FAQ n.19111

What do 'grandfathering', 'transition measure' and 'opt-out' mean?

Answer

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011, Regulation (EU) No 290/2012, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, Regulation (EU) No 800/2013, Regulation (EU) No 71/2014, Regulation (EU) No 83/2014

Aircrew Regulation

In the Aircrew Regulation, 'grandfathering' designates the legal recognition and acceptance of certificates issued by national authorities prior to the entry into force of the Aircrew Regulation. In the Cover Regulation, the conditions for the grandfathering of JAR-compliant and non-JAR compliant pilot licences and medical certificates are set forth in its Articles 4 and 5.

Grandfathering measures are included in the Cover Regulation to assist Member States in the transition from national rules to unified EU rules. In the case of aircrew licensing, provisions on grandfathering consider some national certificates issued in compliance with given regulations and by a certain date as being in compliance with the new Aircrew Regulation.

A 'transition measure' is a means of allowing a gradual change to the new rules and its scope and timeline are clearly stated within the Cover Regulation. Several examples can be found in the Aircrew Regulation, such as in Article 11c (in relation to the obligation of Member States regarding transfer of records and certification processes of those organisations for which the Agency is the competent authority) and Article 4 (1) obligation of Member States to adapt grandfathered pilot licences to the new licence format by a certain date of the Cover Regulation. 
The 'opt-out' can also be considered as a form of transition measure applicable to Member States. Opt-out provisions allow Member States to decide not to implement the new EU Regulation for a certain period of time, delaying the date of applicability of the new regulation within that Member State. This requires the Member State to notify the European Commission and the Agency of the 'opt-out', describing the reasons for such derogation and the programme for implementation. Article 12 (1) of the amended Cover Regulation allowed for a general opt out to Annexes I to IV until 8 April 2013. Other specific opt-outs are listed in Article 12 (2) to (6).

Air OPS Regulation

In the Air OPS Regulation, 'grandfathering' designates the legal recognition and acceptance of certificates issued by national authorities prior to the entry into force of the Air OPS Regulation. In the Cover Regulation, the conditions for the grandfathering of EU-OPS AOCs are set forth in Article 7.1.
Grandfathering measures are included in the Cover Regulation to assist Member States in the transition from EU-OPS to the new air ops rules. In the case of air operations, provisions on grandfathering consider EU-OPS AOCs issued in compliance with given regulations and by a certain date as being in compliance with the new Air OPS Regulation.

A 'transition measure' is a means of allowing a gradual change to the new rules and its scope and timeline are clearly stated within the Cover Regulation. An example to be found in the Air OPS Regulation is Article 7.1 obligation of Member States to issue AOC complying with the new format by a certain date.

The 'opt-out' can also be considered as a form of transition measure applicable to Member States. Opt-out provisions allow Member States to decide not to implement the new EU Regulation and its amendments for a certain period of time, delaying the date of applicability of the new regulation within that Member State. This requires the Member State to notify the European Commission and the Agency of the 'opt-out', describing the reasons for such derogation and the programme for implementation. Article 10.2 of the Cover Regulation ((EU) No 965/2012) allows for a general opt out to Annexes I to V until 28 October 2014. The amendments to Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 have different dates of applicability.

Last updated: 
14/02/2014

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