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PPL Passenger Limit in Australia

Old 13th Dec 2022, 09:29
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So with the new regs, basically as long as there is no reward or remuneration it is not an air transport operation therefore not a commercial operation. Where does being able to conduct an air transport operation link in to the privileges of a commercial pilot licence, and where does it say you can't conduct an air transport op on a PPL?

So I could fly a individuals plane on:
1) a regular timetable from fixed ports and;
2) carrying not only employees of the company but also contractors, sub-contractors and even other company's employees

And provided there is no reward or remuneration for their carriage (ie they are only paid for the job they do on the ground), it's a private operation?

What if the individual who owns the plane includes the an aircraft cost in response to a government tender, which is then paid out when they win the tender? The owner has quoted $500 per hour to get to the job site, and they are paid that on award of the tender or completion of the job. Is this still a private operation, because the owner is just covering the costs of running the plane, not the actual carriage of passengers or cargo? i.e. does the old rule of "in a private op you can carry employees and their tools around" still apply?
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 11:24
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Originally Posted by bloodandiron
Where does being able to conduct an air transport operation link in to the privileges of a commercial pilot licence, and where does it say you can't conduct an air transport op on a PPL?
There are lots of holes in the regs but that’s not one of them.
I won’t do all your homework for you but start with part 61. Keyword “privilege”.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 21:33
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It may be a hole.

The holder of a private pilot licence is authorised to pilot an aircraft as pilot in command or co‑pilot if:

(a) the aircraft is engaged in a private operation; or

(b) the holder is receiving flight training.

The definition of "private operation" in the Dictionary is an operation that is not one on a list. We've already seen that if an operation is not for hire or reward it's not an air transport operation.

What's to stop me being the PIC of PC12, on a private licence, flying members of the public back and forward from Outbacksville and Suburbantown on the morning and afternoon of each working day, as a charity? No money changes hands. I'm doing it as an act of
philanthropic generosity. Advertised to the public; first in best dressed.

Last edited by Lead Balloon; 13th Dec 2022 at 22:10.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 21:43
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LB. That’s not what was asked in the first instance.

It’s very clear in the regs you can’t use a PPL for an Air Transport op.

Agree, the definition of Private is, however, more nuanced.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 21:45
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
What's to stop me being the PIC of PC12, on a private licence, flying members of the public back and forward from Outbacksville and Suburbantown on the morning and afternoon of each working day, as a charity? No money changes hands. I'm doing it as an act philanthropic generosity. Advertised to the public; first in best dressed.
As I understand it, if you've got the endorsements, absolutely nothing.. and is what organisations like Angel Flight et al base their entire operation around.

Of course the hole you mention may also be the one they fell into a year or two back:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-...crash/11407294


Originally Posted by compressor stall View Post
It’s very clear in the regs you can’t use a PPL for an Air Transport op.
So i​​​​​​​s Angel Flight an Air Transport operation?
​​​​​​​
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 21:53
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I don’t know how angel flight works but if there is no payment to the pilot owner by the passengers in any way, then no it doesn’t meet the definition of AT.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 22:12
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Originally Posted by PiperCameron View Post
...So is Angel Flight an Air Transport operation?
​​​​​​​
Not according to CASA. Otherwise, CASA would require the operation to be authorised by an AOC, wouldn't it.
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Old 14th Dec 2022, 09:01
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I don’t know how angel flight works but if there is no payment to the pilot owner by the passengers in any way, then no it doesn’t meet the definition of AT.
The reg was always worded that a pilot may not receive remuneration from any party for the flight in question, passenger or completely unrelated entity. Unless of course you fulfilled the cost sharing requirements. The point is whether you receive payment or reward directly for the flight operation.

You could get around that by being paid as an employee of a company for something else and conduct the flight for free in a certain way, or the company pays all costs for its aircraft etc...
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Old 14th Dec 2022, 09:45
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
The reg was always worded that a pilot may not receive remuneration from any party for the flight in question, passenger or completely unrelated entity. Unless of course you fulfilled the cost sharing requirements. The point is whether you receive payment or reward directly for the flight operation.

You could get around that by being paid as an employee of a company for something else and conduct the flight for free in a certain way, or the company pays all costs for its aircraft etc...
Not quite true.

