Classification of Operations CASA Policy

Classification of Operations

CASA Policy

Introduction

This document sets out CASA’s policy on the classification of aircraft operations, both as a matter of public policy and for the purposes of providing a framework for establishing aviation safety regulations under the Civil Aviation Act.  In developing this policy CASA has taken into consideration how aircraft operations are classified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as well as by foreign civil aviation authorities.  Previous unsuccessful attempts by CASA to re-define its policy on the Classification of operations have also been taken into account, as well as recommendations made by bodies such as the Seaview Air Commission of Inquiry.

Broad policy advice on CASA’s approach to the Classification of Operations policy has been provided by the Program Advisory Panel, established in September 1996 to provide advice and guidance to the CASA Review Programs which are revising the Australian regulatory framework and the role of CASA in the delivery of its regulatory responsibilities.

Policy Framework

Certain fundamental principles were adopted by CASA in developing the Classification of Operations policy, the first being recognition that CASA’s responsibility under the Civil Aviation Act is for the safety regulation of Australian civil air operations.  Ancillary to this is the principle that the safety of people is more important than the safety of property.  Because CASA does not have unlimited resources, it must discharge its responsibilities under the Act in such a manner as to minimise the risks of harm, injury or damage to persons and property to the greatest extent practicable.  This is achieved by adopting a risk management approach to safety regulation which takes into account:

  • the inherent riskiness of an operation; and
  • the consequences of an accident in respect of the operation.

Another principle is that the level of safety provided should be cognisant of the degree to which participants in an aviation activity are able to inform themselves of and avoid risk.  CASA’s responsibilities to individuals who are informed of the risks inherent in an aviation activity and voluntarily assume those risks, are considered less than its responsibilities to those who have limited knowledge or control of the risks they are exposed to.

The Classification of operations policy also takes into account

CASA’s responsibilities to those only indirectly involved in or affected by aviation.  Persons on the ground expect to be protected from aircraft “falling from the sky” regardless of the type of aircraft and nature of its flight.  Furthermore. society does not generally view as acceptable situations in which large numbers of persons are seriously injured or killed, even though they are not personally affected.

Finally. since CASA’s mandate under the Civil Aviation Act is limited to safety regulation. economic and commercial indicators have not been considered as major determinants of an operation’s classification.  This does not mean that it will be inappropriate to treat commercial operations as a group in safety regulations made under the Civil Aviation Act or otherwise differentiate between commercial and non-commercial operations.  What it does mean is that not all operations which have a commercial character need necessarily attract the same safety standard.  The payment of monies to an aircraft pilot, owner or operator. either to reimburse him for his expenses or to allow him to make a profit, is possible in all classes of operations.

Operations Classifications

Three classes of aircraft operations are established under the policy:

Passenger Transport amalgamates the current Charter and Regular Public Transport (RPT) categories into one new classification which attracts the highest level of regulation and safety oversight.

Aerial Work encompasses a wide variety of aircraft operations in which only essential crew are carried.  In addition to aircraft applications such as crop-dusting, this classification also includes all air freight operations, both scheduled and non-scheduled.

General Aviation brings within its ambit those aircraft activities which have historically been considered “private”.  “recreational” or “sport” in nature.  This classification involves the lowest level of CASA regulation.  Participants are taken to be knowledgeable of the risks they are exposed to and to voluntarily assume those risks.

The definition, attributes, inclusions, and regulatory requirements for each of these three classifications are set out in the Classification of Operations Synopsis which is attached.  CASA’s principal role in respect of each is also described in the Synopsis.  CASA carries out this role through the establishment of appropriate regulations and standards, monitoring compliance with them, and taking any necessary enforcement action.

It is important to note that within each classification, there is no single common aviation safety standard that applies.  Regulatory requirements within each class vary, depending on aircraft size, complexity. number of passengers. area of operation and a number of other factors which collectively determine the risks to safety posed by a particular aircraft activity.  These risks are managed by CASA by establishing appropriate regulations in respect of aircraft certification, maintenance, operational restrictions, and pilot licensing requirements.

Consultation and Implementation of the Policy

It is proposed that broad-based consultations on this policy take place through the eight Industry/CASA Technical Committees established under the Regulatory Framework Program. Comments provided by the Committees will be assessed and appropriate refinements made. It would then be appropriate to hold a limited number of public meetings in various locations across Australia to ensure the widest possible public discussion of the policy.

