• An engineer works on a turbine engine at a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) base. (Steve Hitchen)
    An engineer works on a turbine engine at a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) base. (Steve Hitchen)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack has committed the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to creating maintenance regulations specifically for general aviation.

In a statement released on Saturday, McCormack said the objective of the new regulations was to minimise both the regulatory burden and associated costs.

CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody said the new rules would be based "as far as praticable" on best practices from other nations such as the USA.

ā€œCASA is also working on improvements to the regulations covering maintenance personnel licencing and aircraft design and manufacturing,ā€ Carmody said.

"I am very pleased CASA will be drafting these new regulations with comprehensive guidance material in plain English to support them.ā€

According to the Minister, the decision to create new maintenance regulations stemmed from the work of the General Aviation Advisory Group (GAAG) and the Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) GA Study.

McCormack also highlighted issues with aviation training and said the industry's inability to attract and retain professionals was impacting the sustainability of aviation as a whole. Greg Russell, former Airservices head and now chairman of The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF), has conducted a review of skills and training, and is due to make recommendations to the government by the end of this month.

McCormack also noted the problems with the Part 61 licensing regulations and welcomed submissions to GAAG, which is charged with recommending solutions where possible.

"I will continue to listen and consider carefully the issues being raised by the GA sector," he said, "and the government and portfolio aviation agencies will respond appropriately."

"We will deliver meaningful reforms for the benefit of general aviation while maintaining the high aviation safety standards demanded by all Australians."

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