Australia to review civilian UAV regulations

Australia to review civilian UAV regulations

29-Nov-2011 Source: CASA

Extract from the CASA Director of Aviation Safety’s monthly briefing:-

The unmanned aircraft systems sector is to get better regulatory support. CASA has set up a project to review the rules currently covering unmanned aircraft systems and to develop a package of new guidance material. Six advisory circulars will be published to guide both the aviation industry and CASA in managing the safety of unmanned aircraft systems. They will cover unmanned aircraft systems in general, training and licensing, operations, manufacturing and initial airworthiness, maintenance and continuing airworthiness and safety management. Once the advisory material has been developed there will be a review of the unmanned aircraft regulations, which are set out in Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The project will also look at the long term integration of unmanned aircraft operations into normal aviation operations in all classes of airspace.

The rules covering unmanned aircraft systems were first drafted nearly ten years ago in anticipation of the civilian operation of unmanned aircraft. At the time there was little civilian unmanned operational experience to draw on from around the world. This meant the rules do not contain great detail in areas such as pilot qualifications, risk management and airworthiness. The current rules provide a basis for CASA’s oversight of the sector, with minimal guidance to the aviation industry. At present each application for an unmanned aircraft systems operation 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.

Find out more about the unmanned aircraft systems project.

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