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Industry welcomes publication of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority AAM, RPAS roadmap

Today’s publication by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (“CASA”) of its remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) roadmap has been widely welcomed by industry.

“The Australian Association for Uncrewed Systems welcomes the release of CASA’s RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap,” said AAUS Executive Director, Greg Tyrrell. “For many years AAUS has been advocating for greater certainty to industry through the development of a roadmap and we see the release of this document as an important milestone for the RPAS and AAM sectors, giving them direction to investment and development as we move towards an uncrewed aviation future.”

The association reports that “the landmark document forms one of the initiatives under the National Emerging Aviation Technologies Policy and outlines CASA’s long-term plan for safely integrating RPAS and AAM technologies into Australia’s airspace and future regulatory systems, alongside traditional aviation.”

“This paper makes it clear that there is strong policy support for Advanced Air Mobility in Australia at a Federal Government level” says AAM infrastructure company Skyportz in a press release. “Australia was the country of choice for Google’s Wing delivery spin off some years ago” reports the press release.

Under the new Roadmap clear timelines are set out for: Aircraft and aircraft systems; Operations; Airspace and traffic management; Infrastructure; People; Safety and security.

In the immediate term (2022 to 2023) CASA plans to (inter alia)

  • Publish acceptable industry consensus standards for piloted AAM.
  • Review applicable maintenance policies for AAM.
  • Review international frameworks, standards and methods for certification and assurance of RPAS.
  • Develop a transparent, consistent, and scalable method to manage Australian airspace that supports RPAS and AAM integration.
  • Research how existing separation standards may apply to RPAS and AAM. Identify future changes required including conspicuity and equipage considerations.
  • Review existing flight rules against the future needs for RPAS and AAM.
  • Work with DITRDC and Airservices Australia to develop a regulatory oversight framework for UTM.
  • Conduct a gap analysis of CASR parts to identify regulatory changes required to support RPAS and AAM operations.
  • Publish more standard scenarios and SORA guidance for low risk RPAS operations and emergency services.
  • Work with DITRDC to set up the National drone detection network and support all safety aspects of the infrastructure planning framework.

“We brought in RPAS legislation ahead of many other countries and we continued to sharpen our focus on emerging technology over the years. We are committed to advancing these pioneering technologies and see this roadmap as a priority as we frame the future of Australian aviation”, said Pip Spence, CEO of CASA.

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