Pearl aviation for example run mining crew changes from fixed terminals on a fixed schedule over specified routes, HOWEVER since their flights are not available to the public generally it is not RPT! So they only need a Charter AOC and it's all perfectly legal.
So if I ran a charter company and I advertised that we flew from point b to point c every day, but with no set schedule. meaning one day you go at 7am and the other days at completely different times.
We could then fly at a different time each day and not have to go RPT? or can you have a charter flight already happening and then stick other people on it even though you advertise that you fly from point b to point c.
That is how I read into it. after all how many companys do we all know where the operator is going at the same time daily anyway.
112.3, ALL of the following conditions must exist for an air service, passenger and/or cargo, to be defined as RPT under CAR 206 (1) (c):
fixed schedules; and
fixed terminals; and
specific routes; and
available for use by persons generally.
"Fixed schedules" and "Available for use by persons generally" is not defined in either the Act or CAR's, however could be given a normal meaning:
Operated to a pre determined schedule, over a common route, with some element of commonality in time - e.g. daily, weekly over the same route on each flight.
Travel available to any person on payment of a pre determined fare, which is not an exclusive whole of aircraft charter rate. Of course, many operators try to circumvent this through an "interposed entity" - a travel agent, another company, or a freight agency - however in my mind, interposed entity or not, if anyone can purchase a "ticket" from any source, this would qualify. (Indeed, I suspect scheduled freight and bank runs should be defined as RPT under CAR 206, as freight space is available to persons generally, albeit by an interposed entity, the freight company.)
"Fixed Terminals", I suspect it was intended to mean a substantial airport passenger or freight departure building. CASA seem to have no idea as they have never been able to provide me with a legal definition.
"Specific Routes", again, no definition in the Act or CARs. However, CAR 206 is almost a word for word re-write of one of the old pre 1988 ANR's in the series ANR197 to ANR203. (Can't locate my old ANR's). In days of old (particularly during the Two Airline era), RPT service (or airline) routes were defined on navigation charts and gave the track heading and distance between reporting points. If the anticipated route was not defined on a navigation chart, it could be operated regularly (on a fixed schedule) by a charter operator, under an ANR 203 Exemption. The routes which were specified on the navigation charts could be operated by an air charter operator, but there were various restrictions in time, originally once in 28 days, later the "eight hour/four hour" rule applied. (i.e. Could not be operated within eight hours before, or four hours after a scheduled airline service.)
In the matter involving Seaview, I seem to recall His Honour tried to unravel the meaning of CAR 206, however I think the final guilty verdict was based on NSW State legislation, which required an RPT operator to hold a NSW RPT License.
I hope this thread attracts the attention of our resident aviation lawyer, Creampuff as he has some experience with this area of the CAR's. Mind you, Creamie and I could never agree (on anything) but it would be very interesting to hear his definition of these terms.
CAR210 is another interesting piece of regulation. I suspect that express freight companies (not being AOC holders), which advertise their inter city air freight service on TV and in the media, and conduct scheduled bank and freight runs using sub contract air charter operators, may be contravening CAR210.
The pivotal difference is that the public can't rock up off the street and buy a seat, like you can with RPT. The CHTR has a pax list (meant to) prior, with all travellers being know quantities to the owner of the chtr, or having sort permission from them prior
Granted it has relaxed somewhat, the last 10-15 years.
BANNER HEADLINE: "Roll up and see the sights of the <insert geographical feature here>"
"OK mister, for $200 you can join the <geographical feature> Club. The membership entitles you to a free flight, and stone the motherless crows, there's one leaving in the morning at 0930 with the other newly joined club members in it. We'll pick you up from your hotel/caravan park at 0830."
"Great, here's the $200"
Now the "club" happens to own an aircraft.
That's private then innit?
With apologies to Mr Ansett and his 2 quid orange that included the free flight from Hamilton to EN....
No Stallie. In my books that's an "interposed entity". Same rules apply.
However for some reason CASA has always subtly differentiated between flights which depart point A and land at point B, from those which depart point A and return to land at the same point A. That seems to become a "scenic", although I can't find any reason in the Act or CAR's to diferentiate between a "scenic" and an air charter.
