Flight Standards

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General

Will the new rules be available in all official languages of the European Union and where are the rules published?

The new requirements (on aircrew, air operations and third country operators) will consist of:

  1. a Cover Regulation,
  2. Annexes containing Implementing Rules,
  3. Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM),
  4. Certification Specifications (e.g. for the qualification of flight simulation training devices, or on flight time limitations).

The first two are finalised by the European Commission and are/will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 containing the first four annexes of the Aircrew Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 25 November 2011.

The remaining three annexes of the Aircrew Regulation were published in the Official Journal as Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 on 5 April 2012.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on air operations and applicable to commercial air transport operations with aeroplanes and helicopters was published in the Official Journal on 25 October 2012.

The Official Journal is published in all the official languages of the EU.

Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC), Guidance Material (GM) and Certification Specifications (CS) are published on the Agency website, as Agency Decisions. As these need to take into account any changes made to the Cover Regulation and Implementing Rules by the EASA Committee, European Parliament and Council, the Decisions are published shortly after the date when their corresponding regulations have been published in the Official Journal. These are available in English only.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
What is the ‘Basic Regulation’?

Reference: Regulation (EC) No 216/2008

The ‘Basic Regulation’ (BR) designates Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Council Directive 91/670/EEC, Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 and Directive 2004/36/EC, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 690/2009 and Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009. A consolidated version of the Basic Regulation can be found here

Under the EU legal order, the Basic Regulation has general application. It is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. The main objective of the BR is to “establish and maintain a high uniform level of civil aviation safety in Europe” – Article 2 (1).  Additional objectives are, among others, to  ensure  a high uniform level of environmental protection, to facilitate the free movement of goods, persons and services and to  provide a level playing field for all actors in the internal aviation market”,  – Article 2 (2) (a), (b) and (f). One of the means to attain such objectives is “the preparation, adoption and uniform application of all necessary acts” – Article 2 (3) (a).  

For that purpose, the BR conferred to the European Commission the power to adopt implementing rules which will detail how to comply with the essential requirements of the BR  and will regulate the subject matters included in the its scope: airworthiness of aircraft, environmental protection, pilots, air operations, aerodromes, ATM/ANS, Air Traffic Controllers and aircraft used by third country operators into, within or out of the Community – see, among others, item 38 of the preamble to the BR.  

One of EASA’s (the Agency’s) tasks is to assist the Commission in the adoption of implementing rules, under Articles 18(a) and 19 BR. 

Therefore, Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, as last amended, has been termed as the Basic Regulation in the Agency’s documentation. The implementing rules proposed by the Agency take the form of Opinions addressed to the Commission. Once approved under the Comitology procedure, such implementing rules are published as Commission Regulations and this term appears in their titles.

Further FAQs on the Basic Regulation are available here.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
01/06/2012
What is the ‘Cover Regulation’?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011, Regulation (EU) No 290/2012, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012.

The ‘Cover Regulation’ designates the:

  • first 12 articles of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 of 3 November 2011 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to civil aviation aircrew pursuant to Regulation 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 311, 25.11.2011, p. 1) as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 of 30 March 2012 (OJ L 100, 5.4.2012, p. 1) - the full regulation is available here;
  • first 10 articles of Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations pursuant to Regulation 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 296, 25.10.2012, p. 1)  

The Cover Regulation:

  • explains the principles and considerations of the legislator when adopting the regulation (the ‘whereas’ clauses);
  • describes the regulation’s objective and scope;
  • defines the terms used in the Cover Regulation;
  • indicates to whom/what the regulation and its annexes apply;
  • provides one or more dates from when the rules become applicable (opt-out provisions), including any grandfathering and transition measures for the adaptation to the new rules.

Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 as amended by Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 has been termed by the Commission as the ‘Aircrew Regulation’.   
The Aircrew Regulation is thus composed of the Cover Regulation (12 Articles) and seven annexes, which contain the implementing rules on pilot licensing (Annex I - Part-FCL), conversion of existing national licences (Annex II), conditions for the acceptance of licences issued by or on behalf of third countries (Annex III), medical certification and attestation (Annex IV – Part-MED), qualification of cabin crew (Annex V - Part-CC), authority requirements for aircrew (Annex VI – Part-ARA) and organisation requirements for aircrew (Annex VII - Part-ORA) - further information is available here.

