ATM and Aerodromes

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Aerodromes

ADR.5 To what extent will National Aviation Authorities be allowed to take into account the differing environments and location of aerodromes? And to what extent is flexibility possible?

There are altogether three important “flexibility tools” which can be applied in different situations:

The concept of the individual aerodrome Certification Basis (CB) includes the possible element of special conditions (SC), as described under ADR.AR.C.025 in annex II of Regulation (EC) No 139/2014. It gives the flexibility to the authority  to allow deviations from the European Certification Specifications when the aerodrome it is subject to topographical, physical or other limitations.

Additionally, the concept of the equivalent level of safety (ELOS), as described ADR.AR.C.020 (b) in annex II of Regulation (EC) No 139/2014, allows for technological solutions or alternatives to be introduced into the CB in lieu of complying with the applicable certification specification/s, under condition that the authority allows for an equivalent level of safety to be demonstrated. (see also GM ADR.AR.C.020(b))

Furthermore, the concept and instructions introduced by Art. 7 “Deviations from certification specifications” of Regulation (EC) No 139/2014 allow competent authorities until the end of 2024 to accept “legacy” deviations (i.e. deviations from the certification specifications which are pre-dating the coming into force of the rules, i.e. 6th March 2014) to continue as long as they cannot be captured with the aforementioned concepts,  are safety assessed and will undergo regular reviews to establish their continued legitimacy.  Such acceptances will be formalized in what is called a Deviations Acceptance and Action Document (DAAD). (see also question ADR6 below).

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ADR.4 What happens to deviations from the certification specifications (CS) at existing aerodromes during the establishment of the certification basis (CB)?

In case of Member States where there are existing national certificates, these have to be converted into certificates based on the European rules. Art. 6 “Conversion of Certificates” of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014 defines the process of this. Basically it requires the following:

Article 6  Conversion of certificates

  1. Certificates issued by the Competent Authority prior to 31 December 2014 on the basis of national legislations shall remain valid until they are issued in accordance with this Article, or if no such certificates are issued, 31 December 2017.
  2. Before the end of the period specified in paragraph 1, the Competent Authority shall issue certificates for the aerodromes and aerodrome operators concerned, if the following conditions are met:
    1. the certification basis referred to in Annex II has been established using the certification specifications issued by the Agency, including any cases of equivalent level of safety and special conditions which have been identified and documented;
    2. the certificate holder has demonstrated compliance with the certification specifications which are different from the national requirements on which the existing certificate was issued;
    3. the certificate holder has demonstrated compliance with those requirements of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 and its Implementing Rules which are applicable to its organisation and its operation and which are different from the national requirements on which the existing certificate was issued.
  3. By way of derogation from paragraph 2 point (b), the Competent Authority may decide to waiver demonstration of compliance if it considers that this demonstration creates an excessive or disproportionate effort.

This means that the conversion process on the side of infrastructure would require the establishment of the aerodrome’s CB involving, if possible and needed, the employment of the flexibility tool discussed in the previous questions ( ELOS and Special Condition, as well as the DAAD). see also the answer to ADR. 3 above and ADR. 5 below.

During the establishment of the CB, the infrastructure at the aerodrome would be checked against the Europeans Certification Specifications (CS). In this process it can practically be assumed that the ‘same authorities will certify same airports’ along the requirements of the same technical substance so that the demonstration of compliance should be limited to the ‘factually new’ elements which had not been checked by the competent authority before because the underlying CS requirement is now either new or different from the previous national regulatory basis.

Therefore, for all resulting cases of differences the aerodrome would be expected to provide a demonstration of compliance with the European CS  (in accordance with ADR.OR.B.025 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014). However, as is said in Art. 6.3 above, that this demonstration of compliance can be waived if the Competent Authority considers that it would require an excessive and disproportionate effort. Yet, the compliance as such cannot be waived with reference to Art. 6.3 and it should be noted that the above “waiver” is only about the demonstration of compliance and should not be compromising the compliance as such. Hence, the airport in question and the competent authority should be sure that the specifications are respected.

EASA believes that the scope of necessary demonstration of compliance during the conversion process in the area of infrastructure should not be excessive.

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ADR.7 What will be the transition period for complying with the European rules and certification specifications?

In terms of transition the most important articles of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014 are Art. 6 “Conversion of certificates” and Art. 11 “Entry into force and application”. The following “deadlines” are set in these:

  • The conversion process of existing aerodrome certificates needs to be concluded by 31 December 2017 (see Art. 6 para. 1). At the point in time when an aerodrome obtains its new European based certificate (see Art. 11 para. 3), it needs to comply with the requirements in  Annex III and IV of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014 (ADR.OR and ADR.OPS rules).
  • Any aerodrome which at the point of coming into force of the new rules was in the process of being certified under national rules, was allowed to conclude this process by 31. December 2014. Now after this deadline has passed it canundergo the conversion of its certificate in accordance with Art. 6 and must have its certificate converted by 31 December 2017 (consequence of Art. 11 para. 4).
  • All aerodromes which did not hold a national aerodrome certificate before the coming into force of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014 (i.e. 6 March 2014) shall comply with the requirements in annex III and IV from the date of issuance of a certificate which is based the European rules.
  • After 6th March 2014 all new aerodromes or new infrastructure elements at an existing aerodromes shall be built to the certification specifications for aerodrome design and their aerodrome operators must comply with the requirements in annexes III and IV of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014 (this is the consequence of Art. 11).
  • The competent authorities themselves have until 31 December 2017 to comply with the authority requirements in annex II of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014 (see Art. 11 para. 2).
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ADR.8 Would it be possible to first concentrate on the larger airports and deal with the regional airports/aerodromes later?

