Printed headline: Long Road
The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) recently published new guidance directed at maintenance organizations required to report defects. Advisory Circular (AC) 20-06 expands the scope of its predecessor to include all aviation maintenance reporting mandates, some of which were relocated to Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) in June 2011 as part of CASA’s regulatory reform project. The guidance is applicable to aircraft maintained under Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) Part 4B (i.e., charter operations) as well as aircraft maintained under the CASR Part 42 (i.e., regular public transport operations).
In addition to expanding the scope of applicable reporting obligations, the new AC replaces reference to “service difficulty reports” with “defect reports” and directs users to the latest defect-reporting portal (a system that was implemented in August 2016). In an effort to cut down on the number of unnecessary reports, the AC also sets forth a list of defects that do not require authority notification, including conditions where the fault cannot be confirmed or those caused by isolated maintenance errors.
The defect-reporting AC replaces the now defunct Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) 51-1(2). The undertaking—converting CAAPs issued in association with the CARs with ACs issued under the new CASRs—is one small piece of CASA’s broader regulatory reform project. In an effort to simplify and harmonize its regulatory structure with international standards, CASA is migrating regulations, including its suite of airworthiness rules (i.e., Parts 42, 66, 145 and 147) to the CASRs. The intent is to create a new regulatory framework that is more logically organized and agile. The project timeline sets forth milestones through 2021.
Other maintenance-related reform activities include post-implementation reviews of Part 66 (aircraft engineer licenses and ratings) and Part 145 (maintenance organizations). A technical working group for Part 66 convened in April 2018 to review issues identified through an industry consultation survey. Another working group began disseminating survey responses for Part 145 at its first meeting last November. The purpose of both committees is to evaluate industry feedback and provide recommendations to improve the CASR and further harmonize the regulations with the European Aviation Safety Agency system.