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 has been termed the ‘Air OPS Regulation’.
The Air OPS Regulation is thus composed of the Cover Regulation (10 Articles) and five annexes, Annex I Definitions for terms used in Annexes II to V, Annex II Authority requirements for air operations (Part-ARO), Annex III Organisation requirements for air operations (Part-ORO), Annex IV Commercial air transport operations (Part-CAT), Annex V Specific approvals (Part-SPA), which contain the implementing rules on air operations for commercial air transport operations with aeroplanes and helicopters. Further information is available here.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
What do ‘grandfathering’, ‘transition measure’ and ‘opt-out’ mean?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011, Regulation (EU) No 290/2012, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 

Aircrew Regulation

In the Aircrew Regulation, ‘grandfathering’ designates the legal recognition and acceptance of certificates issued by national authorities prior to the entry into force of the Aircrew Regulation. In the Cover Regulation, the conditions for the grandfathering of JAR-compliant and non-JAR compliant pilot licences and medical certificates are set forth in its Articles 4 and 5. 

Grandfathering measures are included in the Cover Regulation to assist Member States in the transition from national rules to unified EU rules. In the case of aircrew licensing, provisions on grandfathering consider some national certificates issued in compliance with given regulations and by a certain date as being in compliance with the new Aircrew Regulation. 

A ‘transition measure’ is a means of allowing a gradual change to the new rules and its scope and timeline are clearly stated within the Cover Regulation. Several examples can be found in the Aircrew Regulation, such as in Article 11c (in relation to the obligation of Member States regarding transfer of records and certification processes of those organisations for which the Agency is the competent authority) and Article 4 (1) obligation of Member States to adapt grandfathered pilot licences to the new licence format by a certain date of the Cover Regulation. 

The ‘opt-out’ can also be considered as a form of transition measure applicable to Member States. Opt-out provisions allow Member States to decide not to implement the new EU Regulation for a certain period of time, delaying the date of applicability of the new regulation within that Member State. This requires the Member State to notify the European Commission and the Agency of the ‘opt-out’, describing the reasons for such derogation and the programme for implementation. Article 12 (1) of the amended Cover Regulation allowed for a general opt out to Annexes I to VII until 8 April 2013. Other specific opt-outs are listed in Article 12 (2) to (6).

Air OPS Regulation

In the Air OPS Regulation, ‘grandfathering’ designates the legal recognition and acceptance of certificates issued by national authorities prior to the entry into force of the Air OPS Regulation. In the Cover Regulation, the conditions for the grandfathering of EU-OPS AOCs are set forth in Article 7.1. 

Grandfathering measures are included in the Cover Regulation to assist Member States in the transition from EU-OPS to the new air ops rules. In the case of air operations, provisions on grandfathering consider EU-OPS AOCs issued in compliance with given regulations and by a certain date as being in compliance with the new Air OPS Regulation. 

A ‘transition measure’ is a means of allowing a gradual change to the new rules and its scope and timeline are clearly stated within the Cover Regulation. An example to be found in the Air OPS Regulation is Article 7.1 obligation of Member States to issue AOC complying with the new format by a certain date. 

The ‘opt-out’ can also be considered as a form of transition measure applicable to Member States. Opt-out provisions allow Member States to decide not to implement the new EU Regulation for a certain period of time, delaying the date of applicability of the new regulation within that Member State. This requires the Member State to notify the European Commission and the Agency of the ‘opt-out’, describing the reasons for such derogation and the programme for implementation. Article 10.2 of the Cover Regulation allows for a general opt out to Annexes I to V until 28 October 2014.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
What do ‘enter into force’ and ‘applicability’ mean in the Cover Regulation?

When Regulations are published in the Official Journal of the European Union they invariably include several dates. The date of entry into force is usually expressed as the 20th day following publication of the Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. It means that the EU rules have been adopted and published - thus producing legal effects - but are not necessarily mandatory on the date of entry into force. The date when they become mandatory is the date of applicability. 

The Aircrew Cover Regulation applies from 8 April 2012.

The Air OPS Regulation applies from 28 October 2012.

However, since Article 12 of the Aircrew Regulation and Article 10 of the Air OPS Regulation include several opt-out provisions, this means that entire Annexes and/or specific parts of the Annexes will not be applicable until the end of the out-out periods, in case Member States take up this possibility. This means that the entry into force and applicability dates are common to all Member States, but due to the possibility of opt-out, concrete implementation of specific provisions of Annexes or entire Annexes may vary among Member States (please find  Derogations to Regulations (EU) No 1178/2011 and (EU) No 290/2012 here).

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
What is the comitology procedure?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 182/2011

Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European Commission is responsible for the required implementation of Union legislation in many areas. When exercising these delegated powers, the Commission is often obliged to work with national civil servants appointed by Member States in different committees. These committees, which are a forum for discussions and the voicing of opinions, are chaired by the European Commission. 

