Air Operations - General

Is there a consolidated version of the EASA decisions containing AMC and GM?

Yes, in the list of pdf documents on the Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material page, please select the documents entitled 'Supplementary document to ED Decision.

The consolidated version shows the different amendments in a single document and makes it much easier to find the appropriate AMC and GM for your type of operation.

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Will the new rules be available in all official languages of the European Union and where are the rules published?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 and its amendments, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 and its amendments, related EASA Decisions (AMC/GM/CS)

The new requirements (on aircrew, air operations and third country operators) consist of:

  1. a Cover Regulation,
  2. Annexes containing Implementing Rules,
  3. Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM),
  4. Certification Specifications (e.g. for the qualification of flight simulation training devices, or on flight time limitations).

They are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 containing the first four annexes of the Aircrew Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 25 November 2011.

The remaining three annexes of the Aircrew Regulation were published in the Official Journal as Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 on 5 April 2012.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on air operations and applicable to commercial air transport operations with aeroplanes and helicopters was published in the Official Journal on 25 October 2012.

Commission Regulation (EU) 800/2013 amending Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 and applicable to non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft (Part NCC) and other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft (Part NCO) was published in the Official Journal on 24 August 2013. The date of applicability is 25 August 2013. It also amends Regulation (EU) 965/2013 in its already published Annexes accordingly.

The Official Journal is published in all the official languages of the EU.

Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC), Guidance Material (GM) and Certification Specifications (CS) are published on the Agency website, as Agency Decisions. As these need to take into account any changes made to the Cover Regulation and Implementing Rules by the EASA Committee, European Parliament and Council, the Decisions are published shortly after the date when their corresponding regulations have been published in the Official Journal. These are available in English only.

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What is the status of documents published during the EASA Rulemaking process such as Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) or Comment Response Document (CRD)? Can they be used if there is no EASA rule available?

Reference: Regulation (EC) No 216/2008

NPAs and CRDs are part of the Agency's rulemaking process, to inform and consult stakeholders on possible rule changes or newly developed rules. The proposed rules are obviously not binding and still subject to change, either during the EASA rulemaking process or the Commission's comitology process. While a NPA and CRD may give a broad indication on how the future rule could look like, the Agency generally does not recommend using it before the final rules are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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How can alternative means of compliance to the AMC published by the Agency be used by NAAs, operators and approved training organisations across the EU?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 on Aircrew (ARA.GEN.120); Decision AMC/GM to Part ARA (AMC1 ARA.GEN.120(d)(3), GM1 ARA.GEN.120); Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations (ARO.GEN.120); Decision AMC/GM to Part ARO (AMC1 ARO.GEN.120(d)(3), GM1 ARO.GEN.120)

The only means of compliance to the Aircrew/Air OPS Regulations that all organisations can use across the EU are the AMC as published by the Agency. For alternative means of compliance, the following scenarios are foreseen:

  1. an alternative means of compliance approved for an individual organisation may be used by another organisation, but that organisation must also apply for approval to use such alternative means of compliance;
  2. an alternative means of compliance issued by the competent authority (e.g. NAA) may be used by all organisations for which that authority is responsible.

Whenever the competent authority accepts an alternative means of compliance proposed by an organisation, it must notify the Agency and inform all other Member States. However, each Member State may decide how to deal with this information. This is explained in:

Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 on Aircrew:

ARA.GEN.120 MEANS OF COMPLIANCE

“(d) The competent authority shall evaluate all alternative means of compliance proposed by an organisation in accordance with ORA.GEN.120 by analysing the documentation provided and, if considered necessary, conducting an inspection of the organisation.

When the competent authority finds that the alternative means of compliance are in accordance with the Implementing Rules, it shall without undue delay:

(1) notify the applicant that the alternative means of compliance may be implemented and, if applicable, amend the approval or certificate of the applicant accordingly; and
(2) notify the Agency of their content, including copies of all relevant documentation;
(3) inform other MS about alternative means of compliance that were accepted.

(e) When the competent authority itself uses alternative means of compliance to achieve compliance with Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 and its Implementing Rules it shall:

(1) make them available to all organisations and persons under its oversight; and
(2) without undue delay notify the Agency.
The competent authority shall provide the Agency with a full description of the alternative means of compliance, including any revisions to procedures that may be relevant, as well as an assessment demonstrating that the Implementing Rules are met.”

