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From Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick


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November 2009


From Director of Aviation Safety


John McCormick


[imgALIGN=left]http://casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/media/gallery/images/mccormick/mccormick1.jpg[/imgALIGN]I know there are many people across the aviation industry looking forward to the release of the Federal Government’s aviation white paper. This policy document will be an important blueprint for the future development of our industry. I told the Australian Airports Association national convention this week that the white paper will present CASA with new challenges, as well as new opportunities. One area where I expect there will be continued emphasis is the rollout of safety management systems. I told the Airports Association convention:


"In September last year the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, in its review into the administration of CASA, recommended that the Australian National Audit Office examine CASA’s implementation and administration of its safety management systems approach. This audit has now commenced. It is looking at activities in relation to implementing and administering CASA’s safety management systems approach, including CASA’s contribution to the development of a state safety program, which is an International Civil Aviation Organization requirement. The Australian National Audit Office audit will also be looking at the resources and governance arrangements surrounding these programs. I welcome this type of independent scrutiny. Safety management systems are a key part of managing risk and to have an audit of this type can only help in their implementation across the industry.


"The Office of Airspace Regulation in CASA has a comprehensive work program which has already undertaken a number of airspace assessments at aerodromes across the country. We will be redrafting this work program to reflect the priorities of the new Australian Aviation Policy Statement - the White Paper.


"My goal is to continue to develop CASA into a regulator with the capabilities to function effectively and efficiently in a constantly evolving domestic and international aviation environment. We will meet the Minister’s expectations by being a regulator that is robust, efficient and effective and maintain Australia’s enviable safety record – expectations you no-doubt all share. There is a lot of work still to be done but I am confident that CASA is on the right track."


Best regards and safe flying


John F McCormick


Time to comment on draft maintenance regulations


The aviation industry is being asked to have its say on the complete draft of the proposed new maintenance regulations. Drafts for Civil Aviation Safety Regulations parts 42, 66, 145 and 147 have been released. This is another step in the extensive consultation process CASA has undertaken in the development of the new maintenance suite of rules. The maintenance suite covers the maintenance requirements for aircraft and aeronautical products, licences and ratings for engineers, as well as the approvals and requirements for maintenance and maintenance training organisations. As well as publishing the draft regulations, CASA has provided drafts of the supporting manuals of standards, acceptable means of compliance, guidance material and a ‘users guide’ to part 42, which is the key set of regulations.


CASA is aiming to finalise the new maintenance suite of regulations by mid 2010, with the applicability and effect of the rules to be phased in from 1 November 2010. Regular public transport operators and the maintenance organisations servicing them will be the first to move to the new regulations. These organisations will have two years to transition to part 42 – which covers the maintenance responsibilities of operators – and part 145 – which covers the requirements for maintenance organisations. When this first phase of transition is complete, parts 42 and 145 will begin to apply to all other classes of aircraft operations, with a further two year transition period. The applicability to the other classes of aircraft operations is reliant on the introduction of the new operational suite of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. CASA will consult further with the general aviation sector at this stage of transition to the new rules.


All licensed aircraft maintenance engineers will have their licences or maintenance authorities converted to licences under part 66, which covers licences and ratings, from 1 November 2010. Licenced engineers who qualify under the previous licence system after November 2010 will be granted the equivalent of a part 66 licence during a four year transition period. Part 147, which covers maintenance training organisations, will also come into effect on 1 November 2010, with organisations already recognised under transitional regulations able to move directly to a part 147 approval. Other maintenance training organisations will move to the new system during the four year phase-in period.


The closing date for comments on the draft maintenance regulations is Friday 18 December 2009. Read the draft rules in detail and have your say.


Extra class E airspace at Williamtown


New class E airspace has been created around Williamtown aerodrome at Newcastle. Class E has been designated from 4500ft up to the base of the existing class E airspace at 8500ft, within 25 nautical miles of the aerodrome. This airspace will be operational when the military air traffic control services at Williamtown are not active. The military currently provide air traffic control five days a week to manage RAAF operations and to integrate civilian flights with the military operations at Williamtown. This means the new class E will operate on weekends and during the military Christmas/New Year stand down period. The RAAF also operate an air-ground radio service providing traffic information within 12 nautical miles of the aerodrome below the new class E airspace when RAAF air traffic control is not operating.


CASA’s Office of Airspace Regulation has reviewed a number of studies of the airspace surrounding Williamtown and recommended the additional class E. Safety will be enhanced by the separation of aircraft operating to instrument flight rules in the new class E airspace. Safety is also improved by the requirement for all aircraft that can power a transponder to carry and use a transponder, which enhances aircraft visibility to the air traffic control systems and other aircraft. The air traffic controllers will not provide approach control services and will not have detailed knowledge of specific arrival and departure procedures. The new airspace arrangements at Williamtown came into effect on 19 November 2009.


