Government brings in new regulations for warbirds

A CAC Boomerang (left) and Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk line up on the flightline of RAAF Williams - Point Cook in preparation for the 2012 Air Pageant. Mid Caption: A wide variety of historic combat aircraft went on display at RAAF Williams - Point Cook on Sunday, 26 February, 2012 for the Biennial Air Pageant (AP12). Aircraft types that played a role in preventing the expected enemy invasion of Australia in 1942 were included in the flying display. Aircraft with international pedigree also took part including the P40-N Kittyhawk, a combat veteran of war in the Pacific, and a WWII Wirraway and Boomerang, both Australian built combat veterans. A Mustang fighter of the Korean War era also thrilled the crowds, as did three former RAAF C47 Dakota aircraft (now DC3s), champions of WWII heavy lift operations. Post WWII combat aircraft included the Vampire jet that introduced Air Force into the jet age, a Sabre fighter and many civilian aircraft that helped to build the air bridges between towns and cities throughout Australia.

The industry body covering ex-military and historic aircraft has welcomed new regulations covering their operation.

On Friday, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester announced ex-military, replica ex-military and certain historic aircraft would be covered under a new Part 132 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR).

Part 132 will commence on January 28 2017, with transition to the new regulation required by July 28 2017, and replaces the current arrangements, where ex-military, replica and historic aircraft operate under a special certificate of airworthiness in the limited category, or as experimental aircraft, under a special set of conditions.

Australian Warbirds Association chief executive Mark Awad welcomed the new regulations.

“Whilst this legislation has undergone a lengthy development process, we and all other stakeholders have been thoroughly consulted by CASA at every step of the way,” Awad said in a statement on Friday.

“We believe Part 132 will prove to have a positive impact on Australia’s warbird community; noting that its passage is a step in the right direction for CASA and its long-running process of regulatory reform.

“We represent a unique group within the broader general aviation sector, and are proud of our collaborative approach in working with other peak bodies and organizations, CASA, the Department of Infrastructure and all other stakeholders towards a stronger, more vibrant and sustainable industry for all.”

Under the new regulations, operators of warbirds would have to be registered with an approved “oversight organisation” such as the Australian Warbirds Association, which Chester said would act as the “administrator and oversight body conducting compliance on aircraft under this category”.

Chester said the new rules would improve the safety and administration of warbirds.

“The consolidation and clearer set of rules will provide more certainty around operations of these unique types of aircraft,” Chester said in a statement.

“While the chance of an accident may be low we should always look to improve our regulatory arrangements. I’m delighted to see this change put in place and look forward to seeing these historic aircraft continue to safely operate in Australian skies.”

 

Australian Aviation

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