Updated and improved safety regulations for most passenger aeroplane flights are being proposed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Under the proposed new rules there will no longer be different safety standards for charter flights, with a single safety standard for charter and regular public transport.
This means there will be improved safety standards in some areas of operations for non-scheduled flights which are currently classified as charter.
Other key changes include provisions for the use of new technology such as synthetic vision and enhanced vision systems, requirements for underwater locating devices on some flights, requirements for additional medical equipment on aircraft, restrictions on rostering inexperienced flight crew and new training and checking requirements for cabin crew.
There has been comprehensive consultation on the proposed rules with airlines, smaller air operators, aviation industry representative groups and pilot and cabin crew unions.
CASA has now released the proposals in detail to the broader Australian aviation community for further consultation and comment. The comment period closes on 27 November 2015.
The proposed new rules – to be contained in Part 121 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations – align to the maximum extent possible with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and recommended practices.
The rules will apply to passenger and cargo operations in aeroplanes fitted with more than nine passenger seats or with a maximum take-off weight of more than 8,618 kilograms.
They consolidate all existing regulations for charter and regular public transport operations into one rule set, which is supported by a manual of standards as well as compliance and guidance material.
Many of the proposed changes will formalise current practices, while others will simplify compliance.
Other changes proposed include new terminology and rules for extended diversion time operations, clearer rules for operations on narrow runways, simplified equipment regulations, new datalink recording requirements, options for more flexible pilot training and checking programs, simplified pilot recency requirements, formalising a cabin crew to passenger seat ratio of one to fifty and new recency requirements for cabin crew.
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