Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
A warning for anyone wishing to fly in Australia.

They are quick to rob you of any money they can.

The ASIC cost me a mint, around $600, in fees for signatures as well as for the actual card.

Then I noticed a couple of weeks ago that CASA processed my credit card.
They sent me an email to ask if I still wanted them to issue a validation of my pilot licence for the dates I was in Australia last February! What good would that be?

So to fly in Australia be ready for a long inefficient wait, and a large expense.
Apply early, they take their time, and your money.

I emailed them to ask if they can retain it until my next possible visit later this year.
They replied, file closed, apply again, wait again, pay pay pay again.

I begin a list of the World’s worst aviation authorities and CASA has made it to the top of that list.
ASIC is a form of security clearance; they also have another called an AVID (can’t remember the difference without Googling), but Michael is correct in that CASA have a quite obscure system that will take a couple months and jack several hundred pounds out of your wallet.

At least with the South African (SACAA) the paperwork is mind numbing, but at least you get a license validation that’s good for five years - and much cheaper.
you only have to visit the "dark-side's " Australia and Pacific Forums to get an appreciation of the contempt and loathing that CASA engenders in the Aviation community Dunnunda .

After some of the hair -raising stories on there (it appears that the old adage "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" has more than a grain of truth) It seems our own CAA really isn't so bad, after all..
Yes, when you deal with CASA you realise the CAA is not as bad as you thought :shock:

You are required to have a security clearance before CASA will issue a licence. This includes converting a foreign licence and validating a foreign licence. I know aberdeen_taffy said he'd managed without an ASIC on a validation in the past but nowadays the first part of validating a foreign licence is the security check. Without that you can't pass GO.

You can get an ASIC, valid for 2 years or an AVID, valid for 5. The big difference is that you need an ASIC to fly into/out of a security-controlled airfield. By this they mean an airfield which has 'regular' (normally commercial) traffic i.e RPT operations. Jandakot used to have RPT but no longer does, so no ASIC required.

I used to have an ASIC but just found paying $250 every two years was a joke because I never go to RPT airfields. They have recently changed the system so that all the documents required (EVERY time you renew) must be checked by a designated person. You used to be able to get the docs certified and submit them (why they didn't just retain and compare them to the existing ones I'll never know) but now you pay the money, they check everything and then you go to your designated person to have the paperwork checked. My nearest person is 2.5 hours drive away. Convenient eh :roll: Small wonder that I thought 'bugger this for a game of soldiers' and haven't bothered to renew it. I've just got an AVID sorted out so at least it lasts for longer.

CASA are THE experts at 'gold plating' and put the CAA to shame. If you don't cross every 'i' and dot every 't' (yes, I know) then your application will be rejected. You'll be lucky if they actually inform you of this. More usually you discover it when you call them to find out what's happening with your licence application.

The really important thing is to think a LONG way ahead if you want to fly in Oz. Converting your licence is sometimes actually easier than validating it and validation only lasts for a maximum of 12 months. That's a lot of nause for a year-long licence :( You MUST get your security application in really early because that takes an age in itself and then you can expect CASA to take at least a couple more months processing your application once they've got the security clearance.

Is it all worth it if you're visiting and just want to fly around a bit and look at the scenery? Not really, I'd say. Sure, there are some lovely places to look at from the air and the weather certainly allows a lot more opportunities to take to the air. Equally there is a HUGE amount of nothing, unless you really enjoy rocks, sand and pine trees. I know this can be breathtaking in itself but that soon wears a bit thin. It is great that most places have airfields of one sort or another close by but you're more likely going to be doing the more 'touristy' stuff, so the local town's red-dirt strip isn't going to be much use to you. If you're going to tour the whole country by air that is one thing and is certainly worth doing BUT if you're here for a month or so and want to see the place by air you'd be better off just going to local aero club and going up with an instructor in the right seat or taking one of the tourist flights if you're in an area that warrants it. Yes, these are costly but I reckon it'll work out a LOT cheaper than doing it yourself and a HUGE amount less bureaucracy.

Having said all that, it's a beautiful day outside (even though it's winter) and now the sun's up I think it is time to go and turn upside-down. Well, somebody has to do it :D

I did go flying, twice.
Flew a Sling, and flew a Decathlon, dual of course.

Although we can think, ‘oh well, I won’t bother with Australia’, or another country, we must consider that what is happening World wide is a reduction in our freedom to practice our activity.

It is like a World wide plot to stamp out general aviation and recreational flying.

There are no restrictions on renting cars, going sky diving, sailing, or many other activities, but a licenced pilot from another country who has been trained to a higher level than any motor car driver is put through many trials, and a lot of expense.
Much of this could be ‘controlled’ by the companies that would rent an aeroplane to you.

ICAO was set up to unify aviation in a friendly way, but many aviation authorities respond in an adversarial way to those who would use their services.

The global lack of sufficient airline pilots can in part be attributed to the actions of aviation authorities to discourage aviation in general (or General Aviation).
flybymike, RisePilot, rogerb and 1 others liked this
This differs hugely from my experience back in 1999.

I visited the flying club at Jandakot and they pointed me at the CASA office on the field. I think that took about half an hour. The following morning I visited again, was issued with whatever was necessary and was soon in a Cessna headed for Rottnest Island on a combined checkride / conversion to type.

Such a shame things have changed so much.

Rob P
Last edited by Rob P on Sun May 19, 2019 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PaulSS liked this
I moved from the UK to Australia in 2013. Sadly, all this is true. Don't even bother to try and get validated and fly here for a short holiday. The hassle and expense involved really aren't worth it. The major reason is the idiotic ASIC, which no-one here can fathom. I don't see how a visitor could possibly achieve an ASIC and licence conversion in any reasonable timeframe.

CASA seems intent on killing general aviation here, which is odd, isn't it, because of any country in the world can you think of one more suited to light aircraft?
My experience was also different.

I had a lady instructor / examiner in Perth deal with everything for me before I arrived. The process was very smooth and efficient and no more costly.

When I arrived all that was required was a check flight and good to go.

Spent many hours in a lovely Cirrus and enjoyed some wonderful flying.

I would recommed flying there to all.