What should the Applicant do?
In the first instance the Operator should establish whether the defective condition is covered by any of the existing approved data, eg. MMEL, CDL etc..
If none of these options are applicable the next step is to contact their Competent Authority to start the process for the issue of a Permit to Fly. At this stage the operator needs to agree with his Competent Authority whether the Flight Conditions are related to safety of the design. If they are not, then the complete process can be dealt with by the CA.
If the CA determines that safety of the design is affected, then the flight Conditions will need to be approved either by EASA, or by a suitably approved DOA. In many cases the TC holder will have privileges to do this, based on previously approved Flight Conditions agreed with EASA.
If the Flight Conditions cannot be approved either by the CA or by a DOA, then an application to EASA using Form 37 will be necessary. EASA will require technical data to support the application which identifies the defective condition (eg pictures of any visible damage), actions taken to minimise the effects (eg statement from the manufacturer supporting the flight), and proposals for the Flight Conditions (using Form 18b) that further mitigate the situation in order that it can be clearly determined that a safe flight can be performed.
Where it is known that Flight Conditions will need to be approved by EASA, application for these could be made in parallel with the application to the CA for a Permit to Fly.
Why do I need Flight Conditions Approval?
Because the Permit to Fly will be issued on the basis of the approved flight conditions, and these will identify the limitations applicable.
Who can Approve Flight Conditions?
In accordance with Part 21A.710 EASA is normally responsible for the approval of Flight Conditions where they relate to safety of the design. However, certain DOA holders may have the privileges to approve flight conditions related to safety of the design. Where the Flight Conditions are not related to safety of the design, they may be approved by the competent authority.
What is the EASA responsible for?
As described above, EASA is normally responsible for the approval of the flight conditions on the basis of which a permit to fly can be issued by the Competent Authority.
The Agency approves the Flight Conditions in cases related to the safety of the design, defined as follows:
- the aircraft does not conform to an approved design; or
- an Airworthiness Limitation, a Certification Maintenance Requirement or an Airworthiness Directive has not been complied with; or
- the intended flight(s) are outside the approved envelope.
How can I submit an application?
Applications for the approval of flight conditions can be sent at any time by e-mail or regular mail to:
European Aviation Safety Agency
Applications and Procurement Services Department
Manager of the Product Applications Management Section
Postfach 10 12 53, D-50452 Köln, Germany
E-Mail: flightconditions [at] easa.europa.eu
The process for applying for the PtF from your Competent Authority is detailed on their website or in their publications.
In the event of an emergency situation occurring outside office-hours, during week-ends or public holidays, your Competent Authority can contact EASA directly.