COVID-19 Updates


Recreational Aviation Australia is working tirelessly to support members as COVID19 continues to impact the community

Please click on any of the topics below for updated information on COVID 19

(This information is current as at 29 May 2020 and will be updated as necessary when new information is received)

RAAus is communicating regularly through our E-News correspondence - Subscribe below to stay current with RAAus updates.

  • Update to COVID-19 restrictions

    As Australia continues to effectively manage the spread of COVID-19, it seems that many of us may be able to return normal flying operations well before initial indications that restrictions may be in place for at least six months.

    Over the past few weeks we have seen a number of states beginning to ease social distancing requirements. 
    It is important that all members continue to review the updated guidelines for their respective State or Territory prior to undertaking private, recreational, or flying training activities, and to carefully review and follow the advice or regulations which have been published in relation to social distancing, travel restrictions, or any prohibited or restricted activity.

    The links below provide General Information regarding COVID-19 advice and are taken directly from the government HealthDirect website.


    Safe Work Australia also has information about physical distancing in the workplace.

  • Changes to the RAAus Workplace

    We're here for you

    RAAus has acted on advice from the experts and implemented measures (social distancing, hygiene regimes, video and teleconferencing) in the workplace that will ensure we maintain a safe workplace for our staff, while minimising the potential for interruptions to our member services. RAAus headquarters in Fyshwick is now closed to visitors.

    These measures minimise potential exposure to our entire workforce ensuring that we are not left in a situation where we cannot continue to support our membership. To manage the ability for staff to work remotely we have implemented a new phone system in an attempt to minimise hold times and call durations. This system allows all of our staff to work remotely, while at the same time responding to all enquiries from members in a timely fashion.

    When you call RAAus you will be asked to leave a message for member services (payments, general enquiries) or for technical services (registrations, aircraft enquiries). The messages will be directed to the appropriate department and a staff member will return your call as soon as possible. The process for reporting occurrences will remain the same, and as always members can email members@raaus.com.au

    What do these changes mean for you?

    • We value your membership and are working hard to minimise any impact on you. Membership and aircraft renewal processing is continuing without interruption, however due to logistical issues, membership cards (for new members) and aircraft cards will not be posted for a while. Not having your membership card or aircraft card does NOT stop you from taking to the skies. Don't forget you can access your membership information through the RAAus app, available on iOS and Android.
    • We have suspended ASIC collections from our office. If you need to collect an ASIC please speak to your issuer about alternate collection points.

    We are still available to talk to you by phone, email, and social media. Because many of us are working remotely, it may mean that you leave us a message so that the right person can call you back, but we are here for you and will do our best to adapt as circumstances change. 

  • Is it OK to Fly?

    RAAus strongly encourages pilots and flight training operators considering undertaking private, recreational, or flying training activities, to carefully review and to follow, the advice or regulations which have been published in relation to social distancing, travel restrictions, or any prohibited or restricted activity.

    You should also consider your personal risk factors related to age, health status and other considerations, just as you would by using the IMSAFE check prior to flying. Flying is no different to any other activity and while it has not been explicitly mentioned as being exempt from any restrictions currently in place please keep these restrictions in mind when considering what to do.

    COVID-19 advice and any associated regulatory requirements are made and published by Commonwealth, and/or state and territory departments.  Importantly, the advice and regulatory requirements may change very quickly and hence should be regularly monitored.

    Perhaps the safest thing to do is simply not go flying if you’re not sure. Our planes will still be here after this pandemic passes so let’s make sure we’re healthy and haven’t wasted valuable fuel money on pointless fines!

  • What to consider before your next flight

    Aircraft

    Our team is working on additional resources for members to manage the risks associated with COVID-19 within the aviation environment, and reminds members to remain vigilant in order to ensure personal safety, and the safety of those around you. RAAus encourages members to download and use the Australian Government COVIDSafe App and to keep up to date with relevant restrictions in place within your state or territory.

    Some general precautions to consider before your next flight include:

    Physical distancing: Continue to abide by physical distancing requirements including the 1.5m (or 1 person per 4sqm) distancing requirements. Exceptions to the distancing requirements may include members of your household (your partner, immediate family members or people you have been isolating with, i.e. your social bubble).

    IMSAFE Checklist: Pilots should ensure they are fit to fly prior to operating an aircraft. If you are unwell or have any coronavirus symptoms, avoid flying until you have fully recovered.

