Effective 15th July 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 2nd July 2019 “..as 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: sport@casa.gov.au.