Chocks Away, I thought that was how some tourism scenics operated? Indeed, one CASA FOI once told me that acquatic and rotary wing tourist operations (for example, the fixed and rotary wing flights between Cairns, Green Island and Fitzroy Island, operating to a fixed schedule, available to persons generally, for an individual air fare - and advertised in the media) are not RPT as they don't operate from a fixed terminal!!!
What else could he say, when they are not operating from licensed aerodromes and are in single engine, VFR aircraft!
Some years ago, a UK air charter company operating Boeing aircraft back loaded tourist flights between Australia and the UK. The tickets could be purchased in Australia by persons generally, the flight departed from Sydney International Terminal - a fixed terminal if ever there was one, over a specified route, to a fixed schedule - and a CASA employee told me it was a tourist charter!
My reasoning may be wrong - but I suspect CAR206 (1) (c) with respect to defining RPT operations, is nothing short of a load of mumbo jumbo cr@p which not even the regulator understands!
Transparency - the setting of rules that maintain or enhance safety that are clear, concise and unambiguous is essential. Transparency in all CASA's regulatory and management processes provides a good background for governance. The ability to uphold standards fairly, a meaningful and consultative approach to stakeholder interaction and an ability to deliver and measure results without compromise are essential to CASA's transparency.
Torres - I remember the UK operator you mentioned. The old "book through a tour operator" ruse to become a "charter".
175. The respondent [CASA] contended, and relied on such a contention as one of the bases for cancelling the applicant's AOC, that the applicant operated RPT flights in contravention of its AOC conditions. There was much evidence led on this issue, and I find it necessary to explore the evidence in more detail.
176. The distinction between an RPT operation and a charter operation can be found in the CARS. RPT is defined in CAR 206(1)(c) as:
["the purpose of transporting persons generally, or transporting cargo for persons generally, for hire or reward in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals over specific routes with or without intermediate stopping places between terminals."]
Charter purposes are defined in CAR 206 (1)(b):
"charter purposes, being purposes of the following kinds:
(i) the carriage of passengers or cargo for hire or reward to or from any place, other than carriage in accordance with fixed schedules to and from
(ii) the carriage, in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals, of passengers or cargo or passengers and cargo in circumstances in which the accommodation in the aircraft is not available for use by persons generally,."
177. Mr Glynn submitted that the operations of the applicant were somewhat "hybrid", and fell somewhere in between pure charter operations and RPT operations. He pointed out that, although it was a "grey area", the operations did not fall squarely within the definition of RPT found in CAR 206 (1)(c). Mr Harvey submitted that the applicant's operation has to be classified as either charter operations or RPT and cannot be classified anywhere in between. He submitted that the applicant has not complied strictly with a charter operation where the charterer can exclude certain passengers. In his submission the evidence was quite clear that the services of transportation were open to persons generally who were willing to pay the fare to get to their destination. Any ambiguity that can be found within the regulations must be interpreted to promote the purposes of the Act, and that is, according to Mr Harvey to promote safety. Since the standards of safety are necessarily higher under an RPT operation, the applicant should not be permitted to operate an RPT operation without incurring the cost effort in ensuring that higher standard and obtaining an appropriate AOC.
178. In determining whether in fact the applicant operated an RPT operation without the necessary AOC, I must first look to the elements of an RPT as outlined in the CAR 1998. 1 take these to be:
(a) transporting persons or cargo for persons generally;
(b) for hire or reward;
(c) in accordance with fixed schedules;
(d) to and from fixed terminals;
(e) over specific routes.
transporting persons or cargo for persons generally
179. It is clear from the evidence in the hearing that the applicant ran the business of transporting persons and cargo for persons. However, the touchstone between RPT and charter purposes rests on the word "generally". This is because under CAR 206(1)(b)(ii) there can be an operation classified as charter that satisfies all the elements of RPT excepting the availability for use by persons generally. This is commonly known as a closed charter. A similar provision was dealt with by Bollen J in [?] (Cth), which is in similar terms to CAR 206(1)(b)(ii). There it was stated at 79: [?]
