SAAA ends consideration of migrating into a Pt 149 environment

Effective 15thJuly 2019, CASA gazetted an important milestone for the Australian sport aviation community – “Sport and recreational rules milestone – Part 149 commences”. The announcement is provided below in full.

The question no doubt for many aviators, and especially SAAA members, will be – “So what is SAAA doing about Part 149?“

The simple answer to this question is “Nothing, for the foreseeable future”.

This follows a communication to SAAA from CASA on 2ndJuly 2019 “ Part 149 does not contain any functions that SAAA would administer, it would subsequently not be possible for the SAAA to transition from its current role to becoming an Approved Self-administering Aviation Organisation (ASAO) under Part 149.“  This is of course in the context of Part 149 and the related Manual of Standards as they presently exist.

As most members of the sport aviation community will know, SAAA has been a member of the group of nine Australian Sport Aircraft Organisations (SAOs) engaged with CASA on the Part 149 process. SAAA has long been concerned over the relevance of Pt 149 to its Members who represent only a part of the VH registered Experimental Amateur Built (EAB) fleet and its Part 61 licenced pilots whose medicals are also administered by CASA. SAAA has also been especially concerned over many issues, the most significant of which have been around:

– Transfer of regulatory responsibilities from CASA to SAOs with no attendant transfer of funding

– The imposition of “strict liability provisions”

– The understanding that SAAA members’ current exemptions would at best be frozen in time if SAAA did not migrate to Part 149, thus hindering opportunities for further development of safety outcome improvements, and

– The fate of VH EAB aircraft and their pilots was unknown

SAAA remains unconvinced of the merits of Part 149 being relevant to or able to offer improved safety outcomes for the Australian VH EAB fleet and its pilots.

SAAA had commenced a process in late 2016 to re-build from the ground up a system of governance as a “matter of good business”. At that time, and whilst the advent of Part 149 had been heralded to be imminent after 20 or so years in the making, SAAA elected to keep its options open and worked with CASA to ensure that the development of the new system of governance (policies and procedures covering all technical, administrative and financial functions of the SAAA) was developed in a form that would enable a relatively straight forward migration to a Part 149 environment – should that be SAAA’s decision.  SAAA appreciates CASA’s support and guidance in developing our system of governance – our documentation was reviewed on three occasions over the course of 2017 and 2018. Progress at the time of the publication of SAAA’s Exposition was considered by CASA to be words to effect “on track and 90% of the way to meeting the requirements for the SAAA’s migration to a Part 149” (as it was understood at that time).

The recent advice from CASA (that Part 149 does not contain a pathway for the SAAA and its Members with VH registered EAB aircraft and its pilots) does not change SAAA’s commitment to its new system of governance. This is simply good business and will stand SAAA in good stead for many years to come.

At the CASA Sport Aviation Safety Forum held in Brisbane in 2017, CASA sought input from SAOs around challenges they faced in improving safety outcomes. SAAA expressed the view that the need for type transition training was becoming increasingly more important with the increasing variety and numbers of aircraft with ever increasing performance coming on to the scene.

SAAA since worked with CASA over the last few years to bring SAAA’s new Flight Training and Safety program online – and are grateful for CASA’s support in particular with developing a syllabus for type transition training and a mechanism for experienced SAAA pilots to deliver this specific flight training to SAAA Members. We are confident this program will go a long way towards mitigating accidents that have pilot techniques, which are insufficiently developed or current, as their root cause.

SAAA, now continuing its operations outside of the Part 149 environment, looks forward to working with CASA as it has done in the past to deliver further safety outcome improvements to its Members and the VH EAB fleet and pilots generally.

In respect of all VH registered EAB aircraft and their pilots – irrespective of membership of the SAAA, the functions of aircraft registration, airworthiness, pilot licensing and pilot medicals are administered by CASA. The SAAA focuses on assisting its members to comply with the Civil Aviation Act and on facilitating learning and actions to improve Member safety outcomes.

The SAAA is a group of aviation enthusiasts assisting each other to build, maintain and operate sport aircraft. We educate members to continuously improve safety outcomes.

Plan Wise – Build Well – Fly Safe!

