FAQ n.19236

Which types of operations or activities are excluded from EASA's competence?


Article 1(2) of Basic Regulation , as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009, excludes from the Agency’s scope aircraft involved in the execution of military, customs, police, search and rescue, fire fighting, coastguard or similar activities or services.

The common element between these operations are that they serve a public interest and/or exercise a public service or duty of care, which assumes that the service is provided by or under the control and responsibility of a government or public authority of the Member States pursuing the fulfilment of public interest.

Some activities such as mountain rescue are not particularly mentioned in Article 1(2) of the Basic Regulation. Nevertheless, applying the criterion described above, it is assumed that mountain rescue is outside the scope of EASA.

The determining factor to exclude a given aircraft from the scope of the Basic Regulation is the concrete nature of the operation performed – not the aircraft itself, its registry, its owner or its operator. In this sense, the distinction between ‘State aircraft’ / ‘State Operations’ and civil aircraft / operations, which was traditionally based on the registry of the aircraft (civil or military/State) or the nature of the owner / operator (private or public entity), is no longer relevant for the purpose of excluding an aircraft from the scope of the Basic Regulation. 

The responsibility for determining whether a certain operation falls within the scope of the Basic Regulation, by applying the criteria of Article 1(2), belongs to the Member States, as part of their general duty to implement EU Law. The Agency will monitor the exercise of this responsibility by the Member States as part of its standardisation responsibilities under the Basic Regulation.

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