CASA has opened consultation on the proposed new CASR Part 119 and Part 135, the regulations governing air transport operations in small aeroplanes including charter.
Part 119 contains the rules around an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and Part 135 covers operations for aircraft below 8618 kg MTOW and a maximum of nine passenger seats.
According to the regulator, the new rules will force charter operations to apply similar safety levels as those of high-capacity regular public transport.
"In 1999, CASA was directed to 'minimise the distinction between charter and RPT operators'," CASA has stated. "To address this, Part 135 will set in place a common level of safety for operators who are authorised to provide 'air transport operations'–an amalgamation of current charter and RPT operations and standards–in order to carry passengers in small aeroplanes. The safety level applies irrespective of whether an operation is scheduled or non-scheduled ..."
Under the new Part 119, AOC holders will now be required to:
- identifiy key personnel
- designate one person as a Safety Manager
- make the CEO accountable for the safety system and regulatory compliance
- develop and maintain a Safety Management System (SMS)
- provide crew training and checking, or to arrange for this to be done by a Part 142 operator
- provide non-technical skills training to safety-critical aviation personnel
- prepare and operate to an exposition.
Part 135 will apply to all companies operating charter or low-capacty regular public transport (LCRPT), which will include most flying schools that also have charter operations on their AOC.
Among the key changes operators will need to deal with are:
- more comprehensive provisions for fuel to be carried with relief for VFR aeroplanes
- adopting the current air charter operations practice of single-engine aircraft operating over water beyond gliding distance. However, in addition to life jackets, a life raft will be required in certain circumstances.
- operators of Approved Single-engine Aeroplanes (ASEA - formerly ASEPTA) operating outside 25 nm from a safe forced landing area when over water will be required to present to CASA a risk management strategy
- for single pilot operations, the autopilot will be required to be serviceable before flight, unless there is a second pilot on board or the flight is in VMC by day
- introduction of take-off alternate within 60 minutes at the aeroplane's asymmetric cruising speed from the departure aerodrome if the weather at the departure aerodrome is below the landing minima
- introduction of an "approach ban", which will prevent the pilot-in-command from continuing an approach beyond the final approach point if the reported visibility or controlling Runway Visual Range (RVR) is continuously less than the minimum specified for the approach.
- all IFR aircraft will need a Terrain Awareness Warning System class B (TAWS B) when carrying 6 or more passengers
- pilots will need to be trained and certified competent for unique operation before undertaking unsupervised flights
- recurrent training and checking requirements, scaled to the nature and complexity of the operation.
"The new air transport operations will combine the flexibility of charter operations with the safety benefits of RPT's structured training and checking," CASA has stated.
Consultation on Part 119 and 135 will be collected via CASA's consultation hub and is open until 2 September.