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Overwater Operations

Old 17th Jul 2010, 07:24
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Overwater Operations

Fridays Australian, contained a story about certain operaters doing flights to check out anti-whaling operations in the Southern ocean last summer.

www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation.

Seems to be much confusion within CASA how far operaters can operate out to sea without an international AOC.

So do you require an international AoC for fishspotting in C337 when operating 100 miles of the coast of SA, flying to the Tiwi Islands, flying into Sydney in PA-31 if you get taken out to sea for runway 25 ILS, what about between say Merimbula and Flinders Island, what about chasing yachts in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in a helicopter?
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 08:06
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"There were also concerns with one operator that the chief pilots had been bypassed. But the main thrust of the investigation was whether the charter operators were allowed to fly outside the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit.
He said Tasair's air operator's certificate covered domestic operations in Australia and it was technically in breach of regulations if it travelled beyond 12 nautical miles and not, as many people believed, the 200-nautical-mile exclusion zone.
"What we did find in that investigation was there was a misunderstanding in the industry -- and I will admit with some of our own people -- of what constituted 'outside Australian territorial limits' where you would require an operator's certificate permitting international operations. Technically, outside 12 miles is an issue."
Hmmm!

This just illustrates the joke that is the aviation regulator in Australia!

V134, the preferred IFR route from Townsville to Cairns puts you 22 nm off the coast at the BARIA waypoint. I assume from the above that anyone flying a charter on that route that is not operating under an operator's certificate permitting international operations is in breach!

Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! I have flown it once in the FTKD, clutching my life jacket to my bosom - but that was a private op, not a charter!

Dr
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 08:22
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CASA AOC Variation

Guys,

Just to add to the confusion, yesterday, CASA issued a number of Variations to AOC to allow such operations for operators who have AMSA contracts. It appears that the regulator has done this, after discussions with AMSA, in an effort to legalize the operation and to help clear up any misconceptions.

So in my opinion they have approached this in a common sense and helpful manner. It's a pleasant change i must say.

Groggy
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 08:41
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The issue isn't CASAs fault (for once). The problem is in International Law Australian territory only extends 12nm and therefore that's the extent of domestic operation. Obviously the situations mentioned above, with common sense, are domestic but this conflicts with the 12nms
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 12:45
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12nm perpendicular to the coast I assume?.. not like case to leave out the specifics of a definition.

Is that when the water means x depth or from the mean tide level?

There are dozens of waypoints all around the country WELL outside this.

Well done.
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 13:24
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Groggy - I don't believe you said that.
Obviously Saturday night, a few ales and the mind goes misty.
Fancy you giving Casa a tick!!
What about Forky's comment re Baria? Got a line on that.
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 14:06
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It means 12nm from the Australian baseline - which is normally the low-tide mark
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 21:58
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www.ga.gov.au/image cache/GA3746,pdf refers.
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 22:23
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I remember the 12 nm territorial line being brought up at a RAAF airspace meeting relating to Restricted Areas. It was mentioned then that you couldn't actually restrict access to the airspace as it was outside Australian Territory. If you pull out a chart you will see that almost all of the Restricted areas off the coast are therefore in International Waters, where it was presumed you are free to come and go as you like.
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Old 17th Jul 2010, 22:34
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I would have though that international waters might have a bearing if you are in command of a boat but if flying surely the FIR is what counts.

I may be wrong of course, I've been out of the game for quite a while now.

Do not flights Perth/Melbourne go well south of the coast over the bight?
Passengers on these flights are not required to clear customs on arrival.
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 02:12
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CIA: The World Factbook
territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every state has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles; the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the mean low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal state; the UNCLOS describes specific rules for archipelagic states.

contiguous zone
- according to the UNCLOS (Article 33), this is a zone contiguous to a coastal state's territorial sea, over which it may exercise the control necessary to: prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea; punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea; the contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (e.g. the US has claimed a 12-nautical mile contiguous zone in addition to its 12-nautical mile territorial sea).

exclusive economic zone (EEZ)
- the UNCLOS (Part V) defines the EEZ as a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a coastal state has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents, and winds; jurisdiction with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures; marine scientific research; the protection and preservation of the marine environment; the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone shall not exceed 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
We are claiming
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

I think it can be classified as domestic ops as long as operators are maintaining within 36nm (territorial sea + contiguous zone limit) from Australian territories. With regard to MEL - TAS ops as long as operators operate within VIC-Kings Island-TAS-Flinders Island it is almost certain that he is operating within the 36nm limit.
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 06:21
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Do not flights Perth/Melbourne go well south of the coast over the bight?
Passengers on these flights are not required to clear customs on arrival.
Passengers flying the QF flight from Melb (I think) to Melb via Antarctica without stopping do not even need to take a passport. I think that you have to actually land somewhere else. I could go check the AIP as I think that there may be something in there but maybe later.

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Old 18th Jul 2010, 11:22
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Hobart - Adelaide as well. Hobart - Sydney, in fact pretty much any flight to and from Tassie. What about flights to Lord Howe Island? What about senic flights over the Barrier Reef? Taking a rigid approach to the 12 mile limit will make a massive change to commercial operations in Australia. Precident is such a huge part of international law I think it would be very hard for the Govt to insist now that anything that flies outside that now constitutes an international operation.
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 12:10
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CAR 2. "international air service means an air service which passes
through the airspace over the territory of more than one
country."
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 12:18
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Kind of ironic that the only complaint they have against someone for allegedly assisting the Japanese hunt whales in Australian waters was to in fact not be in Australian waters!!
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 12:24
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One can only consider the "regulator" a joke. Not a lot of fore thought has gone into this, but the outfall is going to cost a lot of money to repair. In zealously trying to nail the two operators to placate the green lobby, CASA has opened a large box of worms. Surely you think that there would be some one with enough IQ to have thought about the outcomes prior to going into print.
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 13:19
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This whole business with domestic and international AOC's is utter nonsense. Is the air different outside Australia, other laws of physics maybe? No, of course not....... then why the difference in AOC's?

It gives some interesting opportunities though.... the route from Melbourne to Perth could then be flown by any company holding a FAOC because the flight ventures out far over the southern ocean on the way to Perth to duck around headwinds in winter. If 12 NM off the coast is where the flight becomes international ..... well you get my point.
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 15:07
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So does a float plane company flying tourist to the great barrier reef need an International AOC?
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Old 18th Jul 2010, 17:44
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Because of the general misunderstanding, CASA believed it inappropriate to take action against the charter operators.
Oh, that action by the CASA isn't politically motivated (like every other action that the CASA has done in the last 20 years). It's just being a considerate and honest regulator independent of any lobby or political influence.

The CASA will be 12 months now trying to rewrite regulations to prohibit the anti-whaling aviation activities (without mentioning those activities specifically by name) while permitting the overwater operations of every other non-anti-whaling aviation activity.

Difficult to believe that anyone would still want to work there.
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Old 19th Jul 2010, 10:59
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I'm just echoing sentiments already aired here but how does the S in CASA come into play here?

According to the Act CASA's decisions must be based on safety.

I personally abhor the [illegal] whaling being conducted by the Japanese but CASA is the wrong tool for the government to use in this case.

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