Yes. the Member States and their competent authorities are free to develop an internal plan at their discretion for conversion or issuance of new European based certificates.

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ADR.9 Is it planned to have two different certificates, one for the aerodrome operator and one for the aerodrome infrastructure?

Based on the Basic Regulation and as detailed in ADR.AR.C.035 “Issuance of Certificates” under para (b) in annex II to Regulation (EC) No 139/2014 both options are possible.

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ADR.10 Does the EASA certificate replace the ICAO certificate?

The future EASA-based certificate for European aerodromes shall only address the aerodrome safety part the former (ideally ICAO based) national certificate; as such it does not affect the non-safety related elements which may form part of such certificate/ permit/ license.

The EASA rules mirror the ICAO rule content 1:1, apart part from few exceptions about which EASA Member States are informed through the exercise called EFOD (Electronic Filing of Differences).

Moreover, it is at the discretion of the Member States to decide how to insert the new certificate into their own legal structure:  it may replace the former (safety) certificate or come in addition to it. By no means, however, should the insertion of the new certificate impair established privileges and legal finality of non-safety aspects. Recital 9 of Regulation (EC) No 139/2014 should be kept in mind:

(9) Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 only concerns aerodrome certificates to be issued by Competent Authorities in so far as safety aspects are concerned. Therefore, non-safety related aspects of existing national aerodrome certificates remain unaffected.

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ADR.11 Is it the case that only Member State authorities undertake audits and issue certificates or is it planned that EASA will do such audits in the aerodrome domain, like those done by the EU Commission for aviation security?

After the beginning of 2018 EASA will only undertake standardisation visits to the Member States and their competent authorities covering the domain of aerodromes (similar to those in the area of continuing airworthiness). In the context of such a standardisation visit, some aerodromes  of the Member State in question may be visited to better understand the dealings between the authority and the aerodrome operator. However,  EASA would not raise findings against the aerodrome operator. Sole addressee of the visit remains the Member States and their authorities.

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ADR.12 Safety Management System (SMS) for aerodrome operators: are the EASA rules regarding this area the same as those required by ICAO in Annex 19?

In line with ICAO Annex 19, the European rules for aerodromes require that aerodrome operators put  place and maintain a management system, which contains a system to manage safety (SMS). This reflects the need to integrate the various sub-systems used for the management of the different activities of an aerodrome organization (e.g. management of aeronautical data and related activities).

The relevant provisions on the management system of aerodrome operators may be found in the management requirements contained in Subpart D of Annex III of Regulation (EU) No 139/ 2014 (Part ADR.OR), as well as in the related acceptable means of compliance and guidance material. They reflect the Annex 19 requirements.

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ADR.13 Is it planned to have a regulation for the design of heliports?

Yes, RMT.0638 Heliports (Certification requirements for VFR heliports located at an aerodrome) will be executed as part of the current EASA Rulemaking Program. Until these rules are in place, the respective national regulations are applicable. The future rules for heliports will reflect the planned changes to Annex 14, Vol. II, as EASA follows these developments closely.

For more information on this task visit the page Relevant legislation for Aerodromes.

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ADR.16 When an implementing rule has no corresponding EASA AMC, does that mean that consequently any means of compliance an AltMoC?

We need to distinguish between new means of compliance proposed by competent authorities and those by organisations.

If the competent authority proposes a means of compliance for use by organisations, it is most likely an AltMoC. The reason is that the AltMoC might express expectations that need to be met by the regulated entities so as to establish rule compliance.

Conversely, if the competent authority establishes a means of compliance for itself (i.e. to Part-ARx) or an organisation proposes a means of compliance, it might be a description of an organisational process or standard operating procedure, implementing for example a prescriptive implementing rule. Process descriptions or detailed standard operating procedures reflecting the work of an individual entity are not per se AltMoC.

Nevertheless, the above can only be a general guideline. Organisations and competent authorities may need to evaluate each case to establish if a means of compliance is an AltMoC.

 

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ADR.17 What happens to current practices and authority approved means of compliance that were established before the entry into force of Regulations (EU) 1178/2011 and 965/2012 and which deviate from EASA AMC?

These means of compliances or practices might constitute an AltMoC. The transition periods to the new Regulations should be used to identify such issues. The organisation or competent authority need to assess these means of compliance and possibly submit them as AltMoC.

 

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ADR.15 What are alternative means of compliance (AltMoC)?

Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 (in ARA.GEN.105), Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 (in its Annex I), Regulation (EU) No 139/2014 (in its Annex I), and Regulation (EU) 2015/340 (in its Article 4) define AltMoC as follows:

‘Alternative means of compliance’ mean those means that propose an alternative to an existing Acceptable Means of Compliance or those that propose new means to establish compliance with Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 and its Implementing Rules for which no associated AMC have been adopted by the Agency´.

Complementing the legal provisions, the Agency has developed further criteria that may be used to characterise an AltMoC:

  • It is technically different in character to the published EASA AMC;
  • A form included in EASA AMC is changed in layout or by adding/deleting fields;
  • A change of numbering, e.g. table of contents of the Operations Manual, is not per se an AltMoC, only if the order or numbering of whole chapters is changed (e.g. Chapter 7 becomes Chapter 8).

Editorial changes to an EASA AMC are not considered to constitute an AltMoC.

Please note that the above can only be a general guideline. Organisations and competent authorities may need to evaluate each case to establish if a means of compliance is an AltMoC.

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ADR.1 Which aerodromes fall under the EASA Basic Regulation and its implementing rules?

According to Art. 4.3(a) of amending Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009 the applicability of the EASA Basic Regulation regarding aerodromes is as follows:

Aerodromes, including equipment, which are located in the territory subject to the provisions of the treaty, open to public use and which serve commercial air transport and where operations using instrument approach or departure procedures are provided, and:

  1. have a paved runway of 800 metres or above; or
  2. exclusively serve helicopters;

shall comply with this Regulation. Personnel and organizations involved in the operation of these aerodromes shall comply with this Regulation.

Furthermore, is it the case that Member States can exempt certain aerodromes from having to comply with the European Rules when the have very little passenger traffic and cargo movements. For details on this possibility please have a look at Art. 4. 3(b) of the Basic Regulation (introduced by amending Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009) and Art. 5 “Exemptions” of the new Regulation (EC) No 139/2014.

After the Member States reported in 2014 in accordance with Art. 4 of Regulation 139/2014 the aerodromes in the scope of EASA the following numbers were established: 592 aerodromes are in the scope. 105 aerodromes will be given a temporary exemption due to low traffic figures. There are no heliports among the figures.

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ADR.2 Is an extension of the applicability of the EASA rules towards smaller aerodromes planned?

Nothing is planned at this stage. Recital (6) of Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 216/2008) contemplates this as future possibility:

(6) It would not be appropriate to subject all aerodromes to common rules. In particular, aerodromes which are not open to public use and aerodromes mainly used for recreational flying or serving commercial air transport other than in accordance with instrument flight procedures and with paved runways of less than 800 metres, should remain under the regulatory control of the Member States, without any obligation under this Regulation on other Member States to recognise such national arrangements. However, proportionate measures should be taken by Member States to increase generally the level of safety of recreational aviation and of all commercial air transport. The Commission will re-examine in due time, extending the scope of application to aerodromes currently excluded in a modular manner, and taking full account of the impact this might have on such aerodromes.

The Opinion 01/2015 issued by EASA in early 2015 on the review of the EASA Basic Regulation does not suggest any change of the applicability of the Basic Regulation to smaller aerodromes and this will not be part of any proposal coming out of the European Commission in the near future.

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ADR.3 What is meant with the “Certification Basis” of an aerodrome?

The term “Certification Basis” (CB) is a key term in the area of oversight over aerodromes. According to Art. 8a, para. 2a and 2b of Regulation (EC) No 216/2019, as amended by 1108/2009, a certificate shall be required in respect of each aerodrome to which the European rules apply. The process of obtaining an aerodrome certificate involves the establishment of the aerodrome’s CB. The concept of the CB embodies the flexibility with which Europe takes account of the non-uniform infrastructure of its airport industry. The CB therefore allows for dealing with local issues by allowing local solutions to deviations from the CS. This CB is to be proposed by the applicant (usually the aerodrome operator) and is finally decided on by the Competent Authority, the entity designated to certify and oversee aerodromes as per Art. 3.1 of Regulation (EC) No 139/2014. The CB consists of the following:

  • the applicable Certification Specifications (CSs) related to the type of aerodrome and the operations taking place there;
  • any provisions for which an Equivalent Level of Safety (ELOS) to that underlying the relevant Certification Specification has been proposed by the aerodrome and accepted by the competent authority;
  • any Special Conditions (SCs) determined and notified by the competent authority.

The CB can be a list of the applicable and relevant CS to the aerodrome in question with an indication if the CS is being met or if an ELOS is being argued for or if a special condition is being proposed. If this is the case the documentation underneath would be normally referenced.

When the applicant has demonstrated that the aerodrome complies with the agreed CB as per ADR.OR.B.025(in annex II of Regulation (EC) No 139/ 2014) one condition for the issuance of the certificate would be met. The certificate shall be considered to include the aerodrome’s certification basis, and any Deviation Acceptance and Action Documents (DAAD) based on Art.7 “Deviations from certification specifications” of Regulation (EU) No 139/2014 which may have been issued (see ADR.AR.C.035 (d)in Annex II of 139/2014). (see also question ADR.6)

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ADR.6 What is the Deviation Acceptance and Action Document (DAAD) described in Art. 7 of Regulation 139/2014?

