Australia Signs MoU with Tonga Civil Aviation Division

Article supplied by CASA

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tonga Civil Aviation Division.

A hand holding a metalling pen, holding it over a stack of folded-over papers.

The MoU will see the 2 countries work more closely across technical, regulatory and safety matters.

CASA Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety, Pip Spence, said that the arrangement is one way in which Australia supports aviation safety in the Asia-Pacific.

Under the MoU, the Tonga Civil Aviation Division, Ministry Of Infrastructure may request, and CASA may provide, technical assistance or advice in relation to regulatory activities.

‘This MOU acknowledges Australia and Tonga’s roles as aviation safety regulators in the region and as participants in the Pacific Aviation Safety Office,’ Ms Spence said.

‘We are committed to promoting a positive and collaborative safety culture through our own aviation safety regulatory system as well as supporting the broader aviation community.’

‘I am pleased to have signed this agreement which acknowledges the importance of safety in the region and our support for the Pacific.’

The arrangement was announced by Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP, during a visit to Tonga last week.

How CASA ensures safety with a new airline

CASA ensures safety with new airlines

Article supplied by CASA

Last month saw Bonza Australia’s second aircraft, named ‘Bazza’, touching down at its Sunshine Coast base. It joins ‘Shazza’ as part of the Bonza’s new fleet.

Boeing cockpit

The arrival came as a specialised Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) team continued to review processes and documents to ensure Bonza meets the required aviation safety standards to obtain an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from CASA.

The process airlines go through to obtain a domestic AOC is complex and unique to each operator.

Factors include the size of the network, the number and type of aircraft involved as well as the level and maintenance of crew training.

While the CASA and Bonza teams work through the application process, here is some information about how CASA ensures that any new and existing operator flies safely in our skies.

Note that this information is general in nature. Any operators wishing to apply for an AOC should review our information for air operators.

How to get permission to fly

Operators conducting commercial operations in Australia must hold an AOC. This is a permission granted under the Civil Aviation Act. AOCs are issued for a specified period and initially for 1 year. An AOC will cover a specific commercial purpose, such as air transport operations.

The process

We treat the assessment of an AOC application as a project. We have a formal and structured method for managing all activities along with an agreed schedule and a definition of the roles and responsibilities of CASA staff.

The AOC certification process consists of 4 phases.

Phase 1: enquiry

This is where we help the applicant understand the process and requirements to make an application for an AOC There may be a number of pre-application meetings for initial issue AOCs and complex applications.

Phase 2: application

This is where the applicant will submit application forms and documentation to CASA. If suitable, the application will be formally accepted by CASA and it is at this point that the assessment process formally begins. A detailed estimate of fees will be provided to the applicant which must be paid prior to the assessment starting.

Phase 3: assessment

This is where all supporting documentation is assessed to determine if the applicant meets the legislative safety requirements. The first phase takes the form of a technical assessment of the documentation that describes how the applicant will operate safely, and to make sure Bonza meets the required aviation safety standards. This evaluation includes areas such as the applicant’s ‘exposition’ (operating manual) outlining how the airline will comply with legislative safety requirements. This includes:

  • maintenance procedures
  • safety management systems
  • pilot and cabin crew training systems.

During the documentation assessment, inspectors evaluate for completeness, adequacy, quality and adherence to the legislation requirements. We may also conduct a financial viability assessment at this stage, particularly where operators are planning passenger-carrying scheduled services.

The applicant also has a range of responsibilities in this process, including to make staff and facilities available to us to verify matters, providing us with information and evidence to show that all risks have been identified and mitigated.

Verification and testing is done to ensure that the applicant has the facilities, processes, and personnel to be able to comply with their exposition (operating manuals). We may also need to assess specific standards and procedures to grant the applicant certain approvals. We will conduct inspections of their proposed operations, facilities, aircraft and aerodromes. For large organisations, this might require a number of visits. Proving flights may also be required to complete an assessment.

Phase 4: certification

Where we are satisfied that the applicant is safe and meets the requirements, we issue an AOC.

Safety assurance

We conduct regular checks and surveillance on operators once they have an AOC.