180. In this hearing, Mr Mostafa gave evidence that prospective customers would contact the applicant's office, or its booking agents and request a seat on a flight, rather than requesting all of the accommodation on the aircraft. He detailed what he termed a "shared charter" where individuals would request a seat on an aircraft and the applicant would group these individuals together in the circumstances described above at paragraph 41. The examination of various passenger and freight manifests undertaken by Mr Harvey in his cross-examination of Mr Mostafa substantiates that the applicant made accommodation available to persons and cargo generally. In fact, the question was put directly to Mr Mostafa whether accommodation was made available to anyone, provided there was space for them. Mr Mostafa agreed. Therefore I find the first element of RPT operation to be satisfied.
for hire or reward
181. It is clear from the evidence in this hearing that the applicant transported persons and cargo for hire and reward. Mr Mostafa agreed that the applicant charged a set fee per seat on flights that it conducted between various islands and the passengers were issued with receipts for the money they had spent.
in accordance with fixed schedules
182. Mr Glynn submitted that the applicant's operations did not satisfy this element of having fixed schedules because the schedule changed daily and was only set at 4.00pm the previous day for the proposed travel. Mr Harvey submitted that the schedule was fixed once the details of the flights for the following day were determined by the applicant. I agree with Mr Harvey's submissions that the fixing of the schedules was done once the applicant had determined the details of the flights it was to operate on the following day. i find it unnecessary to have a printed booklet or pamphlet that indicates the times and destinations of flights on a daily basis similar to that of the large commercial airlines operating within Australia.
to and from fixed terminals
183. I reject Mr Glynn's submission that "fixed terminal" means some building near the airstrip where passengers can gather. Mr Harvey submitted that the terminal is "fixed" when the operator determines the route to be flown and the passenger does not have the right to alter the route. In support of this submission, Mr Harvey referred to a report of the Seaview Royal Commission which dealt with the question whether Seaview Air was conducting an unauthorised RPT service. In that report, one view as to what the legislature envisaged by "fixed schedules" and "fixed terminals" was that the schedules and terminals are fixed by the aircraft operator rather than the charter of the aircraft. This was plainly the case with the applicant's operations as the actual determination of the flight time and route was performed by the operations manager of the applicant. According to Mr Mostafa, if the details of the flight did not suit the prospective passenger, they had the option of refusing to travel. This interpretation of "fixed terminal" does not have regard to any building as such, but rather a place or destination to which a passenger is travelling. I regard this interpretation as logical. Bollen J in agreed with the Magistrate's finding that the operator in that case travelled between fixed terminals. There it was stated at 82:
184. Quite clearly the evidence given from Mr Olbort, Ms Jessop and Mr Mostafa establishes that passengers were travelling to set destinations, or putting it in the terms of regulation 206(1)(c), "fixed terminals". It matters little that the aircraft would make intermediate stops on the way to that requested destination. Accordingly, I find that the applicant operated between fixed terminals.
over specific routes
185. Mr Glynn submitted that the applicant did not operate between specific routes as it was the passengers who requested their destination and depending on these requests, the routes were changed accordingly. Mr Harvey submitted that the applicant had established set routes between specific islands with a set price per seat. By 4.00pm on the previous day of travel, the route, times and destinations were set by the operations manager of the applicant. The set routes were said by Mr Harvey to be either east bound to various islands or west bound to such islands or between the islands and the mainland.
186. I accept Mr Harvey's submissions made that the applicant operated over specific routes. The route to be flown was, according to Mr Mostafa, set by 4.00pm the previous day to travel. The route, although dependant on the requests from travellers, was made specific at that time that the operations manager determined the details of flight. Mr Mostafa agreed when Mr Harvey suggested to him that a proportion of the applicant's operations followed a pattern, and that the applicant has designated names for particular routes. Furthermore, it was Mr Mostafa's evidence that some of the flights conducted by the applicant were intended to connect with RPT operators and ferries in the area. Also, according to Mr Bowers as outlined in paragraph 85 above, if a passenger was travelling on "our usual route", then that passenger was charged a fixed price. All of this suggests that the applicant operated specific routes, and I find that this element is satisfied.
187. I find all of the elements identified in CAR 206(1) to be satisfied and therefore conclude that, at least on some occasions, the applicant had been conducting RPT flights. It is clear that the AOC under review did not, and never did allow for RPT operation by the applicant. It follows that the applicant has contravened its AOC.
