From time to time, we'll issue 'CAA Notices' to ensure that we remain responsive and adaptable to changes or emerging risks in the civil aviation system.
There will be consultation for all new CAA Notices and amendments. See the Rule projects in progress page to find out about upcoming rule projects, which may include CAA Notices.
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Section 28(5) of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 enables the Minister of Transport to make rules that “empower the Director, the Authority, or any other person” to issue approvals, determinations, requirements, conditions or procedures for purposes specified in the rule.
This provision was inserted into the Act in 2010 in order to create some flexibility to allow the aviation regulatory framework to better meet the demands and challenges of the fast-changing aviation sector.
Where the Minister makes a rule under 28(5), he or she could allow for approvals, determinations, or requirements to be set out in an additional document, which can be more readily amended in future.
We call these documents 'CAA Notices'.
CAA Notices could include, for example, the technical specifications for equipment or technology required to support a performance based rule, procedures for training, or conditions associated with the use of an aircraft or other aviation product.
They will have a similar look and format to Advisory Circulars (ACs).
Where the Minister approves a rule that allows for the use of CAA Notices, that rule will set out the objectives, criteria for consideration and procedures to follow, as appropriate, for developing the Notice. The rule will require compliance with the Notice. The Notice will then list the specific detail, for example technical standards or training conditions.
Once the rule is in place, CAA Notices can be developed and amended more rapidly than rules.
CAA Notices offer a number of benefits, including:
Section 28(5) facilitates the development of performance-based rules by enabling the inclusion of specific mandatory technical requirements and procedures in something other than the rules. A performance-based rule would set out the high-level requirements and the outcomes sought. CAA Notices made under that performance based rule would then be used to provide the specific details of what must be done in order to comply with the primary obligation, where this is necessary.
CAA Notices will enable aviation regulation to be more responsive to changes in technology. The Director or Authority will be able to modify technical specifications, impose conditions on the use of emerging technology, or permit new activities without undergoing the entire rule development process, where the rule allows it.
CAA Notices could be used where there is a need to make determinations, or impose requirements or conditions for extraordinary safety reasons. Amendments to existing rules may not address the issue with sufficient speed and may not be able to adapt to the changing nature of the risk.
CAA Notices can also be used to supplement the rules by enabling the CAA to address specific safety risks posed by, for example, particular equipment or operations. Requirements specific to a particular make of aircraft would not generally be considered appropriate for inclusion in a rule.
CAA Notices will have a different function and effect to ACs. ACs detail possible non-mandatory means for achieving compliance. CAA Notices specify details that must be complied with.
ACs are advisory in nature and provide advice, guidance and information. They advise on acceptable means of compliance with the legislation and other good practice, without limiting other acceptable ways of doing so.
Continuing Airworthiness Notices are unrelated to CAA notices. The CAA will issue a continuing airworthiness notice (CAN) to bring industry attention to an issue which does not necessarily meet the threshold of an ‘unsafe condition’ – which would warrant an airworthiness directive (AD). A CAN alerts, educates, recommends and guides, however compliance with the details of a CAN is not mandatory.
The enabling rules will define the scope of the power under which CAA Notices will be issued. The CAA Notices will be made within the limits set out in these authorising rules.
The enabling rules will also provide a procedural framework for issuing CAA Notices, for example, requiring consultation and publication, and a process for amendment and revocation.
The development of Notices will follow normal policy development processes (problem identification and definition, options analysis, consultation, and evidence-based decision-making).
CAA Notices will be consulted on as appropriate. When initially developed as part of a new or amended rule, CAA Notices will be part of the Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) process to the extent appropriate.
CAA Notices will be readily and freely available for public access and published on the CAA's web site.
There are already examples of rules that provide the Director or the Authority with the ability to establish mandatory requirements.
For example, Subpart AA of Part 139 sets out the framework within which the Director can make a determination as to whether an aerodrome requires a qualifying operator certificate. Rule 139.23 requires the Director to consider aerodrome aeronautical safety data as part of the determination.
We are not the first country to use a tool like this - comparable aviation regulators sometimes set out requirements in places other than the rules. For example, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) uses Civil Aviation Orders and Manuals of Standards. Civil Aviation Orders are made by the Director of Aviation Safety for a wide variety of activities, contain detailed technical requirements, and generally supplement Civil Aviation Regulations. Manuals of Standards include detailed technical requirements and support the implementation of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
If you have any questions about CAA Notices, please contact us.