When it comes to flying in Australia, governing bodies regulate and maintain strict safety practices. These practices apply to pilots, flight crew, airlines and flight training schools like Soar Aviation. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) are two organisations you probably already know. While you may have heard of them before, there’s also another important organisation to know – the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). We’ve gathered some facts about these most noteworthy organisations in order to help explain how they relate to you and your aviation career!


The most important organisation which you probably know a lot about is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). It operates under the Australian Government, but is independent of the Commonwealth. CASA was established in 1995 and since then has been responsible for regulating all civil air safety operations within Australia, and all Australian aircraft overseas.

CASA’s aim is to provide “safe skies for all”. Whether you’re a pilot, flight crew or air traffic controller, CASA provides you most importantly with safety education and training. In addition, when it comes to conduct, adequate licenses and the correct documentation for licenses you’re responsible to CASA.

For example, for each class of pilot license you get, you’re required by CASA to have a valid medical certificate. This is so you can legally carry out the activities your license allows.

CASA also assigns two of the main identifying tools in aviation. The first is the Aviation Reference Number (ARN) which is a unique personal identification number. You need it for all dealings with CASA you have (such as obtaining your medical certificates and applying for an ASIC). The second is the Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC). Once you have your ARN you can get your ASIC. It’s your ticket to clearance for flying in and out of security controlled airports and to get one you’ll need background and security checks.

Recreational Aviation Australia

Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) is an organisation authorised by CASA. They regulate operations of ultralight, recreational and Light Sport Aircraft in Australia. As a not for profit body, RAAus is made up of a volunteer board of directors.

As a student of Soar, you’re an RAAus member and its directors advocate for you as well as oversee flight safety standards and flight training schools.

At Soar we’re approved and recommended by RAAus. As a result of this many of our aircraft are registered with the organisation. RAAus conducts regular checks and tests on both our school and our instructors. They oversee and regulate all light aircraft and as a result they’re instrumental in ensuring the safety of the industry.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigates and reports on all national transport matters. The ATSB is independent and Governed by a Commission. Its aim is to improve safety in the aviation, marine and rail industries. When an incident occurs, it is fully investigated by the ATSB so that a similar situation doesn’t occur.

All incidents within Australia or involving Australian-registered aircraft overseas have to be reported to the ATSB. Not all incidences are investigated but because improving safety is crucial, they’re always recorded for research and analysis.

To find out more about these organisations, and learn more on how they apply to you and your career, visit their websites below.

If you found this post interesting and want to learn more about aviation, you may enjoy reading our blog on what to expect from your first flying lesson. You may also want to read more on night flight illusions!

[Featured image sources: pinterest.com, casa.gov.au, raa.asn.au, atsb.gov.au]