Read the full details in the AIC.


Adelaide airspace changes


A number of changes have been made to the airspace architecture around Adelaide. The changes follow a review last year by CASA’s Office of Airspace Regulation. The review found the current airspace architecture within 50 nm of Adelaide provides airspace protection and the air traffic services required for air routes, controlled and passenger airport operations and other aviation activity. However, the review found there was scope to adjust the current airspace architecture to achieve improvements in safety, efficiency and equitable access.


Improvements include Adelaide control zone steps from the zone boundary to 50 nm standardized for 360 degrees surrounding Adelaide; Parafield control zone size increased to the north east and north east entry/departure routes be reversed; and changes to several danger areas relating to the Parafield training area and also to a number of restricted areas in the Adelaide/Parafield region. These changes came into effect on 19 November 2009. Additional changes recommended by the review will follow at a later date. The ERSA has also been updated to reflect changes to the west of Parafield, however, the route return to the east is still to be included. A NOTAM has been issued to correct tracking details in ERSA. In March 2010 in the next amendment cycle ERSA will be updated.


Copies of the 19 November 2009 Adelaide Visual Terminal Chart and other related charts may be purchased from local pilot shops or via Airservices Flying Guides and Publications. For more information contact CASA’s Malcolm Wardrop.


Updated pilot guides now on-line


The on-line versions of the very popular and valuable Visual Pilot Guides and the Visual Flight Guide have been re-launched. The guides were temporarily unavailable after changes were made earlier this year to procedures at six general aviation aerodrome procedures (GAAP) airports. There are 21 pages of information on GAAP operations in the Visual Flight Guide, covering departures and arrivals, pilot responsibilities, air traffic services and runway and taxiway operations. An important change made earlier this year was the requirement for a clearance to be given by air traffic control before aircraft can enter or cross all runways at GAAP aerodromes. The Visual Pilot Guides covering Archerfield, Melbourne, Sydney and Jandakot include the new GAAP procedures, as well as providing pilots with easy-to-understand explanations of operations at each location. Due to the Adelaide air space changes, effective from 19 November, the Visual Pilot Guide for Parafield is still under review and will be released shortly.


Download the Guides.


Drug and alcohol tests find few positives


More than 18,000 drug and alcohol tests have been conducted across the aviation industry over the last six months. These tests have been carried out under both CASA’s random testing program and by aviation organisations required to have drug and alcohol management plans. CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety told a Senate Committee recently there have been seven confirmed positive alcohol tests and 17 confirmed positive drug tests. Mr McCormick said for alcohol tests that is a positive rate of 0.04 per cent and for drugs a positive rate of 0.4 per cent. Random testing is being conducted at major, regional and small aerodromes. Testers are being deployed seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with up to 120,000 safety sensitive aviation personnel subject to testing. Alcohol testing is conducted in a similar way to police random breath checks on the road, while drug testing is a two step screening process. Where a positive result is indicated a sample is then sent to an accredited laboratory for confirmation.


CASA has also been auditing the drug and alcohol plans of more than 1600 aviation organisations to make sure the requirements of the drug and alcohol regulations are being met. These organisations include air operators, maintenance and engineering organisations, aerodromes, air traffic service providers and rescue and fire fighting services. Organisations must have plans for employees and contractors covering drug and alcohol education, testing, counselling and rehabilitation.


Find out more about the alcohol and drug program.


Keep up-to-date on airworthiness directives


Are you unsure about how Australia’s new system for managing airworthiness directives operates? Then it’s time to find out more. The new streamlined airworthiness directive system has been operating since October and all aircraft owners, operators and maintainers need to understand the changes. CASA is no longer issuing airworthiness directives that simply mirror those issued by overseas safety authorities. Instead, directives issued by the National Airworthiness Authority of the country where an aircraft type was designed are now automatically mandated in Australia. This means if you operate a Cessna you must comply with all airworthiness directives issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration. Existing directives that have previously been issued in Australia still apply, unless they are cancelled or amended.


The new system is simpler and faster because it eliminates the double handing that took place in the past, where CASA had to re-issue overseas directives. To make the job of keeping up-to-date with overseas directives easy, CASA is publishing them on its web site. Emergency directives will still be sent directly to registered operators and everyone can keep informed about all other directives by simply subscribing to the airworthiness directives email list. Subscribers get regular emails advising of all new directives.


Find out more about airworthiness directives.