The transportation of the owner of an aircraft was always a private operation. Didn’t matter how much the pilot was paid.
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Old 14th Dec 2022, 11:05
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Not quite true. The transportation of the owner of an aircraft was always a private operation. Didn’t matter how much the pilot was paid.
If that's true why did/does CASA make all the operators of large business jets get an AOC? Many of which are for the sole purpose of transporting the owner and not used for charter.
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Old 14th Dec 2022, 20:11
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If the aircraft is owned by a company and flown by a company employee on a service for company only purpose where no revenue is earned on such flights then it can be considered private. However the stumbling blocks are when the aircraft starts to need multi crew, the issues come about when you may need a training and check process etc... Paying an independant pilot to fly your own plane starts to get into a grey area. The law does not stipulate the aircraft making revenue, rather whether the pilot receives reward/payment for the flight.

Simple pub test, I can hire an aircraft and fly it privately for my own purpose and the owner can profit on from it. But I can't hire myself to somebody and call it a private flight.
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Old 15th Dec 2022, 07:25
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
If that's true why did/does CASA make all the operators of large business jets get an AOC? Many of which are for the sole purpose of transporting the owner and not used for charter.
You’d have to ask CASA that.

I suspect the answer is that the “large business jets” weren’t actually used for the “sole purpose” of transporting the owner. But CASA and the operators will be of more assistance to you.
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Old 15th Dec 2022, 22:14
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I suspect the answer is that the “large business jets” weren’t actually used for the “sole purpose” of transporting the owner
Some large business jets in private ownership were used to transport gambling folks from overseas to the casino free of charge were they not?

Flew 27 years for a private operator with a large fleet flying company personnel and contractors, had an ops manual stating we would operate to charter standards, never did, nor to CASA standards for that matter, if reference was made to the ops manual the answer was "we're a private operation and don't require an ops manual", operation had its own check and training system. CASA was trying to have an AOC put on the operation, don't know how that went as retired quite some time ago, company had legal talent and political connections that could run rings around anything CASA could come up with.
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Old 17th Dec 2022, 02:04
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Let me see if I have this correct?

From Lead Balloon up the top..................
(1) A passenger transport operation is an operation of an aircraft that involves the carriage of passengers, whether or not cargo is also carried on the aircraft.
(2) Despite subclause (1), an operation is not a passenger transport operation if the operation is:
(a) an operation of an aircraft with a special certificate of airworthiness; or

OK - I own an Experimental Aircraft which by definition has a Special Certificate of Airworthiness so according to the above...... nothing I do in it can ever be a "Passenger Transport Operation".

I load the aircraft up with paying passengers and go flying, perhaps on an advertised scheduled basis.

Lead Balloon also tells us:

Definition of air transport operation
(1) An air transport operation is a passenger transport operation, a cargo transport operation or a medical transport operation, that:
(a) is conducted for hire or reward; or



Conclusion: We have a passenger transport operation in the normal terms of the words as a flight carrying passengers but it is not a passenger transport operation because the regs say it can not be so in an experimental aircraft.
AND it can not be an air transport operation because it is not a passenger transport operation as defined above.

Thus I can legally do RPT ops in a homebuilt experimental. Wow, congratulations to CASA on changing the rules this way. Awesome. Look out Mr Joyce, you have another competitor!

But I am mightly glad I don't have to re-sit my aviation legislation exams under todays nonsense, sorry, superb rules!

Perhaps my learned friend Mr McKenzie can write another letter to CASA asking if I have this correct? Yeah, Na, they are on shut down over the no work season aren't they?
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Old 17th Dec 2022, 06:14
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I pretty sure under the experimental regs bit, you’ll find something about no hire or reward.

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Old 17th Dec 2022, 06:54
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
I pretty sure under the experimental regs bit, you’ll find something about no hire or reward.
yep. There’s that and then some, but don’t let that stand in the way of a good rant.
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Old 17th Dec 2022, 09:29
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Originally Posted by compressor stall View Post
yep. There’s that and then some, but don’t let that stand in the way of a good rant.
I think you are misunderstanding. It's not ranting, they are genuine questions. The new regs have introduced a handful of new terms which requires looking up the dictionary and completely different sections of regulations to find answers regarding the classification of my operation. I didn't even know CAR 206 had changed until I saw this thread.
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Old 17th Dec 2022, 10:06
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Originally Posted by bloodandiron View Post
I think you are misunderstanding. It's not ranting, they are genuine questions. The new regs have introduced a handful of new terms which requires looking up the dictionary and completely different sections of regulations to find answers regarding the classification of my operation. I didn't even know CAR 206 had changed until I saw this thread.
Well I can’t assist in your ignorance re the regulatory rewrite, it’s not as if it was done by stealth.
But I’d say it’s a rant when it takes Advance more time to write the post than download the CASR and a search for the word “experimental” to get the answer, or at least pose a cogent question (and there are many).

