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Who needs Aerodrome Safety Inspections or Annual Technical Inspections and why?!

Did you know that every 12 months the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requires that certified aerodromes require an Annual Technical Inspection and that some registered and ‘certain other’ aerodromes must have an Aerodrome Safety Inspection completed by a CASA approved inspector?

Australian Aerodrome Categories

CASA is authorised to determine and audit against the Manual of Standards (MOS) Part 139 which provides a detailed set of standards for aerodrome compliance. CASA classifies aerodromes by reference to the passenger carrying capacity of aircraft that use them. Aerodromes are subject to different regulatory requirements depending upon which category it falls into as summarised in Table 1.

Table 1 – Australian aerodrome regulatory requirements

Under the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 139, operators of the following aerodromes need to have an annual aerodrome safety inspection (ASI) and submit a report of the inspection to CASA:

  • Registered aerodromes used by aircraft with more than nine passenger seats engaged in regular public transport (RPT) or charter operations
  • Non-certified and non-registered aerodromes used by aircraft with more than nine passenger seats engaged in RPT or charter operations at least once a week (note that for ease of reference, CASR refers to these aerodromes as ‘certain other’ aerodromes)

Figure 1 – Typical RPT aircraft

The ASI typically consists of the following components:

  • Assessment of operating procedures
  • Assessment of physical condition
  • Survey of obstacles
  • Inspection of lighting

The main objective of the Aerodrome Safety Inspection is to identify what remedial actions are required by the aerodrome operator, including:

  • What aerodrome information is out of date?
  • What aerodrome operating procedures need to be modified?
  • What part of the physical condition of the aerodrome movement areas needs to be brought up to standard?
  • Whether any training for safety team members is required?

Where the remedial actions require phased implementation, the recommended priorities of implementation are based on minimising the risk and hazards to aircraft operations.

Annual Technical Inspections

Certified aerodromes are subject to CASA surveillance, however still require an Annual Technical Inspection (ATI). The objectives of the ATI are to confirm that:

  • An airport meets the requirements for a “Certified” aerodrome as prescribed in Commonwealth’s CASR 1998 Part 139 Aerodromes and the promulgated, Manual of Standards Part 139 – Aerodromes
  • The physical characteristics of an airport and its facilities comply with relevant standards or are adequate for aircraft safety
  • Operating procedures are consistent with the Aerodrome Manual, and are appropriate and adequate for the expected level of aircraft activities at the aerodrome
  • Staff are experienced, trained and qualified to conduct the safety related functions of the aerodrome
  • Management is aware of the airport safety functions and can be expected to continue properly operating the airport

Figure 2 – Airfield movement area

JJ Ryan Consulting has personnel that are approved by CASA to perform Aerodrome Safety Inspections as well as Annual Technical Inspections.