Reference: Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012
The term 'commercial operation' is now defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 as follows (previously in Reg. (EC) No 216/2008):
“'Commercial operation' means any operation of an aircraft, in return for remuneration or other valuable consideration, which is available to the public or, when not made available to the public, which is performed under a contract between an operator and a customer, where the latter has no control over the operator.”
The term 'commercial air transport (CAT) operation' is defined in Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 as follows:
“'Commercial air transport' means an aircraft operation to transport passengers, cargo or mail for remuneration or other valuable consideration.”
The two definitions make it clear that 'commercial operations' include 'CAT operations'. Specialised operations (SPO) are another type of commercial operations. They are also defined in Article 2 of Reg. (EU) No 965/2012.