CASA publication issued 15th July 2019:

Sport and recreational rules milestone – Part 149 commences

The regulation of sport and recreational aviation passed an important milestone on 14 July – with the commencement of the first aviation regulation specifically designed for the sector.

Part 149 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) introduces a broad and flexible regulatory framework for sport and recreational organisations who administer certain aviation activities.

Sport and recreational aviation self-administration has existed in Australia operating under a range of regulatory exemptions, going back, in some cases for more than 60 years.

For the first time, the regulations now recognise those organisations who administer sport and recreational aviation and approved organisations will be issued with a Part 149 Approved Self-Administering Organisation (ASAO) Certificate from CASA.

CASA will begin assessing transition applications for Part 149 Certificates in the coming weeks, with two organisations advising they are nearing completion of their exposition.

For further information:

Any questions:

AusFly 2019 – Come and join us – Registrations opening soon!

At AusFly 2018 we received great comments, this is one of them “…. this event was undertaken in the true spirit of an Australian Fly-in and genuinely encapsulated the spirit of ALL Aviators under one sky…….  There was a genuine sense of unity and deference at the event…. It was really heartening to be a part of this spirit.”

See what others said here.

AusFly 2019 is going to be held with the same spirit and unity.  Come and join in the fun!  Soak up the true spirit of Australian general aviation at work!

AusFly 2019 – All Aviators Under One Sky! Registrations Opening Soon

Update – planning is now running full steam ahead. Just over 4 months to run to AusFly 2019!

Registrations will be opening soon; and these will also be asking for you to select which of the social functions you wish to attend – this will be important for our planning.

We are also working to build an amazing seminar and workshop program, a static aircraft display and flight display. We will again be focussing on introducing the younger generation to aviation. To help all this work, we need your help:

  • Offering seminars
  • Aircraft for the static display or flight display
  • Ground marshalling
  • Guides to show visitors around the event.

A few hours goes a long way and will be greatly appreciated!

Please contact:
Tony White:   or

Russell Ford:

The organising team extends a huge thank you to all those who have already put their hands up to contribute to making AusFly 2019 a success.

Find more event information here or at the AusFly website.

Aviators – if you haven’t done so already, pencil the dates for AusFly 2019 into your diaries now!

Meanwhile – look out for more bulletins as the event develops.

AGAA representatives front Senate Hearing Committee – 19th November 2019

Comparing and contrasting medical and other standards for pilots within the self-administered sector against those of CASA-regulated pilots.

AGAA representatives from AOPA, SAAA, AMROBA and GFA attended and provided evidence to the Rural & Regional Affairs & Transport Legislation Committee  (RRAT) – Oversight of Civil Aviation Safety Authority – hearing in Canberra on 19th November 2019.

Other industry representatives from RAAus, AWAL and APF attended along with a team from CASA, which included Shane Carmody.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider the self-administered sport sector. In particular, the committee is interested to compare and contrast the medical and other standards for pilots within the self-administered sector against those of CASA-regulated pilots.

A large number of matters were taken on notice, and attendees will be delivering additional information to the committee for further consideration.

The proceedings can be viewed here:  RRAT – Oversight of CASA – Hearing 19th Nov 2018

The hearing was conducted in three segments with approx. times per the video per:

  • Opening by the Chair: 14:27 hrs
  • RAAus / AWAL / APF: 14:30 hrs
  • AOPA / AMROBA / AOPA: 15:17 hrs
  • CASA: 16:20 hrs
  • Conclusion: 17:07 hrs

AGAA is growing and we welcome HGFA as our newest member!

We warmly welcome HGFA, the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia to AGAA

The Australian General Aviation Alliance, AGAA, started out in early 2018 with three founding members – AOPA, SAAA and AMROBA.

Our organisation is growing steadily and is now home to 17 Australian aviation organisations representing almost 15,000 pilots, aircraft owners, maintainers, businesses and airports.

AusFly 2019 – All Aviators Under One Sky!

The dates are set!

17th – 20th October 2019

The success of AusFly 2018 was plain for all to see.  A phenomenal demonstration our great Australian general aviation community and spirit at work – it ticked all the boxes – fun, relaxing, community spirit, catching up with friends, aviators from all quarters, learning, and flying.

