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Opinion 02/2019

Amendments to Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 as regards requirements for aeroplane performance, alternate power supply for CVRs, in-flight recording for light aircraft & non-ETOPS operations with performance class A aeroplanes with MOPSC of 19 or less

The objective of this Opinion is to:

  • improve the availability of data that is recorded by cockpit voice recorders (CVRs);
  • address the need for in-flight recording for light aircraft further to 12 safety recommendations (SRs) addressed to EASA and the recently adopted ICAO Standards on the matter;
  • ensure a level playing field for the commercial operation of certain categories of aeroplanes without an ETOPS approval over routes that contain a point further from an adequate aerodrome than the distance flown in 60 minutes at one-engine-inoperative cruising speed (‘non-ETOPS operations’); it also addresses the recently adopted ICAO Standards for the installation of reinforced cockpit doors;
  • improve safety in relation to runway surface condition reporting and in-flight assessment of landing performance further to SRs and the recently adopted ICAO Standards; and
  • ensure a level playing field in relation to the required landing distance for certain categories of commercially operated aeroplanes.

This Opinion proposes to:

  • mandate the carriage of lightweight flight recorders for certain categories of light aircraft that are commercially operated and to promote the voluntary installation of such recorders on other aircraft;
  • remove the current mass threshold for ‘non-ETOPS’ operations, the type design requirement for the 120–180-minute non-ETOPS operations with turbojet aeroplanes, and increase the mass limit requiring a reinforced cockpit door for certain categories of aeroplanes;
  • require the installation of an alternate power supply of the CVRs and associated cockpit-mounted area microphone installed on certain large aeroplanes;
  • introduce standards for runway surface condition reporting, landing performance at time of arrival as well as a reduced required landing distance for CAT operations with certain categories of aeroplanes.

The proposed amendments are expected to:

  • increase safety and ensure alignment with ICAO with regard to in-flight recording;
  • maintain the current level of safety for non-ETOPS operations, while allowing Europe to achieve harmonisation with other regulatory systems;
  • increase the current level of safety in relation to aeroplane performance, and ensure alignment with ICAO and better harmonisation with the FAA on the matter.