AMC1 ARA.GEN.120(d)(3):

“The information to be provided to other Member States following approval of an alternative means of compliance should contain a reference to the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) to which such means of compliance provides an alternative, as well as a reference to the corresponding Implementing Rule, indicating as applicable the subparagraph(s) covered by the alternative means of compliance.”

GM1 ARA.GEN.120 explains that alternative means of compliance are valid for an individual organisation:

“Alternative means of compliance used by a competent authority or by organisations under its oversight may be used by other competent authorities or organisations only if processed again in accordance with ARA.GEN.120 (d) and (e).”

When the Agency finds that an alternative means of compliance of which it has been notified has value to be issued as an Agency AMC, this alternative means of compliance will be fed into the Rulemaking process. On completion of the rulemaking process, the means of compliance will be published as AMC.

AMC & GM to Part ARA are available here.

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations:

ARO.GEN.120:

“(d) The competent authority shall evaluate all alternative means of compliance proposed by an organisation in accordance with ORO.GEN.120 (b) by analysing the documentation provided and, if considered necessary, conducting an inspection of the organisation.
When the competent authority finds that the alternative means of compliance are in accordance with the Implementing Rules, it shall without undue delay:

(1) notify the applicant that the alternative means of compliance may be implemented and, if applicable, amend the approval or certificate of the applicant accordingly; and
(2) notify the Agency of their content, including copies of all relevant documentation.
(3) inform other Member States about alternative means of compliance that were accepted.

(e) When the competent authority itself uses alternative means of compliance to achieve compliance with Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 and its Implementing Rules it shall:

(1) make them available to all organisations and persons under its oversight; and
(2) without undue delay notify the Agency.

The competent authority shall provide the Agency with a full description of the alternative means of compliance, including any revisions to procedures that may be relevant, as well as an assessment demonstrating that the Implementing Rules are met.”

AMC1 ARO.GEN.120(D)(3): MEANS OF COMPLIANCE

“GENERAL
The information to be provided to other Member States following approval of an alternative means of compliance should contain a reference to the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) to which such means of compliance provides an alternative, as well as a reference to the corresponding Implementing Rule, indicating as applicable the subparagraph(s) covered by the alternative means of compliance.”

GM1 ARO.GEN.120 MEANS OF COMPLIANCE

“GENERAL
Alternative means of compliance used by a competent authority or by organisations under its oversight may be used by other competent authorities or organisations only if processed again in accordance with ARO.GEN.120 (d) and (e).”

In the Information on Alternative Means of Compliance notified to the Agency page you can find a list of all the notifications sent by the Member States to EASA with the alternative means of compliance that they adopted.

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What is the definition of ‘cabin crew member’? Does the definition of Aircrew include cabin crew members?

Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 on Aircrew gives the following definitions:

Article 1 (2)(11) defines ‘cabin crew member’ as follows:

(11) “Cabin crew member” means an appropriately qualified crew member, other than a flight crew or technical crew member, who is assigned by an operator to perform duties related to the safety of passengers and flight during operations;

Article 1 (2)(12) defines Aircrew as follows:

(12) “Aircrew” means flight crew and cabin crew; To conclude, the definition of aircrew includes cabin crew member.

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What happens to existing EU-OPS (aeroplane) AOCs? Are they still valid in the new system? Will EASA issue Air Operator Certificates in the future?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations

As stated in Article 7.1 of the Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, EU-OPS (aeroplane) AOCs issued by a Member State before the Regulation applies shall be deemed to have been issued in accordance with this Regulation. This means that an operator will not have to re-apply for an AOC.

However, all existing AOCs issued before the entry into force of this Regulation will have to be replaced by AOCs corresponding to the new format (Appendix I to Part ARO) no later than 28 October 2014. Before the new AOC document can be issued, operators will have to adapt their management system, training programmes, procedures and manuals accordingly. More detailed information on how this transition process is managed is available from the national aviation authority that issued the AOC.

EASA will not issue AOCs. New AOCs will continue to be issued by National Aviation Authorities (the competent authority for this scope) in compliance with the requirements for organisations (Part ORO) and authorities (Part ARO).

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There are four different aircraft categories in the rules - aeroplanes, helicopters, sailplanes, balloons. How can I identify which rules apply to a balloon pilot for example?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations

Where rules apply only to a specific category of aircraft, this has been indicated in the title. Within Subpart IDE (instruments, data and equipment), sections for each aircraft category have been created, so there the distinction is easy to make. Where no distinction is made in the rule title or section, the rule will apply to all aircraft categories.