New look AOCs being issued


New look air operator’s certificates are now being issued by CASA. The new arrangements are for air operators to be issued a certificate, as well as an operational specifications document. The change to the content and format of air operator’s certificates brings Australia into line with International Civil Aviation Organization requirements. The certificate itself is a one page document which sets out the air operator’s business name, contact details, dates of issue and expiry and contact details for CASA. Key operational information is now in the operational specifications document. This includes aircraft types, approved areas of operations, navigation and other approvals, approved service providers such as maintenance organisations and training and checking providers, low visibility permissions and a general statement on dangerous goods.


When air operators receive the new documentation both the certificate and operational specifications will be issued at the same time. In future the air operator’s certificate will only be re-issued when the certificate is renewed or information alters, such as a change of address. The operational specifications will be re-issued every time there is a variation to operations. The first group of air operators being issued the new documents are regular public transport and international operations. Other operators will be given the new documents when they next vary or renew their air operator’s certificate.


Find out more about the new air operator’s certificates.


We're closed over Christmas - so get in early for services


If you think you may need regulatory services from CASA between Christmas and New Year, now is the time to act. CASA will be closed for all regular services from Christmas Day until 4 January 2010. This means it will not be possible to renew licences or medicals, make changes to certificates or obtain other permissions. If you will need these regulatory services over the Christmas-New Year period, please contact CASA now. Naturally, CASA will be on call to help with urgent and unavoidable requests and to address safety issues. However, the holiday on-call resources will be limited and priority will always be given to urgent aviation safety matters.


All of CASA’s offices will be closed from end of business on Thursday 24 December 2009 until the start of business on Monday 4 January 2010. To contact CASA during this period please ring the switchboard number – 131 757 – and follow the prompts.


Find more information on the Christmas shutdown.


Help for aircraft registration


Guidance and information for people registering aircraft has been updated. A revised advisory circular on the registration of aircraft was published last month to provide current information on forms, new transfer regulations and the availability of ferry flight certificates. The circular sets out the requirements for registration, how to contact CASA, a summary of forms and their purposes, how fees are charged and who can be the registration holder. A new section on the transfer of registration provides the timetable for informing CASA for both the sellers and new owners of aircraft. Information on ferry flight certificates looks at importing aircraft into Australia under VH registration, which can offer considerable cost and time savings. Finally, the advisory circular notes that flying an unregistered aircraft in Australia is an offence that can attract up to two years jail.


Read the aircraft registration advisory circular.


Maintenance training organisation advice


Revised advisory material for organisations conducting aircraft maintenance engineer licence training and exams is now available. The civil aviation advisory publication covering certificates of approval for training organisations was up-dated this month. The publication provides guidance for both existing maintenance training organisations and those applying for approval to conduct training. It sets out the criteria and standards CASA expects an organisation to meet before being granted approval. There is information on applying for an approval to train, fees charged for the issue or variation of a certificate of approval for training and the phases CASA works through to assess applications and issue certificates. Detailed information is also provided on the qualifications and other requirements for personnel, systems for quality control, management of procedures manuals, approvals for courses and standards for premises and facilities.


Read the advisory on maintenance training organisation approvals.


Air traffic service standards to be updated


The standards required to be met by air traffic service providers are under review. This has been triggered by a number of changes and proposed changes to air navigation. CASA has set up a project to review the manual of standards for Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 172 – air traffic services. Four areas of change are the main focus of the new review project. They are the decision to establish class D air traffic control services at current general aviation aerodrome procedures (GAAP) airports, the need to update wake turbulence standards, the review of visual separation standards and performance based navigation. Several changes will be needed to the manual of standards for part 172 to bring the document in line with CASA’s directive to introduce class D services at GAAP airports in April next year. Wake turbulence standards will come into line with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and will include the standards applicable to A380 aircraft. Visual separation standards will also be aligned with the International Civil Aviation Organization air traffic management standards.


Find out more about the CASR Part 172 project



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Guest Walter Buschor

Hold on to your hats,


I tried to read some of what it all means but unless one has a law degree it's just a lot of rubbish.


Better to just go flying.!





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Yes Walter, it's not the clearest communication I've ever seen.


I get very suspicious where information is floated at the height of the pre-Christmas rush where virtually no one has the time to seriously consider it, do meaningful research and make meaningful comments.


On many occasions I've seen subsequent inappropriate changes being introduced with the tag line that it "followed consultation".


For you John, speaking obliquely through third party bodies as you did - I told one of the Councillors for the City of Kingston, who by the way has the quaint idea that Moorabbin Airport should be maintained as a safe and vibrant airport, that I was seriously concerned at the safety issues resulting from the loss of one runway to factories,and the potential inducement of rotor effects from newly build huge factories and DFO stores on the airport.


