Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) will be able to register aircraft with maximum take-off weights in the 601-760 kg range after being issued with a modified Part 149 certificate.
The approval comes after more than two years' work by the team at RAAus, displaying to CASA that they were capable of administering aircraft with MTOWs greater than the 600 kg they were already approved for.
RAAus will be able to start registering aircraft in the new Group G category from 25 March this year.
"This approval from CASA is one of the biggest advancements in member privileges we’ve seen, and we are immensely proud to provide it to our members," said outgoing CEO Matt Bouttell in a communique to members.
"Since the regulations changed to enable us to apply for this privilege back in December 2021, we’ve needed to navigate an extremely complex set of regulations, adapt our processes, have regulations amended, perform a significant amount of safety analysis and conduct risk assessments, and engage professionally with our regulator.
"Right here, is one of the largest benefits for our members.
"Our next steps are to implement Group G methodically and compliantly," Bouttell said. "There is a sequence to enabling Group G become operational and the first major implementation activity is to educate our Chief Flying Instructors in mid-February when we’ll be hosting a conference in Brisbane, where much of the operational and technical information will be shared.
"We then need aircraft registered in this new Group, we need instructors trained, we need to publish the new Ops and Tech manuals, and there are internal processes that need finalising, etc etc.
"Regardless, we’re hopeful that come 25 March we’ll be able to start registering some aircraft and be able to ramp up from there."
Group G is intended to permit home-built aircraft to be made to stronger standards and still be registered with RAAus without having to sacrifice useful load. However, RAAus anticipates that owners of type-certified GA planes with original MTOWs below 760 kg will be able to take advantage of Group G.
Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) will not be able to be registered in Group G because the LSA standard restricts MTOWs to 600 kg for land planes.
Even though some LSAs such as the Jabiru J230 can take the full 760 kg, manufacturers would have to take the aircraft out of the LSA category and into type certification in order for the aircraft to be registered in Group G.
After the MOSAIC standards are completed and implemented, new aircraft could be designed specifically for Group G, which is expected to promote new designs with more modern technology in LSAs.