Last edited by compressor stall; 17th Dec 2022 at 19:26.
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Old 2nd Jan 2023, 07:27
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Over a beer one day I asked this question to an experianced CASA FOI.

Scanario 1:
Money is no object. Husband buys a Gulfstream G800, wife is the co-pilot. Both hold PPL/IR-ME, MCC, type rating, class 2 medical. Aircraft is registered to the husband in private category and used as family bus.All other training is done as necessary.
Answer: Perfectly legal. - it's a private operation. No AOC required

Scanario 2
For longer flights the couple takes along the butler & garder (both full time emplyees of the household)....who just happen to have PPL/IR-MEA, class 2 medical and a type rating. etc etc etc.
Answer : No idea., CASA probably doesn't have a reg for this - do CASA do private rulings like the tax office does?

Scanario3:
Can a Cessna skycourier, which is certified for single pilot in cargo operations (eg Fedex), carry 18 pax in a private operation (same as above) but with single pilot.
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Old 11th Jan 2023, 20:33
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CASA's 'Guidance Delivery Centre' provided this response on 11 January 2023:
Overall Question: I seek guidance on what operational standards and pilot licence requirements apply to ‘passenger transport operations’ within the meaning of the definition at clause 75 of Part 2 of the CASR Dictionary but are not ‘air transport operations’ within the scope of the definition at clause 3 of Part 2 of the CASR Dictionary because the operations are not carried out for hire or reward.

For example, if I hire an aircraft with a maximum seat configuration of 9 for a trip with friends and ‘cost-share’, what licence must I hold to be PIC? (Assume I have the required class/type rating and the aircraft may be flown single pilot.) I will not be remunerated. I will pay an amount of the direct costs of the flight that is at least equal to the amount that would be paid by each of my friends if the direct costs were evenly divided between all POB. There will be no advertisement of the flight to the general public.

It seems to me that the operation will be a ‘passenger transport operation’ because the aircraft’s maximum seat configuration exceeds 6 and the registered operator will not be on board. But the operation will not be for hire or reward and, therefore, will not be an ‘air transport operation’.



Question 1: Am I able to act as PIC with my private pilot licence (with the required rating)?
Answer 1. Yes, the holder of a private pilot licence (PPL) can operate as pilot in command (PIC) on single/multi-engine class or type rated aircraft provided, they hold the single/multi-engine class or type rating for the relevant aircraft category rating on their PPL. Additionally, a PPL holder must complete an approved course of training in multi‑crew cooperation to operate in a multi crew operation as PIC or co-pilot on multi-crew certified type rated aircraft (private operations only).

Background on privileges and limitations of a PPL
A private pilot licence holder is allowed to operate an aircraft in private operations or when receiving flight training. Regulation 61.505 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) 1998 refers.


The CASR Dictionary defines private operations must not be an air transport operation that requires to be conducted under the authority of an AOC under Parts 119, 129 or 131 of the CASR or regulation 206 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR).

The CASR Dictionary defines air transport operations as;


(1) An air transport operation is a passenger transport operation, a cargo transport operation or a medical transport operation, that:
(a) is conducted for hire or reward; or
(b) is prescribed by an instrument issued under regulation 201.025.
As the proposed scenario in this enquiry involves more than 5 passengers financially contributing to the cost of the flight, it is not a cost-share flight and is being operating for hire or reward.



For more information on the definition of hire and reward, the Part 119 of CASR Acceptable Means of Compliance presents general examples (on page 8) of operational scenarios that might be considered to be conducted for 'reward'. This list does not attempt to cover all circumstances, or all variations of a listed circumstances. One such example provides a scenario of a flight or operation where the operator (which can be a sole pilot) receives a reimbursement of expenses (any operating cost such as fuel, landing charges, maintenance).

Question 2: What operational standards apply to the operation?
Answer 2: Based on the scenario described in the enquiry, the flight is an air transport operation, and the flight must comply with Parts 91, 119 and 135 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR). This flight operation would also need to meet various other requirements in the CASR and Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR).

Question 3: I cannot find a passenger number limit on my private pilot licence nor a prohibition on me being the PIC of an aircraft engaged in ‘passenger transport operations’ that are not for hire or reward. Am I missing something?
Answer 3: The privileges and limitations placed on the holder of a private pilot licence are separate and distinct from the operational authority required to conduct certain types of flight operations. A person who holds an CPL or ATPL and employed by an operator that holds an air operator’s certificate is authorised the carry passengers or cargo for reward or hire.