For the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (the Basic Regulation), the European Commission is assisted by the EASA Committee and by the Single European Sky Committee. Another committee of importance as regards aviation safety is the Air Safety Committee, which is best known for being the guardian of the so-called ‘Safety list’ as provided by Directive 2004/36/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airport as amended by Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2005 on the establishment of a Community list of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the Community and on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier, and repealing Article 9 of Directive 2004/36/EC. 

The procedures which govern the work of these committees follow the standard procedures approved by Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers. It replaces former Decision 1999/468/EC. This Regulation introduces a new amended ‘comitology’ procedure. The latest Comitology Regulation and other relevant information on the new comitology procedure can be consulted here.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
01/06/2012
Can the information provided on EASA’s FAQs be considered as legally binding?

EASA is not the competent authority to interpret EU Law. The responsibility to interpret EU Law rests with the judicial system, and ultimately with the European Court of Justice. EASA cannot even provide an ‘authentic interpretation’ (which is an official interpretation of a statute issued by the statute's legislator). Therefore any information included in these FAQs shall only be considered as EASA’s understanding on a specific matter, and cannot be considered in any way as legally binding.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
01/06/2012
What is the status of ‘Implementing Rules’, ‘Acceptable Means of Compliance’, ‘Guidance Material’ and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’?

Implementing rules (IRs): EU law in the area of civil aviation generally defines safety objectives at the level of essential requirements and implementing rules, whereas detailed implementation aspects are included as Certification Specifications (CS) or Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC). EU law is directly applicable (full part of Member States’ legal order). These IRs are binding in all their aspects.

AMC and Guidance Material (GM): The AMC and GM are Agency measures. AMCs are defined as non-binding standards adopted by the Agency to illustrate means to establish compliance with the Basic Regulation and its Implementing Rules. 
The AMCs issued by the Agency are not of a legislative nature; therefore they cannot create obligations on the regulated persons, who may decide to show compliance with the applicable requirements using other means. AMC illustrate a means, but not the only means, by which a requirement of an Implementing Rule can be met. Satisfactory demonstration of compliance using a published AMC shall provide for presumption of compliance with the related requirement; it is a way to facilitate certification tasks for the applicant and the competent authority.  GM is issued by the Agency to assist in the understanding of the Basic Regulation, its IRs and CSs. Further information is available here.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs are published in on the Agency’s EASA’s website and cover a wide range of material. Although the information contained in the FAQs is a summary of existing law or procedures, it may contain the results of a more complex interpretation of IR or other rules of law. In such cases there is always an internal quality consultation within the Agency prior to publication. the departments involved before releasing the FAQs in the website. The Agency FAQs are necessary to share information and enable to get a common understanding. These FAQs are not additional GM.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
01/06/2012
What are the essential requirements?

Reference:  Regulation (EC) No 216/2008

Essential requirements are a legal means of setting high level objectives and obligations on authorities, persons and organisations in order to achieve the objectives of the Basic Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 216/2008). Implementing rules are then developed on the basis of these essential requirements, to further detail how to achieve these objectives and obligations . The Basic Regulation has annexes containing essential requirements for:

  • airworthiness (in Annex I),
  • certain aircraft that fall outside the scope of the Agency’s activities (Annex II),
  • pilot licensing (Annex III),
  • air operations (Annex IV),
  • qualified entities in the case of certification (Annex V),
  • aerodromes (Annex Va) and
  • ATM/ANS and air traffic controllers (Annex Vb).

For example, the implementing rules for air operations (e.g. Regulation (EC) No 965/2012) are developed using the essential requirements as a starting point. For certain aspects and types of operation, the essential requirements do not need to be further elaborated on with a specific implementing rule. For example, in the case of non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft, some of the responsibilities of the pilot-in-command are set out in adequate detail in 1.b and 1.c of Annex IV to the Basic Regulation, and did not need to be further detailed in implementing rules. For legal certainty, the essential requirements should not be repeated in the implementing rule, but to support industry in identifying the requirements with which they should comply, the Agency makes a reference to the essential requirement from the implementing rule:

NCO.GEN.105 Pilot-in-command responsibilities and authority

  1. The pilot-in-command shall be responsible for:
    1. the safety of the aircraft and of all crew members, passengers and cargo on board during aircraft operations as referred to in 1.c of Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008;
      ...
Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
15/11/2012
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Licensing

When will the new rules on pilot licensing be applicable?

The new Implementing Rules implementing the requirements set out in Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 in the field of pilot licensing were published as Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew in the Official Journal of the European Union on 25 November 2011.
In November 2011, the first four annexes to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew were published:

  • Annex I – Part-FCL (flight crew licensing)
  • Annex II – Conditions for the conversion of existing national licences and ratings for aeroplanes and helicopters
  • Annex III – Conditions for the acceptance of licences issued by or on behalf of third countries
  • Annex IV – Part-MED (medical).

