CASA is considering relaxing the requirements for private pilots to hold an aviation medical, and easing the drug and alcohol management plan requirements for smaller aviation organisations, director of aviation safety John McCormick says in the regulator’s latest newsletter.
According to the newsletter CASA is well advanced on assessing the “merits and risks” of a proposal that would allow private pilots to obtain a medical based on the unconditional drivers licence medical standard rather than a class 2 aviation medical.
“The advantage would be that eligible pilots would be able to get a medical certificate from their general practitioner that confirms they meet the unconditional medical standards required to drive a motor vehicle, with some additional requirements to take into account the different risks in flying and driving,” McCormick writes. “Once a pilot had this certificate, they would simply electronically inform CASA and carry the certificate whenever flying.”
The medical would be available for private pilots flying aircraft weighing up to 1500kg under day visual flight rules and “generally” limited to one passenger.
Meanwhile, CASA is also considering changes to its contentious drug and alcohol management plan requirements for smaller operators with seven or fewer “safety sensitive” employees.
“These organisations would have access to a simplified means of compliance with the requirements of the drug and alcohol regulations and be able to use a standard drug and alcohol management plan provided by CASA,” McCormick writes. “There would be requirements for training of employees and an on-line reporting system to CASA.”
Another area of potential reform is new maintenance regulations for GA.
“CASA recognises new maintenance regulations for general aviation should reflect how the sector operates, with requirements ‘lighter’ than those already introduced for regular public transport maintenance.”
The proposals have arisen from CASA’s General Aviation Task Force consultation process.
“I must stress that the proposals being looked at by the General Aviation Task Force are still proposals and no final decisions have been made. However, the process is proving to be both valuable and worthwhile and I look forward to being able to announce some positive news later in the year,” McCormick says.