apply to fly within 5.5 km (3NM) of a controlled airport.

Between 10 December 2021 and 28 January 2022, we invited public comment on the trial from those who had taken part, those who would like to take part and those who hadn’t heard of the trial.

We asked 22 questions about the trial and how it has been used and received by operators.

You said

We received 446 responses to the consultation:

Remote pilot licence (RePL): 244
Remote operator's certificate (ReOC): 168
Excluded category RPA (sub-2 kg or 2-25 kg over my own land): 11
Micro RPA (250 g or less) for commercial or business use: 6
‘Other’ or ‘recreational’: 17

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

Responses to the survey were positive. The feedback from respondents revealed some common themes including:

  • low awareness of the trial
  • enthusiasm for more airports to be added
  • support to continue and extend the trial.

While many respondents hadn’t taken part in the trial due to various reasons, there was an overwhelming consensus (98%) that the trial should continue and other airports be added.

From the respondents who had taken part in the trial, 80% said it was fairly easy or easy to apply for authorisation and more than 55% have been able to take on more work.

We did

We considered all feedback provided and have consulted with Airservices Australia.

The automated airspace authorisation trial will be extended for a further 6 months and additional airports are currently being considered.

In addition to the extension, we will consult with developers to address the identified enhancements to the trial platform and drone safety apps to improve the service.

We asked

We sought feedback on a proposed frequency split to ease congestion around Ballina, Lismore, Casino and Evans Head aerodromes. The consultation survey was open for 4 weeks, from 1 November to 26 November 2021.

About this consultation

We asked two primary questions:

  • Do you agree with the proposal to allocate Lismore and Casino a different CTAF to Ballina?
  • Do you agree with the proposal to allocate Evans Head aerodrome the Multicom CTAF of 126.7?

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

You said

We received 4 responses to the consultation. Three responses were from organisations, with one response from an individual.

Responses validated the issues of frequency congestion and over transmission of radio calls.

Responses were supportive of the proposal to allocate Lismore and Casino aerodromes a different CTAF to Ballina.

This consultation was a follow-up to a previous survey (9 June 2021 – 11 July 2011) that received 84 submissions asking for feedback regarding frequency congestion at Ballina, Lismore and Casino aerodromes.

We did

We have listened to your feedback through this and previous industry consultations.

New radio frequencies are being introduced to ease congestion and increase safety around Ballina, Lismore, Casino and Evans Head aerodromes.

From 16 June 2022 the following Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) will apply in these vicinities:

  • Ballina – 124.2 MHz (no change)
  • Lismore and Casino – 132.45 MHz
  • Evans Head – Multicom CTAF of 126.7 MHz

We asked

This consultation asked industry to provide feedback on the draft advisory circular (AC) on the commissioning of aerodrome lighting systems.

Commissioning is a final check of a new, upgraded or replaced aerodrome lighting system prior to being made available for operational use at night or in low visibility conditions. It is designed to ensure that the installed system is complete, compliant, and useable.

The revision of this AC was triggered by the revision of Part 139 (Aerodromes) Manual of Standards (MOS) 2019.

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

You said

A total of 13 responses were received from five qualified flight checkers, 3 aerodrome managers, 3 lighting supplier/consultants and 2 air navigation service provider personnel.

Of the respondents, 12 consented to their submissions being made public.

Summary of feedback

In addition to some relatively minor editorial and typographical matters raised, the main actionable subjects that were identified included:

  • ground check procedures and documentation requirements (including coordination with air traffic control which has been partially addressed)
  • qualified flight checker approvals
  • optional lighting during flight check.

There were some comments on important matters that could not be addressed within the scope of this AC. The reasons why include:

  • requirement established by Part 139 MOS
  • more applicable to the lighting planning and design phases
  • insufficient data to support a change at this stage.

Respondents who made submissions on these topics are encouraged to raise these issues in appropriate consultative forums ahead of future amendments to the Part 139 MOS.

We did

Each comment was reviewed and, where actionable, incorporated in the text of the AC. All comments were greatly appreciated as the resulting AC is a better product for it.

With respect to the 3 areas of actionable comment, the following summarises the actions taken.

The development of the ground check procedure details and the addition of a checklist template addressed several comments. Firstly, it is a direct response to those who identified a disparity in the guidance provided on flight checks as compared to ground checks and the lack of guidance for documenting ground checks. Other comments addressed in these changes include ensuring technical PAL specifications are met and lighting activation and control by third parties is checked.

