Recommendation AO-2007-017-SR-084

Recommendation issued to: Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Recommendation details
Output No: AO-2007-017-SR-084
Date issued: 08 July 2009
Safety action status: Closed
Background: Why this Recommendation was developed

Output text

Safety issue

There was no regulatory requirement for simulator training in Australia.

Action taken by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority

A summary of CASA activities to facilitate the use of full flight simulators and/or flight training devices follows:

The following inter-related activities are in the process of implementation:

  • A combined workshop activity with Ansett Aviation Training, Capiteq Limited trading as AirNorth, Network Aviation Pty Ltd, Skippers Aviation Pty Ltd, PelAir Aviation Pty Ltd and CASA was held on 27, 28 April 2009.
  • CASA has initiated a review of CAR 217 Training Organisations and Training Centres. This programme of review was prompted following investigations that revealed AOC holder training inconsistencies.
  • A Component of the 'CAR 217 Training Organisations and Training Centres Special Emphasis Review' is to establish the level of company oversight and involvement with training and simulation, programmes that have been outsourced.
  • Civil Aviation Order 40.2.1 - Instrument Rating, Section 12A, `Renewal using an overseas flight simulator training provider' has been added to include the option of instrument proficiency checks being conducted by an overseas simulator provider. This is to enable an instrument rating renewal where a specific type simulator is not available in Australia:
    • This amendment needs to read in conjunction with Advisory Circular AC 60-2 (1) of May 2007;
    • The Advisory Circular identifies that CASA recognises the flight simulator qualifications certificates issued by Canada, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China), New Zealand, the United States of America, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; and
    • Civil Aviation Order 40.1.0 - Aircraft Endorsement - Aeroplanes, Section 6. This facilitates an option for instrument rating renewals to be associated with the issue of an aircraft type rating.

ATSB assessment of response/action

The activities undertaken by CASA appear to have facilitated increased use of simulators for endorsement and other training. However, the ATSB remains concerned that there is no regulatory requirement for simulator training when a suitable simulator is available in Australia.

Safety Recommendation

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority address this safety issue.

Initial response
Date issued: 31 August 2009
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
Response text:

CASA will address this issue and will commence a review of the legislation. In the course of that review, CASA will consider whether there is a need to mandate the use of simulators in connection with certain flight crew training requirements in the air transport sector, and other sectors where this may be appropriate.

This work will commence immediately.  It will involve consultation with industry and may come to involve a risk assessment, a cost-benefit analysis, and the preparation of a regulatory impact statement.  As this is likely to be a protracted process, CASA is not in a position to specify a specific completion date at this time.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 12 April 2010
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
Response text:

CASA released a Discussion Paper (DP) in December 2009 on the subject of mandatory flight simulator training. The DP put forward a range of options to canvas the views of industry participants. Responses to this DP closed in February 2010. Numerous responses were received from a variety of organisations and individuals including airlines, pilots and flight simulator training providers. These responses are currently being reviewed and policy proposals are being developed.

The subject of mandatory flight simulator training is a high priority for CASA and as such it is expected that a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) will be published in the 2nd quarter of 2010. This NPRM will put forward CASA's proposed policy on this issue which will in part be derived from the comments received on the DP. Depending on the results of an assessment of business compliance costs, the proposal may be subject to a formal Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) which may prolong the rule making process.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 26 October 2010
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
Response text:

On 26 October 2010, CASA issued Notice of Proposed Rule Making - NPRM 1007OS 'Mandatory Flight Simulator Training - Proposed amendments to Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) 40.0 and 82.0' for industry comment by 21 January 2011.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 08 July 2011
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
Response text:

On 8 July 2011, CASA advised that:

The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) published in October 2010 proposed that pilots must be trained in certain abnormal aircraft manoeuvres in simulators, if available, rather than in aircraft. In general terms, for aircraft certificated for 20 or more passengers, or weighing more than 8618 kg, the NPRM proposed that pilot training be provided in simulators, if available in Australia or in a recognised country overseas. For multi-engine aircraft certificated for between 10 and 19 passenger seats, the training would have to be conducted in a simulator, if available in Australia. If a simulator was not available in Australia but was available overseas, the operator's check pilots would have to travel overseas for the training.

CASA has assessed the comments received to NPRM 10070S and has developed a revised proposal taking into account some of the identified issues. A cost and impact assessment of this proposal is currently being undertaken. It is anticipated that the revised proposal, with a cost assessment, will be provided to the joint CASA/industry Standards Consultative Committee for further consultation.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 27 June 2012
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Response status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

On 21 May 2012, CASA published a notice of final ruling making that set out comments made by the aviation industry on the 2010 proposals, as well as the final rules. CASA advised that the changes to the simulator-based training requirements will come into effect on 1 April 2013 and encouraged air operators to prepare early for the new rules.

In June 2012, CASA announced that the new requirements for the conduct of a range of pilot training and checking exercises in simulators would reduce the risk of aircraft training accidents, improve pilot training and lower aircraft wear and tear. CASA reached this conclusion after analysing the impact of changes to the Civil Aviation Orders in relation to mandatory simulator training.

ATSB comment:

ATSB assessment of safety action
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is satisfied that the action proposed by CASA will adequately address this safety issue.

Last update 27 June 2012