CASA denies new regulations will kill charity flights

THE Civil Aviation Safety Authority denies it wants to cut Angel Flight's wings and those of other community service organisations with new proposals to regulate the groups.

The national aviation body is reassuring rural and regional communities it is not taking action that will see the demise of charity flights.

CASA's call for calm comes after Angel Flight chief Bill Bristow condemned a proposal in a discussion paper recently put forward by CASA.

The creation of a self-administering aviation authority was made in the paper about community service flights' standards.

Mr Bristow has publicly expressed concern it could mean the permanent grounding of the charity which coordinates non-emergency free flights for country people to medical facilities across Australia.

But CASA has defended the paper and rejected it is set to impose "crippling red tape" on community service flight operators.

CASA said the paper was released for public comment so people could understand the aviation safety standards currently provided on community service flights and consider whether there may be alternative ways of managing safety more effectively.

The body said community service flights were considered to be private flights and the safety rules did not take into account the special characteristics of these operations.

CASA said it meant pilots had varying levels of qualifications and experience and the aircraft involved differed in size, power and sophistication.

"While CASA has put forward options in the discussion paper these are no more than suggestions at this stage," CASA said in a statement released on Sunday.

"If any changes to the safety standards covering community service flights are proposed in the future there would be further and comprehensive consultation before any action was taken." - APN NEWSDESK



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