Detailed implementation of the Classification of Operations policy will fall to the Framework Program Technical Committees.  The Committees will be able to determine how the policy could most effectively be implemented by addressing specific regulatory issues significantly impacted by it.

Approved –by:’

Review Program Office

Civil Aviation Safety Authority -15 April 1997


Classification of Operations – Synopsis

General Aviation

Definition

broadly means personal transportation plus pure sport/recreational uses of aircraft

Attributes

  • operator is not in the passenger transportation business
  • except for personal transportation purposes, flying is generally the end in itself, i.e. “flying for the love of flying”
  • usually small aircraft
  • participants (crew and non-crew) are knowledgeable or informed of risks and consent to them

Inclusions

  • private owner/pilot carrying his family and friends
  • all current sport aviation activities
  • pilot “with a toolbox, and corporate aircraft
  • flight training activities associated with sport aviation
  • glider towing aircraft operations associated with sport parachuting
  • joy flights in aircraft with other than standard certificates of airworthiness (e.g. historical/ex-military aircraft)

Regulatory Requirements (subject to Technical Committee deliberations)

  • full range of aircraft certification categories
  • maximum 6 persons on board where aircraft has other than a standard certificate of airworthiness
  • appropriate pilot licence or certificate, with appropriate ratings and endorsements
  • usually Class B maintenance
  • no AOC, but may be oversight by representative Industry body
  • operational restrictions may be imposed, e.g. area of operation, number of persons or passengers on board
  • regulatory requirements within the classification are adjusted, as appropriate, depending on the nature of the aircraft and its operation
  • primarily to protect persons on the ground and other airspace users
  • provide oversight of Industry delegates and representative Industry bodies exercising administrative controls over participants
  • require that participants are adequately informed of the risks they are exposed to

CASA’s Role

Aerial Work

Definition

broadly means operations by persons in the business of operating aircraft (on a non-recreational basis) in which only personnel essential to the flight are carried

Attributes

  • aircraft is usually specially equipped and operated by an organisation having aviation as its primary business focus
  • personnel on board are knowledgeable of or informed of risks, usually on the basis of their employment
  • in general, these are commercial activities
  • air freight operations, scheduled and non-scheduled
  • flight training activities. other than those related to sport aviation
  • agricultural operations
  • aerial surveys, spotting, patrols
  • banner towing and other external load operations (other than glider towing)
  • police operations
  • aerial fire fighting

Inclusions

Regulatory Requirements (subject to Technical Committee deliberations)

  • full range of aircraft certification categories commercial pilot licence (or higher), with appropriate ratings and endorsements
  • Class A or B maintenance
  • AOC may or may not be required
  • operational restrictions may be imposed, e.g. area of operation
  • regulatory requirements within the classification are adjusted, as appropriate, depending on the nature of the aircraft and its operation

CASA’s Role

primarily to protect persons on the ground and other airspace users protect crew and other essential personnel exercise surveillance over and audit operators

Passenger Transport

Definition

broadly means operations by persons in the business of operating aircraft (on a non-recreational basis) to carry passengers

Attributes

flight is not necessarily run to a schedule aircraft is operated by an organisation having aviation as its primary business focus passengers are generally at arms-length from operator; passengers have some knowledge of but little control over risk factors. In general these are commercial activities

Inclusions

  • all RPT and Charter passenger operations balloon passenger operations
  • sightseeing flights
  • aerial ambulance operations

Regulatory Requirements (subject to Technical Committee deliberations)

  • full range of aircraft certification categories having standard certificates of airworthiness
  • commercial pilot licence (or higher). with appropriate ratings and endorsements
  • Class A maintenance
  • AOC required

regulatory requirements are adjusted. as appropriate, usually

  • full range of aircraft certification categories
  • maximum 6 persons on board where aircraft has other than a standard certificate of airworthiness
  • appropriate pilot licence or certificate, with appropriate ratings and endorsements
  • usually Class B maintenance
  • no AOC, but may be oversight by representative Industry body
  • operational restrictions may be imposed, e.g. area of operation, number of persons or passengers on board
  • regulatory requirements within the classification are adjusted, as appropriate, depending on the nature of the aircraft and its operation
  • primarily to protect persons on the ground and other airspace users
  • provide oversight of Industry delegates and representative Industry bodies exercising administrative controls over participants
  • a requirement that participants are adequately informed of the risks they are exposed to (INCOMPLETE)

CASA’s Role

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