The European rules for NCC operations are based on the State of the Operator principle. NCC.GEN.100 specifies the following: “The competent authority shall be the authority designated by the Member State in which the operator has its principal place of business or is residing”.
What does this mean? Here are some examples:
- For a European NCC operator with aircraft registered in a Member State, the Competent Authority is the State of Operator.
- For a European NCC operator with third-country registered aircraft, the Competent Authority is the State of Operator. These operators may also have to comply with rules of the third-country State of Registry if this State has not delegated its responsibilities to the European State of the Operator.
- For a third-country NCC operator having its principal place of business in a third country and performing operations with aircraft registered in a Member State, the Competent Authority is the State of the Operator (the third country SoO). However, these operators may also have to comply with rules of the EU Member State (State of Registry) related to the aircraft if the State of Registry has not delegated its responsibilities to the State of the Operator.
In accordance with ICAO SARPs (188.8.131.52.2 of ICAO Annex 6 Part II), the State of Registry and State of the Operator shall coordinate their safety and security oversight actions.
To avoid interferences with the responsibility of a third-country State of Registry for specific approvals, Part-SPA SPA.GEN.100 specifies that the European competent authority shall not issue operational approvals when they are required by Annex 6 and issued by the third-country State of Registry.
EASA has published a draft Guidance Material (GM) related to this topic, in order to make it easier for declared operators (NCC and SPO) to determine which their competent authority is. The GM can be found in the draft AMC&GM related to Opinion 04/2017, published for information at this page (draft GM proposed to Annex I Definitions).