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The CASA Briefing - April 2012


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From the Director of Aviation Safety


John McCormick


I have flagged before that over the next few years a large body of work will be completed in the modernisation of Australia's aviation safety regulations. Coming relatively soon will be a suite of new operational regulations, firstly covering flight crew licensing and training and then flight operations. Updating these regulations will bring a wide range of benefits to the aviation industry, while improving and refining our safety systems. CASA is not seeking to rewrite the rules for the sake of the exercise. We are adopting the most appropriate international standards, bringing our rules into line with evolving technologies and and best regulatory practice, while consolidating and simplifying the existing rules we are retaining. The end result will be a more mature Australian aviation safety system that is keeping pace with the requirements of safety and the needs of the aviation industry in the 21st century.


However, bringing in whole new suites of safety regulations will require change on the part of almost everyone and, to a greater or lesser degree, change throws up challenges. One thing everyone in aviation must recognise and accept is that there will be a need to transition to the new regulations. In some cases, this will be very simple and require little action. In other cases, there will be some effort required on the part of individuals and organisations. Last year, we successfully moved all licensed aircraft maintenance engineers to new licences issued under Part 66 of the new maintenance regulations. Right now we are working with a range of organisations on the transition to other parts of the maintenance regulations. While I will not pretend there are no challenges, the process of transition is underway. What I can assure everyone is that CASA will provide appropriate education, training, advice and support to people and organisations as they transition to the new regulations.


To make sure everyone in aviation gets the support they need I have appointed an executive manager to a newly created position. This position is known as program director, Operational Regulations Implementation. Greg Hood, our current executive manager Operations, will take up this role on a temporary basis to direct and co-ordinate the planning that is starting right now on the implementation of the next suites of the new rules. Greg's goal will be to build a platform for the launch of an efficient and effective transition to the new regulations over the next five years. We will be identifying your needs and finding the best ways to give you the information, tools and support required to move to the new rules in a manner that does not disrupt your normal operations. This will be our aim for all people and organisations, from the largest airline to the recreational pilot. There is a lot of work to be done but it is underway right now.


Recently, I delivered a speech to the Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, which sets out the regulatory development agenda. Please read it to find an update on what is coming in the next few years.


Aviation Law Association of Australia & New Zealand 2012 Conference


Best regards


John F McCormick


Deadline looms for transition to new maintenance regs


Organisations that need to transition to the new maintenance regulations are being warned to start the process as soon as possible. The deadline for moving across to the new regulations is 26 June 2013. From that date all organisations maintaining regular public transport aircraft and aeronautical products must have an approval from CASA under Part 145 of the new maintenance regulations. All regular public transport air operators will also require an approval issued under Part 42 of the maintenance regulations from 26 June 2013. CASA will not issue any extensions beyond the deadline, so it is very important for affected maintenance organisations and regular public transport operators to start work on transition now.


In total more than 200 maintenance organisations will need to move under Part 145 and 30 regular public transport operators to Part 42. While a number of organisations have already moved to the new regulations or have begun the process, many have not yet commenced work. CASA is providing a high level of guidance to organisations that need to transition, with step-by-step information available on the CASA web site. This includes the forms that must be completed and samples of the expositions that organisations need to develop, as well as a wealth of education and training about the new maintenance regulations. Additional resources to help organisations make the transition smoothly are being developed and will be released on CASA's web site soon. Training courses are also being planned. Organisations that are starting work on the transition to the new regulations should notify CASA as soon as possible.


Find out about transition to the maintenance regulations and start now.


Keeping WA airspace safe and moving


The aviation industry is being asked to comment on a special report on the impact of increased aviation activity in Western Australia. The report has made 11 recommendations aimed at enhancing the safety and efficiency of Western Australian air traffic. A government task force has delivered the report, which focuses on the north-west region of Western Australia. It found the unprecedented growth of the mining sector has caused rapid and unexpected demand on the aviation industry, with continuing pressure on the air traffic management system. Perth, as well as regional aerodromes such as Karratha, Broome, Port Hedland, Geraldton, Kununurra and Paraburdoo, have all seen sustained increases in aircraft movements over the past five years.


