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Old 26th Sep 2018, 00:05
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
Hi 73.

The system of aviation safety regulation in Australia was originally based on the system of maritime safety regulation in Australia. Indeed, things like the ‘rules of the air’ ...(That’s why I occasionally say “so what” in response to someone saying “AIP para X says” or “Jepps para y” says. Ultimately, the ‘rule’ in AIP or Jepps someone is quoting is not a rule unless it reflects a law or the exercise of a statutory power. A recent real example was purported restrictions published in ERSA on the use of airspace around Mildura. The restrictions had no basis in law and were therefore removed.)
Hey Lead, great essay! You should publish that in a blog, or perhaps it should be in one of the Australian Flying Magazines.

Unfortunately I can't provide a complete answer to the OPs question. I was flying in the 1980s through to the end of the 90s, and I am just trying to get back into it. After an almost 20 year hiatus I can report back that the flight rules have become a major stumbling block for anyone trying to get back in. My experience on learning the rules back in the 80s was it was laborious, but seemed straight forward. Then while I was working in the aviation industry the regulatory framework seemed to take a sharp turn for the worse in the 1990s. Industry consultation is great, but the drawback is that there were a number of occasions where I couldn't remember if a particular rule remained, or that a proposed rule had been rejected, or had it been accepted? And if it had been accepted, which part or which version had been accepted, and had I updated my documentation correctly? In the 90s it seemed like there were so many changes it was impossible to mentally keep up with the changes. Change can be good, but it does come at a cost!

Then it was announced (can't remember the year) that we would be heading for a simpler 3 tiered system of documents The act->The regulations->The Information Publications. Now that all seemed wholesome and reasonable. But around that time I left the industry and took up a career elsewhere.
I come back to it this year only to find that the CAOs are still there; there are two lots of regulations; and I haven't got to the AIPs and below yet--it was taking so long that events overtook my little project. So, somehow, we seem to have actually gone in the diametric opposite direction regarding the regulatory framework. Now how has that come about? I don't know, but here are a few remarks I have heard from some very experienced pilots: they are stupid; they are incompetent; we were sleeping at the wheel; we have been lied to; it has been deliberate sabotage; insert other possibilities here.

A closing thought: I am baffled by the quality of the regulations. The worst thing I have seen is where I look in the definitions of a section only to find the definition saying something like, "see the use of 'this term' in clause xxx" Now I find that really strange. A definition is put in the definition section so that one can then read the clause and understand what the clause is about. How can a definition point you to the clause so that you can understand the term? In which case the term does not need to be defined and you would just look it up in an English dictionary. It does make you wonder 'what were they thinking?'
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