Jump to content

CASA Briefing Newsletter - January 2019

Recommended Posts

From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody

Successfully finalising outstanding projects and regulatory changes has been a priority since I stepped into the position of CEO and Director of Aviation Safety. It was very clear there were too many issues which had simply dragged on for too long. This situation was not fair on the aviation community and meant CASA resources were continually being juggled between ongoing commitments and the need to address new issues and challenges. It made it harder to make progress on organisational, regulatory and service improvements. As we launch into 2019 the good news is very substantial progress has been made on outstanding projects and reforms. The new suite of flight operations regulations has been made, the aviation medical system has been reformed, new training regulations are in place and the policy on low level frequency use has been settled. We have a new and improved approach to safety surveillance and the transition to the new sport aviation regulations is underway.


Of course, there is still much work to be done in relation to many of these issues, but we have jumped significant hurdles that in the past have slowed us down. A key benefit of our achievements, which have been made with the contribution and co-operation of a raft of people across the aviation community, is that we can spend more time and effort focusing on the future. We can identify further improvements and reforms that will contribute to better aviation safety outcomes and seek better ways of doing business and delivering services and safety support to the aviation community. One area in which more will be done is the delivery of online services for functions such as licensing and aircraft registration.


Being a regulator means there will always be critics. Some will say we are too prescriptive, too heavy handed and not flexible. Others will say we take too long to deliver outcomes and are not closely enough engaged with the aviation community. At times these comments may be true, but I can assure everyone we will be working hard in 2019 to be the best possible aviation safety regulator for all sectors of the aviation community and the broader Australian public.

Best wishes
Shane Carmody

Latest news

Book now for special Avalon safety forum

It’s time to book a place at an important safety event at this year’s Avalon air show. CASA, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Airservices Australia are presenting the FlySafe 2019 Aviation Safety Forum. A range of safety experts will share their knowledge on positive safety reporting cultures and will work though responses to a hypothetical accident at a busy airport. The hypothetical will bring to life the roles each aviation agency plays in learning from accidents and improving safety. FlySafe 2019 is a first for the Australian aviation community and is open to Avalon air show trade visitors, exhibitors and conference delegates. The program includes presentations from Airservices CEO Jason Harfield; ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood; and CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody. The forum will also hear from Group Captain Nigel Ward, Director of the Defence Flight Safety Bureau, and from the Chief Commissioner of New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission, Jane Meares. The forum is free, but places are limited. The forum is being held on Thursday 28 February 2019.

Book a place now at the Avalon air show FlySafe 2019 forum.

Drone registration and accreditation scheme

Consultation is underway on the details of a proposed comprehensive drone registration and accreditation scheme. CASA is planning to introduce the drone registration and accreditation scheme progressively in the second half of 2019. Under the proposal all commercial drones will need to be registered, while recreational drones weighing more than 250 grams will be registered. The cost has yet to be determined by CASA. It will depend on whether the drone is flown for fun or profit. It is likely to be a $20 or less annual fee (per person) for recreational drones and for some model aircraft operators. There will also be an annual registration fee likely to range from $100 to $160 per drone for each commercial drone. Accreditation will involve online education, based around a video, and an online quiz. All recreational drone flyers 16 years and older will need to be accredited, as well as drone operators in the excluded category, which includes under two kilogram commercially operated drones. Accreditation will need to be renewed every three years. It is proposed that people will need to be 16 years or older to register a drone, with younger people needing to be supervised by a person over 18 years old. The Federal Government has supported the introduction of a mandatory accreditation and registration system for drones. This was in a response to the recommendation from a Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport inquiry.

Find out more about proposed drone registration and accreditation and have your say by 22 February 2019.

