FAQ n.19109

What are the essential requirements?


Reference: Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations as amended by Regulation (EU) No 800/2013

Essential requirements are a legal means of setting high level objectives and obligations on authorities, persons and organisations in order to achieve the objectives of the Basic Regulation ((EC) No 216/2008). Implementing rules are then developed on the basis of these essential requirements, to further detail how to achieve these objectives and obligations. The Basic Regulation has annexes containing essential requirements for:

  • airworthiness (in Annex I),
  • certain aircraft that fall outside the scope of the Agency's activities (Annex II),
  • pilot licensing (Annex III),
  • air operations (Annex IV),
  • qualified entities in the case of certification (Annex V),
  • aerodromes (Annex Va) and
  • ATM/ANS and air traffic controllers (Annex Vb).

For example, the implementing rules for air operations (e.g. Regulation (EU) No 965/2012) are developed using the essential requirements as a starting point. For certain aspects and types of operation, the essential requirements do not need to be further elaborated on with a specific implementing rule. For example, in the case of non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft, some of the responsibilities of the pilot-in-command are set out in adequate detail in 1.b and 1.c of Annex IV to the Basic Regulation, and did not need to be further detailed in implementing rules. For legal certainty, the essential requirements should not be repeated in the implementing rule, but to support industry in identifying the requirements with which they should comply, the Agency makes a reference to the essential requirement from the implementing rule:
“NCO.GEN.105 Pilot-in-command responsibilities and authority

a) The pilot-in-command shall be responsible for:

(1) the safety of the aircraft and of all crew members, passengers and cargo on board during aircraft operations as referred to in 1.c of Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008”.

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