    Pilot currency and skill management: Prior to flight, ensure you are current to safely operate your aircraft. If you have not been able to fly for an extended period of time, are due for a flight review or have low total experience, you should strongly consider conducting a flight review or currency check with an instructor prior to returning to solo flight. Rather than carrying out long distance cross country flights, consider local A-A flights or refreshing your personal skills by conducting circuits, practicing forced landings or stalling in the training area. These operations can also be carried out without a passenger, ensuring pilots continue to follow social distancing recommendations.

    Stick to your personal minimums: At a time where medical resources are already stretched it is important to avoid the potential for the need for emergency services in the unlikely event that something does not go to plan. We therefore recommend that thorough pre-flight planning be completed prior to flight to assess current conditions. If these conditions are challenging or fall outside your personal minimums, then it is recommended that the flight be delayed until conditions improve. Let’s look out for each other during these difficult times.

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Consider the use of disposable gloves, masks and other methods to reduce potential cross contamination. In addition to decreasing the risk of possible contraction of COVID-19, masks minimise the possible spread of fluid from the mouth and nose and assist in preventing pilots from touching their face, particularly when adjusting your microphone. Despite some concerns, pilots have reported that the use of masks have minimal disruption on the ability to make clear radio calls.

    Hygiene: Maintain hand hygiene protocols and ensure aircraft are appropriately disinfected, considering the large number of touch points for potential exposure.

    Remember, it is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground!

  • Flight Review, Renewal and Medical Certificate Extensions

    RAAus is pleased to announce some relief for RAAus BFRs and medical requirements.

     If your BFR is due between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020, an automatic 90 day extension has been applied, which should enable sufficient time for a renewal to be completed, assuming COVID-19 restrictions are eased or clarified. As the dates for BFRs progress throughout the year, additional extensions of reducing lengths will automatically be applied, there is no action required by you.

    RAAus Pilot Certificate holders with a Biennial Flight Review (BFR) expiry date between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will be automatically be issued an extension of BFR requirements for 90 days. If your BFR is due between 31 July 2020 and 30 September 2020 an extension of 2 months will be issued. If your BFR is due between 30 September and 30 November 2020 an extension of 1 month will be issued. You do not need to do anything.


    BFR Extension Graph


    A 6-month extension of RAAus medical requirements which expire after 1 March 2020 has also been implemented. This includes those RAAus members who are over 75 years of age requiring annual medical statements or members who utilise the RAAus Medical Questionnaire and Examination Commercial Driver Licence health standard or CASA Medical Certificate relevant to their requirements. Members must comply with any conditions imposed on their current medical certificate, but may continue to exercise the privileges of their Certificates. You do not need to do anything.

    Members must assess and confirm their personal compliance to CASA Approval 20-2037 and Operations Bulletin 0120 in order to continue to operate within the conditions of their current BFR and medical requirements.

    If your BFR lapsed prior to 1 March 2020, you cannot operate as a pilot as you are now non-compliant to requirements and need to complete a BFR. You are not eligible for an extension.

    If your BFR lapses after these extensions you cannot be issued with an additional extension, even under this CASA Approval. Pilots must take responsibility for ensuring their BFR is completed. If your BFR is not yet lapsed RAAus has provided CFIs with the opportunity to conduct an Observed BFR, contact your CFI directly to arrange this. All members are expected to make arrangements to complete BFRs when possible.

    RAAus is also interacting with the Minister for Transport, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to gain clarity around pilots, rating and approval holders completing solo flights to keep skills current, provided physical distancing requirements are managed correctly. Likewise, we are requesting clarity around the need to conduct required maintenance and storage procedures for aircraft by RAAus members.

    RAAus will remain in contact with CASA on behalf of all members and monitor changes in COVID-19 restrictions on an ongoing basis. We can all take a breath while these extensions apply and re-assess the landscape as the COVID-19 situation changes.

  • Maintenance Advice for Aircraft Owners - Preparing your aircraft for storage

    Due to the current unprecedented social distancing and movement restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many members have sought direction on what they should do prior to the storage of the aircraft and associated components. RAAus has listed 5 points that are recognised industry wide for the short- and long-term preservation of aviation components.

       Click here to read our fact sheet

  • COVID 19 Health Guidelines

    COVID-19 Health Guidelines

    Within the current environment it is important that we continue to prioritise the safety of ourselves and those around us. This includes safety precautions to ensure we do not put ourselves or others at risk while flying. To assist in managing these risks RAAus recommends members continue to follow recommended guidelines from the Department of Health

    Stop the Spread

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing

    The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted people in varying ways on an international scale. It is understandable that during times like this, people may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.

    Lifeline Australia have some tips and advice on how you can look after the mental health and wellbeing of yourself and others, and they are a phone call away of you need to talk.

    3229094.png