Drone surveillance underway

Data on drone activity near major aerodromes is being collected to inform CASA’s development of new remotely piloted aircraft safety strategies. CASA has engaged a contractor to conduct the surveillance during the first half of 2019. The surveillance will be carried out progressively at mainland capital city airports, as well as around Sydney Harbour, a known drone hotspot. Drones will be monitored at locations near aerodrome boundaries and in and around approach and departure paths. At Sydney Harbour drones will be monitored that infringe restricted airspace. In most instances, the drone surveillance equipment can see where a drone is operating, as well as showing where the controller and operator is located. The technology also provides the serial number or ID of the drone where available. While the drone surveillance is initially being conducted as a trial to gather data, it may be used by CASA for enforcement of the remotely piloted aircraft safety regulations.

Keep on top of smoke and fumes

Detailed guidance is now available on the management of odours, smoke and fumes during flights. The advice is valuable for all charter and regular public transport air operators. About seven per cent of aviation occurrences relate to fumes and smoke, so it is important for operators to have strategies and processes in place to mitigate risks and respond to events. Cabin crew members need to know how to recognise and respond to fumes and smoke, particularly fumes from air supply systems. Operators should ensure cabin crew training covers the sources and types of on-board fumes, recognising the presence of oil and hydraulic fluid fumes, the potential for impairment, procedures to apply in fume events and the reporting of fume events. Sometimes oil fumes do not smell like oil and may typically be described as mouldy/musty or dirty socks. Hydraulic fluid often has a distinctive and recognisable odour that is described as acrid, unpleasant or pungent. Training should include standardised odour descriptors typically used for air supply system-sourced oil and hydraulic fluid fumes, so aircrew can effectively communicate and report the presence of fumes or smoke.

Find out more about managing fume events.

Five airspace reviews released

A number of reports from airspace reviews have been released. These cover airspace around aerodromes at Rockhampton, Mackay, Wagga, Launceston, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. The reviews found the airspace arrangements at each location are fit for purpose. At Wagga there are some concerns from airspace users about the mix of traffic operating in a common traffic advisory frequency environment. However, there was little support for the re-establishment of a control tower and risk analysis does not support the move. The review found there should be continuing consultation between airspace users to reinforce local procedures and communication between aircraft, as well as continuing education and information campaigns by CASA. At Alice Springs the review found there were opportunities for better management of traffic, while at Launceston changes could be made to the common traffic advisory frequency coverage. The Ayers Rock review noted Airservices Australia considers there is merit in conducting a trial of lowering Class E airspace to enhance service delivery to instrument flight rules aircraft. Airspace users – including visual flight rules aircraft – could benefit from fitment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast avionics.

Go to the Rockhampton/Mackay, Wagga, and Alice Springs airspace reviews.

Go to the Ayers Rock review.

Go to the Launceston review.

Night aerial fire-fighting makes history

History was made in early 2019 with the first night aerial firefighting operations used to combat an out-of-control bushfire in Victoria. The Rosedale blaze in East Gippsland burnt through 12,000 hectares in less than four days in a fast-moving fire front. A total of 60 water drops were made at night on the fire, using helicopters equipped with a snorkel system that collects water from nearby dams and lakes. Aircraft crews also used night vision goggles to map out the fire, helping to provide detailed information to firefighting crews on the ground. CASA has given approval for night firefighting trials by Emergency Management Victoria, allowing aircraft to fight blazes for up to four hours after dark if they have been fighting the same fire during daylight hours. There are now two certified night fire-fighting operators, Kestrel Aviation in Mangalore and Coulson Aviation in Ballarat. Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp, said the helicopters were deployed as part of the continuing trial into night fire suppression operations in Victoria. Mr Crisp said the Rosedale fire was a good example of a fire that could benefit from night operations and indications were that the operation went well, with further opportunities to learn.

Seminars to support pilots

CASA’s popular AvSafety seminars for pilots will continue during 2019. The current round of seminars focuses on developing pilot skills in three key areas – communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. A practical scenario is used to explain the concepts of threat and error management. Pilots work through relevant defensive flying behaviours aimed at addressing human factors challenges encountered in single pilot operations. At each seminar pilots will be given special cards with key information on communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. The cards can be kept in a new AvSafety resource folder to build a library of critical safety information. Cards and folders are only available to people who attend AvSafety seminars.


