• Senator Rex Patrick delivers his MayDay address, during which he promised to introduce a bill to force CASA to adopt the FARs. (Kreisha Ballantyne)
    Senator Rex Patrick delivers his MayDay address, during which he promised to introduce a bill to force CASA to adopt the FARs. (Kreisha Ballantyne)

– Kreisha Ballantyne

Independent senator Rex Patrick has promised to introduce a bill to the next parliament that he says would force CASA to adopt the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Speaking to around 70 people gathered in the AOPA Australia hangar in Bankstown last Sunday, Patrick,pledged to introduce a bill into the 47th Parliament that would require the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to abandon current general aviation regulations and, instead, switch t oFAA regulations.

"CASA has crushed general aviation in this country. It has taken the view that the best way to make sure there are no accidents in the skies over Australia is to ensure that it's overly burdensome and too costly to ever have an aircraft take off from a runway," Patrick said during his MayDay address.

"CASA has not listened to industry and they have not listened to the parliament. Regulation of general aviation should not equal destruction of general aviation, and it’s now abundantly clear a broom needs to be put through the authority. They have become a self-serving and destructive force in aviation in Australia.

"The industry has faced an unreasonable regulatory burden quite disproportionate to any benefit in safety outcomes. CASA basically treats small aircraft operators as though they are regular public transport operators like Qantas, Virgin and REX" .

The areas that Patrick believes CASA over-regulated include:

  • pilot Licensing and Category Rating (Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 61)
  • maintenance licensing (Part 66)
  • flight medical examination (Part 67)
  • air transport rules for smaller aeroplanes (Part 135)
  • training organisation requirements (Parts 141 and 142).

If re-elected Senator Patrick said he would introduce a bill in the form of the Civil Aviation Regulation Transition Review. This bill will require the minister to conduct an independent review to examine how FAA regulations can be translated into the Australian context.

The review would need to take submissions from stakeholders and its reports, including any interim reports, would have to be tabled in the parliament.

After concluding his speech, the senator invited questions from the audience. AMROBA’s Ken Cannane led with a discourse on the benefits FAA regulations would provide for the maintenance sector. Multiple speakers shared their personal stories of CASA over-regulation.

Marjorie Pagani, Angel Flight CEO, presented an update on the impact of the 2021 federal court ruling restricting community service flights.

AOPA CEO Ben Morgan concluded the meeting with a reference to Dick Smith’s comment, “While CASA’s been doing what’s it’s been doing Australia built the Nomad and the US built the space shuttle.”

The proposed time frame for the introduction of the bill to parliament is three months.

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