• General aviation maintenance is to get its own suite of regulations. (Steve Hitchen)
    General aviation maintenance is to get its own suite of regulations. (Steve Hitchen)

CASA yesterday opened the consultation project for a suite of maintenance regulations dedicated to general aviation and based on best practices from other countries.

According to CASA, the intent of the new regulation suite is to streamline maintenance, reduce regulatory burden and lower costs while maintaining safety standards.

The new rules will apply to only those aircraft not used in passenger-carrying operations, such as flights by private owners, agricultural aviation, emergency services, search and rescue, and airwork.

Regular public transport, charter operations and joyflights will not be included.

"We will be working with industry on the development of these new regulations," a CASA statement says. "As a first step, we are inviting the general aviation community to tell us about the challenges currently faced and highlight opportunities.

"We also want industry to consider the practices of four leading aviation nations and provide us with feedback that will be used to choose the best model on which to base our new maintenance regulations for general aviation."

The four nations CASA has nominated are Canada, Europe, the UK and the USA. In considering the regulations of other countries, CASA Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the regulator was seeking to not "re-invent the wheel."

“We know there are tried and tested sets of maintenance regulations used by other leading aviation nations and we want to base our new rules on these as far as is possible,” he said. “These nations have a strong safety record underpinned by well-regarded safety regulation.

“I encourage the general aviation community to provide feedback on maintenance issues and the overseas models so we can move forward as quickly as possible in developing the new rules.”

CASA's industry-based Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) laid down the four basic principles that will underpin the new maintenance regulations:

  • minimum regulatory compliance burden consistent with ensuring a level of safety appropriate to GA
  • changes are intended to be cost neutral or provide savings for the general aviation and aerial work sectors wherever possible
  • a regulatory structure based to the maximum practical extent on an established and appropriate international standard
  • compliance with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

CASA says it expects the ASAP will now put together a working group to review industry submissions to select the best international model and have the proposed regulations prepared before the end of the year.

Submissions to the proposal can be sent to CASA via the Consultation Hub.

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