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The definition of commercial operation according to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 Article 3 (Definitions) (i) is as follows: “commercial operation” shall mean 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.” In this context, what does the term “control” actually mean?

Reference: Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (‘the Basic Regulation’)

The legislator has not further specified the term “control”. It is therefore EASA’s view that it should be understood in a wider sense, i.e. the term is not limited to operational control. In this sense, control could for example also encompass financial control, control of management decisions etc. This notion of the definition is for example particularly valid for managed operations or fractional ownership. These are operations where an aircraft is owned by one or several persons who contract a management company to manage operations and continuing airworthiness. It then depends on the specific contract between the owner(s) and the management company how much control the owner(s) still have over the operation.

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Would there be a restriction that requires baby bassinets to be removed and stowed during in-flight turbulent weather conditions? Where is it documented?

Reference: CS-25 (Large Aeroplanes)

Baby bassinets are currently included in a certification process of the particular aircraft in which they will be installed; baby bassinets are not certified as a separate device and they are not certified for taxi, take-off, landing and turbulent weather conditions. Placards advising on their stowage during taxi, take-off, landing and turbulence are required either at the location where baby bassinets will be fixed to the aircraft structure (e.g. bulkhead) or a clearly visible instruction advising on the same must be in place on the baby bassinet itself.

Because of the standard fixation of the unit, they are not stable during turbulence, they may swing up and down, and therefore they must be stowed during turbulence.

The placarding requirements are related to the general certification requirements on placarding and intended function in accordance with Certifications Specifications and Acceptable Means of Compliance for Large Aeroplanes CS-25 (ED Decision 2012/008/R) and the marking requirements as specified in the approval of the equipment. The applicable reference paragraph is CS 25.1301, 25.1541. There is no specific mention of baby bassinets, however, equipment installed in an aircraft must meet the applicable requirements of the certification basis, the equipment specifications (if available) or aircraft manufacturer specifications (if available), or NAA requirements applicable to the operation of the aircraft.

For any questions on certification matters, do not hesitate to contact EASA Certification directorate.

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What is the 'Basic Regulation'?

Reference: Regulation (EC) No 216/2008

The 'Basic Regulation' (BR) designates Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Council Directive 91/670/EEC, Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 and Directive 2004/36/EC, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 690/2009 and Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009. A consolidated version of the Basic Regulation can be found here.

Under the EU legal order, the Basic Regulation has general application. It is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. The main objective of the BR is to “establish and maintain a high uniform level of civil aviation safety in Europe” - Article 2 (1). Additional objectives are, among others, to ensure a high uniform level of environmental protection, to facilitate the free movement of goods, persons and services and to provide a level playing field for all actors in the internal aviation market” - Article 2 (2) (a), (b) and (f). One of the means to attain such objectives is “the preparation, adoption and uniform application of all necessary acts” - Article 2 (3) (a).

For that purpose, the BR conferred to the European Commission the power to adopt implementing rules which will detail how to comply with the essential requirements of the BR and will regulate the subject matters included in the its scope: airworthiness of aircraft, environmental protection, pilots, air operations, aerodromes, ATM/ANS, Air Traffic Controllers and aircraft used by third country operators into, within or out of the Community - see, among others, item 38 of the preamble to the BR.

One of EASA's (the Agency) tasks is to assist the Commission in the adoption of implementing rules, under Articles 18(a) and 19 BR.

Therefore, Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, as last amended, has been termed as the Basic Regulation in the Agency's documentation. The implementing rules proposed by the Agency take the form of Opinions addressed to the Commission. Once approved under the Comitology procedure, such implementing rules are published as Commission Regulations and this term appears in their titles.

Further FAQs on the Basic Regulation are available here.

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What are the essential requirements?

Reference: Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations as amended by Regulation (EU) No 800/2013

Essential requirements are a legal means of setting high level objectives and obligations on authorities, persons and organisations in order to achieve the objectives of the Basic Regulation ((EC) No 216/2008). Implementing rules are then developed on the basis of these essential requirements, to further detail how to achieve these objectives and obligations. The Basic Regulation has annexes containing essential requirements for:

  • airworthiness (in Annex I),
  • certain aircraft that fall outside the scope of the Agency's activities (Annex II),
  • pilot licensing (Annex III),
  • air operations (Annex IV),
  • qualified entities in the case of certification (Annex V),
  • aerodromes (Annex Va) and
  • ATM/ANS and air traffic controllers (Annex Vb).

