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Civil Aviation Safety Authority seeking feedback on Part 61

PHAN8244Civil Aviation Safety Authority boss Mark Skidmore has written to pilots seeking their feedback on the implementation of the new Part 61 regulations.

Part 61, which was introduced in September 2014, has caused consternation among sectors of the aviation industry which has prompted CASA to make adjustments to how these new suite of regulations for ratings, licences and endorsements are being implemented.

Speaking to reporters during a conference call on Tuesday, Skidmore said CASA had already received about 10 emails from pilots since the letter was posted on April 23, offering suggestions or questions on topics such as ratings and endorsements, suggestions for medical tests and flight reviews and the format of the licence, among other topics.

Skidmore, who started as Director of Aviation Safety in January, acknowledged CASA had not implemented Part 61 “as well as we should have”.

While he believed the regulator was coming to grips with the major concerns out there in the community, more feedback was needed.

“Communication is definitely one of the things we need to work on to make sure that people can clearly understand what it is we are trying to achieve with Part 61,” Skidmore said.

“We have to be consistent in our approach to the aviation community so we don’t confuse them so we can make sure we are providing good, relevant consistent information out to people. I will continue to drive that.

“I don’t know what I don’t know, hence the letter to say we are working on this, we are getting good information but we would like to know more. If you’ve got something let us know.”

In the letter, the Director of Aviation Safety said some of the changes to Part 61 already made were related to check pilots conducting proficiency checks, low level ratings and aerial mustering training and flight testing, fire fighting operations, aerial application proficiency checks and R22 and R44 helicopter ratings.

CASA Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore AM (CASA)
CASA Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore AM (CASA)

It also said about 10,600 new Part 61 licences have been issued since September 2014, with the transition period running until September 2018.

The Part 61 manual available on the CASA website is published in four volumes and runs to more than 600 pages.

CASA manager for flightcrew licensing standards Roger Crosthwaite said the document needed to be large given it covered a such a large array of ratings, licenses and endorsements.

There were plans, however, to make the information more accessible for industry participants, with better presentation and enabling scenario-based searches.

“I am very hopeful that we will have a more electronic version where people go on and say I want to get the standards for the PPL helicopter and the system will provide those, draw them together, under a knowledge base to present the standards,” Crosthwaite said.

The move to introduce Part 61 came before Skidmore’s joined CASA and was during a period where the industry and the regulator experienced an at-times difficult working relationship, which was highlighted in the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review.

Moreover, some in the industry warned CASA at the time of the difficulties Part 61 would cause.

Skidmore said although he was unable to change what happened in the past, he was committed to rebuild some of the trust that was lost in recent times by learning from what had happened and making sure “we don’t do it again”.

Part of that will be cultural change “both on my side for CASA and externally for the community to understand and to trust us”.

“Cultural change takes five to seven years,” Skidmore said.

“In a year or two, you will start to see it actually going. I will be looking for that.”

CASA’s letter to pilots can be read here.

 

Australian Aviation

First Foxtrot Chinooks enter Army service

DSC_2857_MICHAEL POWER copy
Foxtrot Chinook A15-302 on a recent flight from RAAF Base Townsville. (Michael Power)

The Army has taken delivery of its first of two Boeing CH-47F ‘Foxtrot’ Chinook helicopters.

Seven CH-47Fs are being acquired under a $631 million project (AIR 9000 Phase 5C) to replace the Army’s existing fleet of seven CH-47D Chinooks, and will be operated by 5 Aviation Regiment from RAAF Base Townsville. The remaining five Chinooks are due to be handed over by August, while two CH-47F flight simulators are already in service at Townsville.

“The aircraft and associated equipment are being purchased through the United States Foreign Military Sales program; maintenance support will be provided locally through partnerships with Boeing Defence Australia and BAE Systems,” a joint statement by Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and Member for Herbert Ewen Jones said on Tuesday.

“The project remains on schedule and under budget.”

The seven CH-47Fs were ordered in March 2010, at which point deliveries were expected to begin in 2014 but continue through until 2017.

New and upgraded working accommodation, new maintenance hangars, storage and workshop facilities, and a new simulator building are also being built at Townsville to support the new heavylift helicopter.

Australian Aviation

Jetstar launches its first non-stop service from Australia to China

Jetstar's newest 787-8, VH-VKI, at Melbourne Airport on February 8 2015. (Victor Pody)
Jetstar will fly the 787-8 from Gold Coast to Wuhan from September (Victor Pody)

Jetstar will offer non-stop flights from Australia to China for the first time from September when the low-cost carrier begins service between the Gold Coast and Wuhan.

The twice-weekly service kicks off on September 29 and will be operated by Jetstar’s 335-seat Boeing 787-8 fleet on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Jetstar says the route is supported by Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group, which will help sell seats and travel packages to Chinese tourists looking to visit Australia.