Issues identified in the report include a lack of radar coverage outside 250 nautical miles from Perth, not all aircraft being fitted with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment, insufficient data on aircraft movements, limited movement space at aerodromes and an inability by some air operators to adhere to slot times. The task force recommends an assessment of the viability of ADS-B only routes and sectors in Western Australia, encouragement for operators to fit ADS-B ahead of the mandated deadlines, giving priority to ADS-B equipped aircraft, development of plans to provide ADS-B coverage below 10,000 feet and investigating action against operators who do not adhere to slot times. CASA and Airservices Australia should also continue to monitor movement and passenger data.


Read the Western Australian air traffic report.


Send feedback to: [email protected].


Get all the info on ADS-B now


All pilots should know that satellite-based navigation and aircraft surveillance systems are to become mandatory for a wide range of aircraft operations over the next five years. From the end of 2013 automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment will be required for all aircraft operations at or above 29,000 feet. Current proposals are to progressively require all new and existing aircraft flying by instrument flight rules to be fitted with global navigation satellite systems equipment, including ADS-B, by early 2017. Already there are 29 ADS-B ground stations across Australia, as well as wide area multilateration systems at Sydney and Tasmania. There is extensive ADS-B coverage above 29,000 feet and reasonable coverage at 10,000 feet. Many remote locations such as Broome, Esperance, Longreach, Bundaberg and Bourke have ADS-B to ground level. More ADS-B ground stations are to be deployed in the future.


To help all pilots understand the ADS-B system and use the equipment properly CASA has published an updated 24 page booklet. This booklet sets out the fundamentals of ADS-B, explains aircraft equipment, tells how to use the systems, covers radio phraseology and looks at human factors issues. The booklet is easy to understand and includes the timetable for the introduction of the mandatory use of ADS-B. All pilots will find the ADS-B booklet useful and it will be an excellent quick reference tool. The booklet can be ordered through CASA's online store, with the cost being a $15 handling and delivery fee.


Order your copy of the ADS-B booklet now.


Helicopter instructor training in the spotlight


The helicopter flying training sector is to get new and improved support from CASA. A project has been set up to develop a publication to provide detailed guidance on the training of helicopter flight instructors. One key aim of the project will be to assist the training sector to work towards the standardisation of helicopter flight instructor training. This is an important step in continuing to improve safety. CASA will develop a Civil Aviation Advisory Publication on helicopter flight instructor training, which will parallel an existing publication covering aeroplane flight instructor training. This work is part of a broad initiative by CASA to enhance the quality of the training provided to all flight instructors. The new publication will set out detailed information on how to develop and deliver training courses to helicopter flight instructors. It will provide advice on the conduct of flight tests and information on professional development for approved testing officers. There will also be a revision of the current helicopter and aeroplane flight instructor manual to better reflect CASA's expectations and up-to-date industry best practice.


Find out more about the helicopter flight instructor training project.


Warning about ballistic aircraft recovery systems


A warning has been issued about the dangers caused by the unintended activation of emergency recovery parachutes fitted to aircraft. Recovery parachutes are set off by a high-energy rocket, which can kill or seriously injure people when they are activated on the ground. In an airworthiness bulletin, CASA says aircraft owners and operators, maintenance personnel and fire and emergency services staff need to be aware of the hazards associated with the devices. When activated a rocket exits the aircraft recovery unit at speeds up to 240 kilometres an hour. The ballistic systems are operated by a mechanical linkage from an activation handle located in the aircraft cockpit, with the rocket deploying a parachute designed to control the descent of the aircraft to the ground in an emergency.


The recovery systems have been fitted to several Cirrus models of aircraft as standard equipment for some years and can be retrofitted to existing aircraft. They can also be fitted to paragliders and experimental aircraft. A supplementary type certificate is available for fitting of ballistic recovery systems to Cessna 172 and 182 aircraft. Only B1 licensed aircraft maintenance engineers who have successfully completed a training course on the systems can undertake any inspections, removal, repair or other maintenance of the equipment. Owners and operators of aircraft are warned to make sure they tell their maintenance organisation that a ballistic recovery system is fitted to their aircraft when all other maintenance is being performed.


