Opinion No 05/2023

Cruise relief co-pilots | Regular update of flight crew licensing and medical requirements | Better flight crew licensing requirements for general aviation

This Opinion encompasses proposals for amendments to Regulations (EU) No 1178/2011 and No 965/2012, as developed by the following rulemaking tasks.

RMT.0190 ‘Requirements for relief pilots’

Draft amendments to ensure that cruise relief co-pilots (CRCPs) are adequately trained to safely operate an aeroplane in the cruise segment of a flight, and that appropriate operating procedures are established for the transfer of authority from the commander to the CRCP.

RMT.0287 (Subtasks 2a and 2b) ‘Regular update of Part-MED, of Part-ARA Subparts ARA.AeMC and ARA.MED, and of Part-ORA Subpart ORA.AeMC’

Draft amendments aiming to improve the level of safety and clarify already existing rule text, in order to make the regulatory framework more precise and effective, to fill the gaps identified through the implementation experience and to remove unnecessary burden for competent authorities (CAs), aeromedical examiners (AMEs) and aeromedical centres (AeMCs).

Additionally, draft amendments aim to safely increase the pilot age limit for pilots involved in single-pilot helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations, which are expected to have a positive social impact on the patients in need of helicopter emergency intervention, by increasing the coverage of HEMS operations, and on the pilots’ possibility to retire at an age closer to the legal retirement age.

RMT.0587 ‘Regular update of regulations regarding pilot training, testing and checking, and related oversight’

Draft amendments concerning updates, improvements and clarifications on miscellaneous topics, such as helicopter training topics (vortex ring stage, autorotative landing), multi-pilot operation in single-pilot aircraft, and the use of flight simulation training devices (FSTDs) for training, testing and checking.

RMT.0678 (Subtask 2) ‘Simpler, lighter and better flight crew licensing requirements for general aviation’

Draft amendments to provide updates, improvements and clarifications on miscellaneous topics in the field of flight crew licensing (FCL) for general aviation, such as pilot privileges for electrically powered aeroplanes, credits for private pilot licence (PPL) applicants who have started light aircraft pilot licence (LAPL) training, and non-complex helicopter type rating revalidation via refresher training.

The proposed regulatory material is expected to improve the regulatory framework in the context of the above-listed areas, while maintaining a high level of safety, particularly by better addressing CRCP activities, by providing more proportionate requirements for general aviation, by alleviating pilot age limits for pilots involved in single-pilot HEMS operations and by clarifying miscellaneous issues.