The remaining annexes were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 5 April 2012 as Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 amending Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew. These annexes are:

  • Annex V – Part-CC (cabin crew)
  • Annex VI – Part-ARA (authority requirements for aircrew)
  • Annex VII – Part-ORA (organisation requirements for aircrew)

As stated in Article 12 paragraph 1 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew, the application date was 8 April 2012, though by way of derogation from this paragraph in accordance with Article 1 paragraph (6) and Article 2 paragraph 2. (a) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012, Member States could decide not to apply the provisions of the aforementioned Annexes until 8 April 2013.
The amending Regulation introduced additional transition measures deferring the applicability of certain Implementing Rules to a later date. Therefore the exact date of applicability of each requirement depends on the transition measures introduced by the Member States. 
Until the date the new Implementing Rules apply, Member States’ national rules remain in force. 
The related Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material to:

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
What is the difference between the terms ‘FCL (Flight Crew Licensing)’ and ‘Aircrew’?

‘Aircrew’ is the common term for ‘Flight Crew’ and ‘Cabin Crew’.
The new Implementing Rules cover both flight crew and cabin crew, and were published as Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to civil aviation aircrew and its amending Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 (further information is available here).

Annex I to the above-mentioned Regulation on Aircrew contains Implementing Rules for Flight Crew (Part-FCL).

Annex V to this Regulation on Aircrew contains Implementing Rules for Cabin Crew (Part-CC).

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
11/04/2012
How can a national pilot licence be converted into an EASA pilot licence?

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 in the field of pilot licensing, the Agency is not authorised to issue pilot licences and therefore there will not be any EASA pilot licence in the future.

According to Annex I (Part-FCL) to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew, the title of a new licence issued in accordance with this Annex is a Part-FCL licence.

National licences shall be converted into Part-FCL licences by the competent authority of the Member State that issued the national licence in accordance with Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew and its amendingCommission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012.

Conclusion:
The competent authorities of Member States will convert and issue Part-FCL licences and not the Agency.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
11/04/2012
How can a national pilot licence be converted into a Part-FCL licence?

Existing national pilots’ licences will be converted in accordance with Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew and its amending Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012.

JAR-compliant licences issued or recognised by the Member State before the applicability of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew shall be deemed to have been issued in accordance with this Regulation, and shall be replaced with a Part-FCL licence by 8 April 2018 at the latest.

Non-JAR-compliant licences, including any associated ratings, certificates, authorisations and/or qualifications issued or recognised by the Member State before applicability of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew shall be converted into Part-FCL licences by the Member State that issued the licence in accordance with the provisions of Annex II to that Regulation or the requirements laid down in a conversion report.

As stated in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew, the application date was 8 April 2012, though flexibility was introduced via transition measures contained in Article 12 of Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew and Article 1 paragraph (6) of Regulation (EU) No 290/2012.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
How can a third country (non-EU) licence be converted into a Part-FCL licence?

Pilots’ licences issued by third countries will be accepted in accordance with Article 8 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew .

According to paragraph 1 of this Article 8, the Member State may accept a third country licence, and the associated medical certificate, in accordance with the provisions of Annex III to the Regulation.
For the issue of a Part-FCL licence, the holder of at least an equivalent third country licence issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 shall comply with all the relevant requirements of Annex I to the Regulation (Part-FCL), except that the requirements of course duration, number of lesson and specific training hours may be reduced.

As stated in Article 12 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew, the application date was 8 April 2012, though by way of derogation from this paragraph, Member States could decide not to apply the provisions of Annex I to pilots holding a licence and associated medical certificate issued by a third country involved in non-commercial flights until 8 April 2014.

The competent authority of the Member State to which an applicant applies will determine the conversion requirements, which can be reduced on the basis of a recommendation from an approved training organisation.

Therefore, the national aviation authority of the Member State where an applicant resides or wishes to work should be contacted for further information concerning the applicable acceptance requirements.

To find a list of the national aviation authorities, please follow this link.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
Will a licence issued in accordance with JAR-FCL requirements still be valid once the new rules become applicable?

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew contains transition measures to ensure that JAR-FCL licences issued by Member States in accordance with JAR-FCL requirements and procedures will be grandfathered.

This means that holders of JAR compliant pilots' licences can continue to exercise the privileges of their licences after Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew applies, without the need for any further administrative procedures, but these licences shall be replaced with Part-FCL licences by 8 April 2018 at the latest. Further information can be found in paragraph 3 of Article 1 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 on Aircrew (which amends the date of 8 April 2017 as stated in paragraph 1 of Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011).