For example, the implementing rules for air operations (e.g. Regulation (EU) No 965/2012) are developed using the essential requirements as a starting point. For certain aspects and types of operation, the essential requirements do not need to be further elaborated on with a specific implementing rule. For example, in the case of non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft, some of the responsibilities of the pilot-in-command are set out in adequate detail in 1.b and 1.c of Annex IV to the Basic Regulation, and did not need to be further detailed in implementing rules. For legal certainty, the essential requirements should not be repeated in the implementing rule, but to support industry in identifying the requirements with which they should comply, the Agency makes a reference to the essential requirement from the implementing rule:
“NCO.GEN.105 Pilot-in-command responsibilities and authority

a) The pilot-in-command shall be responsible for:

(1) the safety of the aircraft and of all crew members, passengers and cargo on board during aircraft operations as referred to in 1.c of Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008”.

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What is the 'Cover Regulation'?

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

The 'Cover Regulation' designates:

  • The first 12 articles of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 of 3 November 2011 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to civil aviation aircrew pursuant to Regulation 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 311, 25.11.2011, p. 1) as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 of 30 March 2012 (OJ L 100, 5.4.2012, p. 1) - the full regulation is available here;
  • The first 10 articles of Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations pursuant to Regulation 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 296, 25.10.2012, p. 1) as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 800/2013 (OJ L 227, 24.08.2013, p.1).

The Cover Regulation:

  • explains the principles and considerations of the legislator when adopting the regulation (the 'whereas' clauses);
  • describes the regulation's objective and scope;
  • defines the terms used in the Cover Regulation;
  • indicates to whom/what the regulation and its annexes apply;
  • provides one or more dates from when the rules become applicable (opt-out provisions), including any grandfathering and transition measures for the adaptation to the new rules.

Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 as amended by Regulation (EU) No 290/2012 has been termed by the Commission as the 'Aircrew Regulation'.

The Aircrew Regulation is thus composed of the Cover Regulation (12 Articles) and seven annexes, which contain the implementing rules on pilot licensing (Annex I - Part FCL), conversion of existing national licences (Annex II), conditions for the acceptance of licences issued by or on behalf of third countries (Annex III), medical certification and attestation (Annex IV - Part MED), qualification of cabin crew (Annex V - Part CC), authority requirements for aircrew (Annex VI - Part ARA) and organisation requirements for aircrew (Annex VII - Part ORA).

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 has been termed the 'Air OPS Regulation'.

The Air OPS Regulation is thus composed of the Cover Regulation (10 Articles) and seven annexes, Annex I Definitions for terms used in Annexes II to VII, Annex II Authority requirements for air operations (Part ARO), Annex III Organisation requirements for air operations (Part ORO), Annex IV Commercial air transport operations (Part CAT), Annex V Specific approvals (Part SPA), Annex VI Non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft (Part NCC), Annex VII Non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft (Part NCO), which contain the implementing rules on air operations for commercial and non-commercial operations with aeroplanes, helicopters, sailplanes and balloons. Annex VIII Specialised Operations (Part SPO), to be published this year, will complete the Air Operations package. If you'd like to see the structure of the Air OPS regulation, click here.

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

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.

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What do 'enter into force' and 'applicability' mean in the Cover Regulation?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 on Aircrew and its amendments, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations and its amendments

When Regulations are published in the Official Journal of the European Union they invariably include several dates. The date of entry into force is usually expressed as the 20th day following publication of the Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. It means that the EU rules have been adopted and published - thus producing legal effects -, but are not necessarily mandatory on the date of entry into force. The date when they become mandatory is the date of applicability.

The Aircrew Regulation applies from 8 April 2012.

The Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations applies from 28 October 2012. Its further amendments have different dates of entering into force and of applicability.

However, since Article 12 of the Aircrew Regulation and Article 10 of the Air OPS Regulation include several opt-out provisions, this means that entire Annexes and/or specific parts of the Annexes will not be applicable until the end of the out-out periods, in case Member States take up this possibility. This means that the entry into force and applicability dates are common to all Member States, but due to the possibility of opt-outs, concrete implementation of specific provisions of Annexes or entire Annexes may vary among Member States. Please find Derogations to Aircrew Regulation ((EU) No 1178/2011, (EU) No 290/2012) and Air Operations Regulation ((EU) No 965/2012 and (EU), No 800/2013) here.

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When will the new rules on air operations be applicable?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations and its amendments

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 entered into force on 28 October 2012.

