Airport Category Changes August 2020

Australia's airport regulations and standards are changing in August 2020.

Under the current framework there are four categories of aerodromes:

  • Certified - supporting RPT or charter with more than 30 passenger seats, terminal instrument flight procedures
  • Registered - Same physical standards as certified aerodrome, supporting up to RPT or charter max 30 passenger seats, terminal instrument flight procedures
  • 'Certain other' - RPT or charter 10-30 passenger seats more than once per week, no terminal instrument flight procedures
  • Aircraft landing areas (ALA) - Generally, <5700 kg MTOW, 9 passenger seats or less.

After August 2020, under the revised CASR Part 139—Aerodromes, an aerodrome will be either certified or not.

Registered and ‘certain other’ categories will no longer exist.

According to the new CASR 139.025, an aerodrome must be certified if there is a terminal instrument flight procedure for the aerodrome and the procedure is not only for use in a specialised helicopter operation.

A flowchart of the various pathways from current arrangements to post-August 2020 is provided below.

 Airport Categories August 2020

For aerodromes preparing for the changes, the following guidance is provided:

  • Understand the different level of requirements depending on either passenger or aircraft movements. The vast majority of any changes for existing registered aerodromes are administrative in nature.
  • The understanding of grandfathering is critically important from a verification and planning perspective. There will be a detailed Advisory Circular to assist industry understand the requirements and process for grandfathering non-standard circumstances.
  • There are no requirements for existing registered aerodromes to construct new aerodrome facilities to meet certification.
  • If considering reverting to an ALA, understand this will result in any terminal flight procedures being withdrawn from publication and therefore unable to be flown anymore. Have a think about how this will impact your community as medical and emergency flights may not be able to access your airport.
  • CASA is providing the Manual Authoring and Assessment Tool (MAAT) to assist aerodromes with the development of their Aerodrome Manual (AM). This tool is online and will take you step by step through the aerodrome manual. Additionally, the use of the MAAT will be voluntary and there is no requirement to utilise it if so desired.

While the changes may feel daunting for some smaller aerodromes, help is available - to find out more, please contact us.

Tags: Airports, Airport Regulations, MOS 139

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