In July 2013, CASA issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) 1304OS (Regulations of aeroplane and helicopter ‘ambulance function’ flights as Air Transport operations). This NPRM is further discussed below in relation to safety issue AO-2014-190-SI-12. Annex A of the NPRM stated:
An HMT or AMT operator will have outlined in their exposition a formal policy and standard operating procedures for compliance with Part 121,133 or 135 of CASR in regard to operational control. These documents will include:
▸a tasking dispatch risk assessment tool
▸an inflight risk assessment and management process (using operational decision point go / no go processes)
▸a flight-following procedure and capability that is able to update the pilot on operational matters during flight, if required by the risk management aspects of the operation, or at the next landing point if in flight updates are not required.
In September 2015, CASA issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) 1519OS (Aerial Work Operations). The NPRM proposed a requirement for pre-flight risk assessments for aerial work operations (dependent on size and nature of operation).
In March 2017, CASA was asked whether requirements for pre-flight risk assessments would also be extended to air ambulance or medical transport flights, when such flights were no longer classified as aerial work. CASA advised:
NPRM 1519OS is for the development of CASR Part 138 Aerial Work Operations. The risk, in an aerial work context, is particular to the specific operation and the environment in which it is being conducted. However, that does not preclude conducting an initial generic risk assessment before developing a tailored assessment for a particular task. With the classification of Medical Transport flights as Air Transport, CASR Part 138 is not applicable in a medical transport context.
However, pre-flight risk in an air transport context is managed by the flight planning requirements which in essence are a formalised assessment of the hazards and associated risks of the flight. Please note that CASR Part 135 contains specific pre-flight planning requirements for flights to isolated aerodromes.