Part-ARO

AMC2 ARO.GEN.305(c) Oversight programme (c) stipulates that audits should include at least one on-site audit within each oversight planning cycle. What is meant by an 'on-site audit' in this sentence? Could it be so that every audit undertaken by an NAA could be performed while sitting in the NAA's office and reviewing operator's documents and procedures and only one of those audits should be undertaken in a way that NAA inspectors actually visit an operator on-site?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex II (Part ARO, ARO.GEN and ARO.RAMP)

There is no further guidance on how many on-site audits should actually be performed. This decision depends on the confidence of the authority in the operator, on results of past certification and/or oversight activities required by ARO.GEN and ARO.RAMP and on the assessment of associated risks. The number of on-site audits is therefore part of the oversight responsibility of the authority.

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How do the provisions on wet-leasing articulate with the future Regulation applying to Third Country Operators (TCO)?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex III (Part ORO)

The TCO authorisation issued by the Agency is no substitute for requirements regarding wet-lease agreements between EU and third country operators that are contained in Part ORO of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations. For wet-lease agreements, the TCO operator must demonstrate equivalence to EU safety requirements. Before entering into a wet-lease agreement, the EU operator should demonstrate to the authority that (1) the TCO has a valid AOC, (2) that safety standards of the TCO regarding continuing airworthiness and air operations are equivalent to the EU continuing airworthiness requirements 2042/2003 (593/2012) and (3) the aircraft has a standard Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 8.

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Must the competent authority check and approve the content of the operator's Safety Management Manual?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex II (Part ARO), Annex III (Part ORO)

As stated in ORO.AOC.100, an operator has to submit, as part of its application for an AOC, a description of its management system, including the organisational structure, which constitutes its safety management manual, whose content is described in AMC1 and AMC2 to ORO.GEN.200(a)(5).
The Competent Authority has to check the content of the operator's Safety Management Manual (SMM) as mentioned in ARO.GEN.310(a) and in the corresponding AMC to ARO.GEN.310.

ARO.GEN.310 INITIAL CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE - ORGANISATIONS

(a) Upon receiving an application for the initial issue of a certificate for an organisation, the competent authority shall verify the organisation's compliance with the applicable requirements. This verification may take into account the statement referred to in ORO.AOC.100 (b).
[...]

AMC1 ARO.GEN.310(a) INITIAL CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE - ORGANISATIONS
VERIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE

(a) Upon receipt of an application for an air operator certificate (AOC), the competent authority should:

(1) assess the management system and processes, including the operator's organisation and operational control system;
(2) review the operations manual and any other documentation provided by the organisation; [...]

Information on the content of the operator's Safety Management Manual (SMM), which can be part of the Operations Manual or included in a separate manual, can be found in AMC1 and AMC2 to ORO.GEN.200(a)(5). It should be noted that the SMM is not required to be approved according to ORO.GEN.200(a)(5) and the related AMCs. Nevertheless, changes affecting the operator's management system are required to be approved (ORO.GEN.130 + GM1) and these changes would have to be reflected in the operator's manual dealing with Safety management:

AMC1 ORO.GEN.200(a)(5) MANAGEMENT SYSTEM DOCUMENTATION - GENERAL
[...]

(b) The operator's management system documentation may be included in a separate manual or in (one of) the manual(s) as required by the applicable Subpart(s). A cross reference should be included.

ORO.GEN.130 CHANGES

(a) Any change affecting:

(1) the scope of the certificate or the operations specifications of an operator; or
(2) any of the elements of the operator's management system as required in ORO.GEN.200 (a)(1) and (a)(2),
shall require prior approval by the competent authority.

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How do the provisions on code-sharing articulate with the future Regulation applying to Third Country Operators (Part TCO)?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex III (Part ORO)

Regarding code-sharing, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air operations requires from the EU Operator, who wishes to enter into a code-sharing agreement with a third country operator (TCO), compliance with the requirements of Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 965/2012. This means the TCO as a code-share partner will undergo comprehensive audits for the initial verification of compliance and continuous compliance with the applicable ICAO standards [AMC1 ORO.AOC.115(a)(1)]. These audits can be performed either by the EU operator itself or a third party provider. The AMC (AMC2 ORO.AOC.115(b)) refers to the possibility of using industry standards. The audit will focus on the operational, management and control systems of the TCO (see AMC1 ORO.AOC.115(a)(1)). Continuous compliance of the code sharing TCO with the applicable ICAO standards will be performed on the basis of a code-share audit programme (see AMC1 ORO.AOC.115(b)).

This means that the audit and verification requirements contained in Part ORO of Regulation 965/2012 cannot be substituted by a TCO authorisation issued by the Agency. For code-share, an EU operator must, in addition to the TCO authorisation, audit and monitor the TCO.

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