As a background it is useful to know that the Basic Regulation (BR) asked the Agency to provide solutions to deviations at existing aerodromes which Member States had already authorized before the entry into force of the BR and which stem from notified deviations from Annex 14 filed by the Member States to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The tool developed by the Agency to deal with such “legacy deviations” is found in Art. 7 “Deviations from certification specifications” of Regulation (EC) No 139/2014. It says the following:

Article 7 Deviations from certification specifications

  1. The Competent Authority may, until 31 December 2024, accept applications for a certificate including deviations from the certification specifications issued by the Agency, if the following conditions are met:
    1. the deviations do not qualify as an equivalent level of safety case under ADR.AR.C.020, nor qualify as a case of special condition under ADR.AR.C.025 of Annex II to this Regulation;
    2. the deviations existed prior to the entry into force of this Regulation;
    3. the essential requirements of Annex Va to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 are respected by the deviations, supplemented by mitigating measures and corrective actions as appropriate;
    4. a supporting safety assessment for each deviation has been completed.
  2. The Competent Authority shall compile the evidence supporting the fulfilment of the conditions referred to in paragraph 1 in a Deviation Acceptance and Action Document (DAAD). The DAAD shall be attached to the certificate. The Competent Authority shall specify the period of validity of the DAAD.
  3. The aerodrome operator and the Competent Authority shall verify that the conditions referred to in paragraph 1 continue to be fulfilled.

This means in effect, that during either the conversion or the certification process all existing deviations at an aerodrome shall be reviewed or in case of conversion be compared with the new Certification Specifications (CS). Then in a next step all of those deviations that cannot be handled with the other flexibility tools provided (i.e. the Equivalent Level of Safety and Special Condition), and which predate 2014 can be accepted by the Competent Authority in a “Deviation Acceptance and Action Document” (DAAD), which would  be attached to the certificate, but which does not form part of it.

Such a DAAD will have to describe the deviation, contain the outcomes of a safety assessment concerning the deviation and describe how the essential requirements of Annex Va to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 are nevertheless respected by the deviation, when supplemented by mitigating measures and corrective actions as appropriate.

It could also be that the Competent Authority includes an action plan for the removal of the deviation at some point in the future and the deviations should be regularly reviewed. After 2024 this possibility of a issuing a DAAD for newly certified aerodromes will no longer possible. However, when a DAAD is issued, there is no pre-defined expiry date. It is worth mentioning though that “validity period” must not necessarily be a temporal period. It can also be a traffic threshold or in relation to a change in the traffic mix or a condition where “fixing” a deviation is related to the next time when a piece of infrastructure is changed, renewed, re-furbished or maintained. It is up to the authority to decide.

 

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ADR.14 The Basic Regulation under its Art. 8a 2(c) foresees the certification of safety-critical aerodrome equipment: Where can the implementing rules for this be found?

The question if there should be implementing measures for the certification of safety-critical Aerodrome Equipment is subject to continuing discussions, but nothing concrete is planned in the near future.

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ATCO licensing

Should an STDI endorsement be issued for an OJTI when the person has not successfully completed an OJTI training course, but has successfully completed a training course for the STDI endorsement?

The competences to be gained at the end of the practical instructional techniques course for the OJTI or STDI endorsement are the same (see AMC2 ATCO.D.090(a)(1)), but there may be differences in the assessment (see AMC1 ATCO.D.090(a)(3)) and there may also be natural differences between the courses themselves based on the applicants they are addressing.

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Is it possible for a Member State to issue an ATCO licence in accordance with Regulation 2015/340 to an individual who holds an ATCO licence/certificate issued by a non-EU State?

Reg. 2015/340 does not address recognition of ATCO licences issued by non-EU State or the conditions for the conversion of non-EU ATCO licences into EU ATCO licences. The decision to allow such possibility is left to the Competent Authority concerned, which should also define the process for this purpose, including an evaluation of the evidence of previous professional path of the individual to verify if it satisfies the EU requirements.

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Should an STDI endorsement be issued for an OJTI when the medical certificate has been withdrawn?

Yes, provided that the ATCO fulfils the requirements set out in ATCO.C.035 ‘Application for STDI endorsement’, or ATCO.C.040 ‘Validity of STDI endorsement’.

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Why is there a difference in the requirements on the responsibility for undertaking assessment of previous competence in ATCO.B.010(b) compared with ATCO.B.001(d) and ATCO.B.005(e) and how should the difference be interpreted? Some say that the assessment could be conducted by a unit training organisation, while others are of the opinion that the assessment and if needed, additional rating training is to be done by an initial training organisation.

