Modernised rules for Civil Aviation Safety

The Australian Government has today announced new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) which will streamline and modernise the rules which apply to all flight operations in Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the rule changes will provide clarity to pilots and fight operators and are scalable to the complexity of aviation activity in Australia.

Mr McCormack said the six new regulations are collectively known as the Flight Operations Suite and represent a significant milestone in the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's (CASA) ongoing regulatory reform agenda.

He said the new rules also reflect the safety commitment shared between the Federal Liberal and Nationals' Government and the many thousands of companies and individuals within the Australian aviation industry.

“These new rules have been developed in close consultation with our aviation industry, which is recognised as one of the safest in the world but we can always do better and we must,” Mr McCormack said.

“Where appropriate, the regulations are outcomes-based rather than prescriptive, allowing pilots, owners and operators to make appropriate decisions for their operations to achieve required safety outcomes.

“The rule changes will come into effect in March 2021; allowing time for the development of guidance material and manuals.

“I expect the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to continue collaborating with industry to ensure a smooth transition.”

Mr McCormack said the changes reflect the expectations held by successive Governments for cost impacts and proportionality to be a consideration in the administration of Australian safety regulation.

“While safety will always remain the primary consideration, a strong and sustainable industry naturally requires other factors to be considered,” he said.

“While these expectations from Government have always been clear, they have not featured in our primary legislation.

“The general aviation sector in particular has made it clear that these considerations are essential for them to prosper in an otherwise difficult business environment.

“I recognise there are other important elements to ensure our regulatory system remains both strong and appropriate, so at the earliest opportunity next year, and with bipartisan support, I will seek to make some small but significant amendments to the Civil Aviation Act 1988.

“I am pleased we can advise of changes and look forward to ongoing bipartisan support in this area.

“Together with the new rules, I am confident that these small changes will help Australia maintain its enviable safety record and a vibrant aviation industry which is particularly important to regional communities and economies.”

CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody said achieving the milestone was no small task and it required a lot of hard work and commitment from many people in CASA and the aviation community.

“I thank everyone who contributed to these rule sets. It is testament to our new consultative processes that we were able to ensure feedback from subject matter experts and people across aviation was received, carefully considered and incorporated as required in a timely and professional manner,” he said.

Aviation Safety Advisory Panel Chairperson Patrick Murray said CASA has listened to the aviation community's views during development of the new regulations which helped generate better and more effective rules.

“I am pleased CASA is committed to continuing to work with the aviation community through a range of consultation mechanisms to complete the development of the rest of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations,” he said.