New rules set to improve safety for 'Warbird' operations

Media Release

DC173/2016

04 November 2016

  • Changes to aviation safety regulations will improve arrangements for the operation of ex-military and historic aircraft
  • The Australian Warbirds Association will play a key role in implementation

Australia's aviation system has received a boost today with new regulations set to create a consolidated and safer operating environment for civilian operators flying historic military aircraft, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said.

Mr Chester said the change will provide for all operators of warbirds to be members of an approved oversight organisation, which will streamline and simplify regulatory arrangements.

“The consolidation and clearer set of rules will provide more certainty around operations of these unique types of aircraft,” Mr Chester said.

“This covers ex-armed forces and restored aircraft and will improve the safety and administration.

“A new Part 132 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) for the regulation of limited category aircraft has been developed in consultation with this specialised industry sector.

“The new Part 132 will also benefit warbird operators by including for the first time, personal use, glider towing, and air racing as authorised operations under the regulations.

“The Australian Warbirds Association will play a key role as an administrator and oversight body conducting compliance on aircraft under this category.

“While the chance of an accident may be low we should always look to improve our regulatory arrangements. I'm delighted to see this change put in place and look forward to seeing these historic aircraft continue to safely operate in Australian skies,” Mr Chester said.

Australian Warbirds Association CEO Mark Awad said the Australian Warbirds Association welcomes the signing of CASR Part 132 into law.

“Whilst this legislation has undergone a lengthy development process, we and all other stakeholders have been thoroughly consulted by CASA at every step of the way,” Mr Awad said.

“We believe Part 132 will prove to have a positive impact on Australia's warbird community; noting that its passage is a step in the right direction for CASA and its long-running process of regulatory reform.

“We represent a unique group within the broader general aviation sector, and are proud of our collaborative approach in working with other peak bodies and organizations, CASA, the Department of Infrastructure and all other stakeholders towards a stronger, more vibrant and sustainable industry for all.”