The purpose of not referring to initial training organisations in ATCO.B.010(b) is to leave some flexibility and to allow the possibility also for a unit training organisation to perform the assessment. Recognising that in most cases an initial training organisation would be in best position to perform the assessment of previous competence, it needs to be taken into consideration that training for rating endorsements is often conducted by unit training organisations. As the privileges of the rating endorsements are associated with the rating in question, the unit training organisation could also be suited to evaluate the previous competence. In any case, in accordance with AMC1 ATCO.B.010(b) the assessment should be based on the requirements set out in Part ATCO, subpart D, Sections 2 (initial training requirements).

Having considered the above mentioned, the competent authority should evaluate, which  training organisation under its supervision is eligible to perform the assessment of previous competence taking into account amongst others the requirements of AMC1 ATCO.B.010(b).

The result of the assessment of previous competence may evidence that there is a need for a training ‘course’ to recuperate an adequate level of skills to enable the applicant starting unit training. In this case, it is up to the Training Organisation performing the assessment to decide what the training needs are depending on the results of the assessment of previous competence. This may also include Initial Training, if the gaps identified so require.

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Do STDI instructors need a valid English language endorsement in their licences to obtain and to exercise their privileges?

The language endorsement requirement concerns also STDIs. The rationale is that an ATCO licence holder shall not exercise the privileges of the licences unless he/she has a valid language proficiency endorsement and exercising the privilege of the STDI endorsement is seen as exercising the privileges of the licence.

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Regulation 805/2011 requires one or more rating endorsements, including TCL and OCN, to be added to an ACS rating. However, Regulation 2015/340 does not appear to allow for both the TCL and OCN ratings to be added to an ACS rating at the same time.

EASA acknowledges that both TCL and OCN rating endorsements could be associated to the ACS rating at the same time. As this amendment will require a change to the IR, EASA will address it with its next Opinion to EC resulting from rulemaking activities on ‘Maintaining of ATCO IR/AMC/GM’.

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What should be assessed and/or examined in relation to conversion training? When are the assessments/examinations to take place and who can conduct the assessments?

The conversion training courses shall include the determination of the examination and/or assessment methods. The examination and/or assessment should take place during the conversion training course or at least before the ATCOs exercise the privileges of their licences in the changed operational environment. Examinations and assessments should be conducted by appropriately qualified personnel having detailed knowledge of the training objectives and the subjects, topics and subtopics being examined or assessed.

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Should an STDI endorsement be issued for an OJTI who is no longer competent? In such case, is there a possibility for a temporary issue of the STDI endorsement or can the OJTI endorsement be retained on the licence if it is anticipated that the OJTI would regain competency?

ATCO.C.010 states that the OJTI endorsement entitles the person to also exercise the privileges of an STDI endorsement (that is, to provide practical training on Synthetic Training Devices (STDs)). Thus, there is no need to introduce both endorsements simultaneously into the licence during the validity of the OJTI endorsement. Once the OJTI endorsement cannot be exercised, it can be exchanged into an STDI endorsement, for which the validity date shall correspond to the validity date of the original OJTI endorsement, until its next revalidation.

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What should be assessed and/or examined in relation to refresher training? When are the assessments/examinations to take place and who can conduct the assessments?

ATCO.B.025(a)(5) and (7) require the air navigation service provider as part of the UCS to define processes for assessing competence, including assessment of the refresher training subjects according to ATCO.D.080(b) and to define the processes to identify the topics, subtopics and training methods for continuation training (including refresher training).

ATCO.D.080(c) stipulates that when subjects of refresher training refresh the skills of ATCOs, performance objectives have to be established and included in the training syllabus.

In this context, GM1 ATCO.D.080 further clarifies that ‘refresher training subjects may include rarely used procedures and practices, such as seasonally dependent procedures, trends and observations from occurrence reports and results from normal operation surveys’. Consequently, the use of STD or other simulated environments in this case would allow for the assessment of these procedures and practices, at any time and with the desired effect.

In accordance with AMC1 ATCO.B.025(a)(5);(6), subjects taught during refresher training, such as standard practices and procedures, abnormal and emergency situations and human factors, should be assessed on STD or in other simulated environments and/or examined. This is because it might not be possible to observe the skills related to all refresher training subjects (e.g. those related to seasonally dependent procedures) during the regular assessment.

Assessments are required on subjects that are of practical nature, while other subjects should be examined. When defining the need for assessment and/or examination, attention should be paid on the training objectives (what is the required performance/taxonomy level) and the processes and method for assessment/examination.

It is left to the Training Organisation, in coordination with the Air Navigation Service Provider, to decide and to arrange for the assessment of refresher training subjects in the context of the ‘regular’ assessment purposed for the revalidation of the unit endorsement. In this case, a clear link between the refresher training subjects and the performance objectives of the assessment needs to be established.

If the assessment of refresher training subjects is taking place during the assessment leading to the revalidation of the unit endorsement, the person conducting the assessment shall be a holder of an assessor endorsement. Should the assessment take place during the refresher training course, the assessments should be conducted by appropriately qualified personnel having detailed knowledge of the training objectives and the subjects, topics and subtopics being examined or assessed. It could be either assessors or e.g. human factors specialists.