We may cancel, suspend or vary the AOC if we are no longer satisfied that the holder meets the legislative safety requirements.

CASA Briefing

casa briefing

Article supplied by CASA

Director of Aviation Safety, Pip Spence

Getting young people interested in aviation and developing the expertise of those already in the industry is crucial to the wellbeing of our sector.

Every incentive helps so I was pleased to be able to announce at the recent Safeskies conference in Canberra that we are offering a new scholarship program for safety managers.

These are people who play a crucial role in maintaining our safety record and we will be offering 3 scholarships worth up to $5000 each to help them increase their knowledge and skills through professional development.

We are encouraging safety managers who are committed to the development of a healthy aviation safety culture to apply.

More specifically, we are looking for people with a minimum of 2 years’ industry experience who use their initiative and display a high standard of aptitude and leadership.

They must also be working in a key aviation position, or have worked in one previously, and if you’re in this category I would encourage you to apply.

We believe this this a great opportunity to help successful individuals build their aviation expertise in the same way our engineering scholarships have benefitted promising Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs).

We announced 5 recipients of the engineering scholarship at the Rotortech Conference in May this year. We received more than 100 high-quality applications and the winners from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia demonstrated a commitment to achieving the highest professional standards in their chosen fields.

First alphanumeric aircraft registration marks out nowThere’s more than a Spring change in the air with the arrival of Australia’s new alphanumeric aircraft registration marks. 

The first release of 1500 new marks went live on 23 September 2022 and was necessary because the existing registration system had reached its limit. 
Read more
Aviation medical consultation attracts big responseThe summary of consultation on our proposal to simplify and modernise our approach to medical certification has been published.

We received more than 600 responses to the consultation. The feedback received has been grouped into 5 themes.  
Read more
Read our latest RPAS advisory circularAn updated version of the Advisory Circular 101-01:  Remotely piloted aircraft systems, licensing and operations is now available. 

Changes to the document reflect updates that have been made to drone regulations and the supporting manual of standards over the past 12 to 24 months.
Read more
Update on Mallacoota AirportReintroduced instrument flight procedures at Mallacoota Airport are expected to come into effect on 3 November.
We’ve been working closely with Airservices Australia and the East Gippsland Shire Council to re-introduce instrument flight procedures as soon as possible. 
Read more
Readers recommend Flight Safety Australia!Almost 95 per cent of Flight Safety Australia (FSA) readers would recommend the magazine to others.

We survey the readers of our flagship aviation safety magazine every 2 years to gain insights that allow us to measure its impact on safety and behaviour.  
Read more
Have your say on control tower visual surveillance systemsWe’re proposing changes to air traffic services standards to enable electro-optical technology such as video cameras to be used for aerodrome control services. 

This will involve amending the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 172 Manual of Standards to allow visual surveillance systems (VSS) to be used at air traffic control towers, including remotely controlled facilities.  
Read more
FAA expands rotor blade checks on Robinson helicoptersAn Airworthiness Directive (AD) covering tail rotor blade cracks on certain Robinson helicopters has been superseded by a new version that covers R66 models and a wider range of blades. 

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released FAA AD  2021-19-08 last year requiring operators to check blades for cracking on some R44 and R44 II models.  
Read more
Discover how we ensure safety with a new airlineEver wondered what’s involved in approving an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) for a new domestic airline?  

We’ve outlined some of the steps we go through to ensure a new operator meets Australia’s stringent aviation safety standards. 
Read more
Deadline approaches for medical records move to myCASADon’t forget to sign up to myCASA or review your login details before we move our online Medical Records System (MRS) later this month.

We are moving MRS to sit within the myCASA portal to make more of our online services accessible from the one place.
Read more
CASA Wings Awards on againWe’re continuing our support of Australian Flying’s CASA Wings Awards through our sponsorship program.  

The program aims to improve and raise awareness of the importance of aviation safety for the benefit of the wider aviation community. 
Read more
New AvSafety seminar: Mitigating risks at non-controlled aerodromes CASA’s aviation safety advisors will soon be flying into your community to deliver our latest safety seminar for pilots: Non-Controlled Aerodromes: Manage Your Risks. 

