CASA today opened consultation on CASR Part 43 dealing with maintenance rules for GA aircraft operated in the private, airwork and limited categories.
CASR Part 43 has been developed to simplify maintenance rules and distance them from those applied to commercial and charter operations. CASA has said the new ruleset will be largely based on the USA's FAR 43.
"Part 43 will apply to maintenance of aircraft engaged in private and aerial work operations and limited category aircraft," CASA has stated. "This includes aircraft engaged in flight training, mustering, firefighting and emergency service operations, search and rescue, aerial surveying and photography, towing, and private flying.
"Part 43 will provide additional flexibility for the general aviation sector in various areas but does not change the rules that apply for aircraft used for air transport operations. Aircraft that are occasionally used in non-scheduled air transport will continue to be maintained by either a Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) 30 approval holder or a Part 145 approved maintenance organisation, regardless of other general aviation uses."
According to CASA, the major changes that Part 43 will bring in are:
- maintenance organisation approval will not be required for carrying out maintenance of aircraft, engines, or components other than repairs to instruments, major repairs or modifications to propellers and specified maintenance of aircraft certificated in the transport category. Note: Aircraft maintenance technician certificates (AMTC) will be an available alternative to maintenance organisation approvals for maintenance of propellers and instruments, subject to conditions set out in the MOS
- a new individual authorisation - Inspection Authorisation (IA)
- CAR 30 approval holders will have the option of:
- taking up a Part 43 AMTC authorisation, or
- continuing to do business under the licence privileges of licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, or
- transitioning to a future maintenance regime under the air transport continuing airworthiness (ATCA) maintenance rules Note: The ATCA maintenance rules are unrelated to Part 43 and are being developed under a separate CASA/industry project
- annual or progressive inspections will form an essential component in the management of airworthiness of an aircraft.
Although 80% of the GA community provided feedback to CASA called for Part 43 to reflect the FARs, the Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA) has pointed out that for CASR 43 to work as the US system does, changes to other CASRs will be needed.
CASA is planning two face-to-face information sessions and one on-line session in the next three weeks to engage with the GA community on the proposed new rules.
Consultation on CASR Part 43 is set to close on 19 June with a view to implementing the new rules in September.
More information is on the CASA consultation hub.