Read the ballistic recovery systems airworthiness bulletin.


It's a feast of safety seminars for pilots in May!


May 2102 is a busy month for AvSafety seminars for pilots. Seminars are being held in every state and the Northern Territory. In total there will be 22 AvSafety seminars in May, both in regional centres and capital cities. Seminars in the capitals are scheduled at Bankstown, Hobart, Darwin and Essendon. CASA's safety advisors will conduct the Bankstown AvSafety seminar on 22 May, Hobart on 3 May, Darwin 15 May and Essendon on 23 May. The central topics for all the seminars will be human factors in aviation and aviation resources on the web. The presentation and discussion about aviation resources on the internet gives pilots a practical run down of the 'official' sources of information they need. This includes looking at web sites for CASA, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Airservices Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology. All AvSafety seminars give pilots the chance to discuss local and national safety and regulatory issues with CASA.


Find the AvSafety seminar happening in May in your area.


Watch on Port Macquarie to Ballina airspace


A study of the class E airspace between Port Macquarie and Ballina in NSW has found congestion issues require ongoing monitoring. The study, conducted by CASA's Office of Airspace Regulation, was told there can be both airspace and radio frequency congestion in the area. However, at this point a change to the current airspace classification is not recommended, but rather continuing monitoring by CASA which can be escalated as appropriate. The study found lowering class E airspace in the Port Macquarie and Ballina regions would be unlikely to alleviate the congestion. Currently, there is class G airspace below class E in the area. A wide range of aircraft operations use the airspace including passenger transport, charter, recreational and sport, private and agriculture. Radar surveillance is available throughout the airspace, although coverage diminishes at lower altitudes. Stakeholders who were consulted by the study identified a number of issues in addition to congestion. These were the need for mandatory carriage and use of transponders without dispensations, the impact on operations of restricted and danger areas, the unscheduled loss of the Williamtown radar data feed and disjointed airspace when Coffs Harbour class D airspace is deactivated. The recommendations of the study address a number of these issues.


Read the Port Macquarie and Ballina airspace study.


Book now for the design and manufacturing seminar


Time is running out to book your place at this year's design and manufacturing seminar. This is a must for anyone involved in aviation design and manufacturing. The seminar will focus on a range of issues important to engineers and other people involved in aviation design and manufacturing. This year's seminar is being held in Brisbane and will cover five key topics - CASA's airworthiness engineering organisation, the proposed new rules covering approved design organisations, flight test safety, ageing aircraft and conformity verification. The event is a great chance to learn about what is new in design and manufacturing while catching up with other people in the sector. Past seminars have attracted more than 100 people and provided great opportunities for making business contacts. It is also an opportunity to ask questions of CASA and to provide feedback on regulations and safety oversight. The seminar is being held on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 May 2012 at the Central Eagle Street conference centre in Brisbane. CASA is not charging for the seminar and lunch and refreshments will be provided.


Book your place before Tuesday 18 May 2012 by contacting Lisa Lanza at: [email protected].


It's time to comply


The title of one of CASA's key regulatory tools changed on 16 April 2012. From that date Requests for Corrective Action became known as Non-Compliance Notices. This new name more accurately reflects the purpose of the notice - to inform an individual or organisation they may be in breach of the safety regulations. The notice requires a response which sets out the root causes of the regulatory deficiency, corrective action to addresses these causes and remedial action to fix the immediate effects of the deficiency. These notices can be issued to air operators, aerodrome operators, maintenance organisations or other holders of permissions from CASA. The new name makes it very clear that anyone being issued a Non-Compliance Notice must treat it as a high priority. This compares to the old title of the Request for Corrective Action, which could be interpreted to indicate there was a choice about whether or not compliance was required. Matters raised by CASA in Non-Compliance Notices are critical safety matters and they are important to regulatory compliance. The substance of the notices remains the same and it does not affect the way in which CASA's surveillance activities and audits are conducted.


Find out more about non-compliance notices.



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