Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is seeking participants for a 12-month trial of the use of night-vision imaging systems (NVIS) for helicopter operators in certain operational roles.

The trial is part of the authority's project to develop operational and airworthiness standards and requirements for the use of night-vision goggles (NVG) and devices by helicopter operators for flights at night when involved in emergency medical services, search and rescue, police, customs, coastwatch and specified aerial work. The project is initially focused on helicopter operations, but could be extended to fixed-wing aircraft.

CASA plans to develop the requirements through a joint CASA/industry working group. The trial is expected to start in March and will test the proposed rules approving the use of night-vision equipment to ensure they are suitable for the Australian environment. During the trial, there will be ongoing joint reviews between CASA, industry and international legislators, says the authority.

CASA's project follows a number of helicopter crashes at night in Australia and in response to moves worldwide to approve NVGs.

Source: Flight International