The requirements for and approval of qualified flight checkers has been changed considering comments received and changes to flight operations regulations. Firstly, a qualified flight checker no longer needs to be a pilot. The flight safety aspects that appeared in the previous AC are now covered by Part 91 of CASR. As such, the qualified flight checker role is now focused on lighting standards and performance.

In the previous AC, there were some non-runway lights included in the flight check procedures. While it is not a MOS 139 requirement to check these lights, it was decided to retain the guidance material on checking them, if the aerodrome operator wished to have it done. A section on the aerodrome operator establishing a scope for the flight check has been added and the word optional has been added to the relevant sections of the AC and the checklist.

We asked

Between 5 November and 18 November 2021, we invited public comment on proposed amendments to registration and accreditation requirements for drones.

According to CASA regulations, drones are defined by their intended use:

  • model or remote controlled aircraft, is a drone flown for sport or recreation – solely for fun
  • remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) is a drone flown for business or as part of your job – for commercial purposes.

A summary of the proposed changes includes:

  • amending the commencement date for model aircraft (recreational drone) registration and operator accreditation from 1 March 2022 to 1 July 2022
  • moving the registration incentive period to follow the new commencement date
  • removing the requirement to register RPA used for test flights in aircraft innovation, development, and manufacturing
  • aligning registration provisions so recreational drones are subject to the same 12-month registration period as commercial RPA
  • clarifying that a person may not sit the operator accreditation quiz, or hold a valid operator accreditation, until the person is at least 16 years old
  • updating Part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS) to require recreational drone operators to update changes to their contact details and other information provided to CASA as part of registration or accreditation. For example, a change of address or new email address.

The consultation asked participants to review the proposed amendments and provide feedback to:

  • Part 47 of CASR
  • Part 101 of CASR
  • Part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS).

You said

We received 159 responses from individuals or organisations, including:

  • 11 remote pilot licence (RePL) holders
  • 75 model aircraft owners
  • 6 RPA owners
  • 34 self-identified drone owners.

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

Key feedback

Registration of each model aircraft

Proposed amendments to register each model aircraft used for sport or recreation were largely unsupported. While 11% agreed with the proposed amendments, more than 80% of respondents disagreed.

The consultation addressed the likely consequence that each model aircraft or drone used for sport or recreation would be subject to a separate registration levy in the future. At present, there is no levy for registering drones flown for sport or recreation. However, many respondents commented about the potential future cost. The Australian Government has not determined the cost recovery model for any proposed levy. The value of any proposed levy will be released in a Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) on the CASA website. It will be open for public consultation before it is finalised, approved and published.

Some respondents were unaware that registration and accreditation requirements would not apply to owners and operators of model aircraft (drones) operating from approved model aircraft sites, managed by model aircraft associations.

Some respondents also asked for more information about the safety outcomes expected to be delivered by drone registration. Drone registration is a deterrent to poor safety behaviour as registered operators displaying unsafe behaviours can be personally identified and contacted. Further safety applications are expected in the future as technology evolves. The registration system will also provide wider public safety benefits for security, policing, privacy, and the environment (noise).

In addition, the requirement for accreditation and ongoing safety education makes sure every operator has demonstrated a sound understanding of the drone safety rules to protect themselves and others when flying their drone.

Clarifying the requirement for persons to be 16 years old to complete the operator accreditation

Comments from respondents indicated widespread confusion of the regulatory history and requirements for young people wishing to fly model aircraft (drones) for sport or recreation under the new scheme.

To summarise:

  • The requirement for a person to be at least 16 years of age to obtain an operator accreditation (commercial or recreational) was first consulted on in 2019.
  • This was written into the regulations in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of recreational operator accreditation and drone registration were delayed until 2022.
  • Under the existing regulations for recreational operators, not yet implemented, CASA cannot issue an operator accreditation to a person under 16 years of age.
  • Provisions for people under 16 who wish to fly model aircraft (drones), will include:
    • flying a drone that weighs 250 grams or less unsupervised
    • being supervised by an accredited adult who is 18 years or older, when flying a drone that weighs more than 250 grams
    • flying at an approved model aircraft site under the management of a model aircraft association, where registration and accreditation exemptions apply.

