[Avionics Today 06-02-2016] The Australian Government’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) released a new exemption that relaxes flying experience requirements for helicopter pilots applying for Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) authorizations.
Since Sept. 1, 2014, applicants for an NVIS rating or endorsement have needed at least 20 hours of flight time at night as a pilot in command of a helicopter. This Part 61 requirement differed from previous rules, where the pilot did not need to acquire the whole 20 hours as pilot in command. After reviewing feedback from the aviation community, CASA concluded that the new requirement unintentionally introduced unexpected costs for operators, and that pilots were having difficulty accruing the additional pilot in command experience.
Under the new exemption, pilots who are applying for an NVIS rating or endorsement need to have 20 hours of aeronautical experience at night in a helicopter, which can be logged as pilot in command, pilot in command under supervision, co-pilot or dual flight. The operator can acquire up to 11 of these hours in an approved flight simulator.
CASA is currently conducting a broader review of how NVIS operations are regulated, which may result in future changes to the NVIS pilot licensing requirements.