Queensland Senator Matt Canavan has welcomed a breakthrough on new Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules affecting mustering.
“Changes just announced by CASA to its new requirements for low-level flying will make a big difference for pilots in aerial mustering,” Senator Canavan said today.
“This is an issue I took up on behalf of the cattle industry and I very much welcome CASA’s change of heart on its new rules.
"I applaud the efforts of the cattle mustering industry who mobilised their opposition to the proposed changes. They can take the credit for delivering these changes."
Senator Canavan said CASA has said the planned 12-month flight review requirement for the low-level rating has now been extended to 24 months.
Also, because of concerns about the new requirement to maintain a minimum of two hours of low-level flying over six months, this requirement has been removed.
“CASA has acknowledged the concerns from the helicopter industry in particular with the low-level rating, where there would have been minimal safety benefits from the new requirements but a lot more paperwork and administrative issues for pilots and air operators.
“However, because mustering is a higher-risk activity, there are ‘recent experience’ requirements for pilots. Aerial mustering pilots will be required to have a minimum of 20 hours of aerial mustering operations in the preceding 12 months. If mustering pilots cannot meet this requirement, they can complete a flight review, proficiency check or flight test that includes aerial mustering.”
Senator Canavan said pilots and air operators should continue taking concerns about the regulations to CASA.
“CASA has said it will listen to industry views and consider if the regulations can be improved. It has promised that, where there are unintended consequences, these will be addressed as quickly as possible.”
CASA has announced the changes to the low-level rating have been made by an exemption to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 61. In due course, the regulations will be amended to include the changes.
CASA has published a summary of the activities underway to review the implementation of the licensing suite.