Please note that Member States are not forced to replace valid JAR pilots' licences before the end of their validity period as these licences will be deemed to have been issued under the Part-FCL requirements.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
Will a national licence that does not comply with JAR-FCL requirements still be valid once the new rules become applicable?

Once Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew becomes applicable in a certain Member State, it will no longer be possible to fly with a licence that does not comply with those requirements (except in the case of aircraft included in Annex II toRegulation (EC) No 216/2008, according to Article 4(5)). 
Consequently, a national licence will need to be converted into a Part-FCL licence. To deal with those licences issued by Member States in accordance with national rules deviating from JAR-FCL, transition measures have been established in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew. These transition measures foresee a certain amount of time to convert the national licences into fully compliant Part-FCL licences.

As stated in Article 12 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew, the application date is 8 April 2012, though by way of derogation from this paragraph, Member States may decide not to apply the provisions of Annex I related to pilot licences of powered-lift aircraft, balloons, airships and sailplanes until 8 April 2015. 
Member States may also decide not to convert non-JAR-compliant aeroplane and helicopter licences that they have issued until 8 April 2014.

Non-JAR compliant national licences may be converted into Part-FCL licences by the competent authority as follows: 

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
11/04/2013
Could the Agency assist with interpreting the JAR-FCL requirements?

JAR-FCL was drafted to harmonise European regulations on flight crew licensing in order to facilitate mutual recognition of licences and ratings. However, the Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR) (see the JAA publications) have been implemented under national law and under the full responsibility of each Member State.

Therefore the Rulemaking Directorate is not in the position to interpret or make comments on JAR-FCL requirements. In addition, please note that the Agency cannot intervene in cases where the national JAR text deviates from the original.

The national aviation authorities are responsible for interpreting and implementing JAR-FCL requirements.
We therefore recommend that for assistance in interpreting the JAR-FCL requirements, the national aviation authorities should be contacted directly.

A list of the national aviation authorities can be found here.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
11/04/2012
To whom can an appeal against the examination/test/check results be sent?

If an applicant does not agree with the result of his/her assessment, he/she can only resolve this problem at the national level.

An applicant cannot apply ‘to the EASA management’ regarding a decision taken by his/her national aviation authority. Appeals to the Agency can only be made against decisions of the Agency.

Therefore the applicant should resolve this problem on the national level by sending his/her complaints to the national body dealing with complaints against state authorities.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
29/02/2012
Could the European Central Question Bank be published?

The Agency is the administrator of  the European Central Question Bank (ECQB).

Taking into account that:

  1. Ownership of the copyright of the ECQB database is vested to the European Aviation Safety Agency; and
  2. Ownership of the contents of the database remains vested to its respective owners; and
  3. The possession, management and administration of the contents of the database have been fully vested in the hands of the Agency; and
  4. The contents of the database are confidential and have been treated as such without interruption.

The Agency, acting in the capacity of copyright owner and administrator of the database, enjoys the exclusive right among others, to prevent temporary or permanent reproduction by any means and in any form, as well as to prevent any form of distribution to the public of the database or of copies thereof.

It is the opinion of the Agency that such reproduction and distribution would endanger the functionality and integrity of the applicable examination system and would invalidate the associated substantial investment in both intellectual and monetary terms.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
How can a military licence be converted to a civilian one?

The EU rules for recognising military licences can be found in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew. Article 10 states that the knowledge, experience and skill gained in military service shall be credited towards the relevant requirements of Part-FCL in accordance with the principles of a credit report established by the competent authority of the Member State where a pilot served, in consultation with the Agency.

Therefore, the competent authority of the Member State where the pilot served should be contacted and asked for the provisions applicable for such credits.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
Part-FCL does not include any provisions to allow cloud flying for sailplane pilots. Does this mean that the Agency intends to exclude this possibility?

Not at all. The Agency considered that this issue needed to be discussed in a specific rulemaking task on general conditions for flying in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) – rulemaking task FCL.008 / RMT.0198, 0199.

The Agency started working on this rulemaking task at the end of 2008. It covers the review of the requirements for flying in IMC (aeroplanes and sailplanes).

The Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2011-16) was published in September 2011 for public consultation and contained a specific proposal for cloud flying with sailplanes.

After a period of public consultation, the Agency published the Comment Response Document (CRD 2011-16) in October 2012. After the review period ended December 2012, the Agency commenced drafting the Opinion.

The Opinion is planned to be published in April 2013.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
19/02/2013
Is it correct that EASA is actually working on the training and checking requirements for the instrument rating?

Yes, this is correct. The Agency initiated a task referenced RMT.0198 and RMT.0199 (former FCL.008) in order to review the existing requirements for the Instrument Rating (IR) and to consider if, especially for private pilots, a more accessible IR should be developed.