AGAA as part of the organising team extends a huge thank you to all the committed determined individuals and organisations who generously gave their time and aircraft to pull the event together, run the event, made monetary contributions and contributions in kind – and last but not least, to all those aviators who attended, without whom, we would not have an event.

Bottom line – AusFly is back and here to stay!

AusFly 2019 will be held at Narromine Airport 17 – 20 October 2019!!

Planning has already begun, the airport is now booked, bookings for functions are being made, and aviators are already booking their accommodation.

Aviators – pencil these dates for AusFly 2019 into your diaries now!

AGAA is proud to support AusFly 2019.  We encourage our growing number of organisations and their members to come along, and join in the spirit and fun next October.

Meanwhile – look out for bulletins early next year as we begin the planning process.

AusFly 2018 – What people said ….and how it was!

AusFly 2018 was well attended with aircraft, aviators and members of the public arriving in members that exceeded expectations.  Arrival day was meant to be Thursday, but aircraft were flying in and parking up by the Wednesday evening.

Here’s some of what people had to say:

“Thank you to you and your team for putting on such a great show.  I had a terrific time and met some great people.”

“…. this event was undertaken in the true spirit of an Australian Fly-in and genuinely encapsulated the spirit of ALL aviations under one sky…….  There was a genuine sense of unity and deference at the event…. It was really heartening to be a part of this spirit.”

“…thank you for all your efforts on the weekend at the AusFly with everything you organised along with everyone else. The event was along the lines of early events held thru the 60, 70, 80 90’s and had quite a relaxed feel to it without all the regulations and expense……”

“On behalf of the entire air display team we would like to extend our gratitude for having us all at Ausfly 2018…. We look forward to getting everyone involved next year as we grow this event.”

“The idea of going back to a more grass roots style fly-in was a complete success; everyone I spoke to was having a ball.”

“It was a really good fun weekend, I think enjoyed by all. Well done guys.”

“We have been receiving compliments all day from members who had a fantastic time.”

“What a fabulous weekend at Ausfly this year!”

“There was a palpable zap to the air”

“Congratulations to all who made it to Narromine; sleeping in tents, motels, b&b’s and generally hanging out. I see the true value of this event.”














General Aviation Summit 2018 – Wagga Wagga

What a success this event was!

Almost 40 general aviation organisations attended representing close to 30,000 aviators. Stunning outcome – acknowledged as being the most significant gathering of GA organisations in decades.

AGAA and its three founding Members AOPA, SAAA and AMROBA are  enormously proud to  have hosted this event.

We extend special thanks and congratulations to all the aviation organisation representatives who made the effort to travel to the Summit and demonstrate their passion for change.

Great news coming soon – other GA organisations to join AGAA. Watch this space!

Sincere thanks to the AOPA team, and in particular Ben Morgan, for an incredible effort rallying the troops. And special thanks to Geoff Breust, former Managing Director of Regional press, who acted as the independent Summit Chairman.

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack delivered the opening address and invited the Summit to deliver to him a communique representing the outcome of the Summit. The Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP also addressed the Summit. Both gentlemen were left in no doubt as to the position general aviation is in and the resolve from the attendees to make change happen.

The objective of the Summit was to reach consensus on a number of resolutions with respect to proposed changes to the Act and Regulations. This objective was achieved as follows:


The General Aviation Summit has agreed to pass two resolutions which (1) sets out the principal findings of the summit with regard to the regulation of general aviation in Australia and (2) commits the industry to providing appropriate information and to make recommendations for action on reform as follows.

