Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Civil Aviation Act 1988

Civil Aviation Regulations (Amendment)

Subsection 98 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General. may make regulations for the purposes of the Act and in relation to the safety of air navigation.

The purpose of the Regulations is to make a number of miscellaneous amendments of the Civil Aviation Regulations. The need for these changes has arisen over a period of time. Several of the amendments correct oversights and update or remove obsolete or redundant provisions. However. a number of the changes are necessary in order for the Civil Aviation Authority to properly carry out its function to regulate aviation safety. These amendments include, the insertion of regulation 43B (to ensure that, aircraft flight time is properly recorded) and the amendment of regulation 55A (to ensure that members of flight crews hold a current medical certificate). Another amendment with considerable safety implications is the insertion of subregulation (1A) in regulation 255 which makes it an offence to smoke in an aircraft toilet.

Details of the amendments are as follows:


This regulation provides that the Civil Aviation Regulations (the Regulations) are amended as set out in the proposed Regulations.


This regulation inserts a definition of "daily inspection" into subregulation 2 (1). Schedule 5 to the Regulations is the CAA Maintenance Schedule and Part 1 prescribes. the content of a daily inspection in accordance with the Schedule. However, item 22 of Schedule 8 also lists a "daily inspection". Schedule 8 is not limited to the CAA Maintenance Schedule and may include another maintenance schedule (and daily inspection) prescribed in the aircraft's approved system of maintenance. The amendment is designed to make clear that the reference to "daily inspection" includes die daily inspection required under either maintenance schedule depending on the circumstances.


One of the crucial factors in maintaining airworthiness control over an aircraft and its components is knowing the amount of time that the aircraft has been in service. When the recent amendments relating to maintenance were promulgated, the need for a regulation by which the Authority can enforce the recording of flight time was inadvertently overlooked. This omission is corrected by the insertion of regulation 43B.


Offences relating to the flying of an aircraft without the appropriate licence, certificate, rating or endorsement are prescribed in the Act. Regulation 55A of the Regulations, as it presently stands, operates to exclude student pilots from the need to hold a medical certificate. However, in the interests of aviation safety it is considered essential that flight crew members hold a medical certificate before undertaking essential operational duties relating to an aircraft during flight time. There is presently no sanction to ensure that flight crew members hold a current medical certificate. The amendment provides the necessary legislative sanction. The note is included to let readers know where related offence provisions are to be found.


This regulation omits regulation 99A. Regulation 99A gives Air Traffic Control limited power to close certain airspace in the circumstances set out in the regulation but, if the Authority is satisfied that the aircraft is fitted with the proper equipment and the crew can operate the equipment, Air Traffic Control can allow an aircraft to operate in the closed airspace. It has been found in practice that this requirement has generated considerable extra work for the Authority and cost for the industry while not adding anything to safety. It is considered that under regulation 100 Air Traffic Control has sufficient power to regulate the movement of air traffic in their airspace so the option of refusing entry into a control zone is still available.


Regulation 138 currently provides that only the Authority may issue or approve flight manuals for aircraft. The purpose of this regulation is to amend regulation 138 to provide for more flexibility in relation to flight manuals. Under the amended regulation the Authority will be able to authorise suitably qualified persons to issue flight manuals on behalf of the Authority. Authorised persons are appointed under regulation 6 of the Regulations. The amending regulation also makes a number of technical amendments to regulation 138 to ensure consistency within the provision and with the Regulations as a whole. In particular, subregulations 138 (3) and (3A) are being amended to omit references to "owner" and substitute "holder of the certificate of registration" as it is the holder of the certificate of registration for an aircraft who is responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft.


At the present time there is no power in the Act or the Regulations to prevent an individual from carrying fare paying passengers at night in a single engine aircraft or from flying a single engine aircraft under the Instrument Flight Rules while carrying fare paying passengers. Such restrictions are considered necessary in the interests of public safety and particularly to protect the travelling public. The amendments provide the necessary legislative prohibitions Regulation 7 relates to aircraft operating at night under the Visual Flight Rules and regulation 8 relates to aircraft operating at night under the Instrument Flight Rules.


This regulation inserts penalties at the foot of various subregulations of regulation 235. This corrects an earlier oversight. There is also a minor amendment of subregulation 235 (9) to make clear the responsibilities of the pilot in command.


Among other things, regulation 251 stipulates that seat belts must be worn at all times when an aircraft is flying at less than 1,000 feet above the terrain. In certain situations, for example "coastwatch" operations, this means that observers cannot move from side to side in an aircraft without the aircraft climbing to 1,000 feet. This requirement can be inconvenient and disruptive to the operation. The amendment allows the Authority to issue directions as to circumstances when the stipulation does not apply.


Recommendation 31 of the Report of the Air Safety Regulation Review Task Force concluded that smoking in aircraft toilets was a serious safety issue. The Task Force recommended that the penalty for smoking in aircraft toilets should be significantly increased. This regulation gives effect to the recommendation.


Regulation 258 prescribes the conditions under which an aircraft may undertake a flight over water. At present, paragraph 258 (a) provides that, if the Authority gives prior approval, flights over water need not meet the prescribed conditions. The amendment will allow the Authority to issue directions which will have general effect in relation to flights over water not in accordance with the prescribed conditions. The amendment will obviate the need for the Authority to give individual permissions.


This inserts a new regulation 262TA. Under the existing regulation 262T. the Civil Aviation Authority has the power to approve details of training courses relating to the handling of dangerous goods. The proposed regulation provides a mechanism by which the Civil Aviation Authority can ensure that the persons who conduct training courses in the handling of dangerous goods are appropriately qualified.


The amendment of subregulation 280 (1) is consequential on a previous amendment of the Regulations which omitted regulation 54. Subregulations 280 (2) and (3) are of a transitional nature and are no longer required.


Regulation 15 inserts a new subregulation in regulation 308. Regulation 308 allows the Authority, in relation to aircraft, to exempt aircraft or persons from compliance with specified provisions of the regulations. The exemption may be made subject to conditions. The new subregulation imposes a penalty if a condition in an instrument of exemption is contravened.


This regulation provides the necessary savings provision that is required because of the omission of subregulation 138 (1AA) effected by proposed regulation 6. It will ensure that persons who were authorised persons in relation to Australian aircraft under subregulation 138 (1AA) keep their status and are authorised persons under subregulation 138 (1) as amended by these Regulations.

The Regulations commenced on gazettal.

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