Just a note on that UK charter company.....I would have thought a couple of things.....first they operate on a UK AOC..and are subject to OZ laws only at point of departure...secondly under a Uk AOC, a charter company can operate to a schedule, as long as it is ticketed via it agencies..and not at point of departure(thats the general gist...I think)...and finally given it was operating under a UK AOC....then surely the ICAO freedoms laws apply as agreed to by Oz as an ICAO state.
what are the costs to the company, when they do go from a charter company to a RPT company. what experience does a pilot need they go for a job with a RPT company? I had heard that it is 50 hours night and 150 hours planned IF.
when a company goes from charter to RPT, and employees who dont have that experience do they get the sack?
Creampuff I have great respect for your knowledge, and you have proved once again that you speak legalese. But can you tell me how these factors affect safety?? It looks like commercial regulation to me, Surely repitition, preplanning, a financial system that is appropriate and freedom to advertise without fear of being shutdown, are all good factors that will improve the operation and make it safer. Surely most flights should be planned the previous day if possible, but this makes it a "scheduled" flight. Is CASA authorised to regulate the commercial aspect of aviation? It appears to me that they use (or misuse) the safety regulations to do this and Reg 203, 206 210 etc are there to protect the commercial interests of the chosen ones.
Despite what AAT Deputy President Gerber says I would have thought that he was stretching the definition of "fixed schedules" with his interpretation given that the flights were set at 1600 the day before and only for the following day. It was a "fixed schedule" for one day at a time.
Given what the High Court has said about statutory interpretation in Blue Sky v ABA, has Gerber's findings been tested in a proper court rather than that bear pit of Rafferty's Rules that applies in the AAT?
So, what is to stop the charter company also owning/operating a travel agency, who then charters the aircraft... every day, at the same time, to go to the same place, for the same price, and charge joe public a fixed price ?
Surely the "charter company " is then operating a charter for the travel agency?
the travel agency is selling seats on a plane that IT has chartered? Joe Public has no idea what the differnce is..... although, I believe that giving out BOARDING PASSES is legal, but not TICKETS!!!
Mind you, when was the last time anyone actually had a paper ticket in his/her hand from a (real) airline anyway ?
Bushy – The distinctions drawn in CAR 206 itself have got nothing to do with safety. It’s all the other rules that do that. For example, an aircraft that is being used, or is to be used, by the holder of an Air Operator's Certificate which authorises the use of that aircraft for RPT, is a “class A aircraft” under the Regs and must therefore be maintained under a system of maintenance approved under Reg 39. There’s a bunch of other rules compliance with which make RPT comparatively safer that Charter. It’s consequently more expensive to set up and run, which is why so many at the fringes try to find loopholes.
Of course the poor pax don’t know about or understand the implications of the distinction, but who cares about them. (Torres can fill you in on the history of supplemental airlines and all that stuff about defeating the tyranny of distance in a wide brown land where things like RPT standard aerodromes were simply impractical.)
Don’t blame CASA for the original content of CAR 206. It’s merely the moldering remnants of ANR 191, which was made many moons before CASA was a gleam in a Minister’s advisor’s eye. However, CASA’s abject failure to repeal and replace it, notwithstanding the outcomes of the Seaview Commission of Inquiry, and notwithstanding the 8 or so years and endless millions that CASA’s Standards Division has had to do it, would in other times be scandalous. But who cares anymore?
Plovett: you’d have to ask the AAT about that. My understanding of Blue Sky is that sometimes the exercise of a statutory power in breach of a requirement applying to the exercise will render the decision void, and in other cases, voidable. I’m not sure it’s got anything to do with working out what CAR 206 means. But you’re always welcome to run it past the High Court.
Apache: the fake travel agency (as opposed to an arm’s length one) is probably the second oldest ploy to get around 206/191. Buying ‘shares’ in the aircraft before the flight, thereby turning the flight into a private one by the ‘owners’, is probably the oldest. The one the subject of the AAT decision above was the one created to get around governments’ (note the apostrophe after the “s”) decision to cease maintaining aerodromes – Torres can fill you in on the history. CASA had some policy on the issue, but it’s all too hard, so doesn’t bother any more.