The objective of this NPA is to develop a harmonised set of flight time limitation (FTL) rules for each of the following types of operation:
- air taxi operations (ATXO) and emergency medical service operations with aeroplanes (AEMS),
- single-pilot operations (scheduled as well as on demand), and
- emergency medical operations with helicopters (HEMS).
This NPA proposes amendments to Subpart FTL of Part-ORO by extending its scope to the aforementioned types of operation. Notably, references to new certification specifications have been introduced to enable the description of detailed safety objectives and prescriptive elements for each type of operation.
For ATXO, the proposed amendments are expected to improve safety, especially during night duties, increase efficiency and at the same time ensure harmonisation across the European Union (EU).
From an FTL perspective, AEMS is a subset of ATXO. Therefore, a transition between air taxi operation and emergency medical operation would be possible within the same duty period. The proposed amendments are mainly expected to improve safety during night duties.
Duties, flight time and rest periods in HEMS operations are currently regulated at national level. Overall, the proposed changes are expected to improve safety where scientific principles have not been used so far and ensure harmonisation across the EU. All proposed amendments are fully aligned with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
The proposed amendments affect:
- EASA, because the scope of Subpart FTL is extended to cover additional types of operations, thus leading to (1) a potential increase in the number of evaluations of individual flight time specification schemes the EASA is mandated to carry out and (2) extending the scope of the implementation support provided to Member States;
- Competent authorities as they will have to bear the implementation effort;
- Operators (ATXO, AEMS and HEMS) who will have to bear the implementation effort, but will reap efficiency gains and benefit from a level playing field and improved safety;
- Aircrew members who will benefit from improved harmonisation, safety and efficiency.