In case that the Training Organisation certified for refresher training does not hold a certificate for ATC provision, the processes for assessment and examination should be addressed in the specific agreement concluded between the Training Organisation and the an ANSP.

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How should the pages and the information in Item XIIa ‘Rating and endorsements with expiry date’ be arranged within the ATCO licence format?

Item XIIa ‘Ratings and endorsements with expiry dates’ could be arranged in two ways:

  • either by 1 table in landscape orientation – using 2 pages of 1/8 A4 (e.g. Pages 5 and 6); or
  • by 2 tables in portrait orientation – each of them rotated with the respective heading (e.g. Pages 5 and 6).
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How should ratings and rating endorsements be linked together in the proposed licence format? There are two rating endorsements (Terminal Control (TCL) and Oceanic Control (OCN)) that can be attached either to the Approach Control Surveillance (APS) or the Area Control Surveillance (ACS) rating. The licence template establishes in point IX a place for ratings and another one for rating endorsements, with no link between these two. The question is how to differentiate between the two: to which rating (APS or ACS) corresponds each one of those rating endorsements (TCL or OCN)? Is it necessary at all to make the distinction?

The ‘pairing’ of the current rating(s) and rating endorsement(s) is visible in point XIIa, which lists the ratings and rating endorsements according to the unit endorsements. Apart from that, there is no need to distinguish further.

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ATCOs who already hold a licence with an on-the-job training instructor (OJTI) endorsement according to Regulation (EU) No 805/2011, could they have their licence replaced to include the synthetic training device instructor (STDI) endorsement, with the same expiry dates?

ATCO.C.010 states that the OJTI endorsement entitles the person to also exercise the privileges of an STDI endorsement (that is, to provide practical training on Synthetic Training Devices (STDs). Thus, there is no need to introduce both endorsements simultaneously into the same licence, until the OJTI is valid. Once the OJTI endorsement cannot be exercised anymore, it can be exchanged into an STDI endorsement whose validity date shall correspond to the validity date of the original OJTI endorsement, until its next revalidation.

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Is the same ‘practical instructional techniques course’ valid for obtaining/revalidating the OJTI/STDI licence endorsements?

The competences to be gained at the end of the practical instructional techniques course for the OJTI or STDI endorsement are the same (see AMC2 ATCO.D.090(a)(1)), but there may be differences in the assessment (see AMC1 ATCO.D.090(a)(3)) and there may also be natural differences between the courses themselves based on the applicants they are addressing.

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How to deal with practical instructors employed at an initial training centre who no longer hold a medical certificate?

If the practical instructor was holding an OJTI endorsement, it can be exchanged for an STDI endorsement. If the practical instructor was holding an STDI endorsement though, there is no need for exchange.

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How to issue a licence with STDI privileges for applicants not holding a licence and associated ratings issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 805/2011?

If the ratings are issued in accordance with Directive 2006/23/EC, they are ‘grandfathered’. Thus, a licence with an STDI endorsement could be issued to applicants who fulfil the provisions of ATCO.C.035. In order to exercise the privileges of the STDI endorsement, the holder has to demonstrate compliance with ATCO.C.030(b) including demonstrated knowledge of current operational practices.

If the ratings are issued earlier than the Directive, the competent authority would need to assess the equivalence between the old (ICAO?) ratings and the current ones. In the case where the applicant has not held a licence (because there were no licences in the Member State in question), the applicant would need to provide evidence for the working experience in the ATC domain in question and related training records to the competent authority, which would need to evaluate whether the applicant fulfils the requirements of ATCO.C.035.

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Is there a requirement for an ATCO who holds an ACS rating to also hold an ACP rating?

No, there is no such explicit requirement in the Regulation. This depends on the service provided. If Air Traffic Control (ATC) is only provided with the use of surveillance equipment, there is no need for the ATCO to also hold the procedural rating, e.g. for applying vertical separation in emergency situations, this should be part of the ACS training. If the contingency plans also include procedures for service continuity by means of providing (limited) procedural ATC, a procedural rating should be required. It also needs to be taken into account what applies for the maintenance and revalidation of the unit endorsement.

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It was explained at the ATCO Regulation Workshop in March 2015 that in the event of surveillance failure which results in having to switch to a procedural environment, once the failure is contained and the environment made safe, the provision of any further service would require an Approach Control Procedural (APP) or an Area Control Procedural (ACP) rating. What about if the unit or sector, operated in a rigid environment of 1 departure every 10 minutes, is to be handed over to a surveillance unit/sector and with no other traffic involved, would this be considered a requirement for the procedural rating?

As a rule of thumb, the provision of procedural ATC requires a procedural rating. It should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, e.g. whether procedural separation/clearances/procedures would be used.

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The removal of the age limit from an ATCO licence is a difference against the ICAO Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPs). Are Member States required to file a difference to ICAO or has EASA already notified ICAO on behalf of Member States?

