Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has removed the requirement to include basic instrument flight training (BIFT) to obtain an initial private or commercial helicopter license. The new rules, which take effect September 1, also make permanent the 105-hour commercial pilot license with helicopter category rating qualification option.
The BIFT requirement was added when the country’s CAA Part 61 was modified to align with ICAO standards. But the agency noted that most training helicopters are not equipped for instrument flight training. Additionally, the number of flight training devices is increasing, and the Australian helicopter industry indicated that the issuance of a non-ICAO license is acceptable.
Pilots can complete flight training for type ratings and the practical component of their instrument proficiency checks overseas for a further two years under the amendments. According to CASA, the delay will enable the agency to “consider appropriate longer-term arrangements.” Finally, the new rules also give pilots until September 1 to gain their CAA Part 61 license based on holding previous authorizations.