1. The General Aviation Summit concluded:

1.1 General Aviation wants to maintain or improve Australia’s aviation safety outcomes;

1.2 the General Aviation sector is of vital importance to Australia especially regional and rural Australia not only in economic terms but in social and community service provision terms;

1.3 the General Aviation sector, including the commercial elements of the sector, is overburdened with the complexity and cost flowing from the current Civil Aviation Act, Regulations and other aviation legislation;

1.4 the current regulatory regime is based on a prescriptive approach to rules and compliance. World best practice is based on Outcome Based regulation which Australia should implement immediately in accordance with DAS Directive 01/2015 and the Minister’s CASA Statement of Expectations;

1.5 the cost and complexity burdens placed on the General Aviation sector are exacerbated by the actions of Airservices and airport operators, both privatised and local government owned, by further cost impositions, operational restrictions and inappropriate infrastructure development;

1.6 the Australian economy has the opportunity to benefit from pilot and engineering training, aircraft and component maintenance and construction services flowing from the world-wide expansion of air travel and aviation activity – especially in Asia. To achieve this, we must be able to respond effectively and be liberated from over regulation; and

1.7 the attitude must be to adopt best regulatory practices in parallel with embracing safety and economic benefits of new technologies in Australian aircraft and operations. This will allow Australia to achieve its potential as an aviation leader, aviation service provider and exporter.

2. In looking to the future, the Summit further resolved to:

2.1 provide a statement of value of the General Aviation sector in Australia;

2.2 provide a statement of opportunity for the General Aviation sector in Australia;

2.3 recommend the Civil Aviation Act and other Acts associated with aviation including aviation infrastructure, be reviewed and amended to ensure implementation of Outcome Based regulation during the first term of the next government;

2.4 In the meantime, to recommend a small number of amendments to the Civil Aviation Act to immediately refocus to a less prescriptive and holistic approach to regulation for bi-partisan passage through the parliament before the next election;


Whereas the current regulatory stance adopted by CASA is out of step with contemporary regulatory practice, as adopted by The International Civil Aviation Organization through the promulgation of Annex 19, Safety Management Systems, and is contributing to the rapid decline of Australia’s general aviation industry, and
Whereas the World is facing a growing shortage of skilled aviation personnel and Australia has the opportunity to contribute to the training of these personnel in a way that can improve safety, the Aviation Summit finds that elements of the current Civil Aviation Act are not fit for purpose.

Specifically, §9A, Performance of Functions, imposes upon CASA a limitation that impedes the development of performance-based regulation and the safety benefits that would otherwise be achieved. §9A (1) requires that, in exercising its powers and performing its functions, CASA must regard the safety of air navigation as the most important consideration and there is an urgent need to address this anomaly.

2.4.1. The Aviation Summit supports a review of the Civil Aviation Act, to include as a minimum, a repeal of §9A (1) and a replacement with the following language:
9A Performance of functions

(1) In exercising its powers and performing its functions, CASA must seek to achieve the highest level of safety in air navigation as well as:

(a) maintaining an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry, including a viable general aviation and training sector;

(b) the need for more people to benefit from civil aviation.

2.4.2. The Summit delegates support the need to amend, as soon as possible, the Object of the Civil Aviation Act and other aviation related Acts, without reducing the primacy of safety, to include an amended Object to support a sustainable and viable aviation industry;
The main objective of the Act is to establish a regulatory framework for maintaining, enhancing and promoting the safety of civil aviation with particular emphasis on preventing aviation accidents and incidents;

In addition to this, the objects must include;

i. a strong, efficient and sustainable aviation industry;
ii. enabling more people to benefit from aviation; and
iii. emphasis on substantially reducing the administrative and financial burden of regulatory compliance.
(Note: the final wording will be decided between both the Minister and Shadow Minister.

2.4.3. The summit delegates also support the inclusion of government’s Red Tape Policy to be permanently inserted in Section 98.

2.5 recommend establishment of an Office of Aviation Industry in the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to engage and assist industry to further foster and develop aviation both domestically and internationally; and

2.6 recommend that there are a number of advances in aviation safety and amenity that can be made within the current regulations and responsibilities. The summit seeks to have an established programme to identify, prioritise and implement a programme of these changes with defined time-frames and covering CASA, ASA and Aerodrome Operators (see ANNEX 1)





The Australian General Aviation Alliance welcomes the 33 general aviation industry associations and 80 representatives who have confirmed their attendance to the General Aviation Summit 2018, 9th and 10th July – Wagga Wagga, NSW.


Participating associations at the AGAA GA Summit represent approx. 26,500+ members across a broad spectrum of general aviation interest groups. This meeting represents the largest of its kind in many decades and signals the broad support for genuine meaningful change.

