• Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS). (Airbus)
    Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS). (Airbus)

As of 2 December, passenger-carrying operations in aircraft with MTOWs of more than 5700 kg or those fitted with 10 or more passenger seats will need to carry Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS).

Currently, TAWS has been a requirement for commercial passenger or cargo turbine aeroplanes with maximum take-off weight of more than 15,000 kg or carrying 10 or more passengers. Now the rules will be extended to piston-powered aeroplanes as well.

CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Pip Spence said ensuring the safety of passengers in commercial aircraft was a priority for the safety authority.

"TAWS is a valuable safety tool that has been shown to prevent accidents involving collisions with terrain," Spence said.

"Widening the number of aircraft required to be fitted with the technology is in keeping with CASA’s mandate to protect Australia’s strong safety reputation.

"It complements existing safeguards that include ramp checks, audits and other surveillance measures."

The new rules will also apply to commercial cargo turbine or piston-engine aeroplanes with MTOWs of more than 8618 kg.

CASA is considering further TAWS requirements that stem from recommendations made by the QLD coroner following the crash of VH-OZO whilst attempting to land at Lockhart River in 2020.

The regulator told Australian Flying that they are considering the recommendations for TAWS in smaller aircraft and may seek industry feedback next year.

The coroner found that lives could have been saved if the Cessna 404 had carried TAWS, a position that CASA accepted.

CASA published a proposal to amend the TAWS rules in September this year.

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