Speaking in this months regulators newsletter John Mc Cormick, CASA head says,
“At present each application for an unmanned aircraft systems operations is a standalone exercise and requires significant education of applicants,”
“With a rapid increase in activity in this sector there is a risk that unsafe decisions could be made without comprehensive guidance material being available.”
CASA will produce a series of six circulators advising industry and its own officials on managing safety of unmanned systems. Once the advisory material has been completed, CASA will launch a full review of current regulations that will also assess the long term integration of UAVs into normal aviation operations across all classes of airspace.
For more infromation have a look at this CASA page which mentions the advisorys
CASR Part 101 was first drafted nearly 10 years ago in anticipation of civil operation of UAS. At the time there was little civil operational experience to draw on from other States and as a consequence there was limited detail included in the Regulations or Advisory Circulars relating to pilot qualifications, risk management, airworthiness operational approval processes etc. Effectively the regulation only provided a basis for CASA oversight with minimal guidance to Industry.
The consequence of this situation is that CASA must treat every application for UAS operation as a standalone exercise, requiring significant education of applicants and a high risk of inconsistent responses and this is a safety issue. The rapid increase in activity levels and demand for CASA approvals for a range of operations from humanitarian, law enforcement, security and commercial activities increases the probability that without adequate guidance to Industry and CASA staff, unsafe decisions could be approved. The Aviation White Paper also includes an expectation that CASA will support the use of UAS.
The project objective is to provide more comprehensive guidance to Industry on the regulatory requirements and approval processes for commercial operation of UAS in Australia. The guidance will consider the long term integration of UAS into normal aviation operations in all classes of airspace.
The project will be undertaken in two phases.
Phase 1 will involve the development of a suite of Advisory Circulars:
- AC 101-1 – General
- AC 101-4 – Training and Licensing
- AC 101-5 – Operations
- AC 101-6 – Manufacturing and Initial Airworthiness
- AC 101-7 – Maintenance and Continuing Airworthiness
- AC 101-8 – Safety Management
Phase 2 of the project will consist of a review and where necessary amendment of CASR Part 101.