Air operator certificate (AOC)

EASA Competent Authority for AOC holders


An air operator certificate (AOC) is a certificate that allows an operator to perform specific operations of commercial air transport. Any airline in Europe that wishes to operate must have approval through an AOC.

Historically, in Europe, as in any other part of the world, such AOC is delivered by the National Aviation Authority (NAA) as the competent authority for the State where the operator has its principal place of business. This State is often referred to as the State of the Operator (SoO).

Under specific conditions, such responsibilities may be transferred under Article 64 or 65 of the Basic Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/1139) by an EU Member State to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In such cases, EASA becomes the competent authority for the initial certification, the continuous oversight, and the enforcement of the AOC.

The transfer of responsibility for those tasks to EASA is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the SoO under the Chicago Convention, which remain unaffected. In addition, the SoO shall, in that capacity, notify the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that EASA carries out, on its behalf, certain functions and duties ascribed to the SoO under the Chicago Convention, as regards the related operator. The operator also continues to hold an operating licence issued by the SoO.

EASA Competent Authority for AOC Holders

EASA air operator certificate (AOC) holders are operators having their principal place of business located in one of the EU Member States and in respect of which the certification, oversight and enforcement responsibilities have been reallocated to EASA pursuant to Article 64 or 65 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, following the conclusion of an agreement for this transfer between the SoO and EASA.

EASA acts as competent authority for those operators.

Type of disruptive schedule

In accordance with point ARO.OPS.230 of the Air Operations Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 965/2012), EASA, acting as competent authority for operators holding an EASA-issued AOC, has determined that the type of disruptive schedule applicable to those operators shall be the type of disruptive schedule determined by the related SoO.