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Australia Considers Changes to Maintenance Regulations

The new structure is more logically organized and provides what the authority describes as a “living set of aviation safety standards.”

Printed headline: CASA Part 145

In an effort to further simplify and harmonize its regulatory structure with international standards, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is considering changes to Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 145. The post-implementation review will look at the regulation governing approved maintenance organizations and the associated guidance material.

Part 145 was introduced in 2011, as part of CASA’s regulatory restructuring, which aimed to harmonize CASA regulations with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Part 145 was updated and migrated along with three other maintenance rules applicable to regular public transport: aircraft and aeronautical products (Part 42), engineer licenses and ratings (Part 66) and training organizations (Part 147).

Source: CASA.GOV.AU

Earlier versions of the maintenance provisions were housed in the Civil Aviation Regulations, a system the authority said was out of date, incapable of keeping pace with international developments and hard to use. The new CASR structure—originally created in 1998—is more logically organized and provides what the authority describes as a “living set of aviation safety standards that evolve as the aviation industry further matures and grows.”

CASA executed a post-implementation review of Part 66 in May 2016 (Inside MRO June 2017, p. MRO6); comments were solicited through February 2017. The goal of that project is to simplify and integrate small aircraft licensing into the overall CASR system. CASA received 70 industry comments in response to its request for feedback. In general, commenters asked for simplification, further international harmonization and a less complex system for license exclusions.

CASA has since committed to establishing a Part 66 industry working group to develop solutions and ultimately provide recommended changes to the rule.

The latest regulatory revisit—targeted at maintenance organizations—also kicked off with an opportunity for industry to provide feedback on “errors, omissions, gaps, unintended consequences or implementation issues” that have arisen since the rule’s 2011 promulgation. Industry was asked to provide comment on “key issues” for the agency to address during its review and to suggest any interim measures that might provide temporary relief pending formal rulemaking.

Initial CASA-identified issues that will be considered in the Part 145 review are bundled into three overall themes: specialist maintenance, complexity and international harmonization.

The comment period for the Part 145 post-implementation review closed on Feb. 16. There is no published time line for subsequent activities. 

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