You’ll hear about all the hazards of a non-controlled aerodrome – and listen to a vivid real-world case study of how things went wrong. 
Read more
Experts discuss accident investigationJoin our expert panellists as they analyse a collision on runway at Caloundra Airport in Queensland, involving a light aircraft and a helicopter. 
See a visual recreation of the accident and the radio calls that led up to the non-fatal accident. Our expert panel will discuss what was going on and their own flying experiences. 
 Read more
Upcoming webinars: Loss of situational awareness in the circuitExpand your piloting skills with our next online webinar series: Loss of situational awareness in the circuit. 
Using real life examples, our industry experts and experienced pilots will help you build your situational awareness and learn how to consider decisions and workload while flying. 
Register today for seminars on Tuesday 4 and 11 October.  
If you’ve missed any of our previous webinars, you can catch up via our YouTube channel. 

Multi-engine helicopter rating now available

casa update - multi engine helicopter rating now available

Article supplied by CASA

Helicopter pilots can now make use of a class-like system for flight crew licences relating to some multi-engine helicopters.

A man refueling a helicopter

This follows feedback from industry that the current approach of requiring a type rating for each multi-engine helicopter was restrictive.

Changes will be made to the Part 61 licencing rules over time, but in order to make this policy available immediately, an exemption has been put in place through a legislative instrument.

What this means

Pilots that hold a type rating for a specific multi-engine helicopter can become authorised to fly other specified multi-engine helicopters in the same class without obtaining a type rating.

Flight instructors and examiners also won’t need to hold a training or examiner endorsement for each type of helicopter in the class.

Pilots will still be required to undertake type specific training and an assessment (equivalent to a flight review) in a similar way to prescribed fixed-wing aircraft.

Thank you to the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel and in particular the flight crew licensing Technical Working Group that assisted us deliver this general aviation workplan initiative.

Further information

CASA – The Briefing

casa briefing

Article supplied by CASA

Director of Aviation Safety, Pip Spence Are you up to date with the latest aviation safety developments? Do you want to refresh your knowledge or enhance your piloting skills?

We’re giving pilots a terrific way to invest in their ongoing development through a new national campaign backed by government agencies and aviation industry groups.

The campaign drives home the important message ‘your safety is in your hands’ and draws together a wealth of important pilot safety information on a new online hub.

Resources such as webinars, podcasts, videos and other safety-enhancing products are available in one easily accessible forum we believe will be an invaluable source for the piloting community.

In developing the campaign, we drew on research into pilot attitudes to safety information from CASA and other sources, as well as Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) occurrence data.

Our research showed that most pilots found that educational resources produced by CASA were helpful, but they were not always aware they existed or knew where to find them.

Safety topics are based on ATSB accident and incident data and we will focus on a new theme each quarter, starting last month with non-controlled aerodromes.

This is a significant and always relevant subject that emphasises the importance of radio calls, planning and situational awareness.

You can find useful tips from experts in informative videos demonstrating best practices in these and other key areas.

The campaign will run through to July next year and topics in future quarters will focus on forecasting and navigating weather, flight planning and using controlled aerodromes.

Our thanks go to Airservices Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology for contributing information and resources on operating at controlled aerodromes and forecasting and navigating weather.

Additional help came from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and industry bodies such as Recreational Aviation Australia and the Australian Helicopter Industry Association.

The associations will be helping to get the message out to members and we are particularly keen to see rotary wing pilots use these resources after a number of accidents this year.

We are providing resources to help the associations and local flying schools encourage involvement, particularly from recreational and private pilot licence holders.

This pilot group believes it is extremely important to keep up to date with developments in aviation safety and has positive views about aviation standards.

We want to reinforce the concept that safety is in their hands, as well as the importance of thinking ahead and maintaining their skills.

However, the importance of the campaign’s message cannot be underestimated for those who are more qualified.

While CASA provides the framework for maintaining Australia’s safety, it is also a matter of individual responsibility.

