• Mum Sarah and baby Lotus on Bill Bristow's Pilatus during an Angel Flight mission. (Angel Flight / Geoff Marsh)
    Mum Sarah and baby Lotus on Bill Bristow's Pilatus during an Angel Flight mission. (Angel Flight / Geoff Marsh)

Angel Flight CEO Marjorie Pagani has confirmed the organisation will proceed with legal action against the Civil Aviation Safety Authority over the new community service flight (CSF) regulations.

The regulations, which came into force on 19 March, place new standards on private pilots and aeroplanes conducting CSF missions.

Angel Flight believes that CASA has no power to enforce such standards, and will proceed with legal action on the basis of ultra vires, which states that the regulator has exceeded the power of their authority.

In their submission to CASA following the release of the regulations, Angel Flight stated that they believed the regulator was trying to restrict the types of missions that private pilots were qualified to fly.

"Rather than seek to improve training, education or any other matter related to general aviation safety, prior to issuing licences, the authority seeks to arbitrarily and selectively restrict the use to which licences can be put.

"CASA is seeking, by administrative direction, to curtail the rights of pilots to fly pursuant to the licences which CASA has granted, and similarly, curtail the rights of aircraft owners to fly their machines in the private category depending upon the health and residential location of their passengers."

Australian Flying believes the basis of the ultra vires argument is that CASA has no power to tell private pilots who they can and can't carry as passengers if the flight is not commercial.

Pagani told Australian Flying that Angel Flight will also argue that CASA has denied the organisation natural justice.

Pleadings are thought to be finalised by 31 May.

In March, Angel Flight was unsuccessful in having the Federal Court stay the new regulations, and Motions of Disallowance in both the House of Representatives and the Senate expired when the 45th parliament was dissolved earlier this month.

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