AssociationS attending include:

1. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia
2. Aircraft Electronics Association – South Pacific Region
3. Aircraft Maintenance Repair Overhaul Business Assoc
4. Airtourer Association
5. Angel Flight Australia*
6. Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia
7. Australian Aircraft Manufacturers Association
8. Australian Beechcraft Society
9. Australian Business Aviation Association
10. Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association
11. Australian Mooney Pilots Association
12. Australian Parachute Federation
13. Australian Piper Society Inc
14. Australian Women Pilots Association
15. Cessna 182 Association of Australia
16. Cessna 200 Association of Australia
17. Cirrus Owner Pilots Association of Australia
18. Colour Vision Deficient Pilots Association
19. Experimental Light Aircraft Association of Australia
20. Gliding Federation of Australia
21. Hang Gliding Federation of Australia
22. International Comanche Society – Australia
23. Lancair Owner Builder Organisation
24. Recreational Aviation Australia Limited
25. Regional Airports User Action Group
26. Rotorcraft Asia Pacific*
27. Royal Federation of Aero Clubs*
28. Sport Aircraft Association of Australia
29. Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia
30. Australian Aero Clubs Alliance
31. Your Central Coast Airport Association
32. Australian Warbirds Association Limite
33. Regional Aviation Association of Australia*
*Observer organisations

The purpose of the Summit is to bring together the leadership of Australia’s general aviation industry associations, seeking to develop a consensus proposal for a change to the Civil Aviation Act. The Summit will be chaired by Mr Geoff Breust, former Managing Director of Regional Express and serving President of the Wagga City Aero Club.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Michael McCormack, will open the Summit, addressing delegates on the morning of 9th July 2018. In the spirit of bipartisan support for change, Mr Anthony Albanese MP has been invited to address the Summit delegates on the morning of Tuesday 10th July 2018.

In addition, the following Important guests are attending:

1. City of Wagga Wagga Mayor, Councillor Greg Conkey
2. Member for Mount Isa, The Hon Robert Katter MP
3. Senator for Western Australia, Senator Slade Brockman
4. Senator for Queensland, Senator Fraser Anning
5. Senator for South Australia, Senator Rex Patrick
6. Senator for South Australia, Senator David Fawcett
7. Senate RRAT Committee Secretary, Dr Jane Thompson
8. Department of Infrastructure, Mr Jim Wolfe
9. Department of Infrastructure, Melissa Cashman
10. Aviation Advisor for the DPM, Mr Stephen Campbell
11. CASA Group Manager, Mr Rob Walker
12. Airservices Australia, Mr Stephen Angus
13. Australian Transport Safety Bureau, TBA
14. iAOPA Secretary-General, Mr Craig Spence
15. University of New South Wales, Prof Ian Hampson
16. Falcon Air Safety Officer, Ken Lewis

The Summit Dinner guest speakers are Mr Michael Smith, former Deputy Director of Aviation Safety (CASA), speaking to the need for change to the Civil Aviation Act so as to unlock Australia’s aviation industry and Mr Craig Spence, Secretary-General of the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Participating media include;

1. ABC Riverina Radio & Television
2. PRIME7 Television
3. Wagga Weekly Newspaper
4. The Australian
5. Australian Flying Magazine
6. Australian Aviation
7. AERO Magazine

On behalf of the AGAA we thank you all for your participation and we look forward to working with you to achieve a positive outcome at the summit.

AusFly 2018 is on! Narromine Airport 18-21 October 2018

AGAA in conjunction with Narromine Gliding Club, Narromine Aero Club, Narromine Museum and the Narromine Shire is hosting the AusFly 2018 event from 18th – 21st October 2018.

Whatever you fly, you are welcome – come and join in the fun!  Let’s show everyone the true spirit of Australian general aviation at work.

A mix of pure general aviation content, education, flying and catching up with fellow aviators is what this event will be all about. A relaxed, traditional Aussie fly-In. And that includes under wing camping if that’s your thing!

AGAA welcomes other organisations and their Members to join us at the event, and event better join AGAA.

Check out the preliminary event details on our site.

So why not pencil this dates into your diary and plan to come along!