A rulemaking group was established at the end of 2008. Based on the draft proposals of this group the Agency published a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2011-16 ) in September 2011.

After a period of public consultation, the Agency published the Comment Response Document (CRD 2011-16) in October 2012. After the review period ended December 2012, the Agency commenced drafting the Opinion.

The Opinion 03/2013 was published in April 2013. It contains a more accessible and competency-based instrument instrument rating, an en-route instrument rating (EIR) and a sailplane cloud flying rating.

Once this Opinion is approved under the comitology procedure, these new requirements for the instrument rating will be published as a Commission Regulation amending Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 of 3 November 2011.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
20/08/2013
How can alternative means of compliance to the AMC published by the Agency be used by NAAs and approved training organisations across the EU?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 on Aircrew: ARA.GEN.120; Decision AMC/GM to Part-ARA: AMC1 ARA.GEN.120(d)(3), GM1 ARA.GEN.120

The only means of compliance to the Aircrew Regulation that all organisations can use across the EU are the AMC as published by the Agency. For alternative means of compliance, the following scenarios are foreseen:

  1. an alternative means of compliance approved for an individual organisation may be used by another organisation, but that organisation must also apply for approval to use such alternative means of compliance;
  2. an alternative means of compliance issued by the competent authority (e.g. NAA) may be used by all organisations for which that authority is responsible.

It should be noted that when the competent authority accepts an alternative means of compliance proposed by an organisation, it must notify the Agency and inform all other Member States. However, each Member State may decide how to deal with this information. This is explained in AMC1 ARA.GEN.120(d)(3):

The information to be provided to other Member States following approval of an alternative means of compliance should contain a reference to the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) to which such means of compliance provides an alternative, as well as a reference to the corresponding Implementing Rule, indicating as applicable the subparagraph(s) covered by the alternative means of compliance.

GM1 ARA.GEN.120 explains that alternative means of compliance are valid for an individual organisation:

Alternative means of compliance used by a competent authority or by organisations under its oversight may be used by other competent authorities or organisations only if processed again in accordance with ARA.GEN.120 (d) and (e).

When the Agency finds that an alternative means of compliance of which it has been notified has value to be issued as an Agency AMC, this alternative means of compliance will be fed into the Rulemaking process. On completion of the rulemaking process, the means of compliance will be published as AMC. AMC & GM to Part-ARA is available here.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
09/04/2013
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Air operations

When will the new rules on air operations be applicable?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 applies from 28 October 2012. For the time being, this Regulation contains the requirements for authorities and commercial air transport (CAT) operators of aeroplanes and helicopters.

Article 10 of the Air OPS Regulation includes an opt-out provision allowing Member States to postpone the applicability of Annexes I to V until 28 October 2014. This means that entire Annexes and/or specific parts of the Annexes will not be applicable if a Member States chooses to opt-out. The Agency has published an overview of the opt-out period applied by Member States here.

The Agency published the remaining elements of OPS in 2012, consisting of the outstanding rules of Annex IV (Part-CAT (S+B, A-A): commercial air transport, sailplanes and balloons, A-to-A operations), Annex VI (Part-NCC: non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft), Annex VII (Part-NCO: non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft), Annex VIII (Part-SPO: specialised operations, i.e. aerial work). Further information is available here.

Once the Implementing Rules have been adopted, it is still possible that transition measures defer their applicability to a later date. Therefore, the exact date of applicability of each requirement will depend on the transition measures adopted by the Commission. Until the date the new Implementing Rules apply, Member States’ national rules and EU-OPS for CAT aeroplanes remain in force

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
What happens to existing EU-OPS (aeroplane) AOCs? Are they still valid in the new system? Will EASA issue Air Operator Certificates in the future?

Reference: e.g. Regulation (EC) 965/2012

As stated in Article 7.1 of the Regulation for Air Operations (965/2012), EU-OPS (aeroplane) AOCs issued by a Member State before the Regulation applies shall be deemed to have been issued in accordance with this Regulation. This means that an operator will not have to re-apply for an AOC.

However, all existing AOCs issued before the entry into force of this Regulation will have to be replaced by AOCs corresponding to the new format (Appendix I to Part-ARO) no later than 28 October 2014. Before the new AOC document can be issued, operators will have to adapt their management system, training programmes, procedures and manuals accordingly. More detailed information on how this transition process is managed is available from the national aviation authority that issued the AOC.

EASA will not issue AOCs. New AOCs will continue to be issued by National Aviation Authorities (the competent authority for this scope) in compliance with the requirements for organisations (Part-ORO) and authorities (Part-ARO).