We can all get blasé about any function we perform over a lengthy period but in aviation nonchalance can be fatal.

Flight Safety Australia has published many sad stories where the worst has happened as well as numerous articles where veteran pilots urge colleagues to refresh and update their knowledge throughout their careers.

Pilots owe it to themselves to check out these resources and I hope as many as possible do so.

All the best,


Multi-engine helicopter rating now available
Helicopter pilots now have access to a class-like system for most single-pilot multi-engine helicopters.

This follows feedback from industry that the current approach of requiring a type rating for each multi-engine helicopter could be simplified.
Read more
Operators can seek flight examiner course approval
Operators will now be able to seek approval from CASA to conduct their own Flight Examiner Rating Course (FERC).

From September 2022, CASA-approved operators will be able to conduct training for flight instructors who want to gain a flight examiner rating and examiners seeking an additional endorsement.
Read more
Medical Records to move to myCASA
We are moving our Medical Records System (MRS) to sit within the myCASA portal next month to make more of our online services accessible from the one place.

This means from the end of October, you won’t need a separate username and password to log in to MRS from to apply for or renew your medical certificates – you will be able to do this by logging into myCASA.
Read more
The sky’s the limit photo competition
Share your love of aviation with us. Send us your best aviation-themed picture and it could be included in Flight Safety Australia’s wall calendar for next year. Over $3500 in prizes!
Read more
CASA welcomes new safety panel membersWe’re pleased to welcome 2 new members to our Aviation Safety Advisory Panel.

Dr Tarryn Kille joined the Panel for its June meeting this year, and Shannon O’Hara is set to attend her first meeting in October.
Read more
ADS-B windfallHalf off the price of anything is always welcome news but when it also enhances safety, it should be a lay down misere.

Eligible operators can now get an Australian government grant that covers up to 50 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing safety-enhancing Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment. The grant is capped at $5000.
Read more
Review of flight trainingWe’re reviewing your responses to a General Aviation Workplan initiative that will see us expand the privileges of some flight instructors.

An advanced copy of the instrument allowing flight instructors with a grade 1 training endorsement to train, assess and grant a range of endorsements for certain activities was released for comment in August.
Read more
SMS milestones: one down, more to goPart 119 air transport and Part 138 operators conducting more complex aerial work operations should now be working toward the next safety management system (SMS) milestone in early December.

Operators in these categories will need to provide an SMS implementation plan by 2 December with the idea of providing full documentation by the June 2024 and being ready to start by December that year.
Read more
Progress on Mallacoota AerodromeStaff from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and East Gippsland Shire Council have been working hard to re-introduce instrument flight procedures at Mallacoota Airport.

Meetings over the past two weeks have established a clear plan to transition the airport to certification and to reintroduce the Terminal Instrument Flight Procedures.
Read more
Have Your Say on Avalon airspaceGet your submission in by 23 September to have you say on changes to airspace near Victoria’s Avalon Airport.

We’re proposing to remove Class E airspace at Avalon and replace it with Class D airspace.
Read more
Register for our free September aviation safety seminars.We want you to come and join us as our AvSafety Advisors fly into your community to deliver our latest safety seminars.

These friendly and supportive in-person seminars will enhance the safety skills of any aviation professional, no matter what level of technical knowledge, experience or flying time.
Read more
Share your close call Have you had a close call?

A close call is an experience you’ll never forget and often you’ve learnt a valuable lesson. Why not share your close call so others can learn from it too?
Read more

Aviation industry joins forces on new pilot safety campaign

CASA new pilot safety campaign

Article supplied by CASA

A new national safety education campaign backed by major aviation groups and aimed at encouraging pilots to increase their skills and knowledge launches today.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is working closely with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Airservices Australia, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), and industry bodies to enhance aviation safety through the ‘Your safety is in your hands’ campaign.

The new campaign encourages pilots to keep up to date with aviation safety developments, refresh their knowledge, invest in their ongoing development and, most importantly, stay safe.

CASA Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety, Pip Spence, says the campaign was developed with input from pilots and using ATSB occurrence data.