Filing of differences falls within the competence of the Member States, since EASA (or the EU) is not an ICAO member. EASA, however, prepares the Compliance Checklist for ICAO Annex 1 in relation to Regulation (EU) 2015/340, which will be communicated to the Member States via the network of the European National Continuous Monitoring Coordinators.

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Initial Training Centre Assessors will be granted ‘grandfather rights’, according to Regulation (EU) 2015/340, with regard to the assessor endorsement. Shall this assessor privilege be endorsed on their licence?

Such privileges are not automatically ‘grandfathered’. It is up to the evaluation of the Member State how to convert the privileges of personnel acting as examiners or assessors for initial training (according to Regulation (EU) No 805/2011) into an assessor endorsement (according to Regulation (EU) 2015/340). Based on that evaluation, Member States may establish conversion requirements for this personnel in order to be issued with an assessor endorsement. The conversion shall be performed in accordance with the opt-out derogations.

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Appendix 1 of Annex 2 is quite prescriptive as regards the content of the licence. It indicates that each page pf the licence shall be one-eighth A4 (first quality paper). Do we need to identify all the pages with numbers and do they all belong to the same piece of paper? For the optional item V (holder’s address), should we decide not to ask for it, can we delete line V from the licence?

The licence should ideally be one piece of paper of six pages (including the list of abbreviations). In this case, there is no need to identify the pages with numbers as the identification is done by the numbers of the columns (items). If the licence is printed on separate pages, the licence number and the date of issue, as well as page numbers, should be printed on each page. Item V (holder’s address) can be left empty, or it can be omitted from the licence, while still maintaining the layout of page 2.

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Is it acceptable to have a licence with electronic elements, with the possibility for the ATCO to get the data via the Internet or by connecting the licence to a computer? Is a credit card format acceptable? If yes, can we have on the recto of the card the elements of page one, an on the verso the items of page 2? Is it compulsory to have all the permanent items displayed on the plastic card? Are there any EASA requirements for the font type and size, as well as the size of the card? For the signature of the holder, is it acceptable to use the signature on the application form and duplicate it on the licence (credit card format)?

The licence format, as set out in Regulation (EU) 2015/340, is developed in line with the specifications for personnel licences as required by ICAO Annex 1, and its purpose is to facilitate the recognition of licences at EU level. The means used to display the required information is left to the competent authorities. It should be either first quality paper and/or other suitable material, including plastic cards, which prevent or readily show any alterations or erasures. Any entries to or deletions from the form should be clearly authorised by the competent authority. The size of each page shall be one-eighth A4. There are no EASA requirements for the font type and size. Both the permanent and variable items shall be displayed on or as part of the licence. Only the variable items may appear on a separate or detachable part of the main form. The signature of the holder (as ‘permanent’ item) should appear on the ‘main part’ of the licence.

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What does ‘national licence endorsement’ mean in GM1 ATCO.AR.D.001(c)?

Following Standardisation feedback, the Guidance Material in question has been introduced with the aim of allowing competent authorities to enter any additional licensing information deemed necessary, such as national licence endorsements and/or Radio-Telephony (R/T) licences. National licence endorsements may be issued for various reasons. They may convey additional information, according to national needs, but they are not subject to recognition at EU level. Such national licence endorsements may not limit or extend the privileges granted by the licence itself. It is important to note that they are not to be mistaken with national rating endorsements, which cannot be maintained according to Regulation (EU) 2015/340.

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In case we have specimen of the new licences before issuing them, would EASA be in the position to verify whether they comply with the new requirements?

EASA would naturally advise competent authorities via various forms and fora on the implementation of the new requirements. However, the advance verification of licences not yet issued would not be in line with the shared competences in this domain and wouldn’t be compatible with the Agency’s task to conduct the standardisation inspections neither.

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What are the assessor prerequisites for assessing applicant OJTIs and applicant assessors?

In order to assess for the purpose of the practical instructional techniques course for OJTIs/STDIs, the person shall hold an assessor endorsement and shall have 3 years’ OJTI/STDI experience. This means that only persons who have held at least an ATCO licence can perform such assessments. Currency is not a requirement. This is to ensure that the person in question is capable of maintaining safety during the assessment and capable of fully assessing the skills that are needed for the future OJTI in relation to maintaining safety. The human factor expert in the example may be the most appropriate person to deliver the course, but is not trained for assessing their applicants in the operational context and to verify the safety element to be possessed by the future OJTI.

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ATCO.A.010 ‛Exchange of licence’ — Is this procedure valid also for the medical certificate?

No, there is no need to exchange the medical certificate. Medical certificates issued by any certified aero-medical examiner (AME)/ aero-medical centre (AeMC) are mutually recognised. Please, refer to GM1 ATCO.A.010 ‛Recognition of licences and certificates’.

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ATCO.AR.D.001(a)(2) ...authorisation for assessors... — Does this mean that the competent authority shall specifically approve the assessors who will renew and revalidate unit endorsements?

It is up to the competent authority to decide whether they want to delegate this task to (certain) assessors. If they do, a procedure has to be established and the assessors have to be specifically authorised for the task.

