Helicopter Register Updates
March 2015 to February 2016

How many and where?

At 7 March 2016, The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s aircraft register listed 15,313 aircraft. Of this number 11,506 were aeroplanes, 1,003 gliders, 256 motor gliders, 397 manned balloons 2,151 helicopters, the latter make up (14%) of all registrations.
The helicopter fleet consists of 1,325 piston (61%) and 826 turbine (39%) powered helicopters. A closer look shows the turbine powered group has 573 single engine (69%) and 253 multi-engine helicopters (31%).

Location of operators.

QLD – 788; NSW – 450; WA – 348; VIC – 269; NT – 177; SA – 59;
TAS – 54; ACT – 5. Number crunchers and job seekers will note on a percentage basis the distribution is: QLD – 37%; NSW – 21%; VIC – 16%; NT – 8%. SA, TAS and ACT are all less than 3%,

Past year’s growth.

Overall Australian aircraft registrations (March to February grew from 15,267 to 15,313 or 46 aircraft. Not a good result at 0.3%. CASA Register’s growth has flat lined when the GDP has increased by 2 to
3%. Overall helicopter growth is very slow at 37 or 1.7%.
In brief; piston helicopters from 1,304 to 1,325, up 21 (1.6%); SE turbine from 563 to 572, up 9 (1.6%)
and ME turbine from 247 to 253, up 6 (2.5%).

Non-helicopter fleet

If the annual aircraft register growth showed an increase of 46 of which and 39 were helicopters. This means only seven additional registrations were made to gliders, motor gliders and manned balloons.

Global rating

It is believed Australia has the second largest listing in the Western World. It appears we are closely followed by Brazil.

CASA Annual Reports

The Australian Financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June each year, a somewhat different time frame to other global reporting protocols. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Annual Report reflects the past FISCAL Year’s achievements. These helpful reports are available on CASA website.

Job hunting updates

The distribution of helicopters may be of interest to suppliers and budding pilots. According to CASA data, excluding major airlines, AOC holders total almost 900. Assuming this represents most of GA; then data suggests charter operators hold 580 (62%) of total AOCs; aerial work 253 (27%); RPT 96 (10%).

Significant changes

CASA is restructuring both itself, and the aviation industry. For example, Part 61 changes are scheduled to be completed by mid 2016. At the same time the regulator is in reducing seven departments to three at the same time.

AOC numbers

Oddly enough, the helicopter industry has about 30% of the 900 AOCs in general aviation; however, our fleet only makes up 14% of the CASA Aircraft Register. This is due to operators being very small companies, usually located in remote areas. In fact, the helicopter industry is truly “General Aviation”

Aerial work only operators

Although not a reliable guide, job hunters going to a rural area should note an ‘aerial work’ only AOC holder is more likely to be engaged in mustering or agricultural work. A recent survey suggests aerial work only AOC holders, ranked in order of total helicopters AOCs, are: QLD – 43%; NT – 30%, WA –
27%; SA – 22%; NSW – 14%; VIC – 10% and ACT – Nil.