Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) received 63 comments to its recent proposal to modify helicopter basic training requirements, the majority of which supported the recommended changes. Respondents indicated “strong support” for the proposal to make available an option to qualify for a commercial pilot license with helicopter category rating with 105 hours of training in rotorcraft. The proposal to remove the requirement of basic instrument flying for the private pilot and commercial pilot licenses received similar backing.
Common themes in the feedback indicated there were no safety concerns with the 105 hour proposal; the time conducting basic instrument flying is better used for basic flying; the alternative 150-hour requirement is a significant cost burden; most helicopters used for training are not equipped for basic instrument flight training; and the need to harmonize rules with international standards is not high since only a small number of pilots fly outside of Australia.
Because respondents overall supported the proposals, CASA will now undertake to implement the changes to the licensing regulations that reflect the proposals. An amendment is required to CASR Part 61 before August 31 when transition regulations end. In the meantime, “A stopgap measure would be to make legislative instruments that would give effect to the proposals,” CASA said.