Use of private registered aircraft in DTO

Konstantin Stoyanov • 30 November 2023
in community General Aviation

Hello folks,


We have been struggling to start a DTO in EASA member state, we almost managed to fulfill most of the requirements except for the aircraft to be used in the DTO (non commercial DTO).

Our CAA is insisting to have the DTO listed as operator in the registration certificate of the aircraft, I'm unable to find regulation controlling that subject and I'm looking forward to share your kind thoughts on this issue.


Thank you



Comments (9)

Henry Pottkämper

Hello Costa, good question. We had the same issue with our AOC - never good an answer to this where it is written - but maybe in converse conclusion to ORO.AOC.110 Leasing agreement and because of the responsibilities of a operator - it is necessary. I hope some else can deliver a precise answer. Best regards

Lars-Henrik Eriksson

There is no regulation that requires the DTO to own the aircraft. Indeed, the GM to DTO.GEN.240 states: "The DTO is required to use an adequate fleet of training aircraft. However, a DTO is not required to own the aircraft used."

If your CAA insists, ask them to point to the regulation that requires the DTO to be listed on the registration certificate.

In fact, to "insist" on this your CAA has to know in advance what particular aircraft you intend to use, but you don't have to declare that -- only the aircraft types.

It seems to me that your CAA is exceeding its authority.

Grega Trcek

The DTO needs to be the operator of the aircraft/s they use for training. If it is a privately owned aircraft and you don't have a Dry Lease agreement with DTO then the DTO can not use it for training. The solution is that you as a private owner of the aircraft conclude a Dry Lease agreement with DTO. Your national CAA needs to approve this Dry Lease agreement. There should also be a contract with Part-CAO with maintenance privilege, Part-M Subpart F or Part-145 for the aircraft concerned, and insurance for training flights. For aircraft that are Dry leased for shorter than 6 months, there is no need to make a change of operator in the Aircraft register. Hope this helped. If you need a sample of such an agreement let me know. Cheers, Grega

Lars-Henrik Eriksson

Can you please point to the regulation that says that the DTO needs to be the operator? Whether or not a CAO contract is required depends on whether the DTO is commercial or non-commercial.

Mark Dwyer

Hi Konstantin, is the aircraft you're trying to use an Annex 1 type? This is our case in Ireland - as our aircraft are Annex 1 they fall under National regulations so we have a requirement that Annex 1 aircraft operating within a DTO are registered in the Clubs' name. Regards, Mark

Henrik Vaeroe

My DTO (in Denmark) has used a number of privately owned aircraft from the beginning. The only "paper"-work involved is maintaining the DTO's internal list of aircraft used in the DTO. We are not even required to notify the authority of the aircraft individuals used, except once a year when submitting the DTO activity report, which includes a list of the aircraft used for training within the DTO. The only question we have had from the authority is, how does the DTO ensure compliance with maintenance requirements? When they were shown that the aircraft all had CAMO or CAO contracts, they were satisfied. There is no indication in any of the aircrafts' papers that they are used by the DTO, and one them is indeed used by two different DTO's.

I would say that Lars-Henrik is exactly right. There is no requirement in the regulations for anything else, as long as the EASA aircraft type is mentioned in the DTO declaration (special case for Annex 1 as mentioned above), the aircraft are well suited for the training in question and the NCO rules for training aircraft are observed (e.g. dual controls and intercom required). If an authority is requiring anything more than that, it certainly seems they are gold-plating the EASA requirements, and that would in itself not be in accordance with regulations, I would say.

Grega Trcek

I partly agree with Henrik.

The authority might ask you how you comply with "authorization to fly", maintenance requirements, etc.

According to legislation, the owner-operator of the aircraft needs to authorize another pilot, organization, or legal entity for the use of his aircraft. In this way, all the liability (regarding the operation of the aircraft ) is transferred to the new operator-pilot(DTO)

If the owner of the aircraft is DTO there is no problem as in the documentation of DTO it is written who can authorize you to fly their aircraft.
If it is the private owner he needs to authorize the new pilot-operator to fly his aircraft or DTO. If he has a Dry lease agreement with DTO he has everything defined in the agreement. The other thing is that in the Dry lease agreement, you also demonstrate maintenance requirements ( Mentioning of contract with which CAMO or CAO ).
The point of having an agreement is basically because of the authorization to fly and demonstrating maintenance requirements.
Regarding maintenance requirements, for example, a private owner can have pilot-owner maintenance of the aircraft which is not satisfactory for aircraft operating in DTO.
If the Dry lease agreement is for less than 6 months you don't need to put the aircraft in the aircraft register under new "operator's"(DTO) name.

So basically the easiest way is, you have a Dry Lease agreement for any period the aircraft is used by DTO, all the rest is the same as Henrik mentioned.


Lars-Henrik Eriksson

Grega Trcek states that "pilot-owner maintenance ... is not satisfactory for aircraft operating in DTO." Just as the case with CAO contracts, that depends on whether the DTO is commercial or not.

For a non-commercial DTO, pilot-owner maintenance *is* acceptable. This is spelled out in ML.A.201(e)(2) which states that only for aircraft operated by a commercial DTO, all maintenance have to be performed by an approved maintenance organisation. (The maintenance requirements are summarised in GM1 to ML.A.201 which is also explicit that pilot-owner maintenance is possible for a non-commercial DTO.)

Grega Trcek

Yes you are right Lars-Henrik as long as the owner of the aircarft is non-commercial DTO or Dry leased the aircraft from the private pilot-owner(s) and pilots are members of a non-commercial DTO, but they must comply with regulations regarding private-pilot(s) owner maintenance. In real life this can become quite complicated if they Dry lease the aircraft just for a short period of time. For such situations it is easier if the aircraft is in CAO.

The point in Costas question is wether the non-commercial DTO needs to own an aircraft for their training and the answer is no, as long as they have Dry lease agreemenet for the period in which they use the aircraft in their training and comply with all other regulations regarding non-commercial DTO and maintenance.

According to our experience, the best is, Short Term Dry lease agreement. This can be only for the time you really need the aircraft for training.

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