Demand is likely to be driven by inbound travel to Australia, Jetstar said in a statement on Tuesday.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall said the new service represented about 70,000 seats between China and the Gold Coast a year.

“We’re really pleased to contribute to this unique partnership and it’s a great opportunity for us to build our presence in the Chinese market with the establishment of a direct service from Australia,” Hall said.

Wuhan, which has a population of 10 million, is the capital of the Hubei province, which is situated in central China.

Jetstar, Gold Coast Airport and Dalian Wanda Group at the official announcement. (Gold Coast Airport/Facebook)
Jetstar, Gold Coast Airport and Dalian Wanda Group at the official announcement. (Gold Coast Airport/Facebook)

Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer David Collins said the airport had lobbied for the route and worked with Jetstar, the City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast Tourism and Tourism and Events Queensland in an effort to establish the direct flight to China.

“We have known for some time that the demand is there for direct services between Gold Coast and China so we are confident this twice-weekly service will perform strongly,” Collins said in a statement.

“We’ve invested significantly over the last eight years to ensure we are ‘China ready’, from developing a dedicated department focused on this market to ensuring frontline staff in the terminal receive customer service training targeted to the Chinese market.”

Dalian Wanda Group said in a statement it was proud to have helped broker the agreement that led to the start of flights between the Gold Coast and Wuhan through the support of its Hubei Wanda New Airline International Travel Services division.

Also, the conglomerate’s Wanda Ridong (Gold Coast) business is an major investor in a beachfront property development on the Glitter Strip.

“Today’s flights announcement is further evidence of Wanda’s support for the Gold Coast, and our very strong belief in its potential for growth and prosperity,” Wanda Ridong general manager Charlie Li said.

“Wanda is not only helping to shape the future of the Gold Coast, we are helping to ensure people are able to get here as well.”

While this will be the first scheduled service to China from the Gold Coast, the airport has received charter services from China Southern and Cathay Pacific in recent years.

Jetstar said it was increasing the utilisation of its 787-8 fleet – the airline has eight Dreamliners flying now, with a further three to due to arrive by September – to operate new service.

The Qantas-owned Jetstar previously offered one-stop service from Australia to Beijing via Singapore.

Meanwhile, Jetstar Asia currently offers direct flights to three Chinese cities – Haikou, Hangzhou and Shantou – from its Singapore hub.

 

Australian Aviation

Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid CF

Carlos Tévez settled the first leg in the Italian champions’ favour after Cristiano Ronaldo had cancelled out Álvaro Morata’s early tap-in.

Carlos Tévez’s penalty gave Juventus the edge in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid CF after a gripping contest in Turin.

A vibrant start from the home side brought early reward as Álvaro Morata struck against the club he left last summer, but Madrid responded swiftly and levelled before the half-hour with Cristiano Ronaldo’s ninth goal in this season’s UEFA Champions League and 76th overall. Juve, however, regained the initiative through Tévez’s spot kick early in the second half, earning them a slender but valuable lead to take to Spain next week.

Juventus, in their first semi-final since beating Madrid in 2002/03, began at pace and were in front before ten minutes had been played. Stefano Sturaro – making his first UEFA Champions League start – and Morata had already tested Iker Casillas before Claudio Marchisio played a pass into Tévez down the right channel. The Argentinian’s low shot was only pushed out by Casillas and Morata could not miss.

Madrid’s riposte was swift, Toni Kroos calling Gianluigi Buffon into action for the first time before Isco’s pass offered Ronaldo the chance to stretch his legs; the shot was dragged across the face of goal. The next opportunity came Juve’s way, as Stephan Lichtsteiner got the better of Marcelo down the right and advanced into the penalty area, but his hurried effort was slashed wide.

Three minutes later, the full impact of that miss was felt as Madrid equalised with a fine goal. With the ball bouncing into the home penalty box, James Rodríguez lifted a volleyed cross in for Ronaldo to nod past Buffon from close range.

The momentum had shifted and it was Madrid who should have scored the third goal of a thrilling first half. A slick passing move worked the ball from right to left, Isco breaking clear and centring for James. From two metres out and with the goal beckoning, the Colombian somehow headed against the crossbar; Marcelo’s follow-up landed on the top of the net.

Although the second period began at a more considered pace than the first, it burst into life in the 56th minute as Juve counterattacked at speed. Morata slipped in a pass to Tévez, who burst into the area only to be felled by Dani Carvajal. The Argentinian picked himself up to slot the penalty past Casillas.

Madrid were unable to muster a second equaliser as Juventus preserved their one-goal cushion with some degree of comfort. Indeed, it was the newly-crowned Italian champions who came closest to another goal, first as Raphaël Varane failed to cut out a long ball and substitute Fernando Llorente rounded Casillas; Carvajal was there to pip Roberto Pereyra to his fellow replacement’s cross.

Llorente passed up an even better opening in added time having been picked out in space by Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick. His weak header was blocked by the goalkeeper, leaving the tie finely balanced.

 

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