Article 10 of the Air OPS Regulation includes an opt-out provision allowing Member States to postpone the applicability of Annexes I to V until 28 October 2014. This means that entire Annexes and/or specific parts of the Annexes will not be applicable if a Member States chooses to opt-out. The Agency has published an overview of the opt-out period applied by Member States here.

The amendments to the Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 have different applicability dates:

  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 800/2013 on non-commercial operation became applicable on 25 August 2013 and the opt-out period is 3 years.
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 71/2014 on operational suitability data was published on 27 January 2014; it entered into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication and must be applied not later than 18 December 2017 or two years after the approval of the operational suitability data, whichever is the latest.
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 83/2014 on flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements was published on 29 January 2014, entered into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication and shall apply from 18 February 2016 and from 17 Feb 2017 for ORO.FTL.205(e).

Once the Implementing Rules have been adopted, it is still possible that transition measures defer their applicability to a later date. Therefore, the exact date of applicability of each requirement will depend on the transition measures adopted by the European Commission. Until the date the new Implementing Rules apply, Member States' national rules and EU-OPS remain in force.

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What is the comitology procedure?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 182/2011

Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European Commission is responsible for the required implementation of Union legislation in many areas. When exercising these delegated powers, the Commission is often obliged to work with national civil servants appointed by Member States in different committees. These committees, which are a forum for discussions and the voicing of opinions, are chaired by the European Commission.

For the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (the Basic Regulation), the European Commission is assisted by the EASA Committee and by the Single European Sky Committee. Another committee of importance as regards aviation safety is the Air Safety Committee, which is best known for being the guardian of the so-called 'Safety list' as provided by Directive 2004/36/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airport as amended by Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2005 on the establishment of a Community list of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the Community and on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier, and repealing Article 9 of Directive 2004/36/EC.

The procedures which govern the work of these committees follow the standard procedures approved by Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers. It replaces former Decision 1999/468/EC. This Regulation introduces a new amended 'comitology' procedure. The latest Comitology Regulation and other relevant information on the new comitology procedure can be consulted here.

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Can the information provided on EASA's FAQ be considered as legally binding?

EASA is not the competent authority to interpret EU Law. The responsibility to interpret EU Law rests with the judicial system, and ultimately with the European Court of Justice. EASA cannot even provide an 'authentic interpretation' (which is an official interpretation of a statute issued by the statute's legislator). Therefore any information included in these FAQs shall only be considered as EASA's understanding on a specific matter, and cannot be considered in any way as legally binding.

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Why can't I find EU-OPS on the Agency website?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, associated Decisions (AMC/GM)

EU-OPS is published in the Official Journal of the EU as Regulation (EC) No 1899/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation (OJ L 377, 27.12.2006, p. 1). It is available online via EUR-Lex. Although the Agency assists the Commission in administering this Regulation, any enquiries related to EU-OPS, if not handled by your national aviation authority, should be addressed to the Commission.

The JAA published TGL 44 in 2008, containing extensive guidance material for use with EU-OPS. This is available online.

EU-OPS continues to apply until the new requirements of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations and its amendments are applicable in your Member State.

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What is the status of 'Implementing Rules', 'Acceptable Means of Compliance', Alternative Means of Compliance (AltMOC), 'Guidance Material' and 'Frequently Asked Questions'?

Implementing rules (IRs): EU law in the area of civil aviation generally defines safety objectives at the level of essential requirements and implementing rules, whereas detailed implementation aspects are included as Certification Specifications (CS) or Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC). EU law is directly applicable (full part of Member States' legal order). These IRs are binding in all their aspects.

AMC and Guidance Material (GM): The AMC and GM are Agency measures. AMCs are defined as non-binding standards adopted by the Agency to illustrate means to establish compliance with the Basic Regulation and its Implementing Rules.

The AMCs issued by the Agency are not of a legislative nature; therefore they cannot create obligations on the regulated persons, who may decide to show compliance with the applicable requirements using other means. AMC illustrate a means, but not the only means, by which a requirement of an Implementing Rule can be met. Satisfactory demonstration of compliance using a published AMC shall provide for presumption of compliance with the related requirement; it is a way to facilitate certification tasks for the applicant and the competent authority.

GM is issued by the Agency to assist in the understanding of the Basic Regulation, its IRs and CSs.

For a clear differentiation between the AMC and AltMOC, please consult the relevant FAQ page.

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs are published on the Agency (EASA) website and cover a wide range of material. Although the information contained in the FAQs is a summary of existing law or procedures, it may contain the results of a more complex interpretation of IR or other rules of law. In such cases there is always an internal quality consultation within the Agency prior to the publication of the FAQ on the website. The Agency FAQs are necessary to share information and enable to get a common understanding.

