Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is seeking comments on three new proposed amendments to the rules for small and large aircraft air transportation operations as well as maintenance.

The proposed new rules for larger aeroplane air transport operations aim to consolidate the rules into a single document suite and make them more operationally focused and easier to use.

The larger aeroplane rules are applicable to multi-engine aeroplanes with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) more than 8,618kg or a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) of more than nine seats. They are also applicable to single-engine aeroplanes with a MOPSC of more than nine seats and MTOW of 8,618kg or less.

The new rules largely retain existing regulatory requirements but introduce some new requirements—notably to reduce the safety differential between charter and regular public transport operations but also to bring Australia up to date with the international standards of other leading national aviation authorities and Annex 6 of the Chicago Conventions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

CASA is also currently working to develop a new set of maintenance regulations tailored specifically for general aviation (GA), that will be based on the example of best practices in other leading aviation nations.

The new regulations seek to meet an overarching objective of streamlining maintenance requirements, minimising the level of regulatory burden and reducing costs while still maintaining the high aviation safety standards expected by all Australians.

Last year CASA established an Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) made up of industry representatives. In July, the ASAP endorsed the following key principles that will underpin the proposed changes:

•    minimum regulatory compliance burden consistent with ensuring a level of safety appropriate for the general aviation and aerial work sectors
•    any changes are intended to be cost neutral or provide savings for the general aviation and aerial work sectors wherever possible.
•    a regulatory structure based to the maximum practical extent on an established and appropriate international standard
•    compliance with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for general aviation.
Comments are due by August 28.