After a long and involved process, Australia’s revised regulatory framework for aerodromes came into effect on 13 August 2020. The transition to the new Part 139 regulations and standards has been supported with a comprehensive suite of advisory circulars, explanatory material and training packages, but there are still many questions to be answered and circumstances to be clarified.
So what do the new regulations mean?
- Certification standards are not the same for all aerodromes – they are subject to a scalable structure of requirements based on the number of air transport passengers and aircraft movements per annum, and whether or not the aerodrome supports scheduled international air transport operations.
- The terms ‘registered’ aerodrome and ‘certain other’ aerodrome (as per the previous CASR Subpart 139.D) no longer exist. Civilian aerodromes in Australia are now either ‘certified’ or an aircraft landing area (ALA).
- Aerodromes that were previously ‘registered’ have been deemed as ‘certified’ unless the operator specifically requested the registration to be revoked.
- There is no longer a requirement for ALAs that support regular (at least weekly) RPT or charter operations by an aircraft with a maximum seating capacity of more than 9 seats to have an annual aerodrome safety inspection. For these aerodromes, aviation safety oversight is effectively in the hands of the aerodrome operator.
An important change to the CASR Dictionary is included in the recently made Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment (Part 139 Aerodromes—Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2020.
The definition of ‘aerodrome operator’ for aerodromes that are not certified (previously specified as registered or certain other aerodromes), has now been broadened:
Aerodrome operator means:
- for a certified aerodrome—the person who holds the aerodrome certificate for the aerodrome; or
- otherwise—the person who is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the aerodrome.
If you need help in interpreting or implementing the new regulations and standards, please contact us.
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