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Radio-telephony — I cannot find any provisions in Regulation (EU) 2015/340 requiring ATCOs to hold a radio-telephony certificate in order to be able to provide Air Traffic Services (ATS). There is also nothing on this in the licence form.

There are no requirements in Regulation (EU) 2015/340 for a radio-telephony licence. These requirements stem from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and are dealt with at national level. However, in accordance with GM1 ATCO.AR.D.001(c), there is the possibility for the competent authority to include the radio-telephony licence in point XIII of the licence format, if they so wish.

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It is still unclear whether training for a rating endorsement is initial training or unit training. Is it up to the competent authority to decide? If training for a rating endorsement is considered to be initial training, does the ATS unit providing the training need to be certified for initial training?

Training for rating endorsements can be both initial training and unit training (see ATCO.D.005(a)(1) and (2)). It is up to the training organisation to define the training and include it either in the initial training plan or as part of a unit endorsement course, both of which have to be approved by the competent authority. If the training for a rating endorsement is provided by an ATS unit as part of a unit endorsement course, the ATS unit (Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP)) has to be certified in order to provide training relevant to the rating endorsement in question. The type of training and the rating endorsement, for which the training is provided, shall be indicated to the competent authority when applying for the training organisation certificate (see ATCO.OR.B.001(c)(5)) and shall also be marked on the training organisation’s certificate according to the template provided in Appendix 2 of Annex II.

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ATCO.D.015(f) ‛Initial training plan’ - What does this paragraph mean?

As the provision ATCO.D.010(b), referenced in ATCO.D.015(f), explicitly refers to ‛training for an additional rating’, the initial training plan shall include the description of a process to permit an applicant who has successfully completed initial training (therefore holding a student ATCO licence or an ATCO licence) to join an initial training course only for the rating training course therein, to achieve one or more additional ratings. This provision is relevant in particular in the case of integrated initial training courses, which are established in accordance with ATCO.D.020(a) and (b).

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Is it possible for ANSPs to provide training (e.g. transitional, pre-OJT, OJT, and continuation training) when having ‘training’ marked on its ANSP certificate without being certified as an ATCO training organisation?

With the new ATCO Regulation (EU) 2015/340 and the introduction of the ATCO TO certificate template, the possibility according to Article 27(3) of Regulation (EU) No 805/2011 stating that ‘The certificate may be issued for each type of training or in combination with other air navigation services, whereby the type of training and the type of air navigation service shall be certified as a package of services’ is not anymore valid.

Furthermore, it is important to note that according to Article 8(2) of Regulation (EU) 2015/340 the certificates for air traffic controller training organisations shall be replaced with certificates complying with the format laid down in Appendix 2 of Annex II to said Regulation, and for the new applicants according to ATCO.AR.E.001(b), if the applicant training organisation fulfils the applicable requirements, the competent authority shall issue a certificate using the format established in Appendix 2 of Annex II.

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When a total number of minimum hours to exercising the privileges of unit endorsement is established e.g. 150 in accordance with ATCO.B.025(a)(3), would it be sufficient for an OJTI to exercise his/hers privilege for 75 hours and the remaining 75 as OJTI?

Yes, it would be acceptable. The intent of the rule is to ensure that the OJTIs exercise the privileges of the licence ‘on their own’ and do not maintain the privileges just by instructing.

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How would it be possible to obtain information about Alternative Means of Compliance (AltMoCs) to the requirements of Regulation 2015/340 used by other Member States?

States are obliged to inform EASA only if they adopt AltMoCs, those will then be treated according to the procedure set out in the rule.

To support Member States in the uniform application of the provision in question, EASA has created a webpage on its website to include information on AMC and AltMoCs, including a form to be used to notify the Agency.

Said website clearly disclaimed that EASA maintains this list of AltMoCs notified to it by the competent authorities of the Member States ('CAs') for purely information purposes, at the request of the CAs. The content may be subject to changes at any time without prior notice.  This material is amongst others not professional advice, or any form of assessment, judgement or acceptance by EASA.

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If an assessors is assessed medically unfit, is he/she is allowed to perform or conduct assessments?

EASA acknowledges that assessors are only required to possess a valid medical certificate, when they exercise the privileges of the assessor endorsement as described in ATCO.C.045(b)(3) and (4), i.e. performing assessments leading to the issue, revalidation and renewal of unit endorsements.  He/she could still carry out assessments as in the cases specified in  ATCO.C.045 (b)(1), (2) and (5), i.e. assessment related to initial training and to the issue of OJTI/STDI and assessor endorsements (provided that he/she has the required experience).

Furthermore, in reference to the introductory part of Appendix 1 to Annex II ‘Format for licence - AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER LICENCE’, paragraph (b) that states "The licence shall be accompanied by a valid medical certificate, except when only STDI privileges are exercised", EASA acknowledges that it needs to be aligned, which privileges require the existence of a valid medical certificate and it will be addressed with EASA next Opinion to EC resulting from rulemaking activities on ‘Maintaining of ATCO IR/AMC/GM’.

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