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The rules structure

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The rules structure

The following section outlines the structure of the various rules, regulations and guidance material.

The Civil Aviation Act 1988 (CAA) is the act which established the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) with functions relating to civil aviation, in particular the safety of civil aviation.

The Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CARs) are the regulations made under the CAA. The CARs are currently in transition to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998.

The Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASRs) are currently being written and will ultimately incorporate CAR 1988. The numbering system for the ‘Parts’ of these regulations generally follows the US Federal Aviation Regulations.

Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) are the second-tier legislation that expands in greater detail on the CARs, and are being subsumed into CASRs.

Manuals of Standards (MOS) are the second-tier legislation that expands in greater detail on the various CASR Parts.

Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) is a set of documents containing aeronautical information of a lasting nature. The AIP book is the basic document and this is supplemented by:

  • En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA) containing aerodrome, survival and other operational data.
  • Departure and Approach Procedures (DAP East and DAP West) primarily for IFR operations.
  • AIP Supplement (SUP) temporary changes to the information contained in the AIP which are published by means of special pages.
  • Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) a notice distributed by means of telecommunication containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations.
  • Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) a notice containing information that does not qualify for the publication of a NOTAM, or for inclusion in the AIP, but which relates to flight safety, air navigation, technical, administrative or legislative matters.
  • Terminal Area Chart (TAC)
  • En Route Chart (High and Low) (ERC-H and ERC-L)
  • Planning Chart Australia (PCA)
  • Visual Navigation Chart (VNC) 1:500,000 with airspace detail.
  • Visual Terminal Chart (VTC) 1:250,000 with airspace detail.
  • Designated Airspace Handbook (DAH) contains the definitive description of Australian administered airspace and lists the volumes of airspace within the current airspace classifications (Classes A, C, D, E and G), protected airspace (prohibited, restricted and danger areas), and air routes, as well as other relevant material.

World Aeronautical Charts (WACs) are charts to a 1:1,000,000 scale which show topographical details but not details of airspace organisation.

Civil Aviation Advisory Publications (CAAPs) are numbered in accordance with the CARs to which they refer. They describe methods that, if adopted, ensure compliance with a particular regulation. CAAPs are only recommendations and do not necessarily outline the only available method.

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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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