Question 4: Has there been an instrument issued under CASR 201.025 covering this kind of circumstance?
Answer 4: While not being issued under CASR 201.025, CASA instrument CASA EX82/21 – Part 119 of CASR – Supplementary Exemptions and Directions Instrument 2021 (legislation.gov.au) (CASA EX82/21) has been issued in relation to certain operations not being defined as air transport. This exemption allows AOC holders and non-AOC holders to conduct private operations with non-paying passengers.


Most applicable to the scenario described in this enquiry (if you are the owner of the aircraft) is subsection 7AA(c) of CASA EX82/21 exempts air transport operations from requiring an AOC for the following requirements:


· The owner of the aircraft, or
· A passenger directly associated with the owner


Provided that:
· The owner of the aircraft is not given any reward for the transportation, and
· The aircraft is flown by the owner, or by a professional pilot, and
· The passenger is being transported for recreational purposes.


This exemption does not have a limit on the number of seats but does require the pilot in command to comply with performance requirements set out in regulations 121.390, 121.395 and 12.420 of CASR and associated MOS requirements, even though you may be operating an aircraft that would ordinarily need to meet the Part 91 performance requirements.

Question 5: If I am able to act as PIC with a private licence in these circumstances, can CASA explain the point of the maximum seat configuration limit in the definition of a flight that is ‘cost-sharing’?
Answer 5: The cost-sharing flight provision in the civil aviation legislation has always had a limitation of having a maximum seat configuration of not more than 6 seats, including the pilot’s seat.


The maximum seat configuration for cost-share flights ensures that the size and complexity of the aircraft is kept within reasonable limits for a private operations flight conducted under the provisions for Part 91 of CASR.

Question 6: If the licence requirements and operational standards are the same, when the other elements of the definition are satisfied in the circumstances, the seat configuration limit element of the definition seems to me to have no practical effect.
Answer 6: The licence and operational requirements for private and air transport operations are mostly not the same. While private flights must comply with Part 91 of CASR, air transport flights must comply with most of Part 91 and all of the applicable Parts of CASR for air transport operations (i.e. small aeroplane air transport operator must comply with most of Part 91 and all of Parts 119 and 135 of CASR).

Question 7:Or is it CASA’s opinion that it is possible for an operation to both satisfy the definition of a flight that is ‘cost-sharing’ (other than the maximum seat configuration element) and be for ‘hire or reward’, but that is not the scenario in this case?

Answer 7: The two types of operations are not the same, one is private operations, and the other is air transport operations.

In summary, within the context of the example provided, the flight would be operated for reward, hence it is an air transport operation, hence it is no longer a private flight, therefore you are unable to operate this flight under the privileges of a CASA Part 61 private pilot licence.

This guidance is current at the time it has been provided, however may be subject to change over time or at the discretion of the policy holder.

If you require further clarification relating to this matter, please reply to this email.
I sent these supplementary questions and comments today:
Thanks for your comprehensive response. I have a some supplementary questions and one comment.

In response to my specific question 2, you say: “Answer 2: Based on the scenario described in the enquiry, the flight is an air transport operation, and the flight must comply with Parts 91, 119 and 135 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR). This flight operation would also need to meet various other requirements in the CASR and Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR).”

The scenario described in my enquiry does not involve any hire or reward. How can an operation that does not involve any hire or reward be an “air transport operation”, given the definition of that term you (and I) quoted?

You cite the “Part 119 of CASR Acceptable Means of Compliance” as if it is legislation. Have you read page 1 of that document? In any event, the scenario described in my enquiry does not involve any hire or reward.

Or are you in effect asserting that CASA’s position is that all flights that are “cost sharing” as defined are conducted for “reward” within the meaning of that term in the definition of “air transport operation”? (And I respectfully urge caution and very careful consideration before answering that supplementary question.)

You say in response to question 5: “Answer 5: The cost-sharing flight provision in the civil aviation legislation has always had a limitation of having a maximum seat configuration of not more than 6 seats, including the pilot’s seat.”

What you call “the cost-sharing provision” in the 1988 regulations did not operate to limit the number of passengers in private operations, even in ‘cost-sharing’ operations. Under the 1988 regulations, an aircraft flying or operating for the purpose of, or in the course of any of the kinds of activities listed in CAR 2(7)(d) was deemed to be employed in private operations. The carriage of persons in accordance with what you call the “cost-sharing provision” – CAR 2(7A) – was only one the kinds of activities on the list in CAR 2(7)(d). And, most importantly in the context of my questions, the (usually overlooked) last item on the list was “any other activity of a kind substantially similar to any of” the other items on the list.

Were your answers below cleared by Dr Aleck?
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