The Recreational Aviation Australia Limited (RA-Aus) this week broke news that CASA will move to a public consultation on the 31st August, seeking industry feedback on the RA-Aus application for a higher aircraft Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW).
CASA are yet to make any formal announcement.
Despite the above and when announced, this consultation is likely to be open for just one month and will trigger a range of contentious responses from the varying sides of the industry, that will no doubt inspire a great deal of tribal squawking on social media.
What is critical is that pilots of all stripes respond to this public consultation, sending a powerful and clear message to CASA that an aircraft’s MTOW has no bearing on aviation safety and should not be used to define the limits of recreational flying.
Instead, it is the pilot who the most critical safety concern and therefore the only relevant safety discussion should be to address two simple questions;
- Is the pilot fit to fly? and
- Is the pilot trained to safely fly the aircraft they intend to operate?
Right now, RA-Aus member pilots are refused access to fly heavier aircraft and refused access to fly in CTA because of two very simple reasons;
- RA-Aus pilots operate on a self-certification medical standard, that is not uniform with the rest of the CASA regulated industry; and
- RA-Aus pilots are trained to the Recreational Pilot Certificate syllabus, that is not uniform with the rest of the CASA regulated industry.
Both CASA and RA-Aus now have an enormous opportunity, by seeking the following simple reforms;
- CASA adopts the self-certification medical standard for use by all RPL and PPL holders to operate recreationally, harmonising the industry; and
- RA-Aus harmonises is pilot training syllabus to that of the CASA RPL, with CASA delegating RA-Aus to issue RPL licenses to it’s members, enabling the RA-Aus members to fly anything up to 1500kgs in controlled airspace.
Make no mistake, this is an important public consultation, the results of which will either serve to remove the dual-standards which have created division within our industry, or will result in furthering the manipulated imbalances that are driving discrimination and disadvantage for everyone.
Cover Image Credit: Josh Mesilane