These FAQs are not additional GM.

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Do the new EASA rules also apply to non-commercial operations?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations as amended by Regulation (EU) No 800/2013, (EU) 71/2014 and (EU) 83/2014

Yes, the new rules also apply to non-commercial operations. For general aviation and business/corporate aviation, the applicable rules are partly determined by the type of aircraft being flown: Annex VI (Part NCC: non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft) or Annex VII (Part NCO: non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft) will apply. The definition of complex motor-powered aircraft is found in Article 3 of the Basic Regulation and is as follows:

“complex motor-powered aircraft' shall mean:

(i) an aeroplane:

  • with a maximum certificated take-off mass exceeding 5 700 kg, or
  • certificated for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nineteen, or
  • certificated for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots, or
  • equipped with (a) turbojet engine(s) or more than one turboprop engine, or

(ii) a helicopter certificated:

  • for a maximum take-off mass exceeding 3 175 kg, or
  • for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nine, or
  • for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots,#

or

(iii) a tilt rotor aircraft”.

The definition for 'commercial operation' is also contained in Article 3 of the Basic Regulation:

“(i) 'commercial operation' shall mean 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 customer, where the latter has no control over the operator”.

Training flights fall under either Part NCC or Part NCO, depending on the aircraft being flown.

In addition, Part SPA applies to any operations requiring a specific approval (e.g. low visibility operations, transport of dangerous goods, performance-based navigation and more).

Finally, Annexes II (Part ARO) and III (Part ORO) contain respectively the authority and organisation requirements regarding air operations. Annex III applies to operators of complex motor-powered aircraft, both commercial and non-commercial.

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I am not familiar with the new rule structure. Which parts apply to me?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations and the associated Decisions

This is determined by the nature of your flight, and for non-commercial operation by the type of aircraft flown. The following diagram indicates under which requirements your flight should be operating.

Commercial operations Commercial air transport (CAT) Technical rules: Part CAT
Specific approvals: Part SPA
Operator requirements: Part ORO
Non-CAT 
(specialised operations - e.g. aerial work
Technical rules: Part SPO
Specific approvals: Part SPA
Operator requirements: Part ORO
Non-commercial operations Non-commercial operations 
(including training flights)
With complex motor-powered aircraft: Technical rules: Part NCC
Specific approvals: Part SPA
Operator requirements: Part ORO
With other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft Technical rules: Part NCO
Specific approvals: Part SPA
Specialised operations 
(e.g. aerial work)
Technical rules: Part SPO
Specific approvals: Part SPA
With complex motor-powered aircraft: also Part ORO
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How can I find out where a rule from EU-OPS / JAR-OPS 3 has been transposed in the new Regulation (EU) 965/2012 on Air Operations and its amendments, as well as its associated Agency Decisions, and if any changes have been introduced?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, associated Decisions (AMC/GM)

The Agency has published a cross-reference table to assist industry in transitioning to the new rules. This table contains detailed information on the transposition of EU-OPS / JAR-OPS 3 provisions (both Section 1 and Section 2 - for aeroplanes, TGL 44) into the new Implementing Rules (IR), Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM):

  • new rule reference and rule title;
  • old rule reference and rule title;
  • indication of any differences to EU-OPS / JAR-OPS 3 provisions by stating “No change”, “Amended”, “New” or “Not transposed”; and
  • short description of the differences, if any, between the old and new rules.

With this cross-reference table one can analyse in detail where and how the old provisions have been transposed into the new regulatory framework.

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Which operational requirements (EU/EASA Parts) apply to flight activities carried out by Manufacturer (i.e. ferry flights, demonstration flights, etc.)?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations

At the present stage no EU requirements exist for flights related to design and production activities (“manufacturer flights”). Instead these flights are regulated under national law. This is laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 6 of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 as follows:

“By way of derogation from Article 5(1) [air operations are regulated on a EU level], flights related to the introduction or modification of aircraft types conducted by design or production organisations within the scope of their privileges shall continue to be operated under the conditions set out in Member States' national law.”

However, the Agency started a rulemaking task (RMT.0348/0349) on “Flights related to design and production activities”. The goal is to establish a European regulatory framework for manufacturer flights including ferry flights, demo flights etc. At the present stage, a rulemaking group is working on a draft proposal to be published as “Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA)” in 2014.

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