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
28/11/2012
Do the new EASA rules also apply to non-commercial operations?

Yes, the new rules will also apply to non-commercial operations. For general aviation and business/corporate aviation, the applicable rules are partly determined by the type of aircraft being flown: Annex VI (Part-NCC: non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft) or Annex VII (Part-NCO: non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft) will apply. The definition of complex motor-powered aircraft is found in Article 3 of the Basic Regulation and is as follows:

‘complex motor-powered aircraft’ shall mean:

(i) an aeroplane:
with a maximum certificated take-off mass exceeding 5 700 kg, or

  • certificated for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nineteen, or
  • certificated for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots, or
  • equipped with (a) turbojet engine(s) or more than one turboprop engine, or

(ii) a helicopter certificated:

  • for a maximum take-off mass exceeding 3 175 kg, or
  • for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nine, or
  • for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots,

or

(iii) a tilt rotor aircraft

The definition for ‘commercial operation’ is also contained in Article 3 of the Basic Regulation:

(i) ‘commercial operation’ shall mean any operation of an aircraft, in return for remuneration or other valuable consideration, which is available to the public or, when not made available to the public, which is performed under a contract between an operator and customer, where the latter has no control over the operator;

Training flights fall under either Part-NCC or Part-NCO, depending on the aircraft being flown.

In addition, Part-SPA applies to any operations requiring a specific approval (e.g. low visibility operations, transport of dangerous goods, performance-based navigation and more).

Finally, Annexes II and III contain respectively the authority and organisation requirements regarding air operations. Annex III applies to operators of complex motor-powered aircraft, both commercial and non-commercial.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
I am not familiar with the new rule structure. Which parts apply to me?

Reference: Regulation (EU) 965/2012, associated Decisions

This is determined by the nature of your flight, and for non-commercial operation by the type of aircraft flown. The following diagram indicates under which requirements your flight should be operating.

 

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
Why can’t I find EU-OPS on the Agency website?

Reference: Regulation (EU) 965/2012, associated Decisions on AMC/GM

EU-OPS is published in the Official Journal of the EU as Regulation (EC) No 1899/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation (OJ L 377, 27.12.2006, p. 1). It is available online via EUR-Lex. Although the Agency assists the Commission in administering this Regulation, any enquiries related to EU-OPS, if not handled by your national aviation authority, should be addressed to the Commission. 

The JAA published TGL 44 in 2008, containing extensive guidance material for use with EU-OPS. This is available online

EU-OPS continues to apply until the new requirements, Regulation (EU) 965/2012 for air operations, are applicable in your Member State.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
What is meant by ‘crew resource management (CRM)’ and why is it important for aviation safety?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, Annex III (Part-ORO)

Crew resource management (CRM) is described as the effective utilisation of all available resources (e.g. crew members, aeroplane systems, supporting facilities and persons) to achieve safe and efficient operation. The objective of CRM is to enhance the communication and management skills of the crew members concerned. The emphasis is placed on the non-technical aspects of the crew performance, e.g. the interpersonal skills needed to manage the flight within an organised aviation system.

Human factors continue to be one of the significant causes of accidents and incidents. CRM is an important factor in this respect. For example, inadequate communications among crew members and/or other parties could lead to a loss of situational awareness, a breakdown in teamwork in the aircraft, and ultimately to a wrong decision or a series of decisions. This may result in a serious incident or a fatal accident. 

Consequently, rules related to the CRM concept are provided in Annex III (Part-ORO) of the Air OPS Regulation. These measures include CRM training and the assessment of CRM skills. At the present stage the Agency is working to further increase the effectiveness of these rules and the associated Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material by conducting corresponding rulemaking tasks.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
What are the requirements for checklists in air operations?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, Annex III (Part-ORO), ORO.GEN.110

The essential requirements for air operations are laid down in Annex IV of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (the Basic Regulation). Paragraph 1.b thereof states as regards checklists:

"A flight must be performed in such a way that the operating procedures specified in the Flight Manual or, where required the Operations Manual, for the preparation and execution of the flight are followed. To facilitate this, a checklist system must be available for use, as applicable, by crew members in all phases of operation of the aircraft under normal, abnormal and emergency conditions and situationsProcedures must be established for any reasonably foreseeable emergency situation."

In the Regulation on Air Operations these essential requirements are further specified in ORO.GEN.110 (h) of Annex III (Part-ORO, organisation requirements) as follows:

"The operator shall establish a checklist system for each aircraft type to be used by crew members in all phases of flight under normal, abnormal and emergency conditions to ensure that the operating procedures in the operations manual are followed. The design and utilisation of checklists shall observe human factors principles and take into account the latest relevant documentation from the aircraft manufacturer."

While Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 applies for the time being to commercial air transport operations with aeroplanes and helicopters only, it should be noted that Part-ORO will also apply in the future to (a) non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft and (b) commercial operations other than commercial air transport. For non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft such specific Implementing Rules as in Part-ORO do not currently exist.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
Can I use my car seat as a child restraint device for my 1 year old son/daughter during a flight?

Reference: Regulation (EU) 965/2012, associated Decision AMC/GM to Part-CAT: AMC1 CAT.IDE.A.205

In the first instance, passengers wishing to use their car seat as a child restraint device (CRD) on board an aircraft should contact the airline or travel agency through which the ticket has been booked, in order to obtain information on which CRDs are acceptable and also to ensure that the car seat can be installed properly on the seat of the particular aircraft with which they will fly. 

Since 2008, EU law determines that children under 2 years of age must be secured by an approved child restraint device when flying with EU airlines. This can either be a child seat or a ‘loop belt’, the latter being attached to the seat belt of the adult who is holding the child on his/her lap.

Regarding the use of a car seat as an acceptable child restraint device, this is regulated under the Regulation on Air Operations, through Annex IV (Part-CAT), specifically CAT.IDE.A.205. The Agency has issued an acceptable means of compliance to that rule, which is available here. The basis for the provision on child restraint devices is JAR-OPS 1 guidance material. 

To conclude, the proposed examples for acceptable child restraint devices include car seats, and item 2 of AMC1 CAT.IDE.A.205 lists the standards with which the CRD should comply. This includes the UN standard ECE R 44, -03 or later series - this is commonly indicated on the car seat’s label. 

Further information on flying with small children is also available here.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
13/12/2012
How can I find out where a rule from EU-OPS / JAR-OPS 3 has been transposed in the new Regulation (EU) 965/2012 on Air Operations and its associated Agency Decisions, and if any changes have been introduced?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, associated AMC/GM

The Agency has published a cross-reference table to assist industry in transitioning to the new rules. This table contains detailed information on the transposition of EU-OPS / JAR–OPS 3 provisions (both Section 1 and Section 2 – for aeroplanes, TGL 44) into the new Implementing Rules (IR), Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM):

  • new rule reference and rule title;
  • old rule reference and rule title;
  • indication of any differences to EU-OPS / JAR–OPS 3 provisions by stating “No change”, “Amended”, “New” or “Not transposed”; and
  • short description of the differences, if any, between the old and new rules.

With this cross-reference table one can analyse in detail where and how the old provisions have been transposed into the new regulatory framework.
Please refer to the cross reference table here.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
08/12/2012
When is a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) required?

Reference:  Regulation (EC) 216/2008, Regulation (EC) 965/2012

As laid down in the Basic Regulation, a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) must be established for any commercial operation (regardless of the aircraft type used) and in any case for the operation of complex aircraft (regardless whether it is a commercial or non-commercial operation).

These essential requirements are implemented in Part-ARO (provisions for authorities to approve MELs), part-ORO (provisions for operators to establish and use the MEL) and Part-CAT/Part-SPO (provisions to operate with inoperative equipment).
For non-commercial operations of other-than-complex aircraft a MEL may be established and used on a voluntary basis.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
28/11/2012
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Third Country Operators

Third Country Operators (TCO)

Rule shaping

In accordance with EASA’s rulemaking process, EASA issued a first proposal in the form of a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) in April 2011. Based on subsequent consultations with authorities, associations and operators, EASA published the Comment Response Document (CRD) in January 2012, which was available for further comment by all interested stakeholders. In November 2012, EASA published its final Opinion for Part-TCO. Following publication of the Opinion, responsibility for completing the decision-making process lay with the European Commission.

Adoption of Part-TCO

On 12 July 2013 the EASA Committee of the European Commission voted favourably on the proposal for a Commission Regulation on Third Country Operators (TCO).

It includes:

  • Implementing Rules on TCOs engaged in commercial air transport (CAT) operations in Europe, and
  • Implementing Rules on the Agency for the authorisation of TCOs.

The proposed Commission Regulation is subject to scrutiny by the European Parliament and European Council. The final adoption and publication of the regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union is expected for spring 2014. Further information and links to the documents under scrutiny can be found via the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN).

The Agency is responsible for finalising the associated Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM). These Decisions will be published on the Agency website shortly after the corresponding regulation has been published.

EASA does not yet process applications for a TCO authorisation.

For further information, a TCO information leaflet is available for download.

Information to industry, authorities and the public
In order to stay informed about the development of the European authorisation requirements for third-country operators, please subscribe to the site TCO Latest news in this section.

Responsible person: 
EASA
Last updated: 
29/11/2013
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