The proposal sought to amend the part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS) to align with subregulation 101.374E (2) which already explicitly states an applicant is eligible for an accreditation if the applicant is at least 16 years old. This is an administrative change. Despite this, the proposed amendment was supported by fewer than a quarter of respondents. More than two thirds of respondents disagreed with the proposal.

Removing registration requirements for certain aircraft test flights

The majority of respondents were either interested in, or operated, model aircraft. Given the commercial nature of the proposal to remove registration requirements for certain RPA test flights, more than a quarter of respondents declined to express an opinion on this question. About two-thirds of those who did, agreed with the proposal to remove registration requirements for certain RPA flown for test flights. Many respondents identified a potential for this exemption to be exploited. However, we are aware of this potential consequence and are developing mechanisms to prevent this.

We did

Acknowledging that some of the measures are not popular, we will proceed with the proposed amendments as consulted. 

We expect model aircraft registration and operator accreditation will open from 1 July 2022 and be required by 30 September 2022.

Accreditation will be free and valid for 3 years.

Registration will be valid for 1 year. The Australian Government has not determined the cost recovery model for any proposed levy. The value of any proposed levy will be released in a Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) on the CASA website. It will be open for public consultation before it is finalised, approved and published.

Provisions for people under 16 who wish to fly model aircraft (drones), will include:

  • flying a drone that weighs 250 grams or less unsupervised
  • being supervised by an accredited adult who’s 18 years or older, when flying a drone that weighs more than 250 grams
  • flying at an approved model aircraft site under the management of a model aircraft association, where registration and accreditation exemptions apply.

For the latest information on model aircraft registration and accreditation requirements, visit www.knowyourdrone.gov.au

We continue to work with model aircraft associations to identify new sites where their members can continue to operate, without the requirement for accreditation or registration.

CASA has mechanisms in place to reduce or eliminate the impact of registration costs in exceptional circumstances. For example, registered charitable organisations or public interest events.

CASA will also conduct a post-implementation review.

We asked

This consultation provided details of miscellaneous amendments, including the addition of some new aircraft type ratings, CASA is proposing to make to the Part 66 Manual of Standards (MOS). The consultation period has now closed. A summary of feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

Participants in this survey were asked to provide their feedback on a small number of proposed minor amendments to the Part 66 MOS. A total of 14 responses were received to the consultation survey. Of the 14 respondents, nine of these identified themselves as licensed aircraft maintenance engineers (LAMEs), two identified as CAR 30 approved maintenance organisations, a further two respondents identified as falling into the 'other' category, with the remaining respondent identified as falling into a 'licensing' category. In addition, nine of the 14 respondents have given permission for their submission to be published by CASA.

You said

Of the total of number of responses received:

  • One respondent's comments were unrelated to the topics of this amendment.
  • Two respondent's comments were general in nature relating to aircraft type ratings, but not targeted towards any specific amendment.
  • One respondent's comment suggested grouping one of the variants of the Cessna 525 aircraft together with similar variants under the one type rating endorsement.
  • Seven respondents expressed their support of the proposed amendments.
  • The remaining three respondents disagreed with the amendment related to the Category C licence academic qualification pathway.

Summary of feedback

More general comments received in support of the proposed amendments stated the amendments made perfect sense and were appropriate. One comment in support of the academic qualification pathway for a Category C licence agreed that if an applicant who already has obtained the basic knowledge applicable for a Category B1 or B2 licence, he/she should not need to be re-examined on this knowledge when applying for a Category C licence.

One respondent expressed a view that a particular variant of the Cessna 525 aircraft (i.e., the Cessna 525C - CJ4) should be included in the proposed amended type rating endorsement for the Cessna 525 which will include the 525, 525A, 525B variants.

Three respondents took exception to the current Part 66 policy to qualify for a Category C licence, via an academic qualification training pathway.

We did

Based on the comments received and the miscellaneous and minor nature of the topics covered by the amendments, CASA will proceed with the proposed amendments as presented.

We asked

This consultation sought feedback on the proposed amendments to Part 61 MOS, Schedule 3 to ensure that they accurately and practically reflect the new rule set and they will work in practice as intended.

The consultation was open to industry from 1 Nov 2021 to 15 Nov 2021. It has now closed, and a summary of the feedback is provided below.

CASA thanks all respondents for their constructive feedback.

