Declaration to the competent authority

Christopher Wik • 20 June 2021
in community General Aviation

Dear fellow aviators. In December 2020 I sendt a DTO declaration to the aviation authorities in a Mediterranean EASA state member with a projected startup in February 2021.

I immediately received an answer by email that the declaration had been received. But I considered this as an unofficial reply since it really was an instruction to register with a different department to be able to complete the procedure.

Just after xmas I was registered with the department and thought that things are really moving forward now. I heard nothing more and in April I sendt an e-mail to various people I thought could help me, including head of department. I mentioned in the mail the procedure listed in part.dto and requested an official reply.

The same person that answered me the first time informed me that the declaration was in the system. It seems every two or three months the authorities publish lists of approved DTOs. The latest one came out in June, but without my name on it.

As this is written we are nearly in July. More than six months have passed and we are getting close to August, which is the holiday month here. So if I don't hear anything soon, we're looking at nine months.

The only thing I am happy about is that I didn't start up in February, because then I would possibly have a handful of students ready to do the exam. I can't send students to the exam without having a DTO registration number.

Just to check if this situation is normal or not, I called the aviation authorities in a country in northern Europe, where I am from, to hear how they do it. They do manage to send out a formal reply within 10 working days, as it says in part.dto.

So here I am, more frustrated than ever. People around me say I need to hire an assertive lawyer that will not stop for anything.

So I turn to this community for advice. What would you guys do?

These are the rules as I understand them:

ARA.DTO.100 Declaration to the competent authority
(a) Upon receiving a declaration from a DTO, the competent authority shall verify that the declaration contains all the information specified in point DTO.GEN.115 of Annex VIII (Part-DTO) and acknowledge receipt of the declaration, including the assignment of an individual DTO reference number to the representative of the DTO.

AMC1 ARA.DTO.100(a) Declaration to the competent authority
The competent authority should acknowledge receipt of the declaration to the DTO in writing within 10 working days.

GM2 DTO.GEN.115(a) Declaration
It is the responsibility of the DTO to successfully submit the declaration to the competent authority. If the DTO does not receive the acknowledgement of receipt of the declaration from the competent authority pursuant to point ARA.DTO.100 within a reasonable period of time following the submission of the declaration, the DTO should contact the competent authority to investigate whether or not the submission of the declaration has been successful.



Comments (7)

Martina De Coster Hunova

It´s not the first time that the said authority does not comply with the rules, you´ve probably heard there was an official complaint filed against them with the European Commission in another matter. Hiring a lawyer may help, it´s not a long term solution though as although it may solve your case, all the others who plan to create a DTO will most likely end up in the same predicament. I´m not a lawyer, but if you ever decide to take it higher up, I will gladly support you.

Martina De Coster Hunova

[~1806] yes that´s the one, that particular issue concerns me personally so I am fully aware of how frustrating it is, and I am very sorry to hear that pilots´ lives here are complicated on so many levels. Best of luck to you and don´t hesitate to shout if you need a hand, be it with paperwork or anything, we´re all in the same boat here striving to make it work.

Daniel Saraiva

Hi Christopher,
Thank you for such a polite address on a real frustrating issue of red tape and government entropy. IMHO some authorities are going through a difficult phase of adaptation. A competent and knowledgeable generation of public servants, well-trained and experienced are being replaced. With the lack of funds, comes a new generation that is much cheaper and untrained. Higher offices are now politically appointed rather than internal promotions based on competence. authorities are already understaffed, under-budgeted, and now risking incompetence. All of this just to say that it is perfectly reasonable to be frustrated by an authority's inertia, but it is seldom the fault of whoever is handling the particular issue. All of this in the midst of a pandemic.
I have found, in escalating order, the following steps to work:
1. Explain your concerns (and the regulatory cadre that supports your claim) and ask for a meeting with the head of the department at the NAA - include the head of the department's boss in copy. This should solve most of your issues. Most NAAs have an org chart and contact list on their webpage.
2. Appeal to EASA. Do not hesitate to mention names, dates and evidence of your case. If you do not have a direct contact within EASA, the contact page is always a good way to start. Make sure you let the NAA know that you are reporting the issue to EASA and what the progress is.
3. Finally, you could always hire a lawyer. Instead of direct litigation, start by sending a formal letter stating clearly what the interpretation of the regulation (law) is and how it's not being observed by the NAA. This is typically sufficient and much cheaper than going for a full judicial process.
I do hope you get your situation sorted quickly! Best of luck!

Christopher Wik

Thank you for your good advice.

I am so sorry it has come to this. I just want to work with my students and make great pilots out of them. That's all.

You are not allowed to comment on content in a group you are not member of.

View group