The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is finalizing an update to its aircraft accident and incident report regulations with the goal of streamlining and simplifying the requirements. The revised rules, to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, were developed after three rounds of industry consultations between 2019 and 2022.

“For aviation, there are two key changes being introduced in the amended regulations,” said ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell. “The creation of four categories of aircraft operations, each with different reporting requirements, and new requirements for sport aviation operators to report accidents and incidents.” 

The four categories are Category A, commercial passenger transport; Category B, commercial non-passenger, including medium to large remotely powered aircraft (RPA); Category C, non-commercial aircraft; and Category D, small RPAs and certain uncrewed balloons. “Passenger-carrying and commercial operations will have a greater reporting focus due to the greater public safety benefit that could be derived,” said Mitchell. 

Other changes include aligning aircraft operation categories and definitions with revised Australian flight rules introduced in December, as well as matching ICAO definitions for accident, serious incident, fatal injury, and serious injury. Revised rules also include defining occurrences that must be reported to the ATSB immediately, events that must be reported by telephone as soon as reasonably practical, and “routine” matters that can be reported in writing within 72 hours.


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