In February 2019 seminars are being held at:

  • Shepparton
  • Melbourne
  • Strathalbyn
  • Jindabyne
  • Nowra
  • Somersby
  • Roma
  • Temora
  • Forbes
  • Lethbridge
  • Adelaide.

Book a place now at your local AvSafety seminar.

Engineering seminar

CASA is holding an engineering safety seminar in February 2019 at Essendon. The seminar will cover a range of topics including leadership and mentoring for aviation maintenance engineers, specialist maintenance certification, Flight Safety Australia maintenance articles and a regulation review update. Engineers, heads of airworthiness and maintenance, other people from airworthiness organisations and maintenance training personnel will all benefit from attending the seminar. This is a great professional development opportunity, allowing people to talk with CASA maintenance experts and ask questions. The Essendon engineering seminar is being held on Thursday 14 February 2019.

Find out more and book a place at the Essendon engineering seminar.

Flight instructor workshop

A flight instructor safety workshop is being held in Darwin in February 2019. The workshop includes case studies, discussion topics and group exercises. Some of the topics covered will be maintaining good situational awareness in the training environment, anticipating student actions, understanding Part 61 requirements, use of GPS in the instructional environment, online resources for instructors and students and maximising the benefit of flight reviews. CASA’s aviation safety advisers will run the free workshop, which will include time for questions and feedback. The Darwin workshop is being held on 6 February 2019.

Book your place now for the flight instructor workshop.

In brief

  • Consultation is open until 10 February 2019 on revised proposed new fatigue management rules. The proposals are of interest to holders of air operator's certificates, Part 141 certificate holders and some flight crew licence holders. Comment on the proposed fatigue changes now.
  • A new printed edition of the very popular Visual Flight Rules Guide is now available. The guide features plenty of diagrams, charts and maps to support easy-to-read information on all visual flight rules operations. Get your copy now.
  • The fourth annual printed edition of CASA’s Flight Safety Australia magazine is out now. The 2018 Flight Safety Australia Collectors' Edition is a bumper collection of more than 50 stories published in the online magazine during the year. Get your copy of Collectors’ Edition now.
  • An updated airworthiness bulletin on the calibration of compasses is available. This includes advice on calibrating and compensating aircraft magnetic compasses, as well as providing data on the maximum allowable deviations to enable compasses to be maintained to their type design. Read the compass bulletin.
  • Keen to find out more about the proposed new general aviation maintenance regulations? Watch a video now of a presentation on what the proposals mean for the general aviation sector. Go to the video.
  • Informative 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Admin said:

It is likely to be a $20 or less annual fee (per person) for recreational drones and for some model aircraft operators. There will also be an annual registration fee likely to range from $100 to $160 per drone for each commercial drone.

that will go down well

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, mkennard said:

I wonder why they won't deliver the VFR guide by pdf.

Someone asked that of CASA on Facebook a while back and the answer was that CASA didn't want pilots to be hanging on to out of date documents so they decided the only options would be looking at the website or buying a paper document. I don't think that CASA could see that their answer was nonsensical - the paper VFR Guide is more likely to be the one not to be updated; every other CASA document is available as a pdf!

  • Agree 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, fly_tornado said:

that will go down well

I can understand the need to regulate commercial drone operations and ensure that commercial drone operators are aware of the safe operating requirements

for their usually substantial drones, but who are CASA kidding with a requirement to register any drone over 250 grams in size?



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, djpacro said:

Someone asked that of CASA on Facebook a while back and the answer was that CASA didn't want pilots to be hanging on to out of date documents so they decided the only options would be looking at the website or buying a paper document. I don't think that CASA could see that their answer was nonsensical - the paper VFR Guide is more likely to be the one not to be updated; every other CASA document is available as a pdf!

The irony also being an internet connection is required, perhaps a paid account and suitable device...... yet casa pushes the "fallibility" and unreliability of internet connections and devices......

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Register for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now