“With the help from the ATSB, we’ve been able to build our campaign and safety topics based on accident and incident data. Each quarter we will focus on a new safety topic with information and online resources available through the new CASA pilot safety hub,” Ms Spence said.

The CASA pilot safety hub provides a range of safety resources and useful information including webinars, podcasts, videos and products to enhance pilot safety.

“Airservices Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) have also contributed to our campaign by providing information and resources on operating at controlled aerodromes and navigating weather and forecasting,” Ms Spence said.

“Aimed at the Australian pilot community, we’ve been working on a range of resources for local flying schools and industry associations to encourage their students and members to get involved.”

As part of the national safety education campaign, CASA is also working alongside industry associations including Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) and the Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) to help spread these important safety messages.

RAAus Chief Executive Officer, Matt Bouttell, says providing the piloting community a resource hub for topics that affect all pilots when flying is invaluable.

“Having safety information and useful resources on-hand in the one place is an asset to our members and the wider piloting community,” he said.

AHIA Chief Executive, Paul Tyrell, said that they supported the campaign and would be looking at how to encourage their members to engage and think about aviation safety.

“Helicopter pilots face similar risks to traditional fixed wing pilots, and we welcome any activity or initiative to encourage pilots no matter what their aircraft type to think about safety.”

For more information about the ‘Your safety is in your hands’ campaign visit the CASA pilot safety hub –

Training and checking systems for flight operators

CASA training and checking systems for flight operators

Article supplied by CASA

The main role of a training and checking system is to keep skills up to date for:

crew members (flight crew, cabin crew, air crew, medical transport specialists, task specialists)

other staff safety-critical to operations.

What to consider

If you are developing a training and checking system for the first time, you should consider the following:

  • The earlier you start thinking about how to fit the system into your organisation, the easier it will be to implement.
  • Most of your employees are already required to undergo training and checking. Having a system brings these processes together to achieve a specific purpose.
  • The frequency of training and checking may be changing but in some instances you can use existing checks.
    • For example, the frequency of checks for some operators offering flights using visual flight rules (VFR) have changed. Under the old rules, a VFR charter operator only needed to ensure that pilots did a CASR Part 61 flight review every 2 years. Under the new Part 135 of CASR, VFR pilots will need to be checked every 12 months.

To learn more about what you need to do and by when visit Training and checking systems for flight operators.

Drone activity around Cairns Airport

casa: drone activity around Cairns airport

Article supplied by CASA

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), in partnership with Airservices Australia, Cairns Airport and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), have detected an increased number of drones being operated in controlled airspace near Cairns Airport.

To ensure the safety of those on the ground and in the sky, CASA has developed rules and regulations prohibiting drones weighing more than 250g from being flown within 5.5 km of a controlled airport without an exemption.

All drones, regardless of how much they weigh are also prohibited from flying over or in the departure or approach path – the airspace where traditional aircraft take off and land – of a controlled airport.

AFP Protection Operations Response Team, Sergeant Benjamin MacKlin says as we near the school holidays both locals and visitors need to be aware of the drone safety rules.

‘The July school holidays is our peak tourist season and operating drones in controlled airspace puts the safety of both Cairns locals and visitors at risk,’ he says.

As part of an ongoing national drone safety education campaign, CASA is raising awareness and understanding of safe flying around Cairns by working with the local council and Cairns Airport.

CASA Manager Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Operations, Scott Duffy says in Cairns, the no-fly zone includes many popular destinations including the Esplanade and central business district.

‘As drones continue to soar in popularity, it is important users inform themselves on where they can and can’t operate their drone, if they need to be licensed and the dangers of flying drones near airports.’

‘We’d like to encourage users to find out where they can safely fly by using one of the CASA-verified drone safety apps available now through the Know Your Drone website,’ says Mr Duffy.

CASA-verified drone safety apps and web applications give location-based information with easy-to-use maps about where you can and can’t fly your drone according to CASA’s drone safety rules.

‘Drone operators are also encouraged to test their knowledge of the drone safety rules by visiting our Know Your Drone website and taking the quiz.’

