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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CASA Responds to AHIA’s Part 61 Concerns

By Emma Kelly, Australia and Pacific Correspondent

Australian aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has responded to the Australian Helicopter Industry Association’s (AHIA) criticisms of the proposed Part 61 (flight crew licensing) regulations, accusing the AHIA of being “wide of the mark” in a number of its claims.

The new regulations are designed to bring Australia’s rules in line with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, but the AHIA has called for the planned September implementation to be delayed as it believes the new regulations will add further cost to industry, bring no safety benefits and are too complex.

CASA Director of aviation safety John McCormick says many of the AHIA’s claims do not reflect the close consultation that CASA has been undertaking with the local industry. He says in developing new regulations CASA always “strives to achieve the optimal safety outcomes while ensuring the rules do not impose unnecessary costs or administrative burdens.”

CASA says the AHIA’s comments reflect an “incomplete understanding” of the manual of standards for Part 61, which sets out in detail the aeronautical knowledge and flight standards required for all pilot licenses, ratings and endorsements. The authority says “minor amendments” have been made to these to “enhance their content and improve their layout” following a high level of consultation with industry.

AHIA’s claim that CASA has not developed “three tier format” legislation, with the third tier in plain English, are refuted by CASA which points to a package of 16 easy-to-follow information sheets as well as information seminars throughout the country.

CASA rejects the AHIA’s claim that elements of Part 61 can encourage unsafe practices, pointing out that following constructive feedback from industry, changes were made where unintended consequences were revealed.

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