About this consultation

The new CASR Flight Operations Regulations came into effect on 2 December 2021. To harmonise with these changes, amendments are required for the Part 61 Manual of Standards (MOS) Schedule 3, Aeronautical knowledge standards.

The primary purpose of the amendments to Schedule 3 is to align content and vocabulary with Part 91 and the associated flight operations rules; however, concurrent amendments include:

  • editorial changes to make elements associated with the helicopter units more relevant to that aircraft category
  • improvements to support Schedule 2 practical competencies and underpinning knowledge currently examined for the issue of licences, ratings and endorsements
  • action words added to many of the schedule’s unit elements which articulate the level to which the knowledge in the standard must be demonstrated on completion of a course of training, essential for the document to be regarded as an authoritative competency standard
  • correction of grammar and formatting errors.

The consultation asked respondents if they agreed that:

  • the proposed changes harmonise Schedule 3 units with the new flight operations rules
  • the editorial changes make units associated with the helicopter category more relevant to that aircraft
  • the action words added to several Schedule 3 unit elements accurately state the level to which the knowledge in the standard must be demonstrated on completion of a course of training
  • Schedule 3 is fit for purpose.

A free text field was provided for any general comments regarding the proposed amendments and any potential impact the changes may have on a respondents' operations and was not covered in the consultation.

You said

There were 5 respondents to the consultation. Two represented flying training organisations, 2 were provided by flying instructors, and one was a pilot. Two respondents provided a written submission and one consented to having their response made public. Four of the respondents requested their submissions be kept confidential.

Summary of feedback

Of the 5 respondents, all their responses supported the proposed amendments.

All agreed that the changes harmonise Schedule 3 units with the new flight operations rules, and that the action words added to several Schedule 3 unit elements accurately state the level to which the knowledge in the standard must be demonstrated on completion of a course of training.

While 3 respondents indicated they were undecided or that the helicopter category was not their area of expertise, two agreed that the editorial changes make units associated with the helicopter category more relevant to that aircraft.

Three respondents agreed that Schedule 3 aeronautical knowledge standards amended as proposed were fit for purpose, one indicated they were undecided or that it was not their area of expertise, and one agreed, but with changes.

Written feedback was provided by 2 respondents which provided several editorial corrections and recommendations for the Schedule 3 amendments which will be considered for incorporation into the amendment when made.

In addition to the feedback particular to Schedule 3, recommendations were also made to correct a spelling error in Schedule 2, clarify the aeronautical knowledge content of the RPL Navigation endorsement in Schedule 1, Appendix G.8 (Examination code RPLN in Schedule 4 Appendix 1), and to improve the Table of Contents hyperlinks within the version of the Part 61 MOS and other Manuals of Standards available on the Federal Register of Legislation website. Some of these recommendations are already being actioned in the present tranche of amendments, and all will be given careful consideration in the next amendment cycle.

We did

Overall, respondents strongly supported the proposals. As a result, CASA will now undertake to implement changes to licensing examinations consistent with the proposed amendments.

While the Schedule 3 amendment should come into effect with the flight operations regulations, transition will be defined by the rate at which new exam questions are seeded into the flight crew licence exam suite.  A phased approach is proposed to occur over several months.

 

We asked

This consultation proposed a solution to issues with restricted and danger areas outside Australian territory in Australia-administered airspace. The consultation has now closed, and a summary of the feedback is presented below.

About this consultation

In November 2019, ICAO issued a notice of deficiency for non-compliance against Australia due to the publication of restricted areas in Australian-administered airspace. CASA conducted research into how other countries have approached this issue and came up with a proposed solution which was consulted with stakeholders from 2019 to 2021.

You said

One response was received from a CASA employee which did not support some aspects of the proposal.

Summary of feedback

The response received queried whether the proposed solution to the issues with restricted and outside Australian territory is ICAO compliant and thought the terms Military Exercise Area (MEA) and Military Training Area (MTA) could confuse international operators.

We did

Next steps

The detail of the proposed solution was discussed further with the CASA employee and their concerns were allayed. ICAO was advised of the proposed solution and supported it as a compliant response to the deficiency issued against Australia. As such, CASA will proceed with changes to the Airspace Regulations 2007 and continue working with Airservices Australia and the Department of Defence to amend the restricted areas outside Australian territory to MEAs and MTAs.