For more information about drone safety, visit 29 June 2022

Media contact

CASA MediaMobile: 0419 296 446Email: number: MR4822

CASA Briefing – February 2022

casa briefing

Article supplied by CASA.

We’ve all come to expect the unexpected from COVID-19 and the start to 2022 has been no exception.

Once more our resilience is being tested but as indications emerge that the latest wave of Omicron infections may be peaking, at CASA we are focusing on our plans to work with industry on a safe recovery.

It was so good to see so many of you engaging with our flexible approach to transitioning to the flight operations regulations when we hit our critical 2 December milestone.

We also invited you to get ahead of the international curve with our new digital licences and to try out our refreshed website.

The website has improved search and navigation functionality from both mobile devices and desktops, and we have listened to your feedback.

We remain committed to helping you recover from the ravages of the coronavirus epidemic with plans to remove regulatory bottlenecks and assist the general aviation sector to operate efficiently and safely.

This aligns with commitments made by the federal government in its Aviation Recovery Framework which, according to the reports I have read, has been generally well-received by industry

Engineers’ scholarships now open

We’re offering three annual $5000 scholarships to help up-and-coming engineers achieve their Part 66 licence.

The scholarships will be open to people who have worked for a minimum of 2 years in aviation and have started structured training towards a maintenance licence, or who are doing on-the-job training. 

Fit to work after COVID-19?

Pilots, air traffic controllers and other members of the aviation community can find new guidance on our website to help them determine their fitness to return to work after a bout of COVID-19

A self-assessment checklist steps them through a series of questions about their COVID-19 experience and recovery.

Pilots, air traffic controllers and other members of the aviation community can find new guidance on our website to help them determine their fitness to return to work after a bout of COVID-19

A self-assessment checklist steps them through a series of questions about their COVID-19 experience and recovery.

AWB highlights R22/244 governor control issues

An Airworthiness Bulletin (AWB) has been released about governor control anomalies in Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters.

The bulletin applies to aircraft with an Engine Monitoring Unit (EMU) and is in response to several cases of the governor failing to control revolutions per minute under normal conditions.

CASA Wings Awards

We’re proud to sponsor the Australian Flying magazine’s CASA Wings Awards, which recognise the efforts of the many people who have dedicated their lives to general aviation through individual effort or as part of an aero club or flying school.

We wish to congratulate WardAir and Bathurst Aero Club – both based in the NSW Central Tablelands town – which were recognised as Flying training organisation of the year and Aero Club of the Year respectively.

Navigating New Rules

Can’t locate that Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) you always refer to? Don’t know where to find the form to apply for something? It may no longer exist.

When the new flight operations rules began on 2 December, the guidance material and forms also needed to change.

Get your pilot guides to understand our rules

Our guides to help pilots and operators understand the rules of the air are now updated and refreshed.

A fully reviewed and revised Visual Flight Rules Guide (VFRG) and an updated Part 91 Plain English Guide (Part 91 PEG) are now available to download.

Drama in the skies: listen to our Close Calls podcast

What caused a worrying change in engine sound over the highlands of Papua New Guinea? How did the crew of a Citation II corporate jet react to a catastrophic engine failure?

The answers to these questions and more lie in our gripping Close Calls podcast series.

Check out our new website

Our new look website is now up and running. The new site is mobile friendly on all devices and designed to make it easier for you to find the information you’re looking for, know and follow the rules, apply for a licence, permission or authorisation, and use our online services. 

We’ve worked closely with people across our aviation community throughout all stages of development.

Have your say on proposed drone regs amendments

The drone industry is rapidly expanding. To keep pace with growth and demand in the sector, laws governing drones must be regularly reviewed to provide effective and efficient safety regulations for all airspace users and the community.

We are consulting on proposed amendments to drone rules that will benefit industry and operators.

Advanced air mobility set to take off

Advanced air mobility is a step closer to reality after we signed a memorandum of understanding in December, in collaboration with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Airservices Australia, and the state of Victoria.

Advanced air mobility refers to emerging aviation technologies, such as electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, to move people and cargo.

Find out how we will support growth and innovation in the advanced air mobility sector.