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Part 61 Industry asks why CASA can’t get it right Politics involved??

The Helicopter industry is furious that CASA can’t get it right. The following advice to members was released in the November Newsletter:

 

cid:part1.04040101.03010909@bladeslapper.comAustralian Helicopter Industry Association Limited

PO Box 1796 Carindale Qld 4152 Australia

Telephone: +61 (0) 415 641 774

Email: secretary@austhia.com

     ABN 66 161 185 628

 AHIA members, helicopter industry, service providers and all those who make it happen!   

 Attached is the November edition of AIRWAVES – AHIA’s Official Journal. 

 Please enjoy the articles about the trend to heavier helicopters and the pending expansion of the offshore activities as new contracts are being finalised. My editorial expresses concern about the industry and CASA working hard without any hope of meeting the launch date for CASR Part 61 (Flight Crew Training) on 4 December 2013. The helicopter section starts at page 12.

 Our association, like many others raised their concerns CASA would not have the final standards and associated expositions ready by the launch date. This was important for helicopter operators as the new legislation requires substantial investment for upgrading of training helicopters and a restructure of both course and school designs. Substantial expense will be incurred re-qualifying current instructors after they attend ‘gap training’ to meet new CASA rules. Any mistake in the parent legislation can be very expensive when some larger training helicopters are in the $2,500 – $4,000 per hour operating costs.

 Fortunately CASA cancelled the launch date and nominated a new start date for 1 September 2014. It was agreed by the AHIA and CASA project officers that the Manual of Standards supporting the CASR Part 61 is not yet a workable document, and dedicated people from both CASA and the AHIA are still working to correct errors and clarify some protocols for future use by now nervous operators.

However, the relationship between CASA and industry working groups (the latter are volunteers) soured when CASA advised the media ‘the delay was caused by the need to give the aviation industry more time to prepare for the commencement of the new regulations. Despite CASA’s education and information campaign on the new licensing regulations many pilots and people working in flying training are only starting to understand the new rules’. This was a disappointing statement and no doubt politically motivated as CASA is about to undergo a major external audit at the direction of the Deputy Prime Minister.

 

The AHIA on behalf of the helicopter industry does not accept the CASA media report, as the ‘lack of understanding’ is due to errors or unreasonable changes in the nearly 1,300 pages of material needing review and re-working in many areas. 

 

More later in a week or so when we will report further on this significant problem. Initial cost studies indicate many smaller operators will not transition to the new rules. And everyone is asking why?