We asked

This consultation asked industry to review the proposed transition of the night vision imaging system (NVIS) legislation from Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 82.6 into the relevant Parts of the MOS. The consultation has now closed, and a summary of the feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

Prior to the consultation, two NVIS Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings were held to develop the draft MOS instrument, after which the developed draft instrument was subject to this public consultation. Approximately 14 NVIS operators participated in the TWG and were advised of the consultation document and the opportunity to provide further comment. Also, CASA's Flight Standards Branch held an online meeting for the remaining five NVIS Operators who were not part of the NVIS TWG, and they were briefed on the content of the consultation document.

You said

In total, CASA received feedback from two separate NVIS operators relating to the transition of the NVIS legislation.

The first operator's comment related to minor inconsistencies between the NVIS flight rules in the different MOS parts (Part 91, Part 133 and Part 138 of CASR) and an inconsistency with an element of the VMC criteria that had changed from CAO 82.6.

The second operator's comment related to concern over the commencement date of the new flight operations rules and the short period between the NVIS legislation transition and the commencement date of 2 December 2021 for the new legislation.

Summary of feedback

No feedback was received that did not support the transition of the NVIS legislation from the CAO into the CASR. The first comment related specifically to an error in the transition of the VMC criteria from CAO 82.6 that placed conditions on the use of operating in Class C airspace, clear of cloud and inconsistency with the alternate lighting criteria contained within the Part 138 MOS. The second operator comment related to concern over the implementation timeline.

VMC criteria - Ability to operate clear of cloud Class C airspace.

The comment from the operator related to the transitional legislation that was not consistent with CAO 82.6. The VMC criteria allowing a NVIS operation to be conducted clear of cloud in Class C airspace, had conditions imposed that were not required under CAO 82.6. CASA accepted the conditions had, in effect, changed the current NVIS policy relating to the use of the VMC criteria and has removed the conditions for the final legislation.

NVIS alternate lighting

The NVIS operator also identified the wording relating to NVIS alternate lighting in Part 138 MOS, chapter 12.06, differed from the wording in Part 91 MOS, chapter 3.07 and Part 133 MOS, chapter 8.07.

CASA noted this difference was unintended and has amended the final legislation to maintain consistency of wording.

NVIS MOS transition timeline

The second operator raised a concern relating to the limited time available from the intended publication of the amended MOS's containing the NVIS legislation, and the commencement date of the legislation on 2 December 2021.

As a result of the comment, CASA contacted the operator directly to discuss the concern of the proposed transition timeline. The operator's concern related to the volume of flight rules that are due to commence on 2 December 2021, including the transition of the NVIS legislation.

CASA acknowledges there is a significant volume of flight rules due to commence on 2 December 2021. The preference was to have the NVIS flight rules embedded into the MOS at least 12 months prior to the commencement of the legislation; however, CASA has ensured all NVIS operators have been involved in the development of the transitional legislation since March 2020, including their participation in 3 NVIS TWGs. Further, CASA provided a draft of the transitional legislation in June 2021 and all members of the NVIS TWG have had access to the proposed MOS Parts. CASA has ensured the NVIS flight rules remain mostly unchanged in this transition from the CAO to the new MOS's and should not require a significant change to NVIS operators' operations manual procedures.

CASA remains committed to transitioning the NVIS legislation by 2 December 21 to ensure operators are not required to refer to the legacy NVIS legislation contained within CAO 82.6.

Additional CASA actions

CASA separately identified that the contents of a Note in the draft instrument were seemingly prescribing a safety policy regarding the situation where an NVIS crew might de-goggle during the overflight of significant cultural lighting in order to maintain aviation safety.

At the NVIS TWG meeting in November 2021 following the consultation, CASA discussed with the TWG moving the contents of the Note into the main legal provisions of the legislation. This was accepted by the TWG and these changes have been made.

We did

CASA will proceed with the transition of the NVIS legislation into the relevant MOS's to ensure NVIS operators are not required to revert to CAO 82.6 for NVIS flight rules. This transition will include the making of a separate Part 11 direction to Part 119 and Part 138 certificate holders, in accordance with the public consultation, that requires these kinds of operators to obtain CASA's approval prior to operators first using NVIS in an NVIS operation. This approval will not be required for operators already holding CAO 82.6 approvals.

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.