I went on to tell the Councillor that the move to get rid of the Golf Course at the eastern end of the airport, presumably to be replaced by more factories might have the effect of making an engine failure after takeoff less safe.


I also added that even though Moorabbin Airport annual movements are well down on their 1989 peak, new regulations limiting the number of aircraft in the circuit seemed to be leading to congestion delays and confusion further out, and a steady exodus from our City airports to surrounding fringe airports, where circuit numbers were beginning to exceed the City airports without the benefit of towers and other safety features, and by a million to one chance could lead to operators being able to use low traffic numbers as a reason for more non-aviation industrial development.


I had to stop there because the Councillor was looking at me with incredulous disbelief.



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Guest Maj Millard

Here's my take on it for what it is worth. I have been an observer of CASAs' various methods of operation since 1968, and more directly in the past 20 years as an Aircraft Maintenance Eng. I have also worked for 12 years under the US FAA system, as a licensed A & P mechanic. (Airframe /Powerplant) in the US. As I read it Mr Mc Cormick is continueing the implimentation of the US style FAR system to this country, IE: Far 103, 47, 149 etc. This may not necessarily be his decision alone, as the wheels have been sort of in motion now for some years, except everybody, including CASA and industry, have been resisting and dragging their feet as usual for years now, as you are aware. It is what bought Dick Smith undone, after all the CASA and industry wankers said "no way".


Having worked with, and under the US system, I can tell you it works !, don't be scared of it, it is far easier to understand, and work with, than the hodge podge rubbish half this/half that that we have had to endure here in his country, for the last 40 years or so.


Mr Mc Cormick having been an airline pilot with operations no doubt into, and out of, the States will know that this is a better system, which is why he will be in favor of it. He also mentions ICAO a lot, which is an integral part of the US Fars, and will need to be adhered to, and respected more in this country, not just as a convienance, but as a way of doing business as it should be.


As usual we will get massive opposition from all Australian industry, and internally from CASA, simply because they don't know any better, and simply view any change as more additional work. This will be Mr McCormicks big challange.


Why do I think/know the FAA FAR system is better for us ? Because it lays everything out clearly, with no grey areas and BS, like we have now in the Australian regs. Why do CASA always activly oppose it ?...because they know that it will streamline, and simplify their jobs, and will actually require them to get off thier axxxx, and out of their little hidey holes and actually be professional for a change !!. The new system will probabily require less of them also, as it is much simplier to interperate, and understand, for all. That means some of them will have to go.


Anyway what I was going to say, is that I feel Mr McCormick is going to have his hands well and truley full, with the new FARs and ICAO implimentation, without having us to worry about. We are at the bottom of the pack in terms of his attention, and will get more so as he gets busier. This current initial attention towards us, is just the normal 'I'm here, listen to me power-trip type stuff '. If we are all smart, keep our noses clean, and pretty much stay below the radar as much as we can, we hopefully will not get the future attention we are fearing. If however I have underestimated the man, and I am wrong, we must stand by our history and good recent safety record, and resist any unreasonable changes, just like any other entinty in Australian aviation would..........And Oh, one of the really good things about the US FAR system, is that it must, by goverment legislation, activly stimulate the existance of aviation........................................Maj



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Maj, I agree with you that the American FARs are good - I worked as a pilot and DER there. However CASA has long ago dropped the policy to harmonise with the Americans and now favour the EASA regulations. Unless you are running an airline, I don't like anything I hear about EASA t has had an adverse impact on GA in the UK which was bad enough under the CAA regulations. There is much added bureacracy and onerous requirements in CASA's draft maintenance rules and the associated documentation which will lead to increased costs.


This is what the Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association has to say about the draft regulations in their newsletter of 1/10/09.


“CASA recently presented the Attorney General’s drafts of “safety” regulations that are part of the new maintenance package and what it clearly demonstrates is the impracticality of trying to adapt the European regulatory requirements in an Australian regulatory system.


Ever since Government/Parliament decided to two-tier the aviation regulatory system and also apply the Criminal Code it is becoming increasingly obvious to all, except those brain-washed by the EASA system, that the outcome will be higher regulatory imposts than is current without any improvements in safety.



The Government conditions are making it hard for CASA to provide outcome based rules. How can you apply the Criminal Code to “outcome-based” law that is suppose to allow participants more flexibility?...


Now that these drafts have been seen, it is obvious that aviation needs to return to three tier aviation requirements. Act, regulations and CASA issued ‘aviation safety standards’.


The proposed rules will have a negative effect on your long term viability.”


PS - the FAA dropped the statement about fostering aviation after the Valuejet accident.



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