Aviation Regulations Updates - Baines Simmons
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Aviation Regulations Updates

Air Operations

07/03/2019   Update on FSTD requirements

EASA has launched a rulemaking activity with the main purpose to include in the European provisions elements from ICAO Doc 9625 for the use of FSTDs in flight training. The task will also address three safety recommendations and aims at including results and findings from the loss of control avoidance and recovery training (LOCART) and RMT.0581 working group results. Harmonisation with the FAA should be considered.

Subtask 1:

The main objective of Work Package 1 (WP1) is to increase the fidelity of the provisions to support the approach-to-stall training, as well as of the new upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) requirements as proposed by Opinion No 06/2017 (RMT.0581).

Subtask 2:

The main objective for Work Package 2 (WP2) is to review the technical requirements for training devices to reflect their actual capability and technology advancement.

Subtask 3:

The main objective for Work Package 3 (WP3) is to address any relevant and appropriate emerging issues that are relevant to CS-FSTD(A) and (H) including the feasibility for developing CS-FSTD requirements for power-lift/tilt rotor aircraft.

This rulemakinig looks at Human Factors and competence of personnel in the following areas:-  Part-ARA, Part-ORA, Part-ORO, AMC/GM to Part-FCL, Part-ORA and Part-ARA, Part-ORO, CS-FSTD(A), CS-FSTD(H), CS-SIMD


01/03/2019   Potential uncontrollable fires in cargo compartments

EASA has published NPA2019-02 on the subject of Class D compartments of large aeroplanes used for CAT to address the issue of potential uncontrollable fires.  This includes the fires that result from thermal runaways of lithium batteries.

It proposes, through an amendment of Part-26/CS-26, to require operators, whose in-service large aeroplanes used for CAT contain Class D cargo or baggage compartments, to apply to those aircraft:

  • the standards applicable to Class C compartments, if the aeroplanes are involved in the transport of passengers, or
  • the standards applicable to either Class C or Class E compartments, if the aeroplanes are only involved in all-cargo operations.

If a regulation is introduced to amend Part-26 to require these changes, the resulting conversions of the Class D compartments would need to be performed within three years of the entry into force of that regulation. It is understood that this could affect up to 500 large aeroplanes in operation within EASA member states.

EASA expects that the proposed changes will increase safety by mitigating the risk of uncontrollable fires in Class D cargo or baggage compartments, and improve harmonisation with the FAA.

This NPA is open for comment until the 1st June 2019.  We recommend POA holders and operators to review this NPA in detail and comment as required.


27/02/2019   ED Decision – Additional Airworthiness Requirements – CS26 Issue 2

Regulation (EU) 2019/133 was issued earlier this year. It introduces additional airworthiness requirements for operations applicable to certain large aircraft that are newly produced on the basis of a design which has already been certified by EASA.  Some of those requirements are also applicable to certain large aeroplanes that are already in service.

The new requirements that are introduced into Part-26 are intended to address the issues of the:

  • crashworthiness of passenger and cabin crew seats (16-g seats);
  • flame propagation and flame penetration resistance characteristics of thermal or acoustic insulation materials; and
  • replacement of halon in lavatory waste receptacles and handheld (portable) fire extinguishers for use in cabins and crew compartments.

This Decision amends CS-26 by providing means to comply with the new requirements


27/02/2019   ED Decision – Transportation of provisions on eFB’s

This Decision introduces acceptable means of compliance (AMC) and guidance material (GM) related to the use of EFBs for all Annexes to the Air Ops Regulation. These AMC and GM were developed taking into consideration the current AMC 20-25, the current industry and competent authorities best practices, the comments received during the public consultation of NPA 2016-12, as well as the outcome of a focused consultation held in August 2018 related to the use of EFB application displaying the own-ship position in flight.

EASA expects that the amendments will to maintain the current level of safety while ensuring compliance with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and limiting the regulatory burden linked with the introduction of the operational approval for the use of some EFB applications by CAT operators.

In addition, with this Decision the AMC and GM for air operations with sailplanes are deleted from the AMC and GM (except for those associated with authority requirements in Part-ARO.


27/02/2019   ED Decision – Ramp simplification

The objective of this Decision (2019/007/R) is to update and simplify the AMC and GM pertaining to ramp inspection in order to modernise and clarify them, and significantly reduce the level of detail. This Decision deleted the AMC and GM pertaining to ramp inspections, which were considered to be too detailed, and transposes them into a ramp inspection manual, to be published by EASA. The resulting AMC and GM were developed taking into account the comments received during the consultation with affected stakeholders and advisory bodies on the draft provisions.

EASA states that the amendments are expected to maintain the effectiveness of the ramp inspections performed by Member States and the Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) participating states and to allow these states to make a better use of their resources, in accordance with risk-based principles.


27/02/2019   ED Decision - Loss of Control prevention and recovery training

EASA states that the objective of this Decision, ED 2019/005/R is to address a safety and regulatory coordination issue related to aeroplane loss of control in-flight (LOC-I). The following initiatives are linked to this Decision:

  • various accident safety recommendations (SRs);
  • safety actions deriving from the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS); and
  • amended International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

The specific objective is to improve the level of safety by ensuring that pilots have the competencies to prevent LOCI and the resilience to recover from aeroplane upsets.

On 20 December 2018, Regulation (EU) 2018/1974 entered into force. This Regulation amends the Aircrew Regulation by introducing new requirements for upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) for pilots in Part-FCL. It contains the related AMC and GM as well as revised AMC & GM to Part-ORA regarding the implementation of UPRT in type rating training programmes of ATOs. Additionally, it amends the AMC & GM to the Definitions and Part-ORO in order to align the existing UPRT provisions for operator-related training with the new UPRT regulatory framework in Part-FCL.

The Annexes to the Decision are the following:

  • Annex I: Amendments to the AMC & GM to Part-FCL;
  • Annex II: Amendments to the AMC & GM to Part-ORA;
  • Annex III: Amendments to the GM to Annex I (Definitions); and
  • Annex IV: Amendments to the AMC & GM to Part-ORO.

EASA commits that the amendments will be applicable from 20 December 2019 and are expected to increase safety and ensure alignment with ICAO standards. They outline the detailed content of basic, advanced and type-specific UPRT to be provided at various stages of a professional pilot’s career. The qualification requirements for instructors to provide each type of UPRT are also described.

Passengers will benefit from an improved level of safety and, specifically, from a reduction in the frequency of aeroplane accidents caused by LOC-I.


22/02/2019   Review of aeroplane performance, power supply for CVR’s and Non-ETOPS operations

EASA has publish it’s Opinion (02/2019) relating to a range of rulemaking activity on the subject topics.

 

The objective is to:

  • improve the availability of data that is recorded by CVR’s;
  • address the need for in-flight recording for light aircraft further to 12 safety recommendations (SRs) addressed to EASA and the recently adopted ICAO Standards on the matter;
  • ensure a level playing field for the commercial operation of certain categories of aeroplanes without an ETOPS approval over routes that contain a point further from an adequate aerodrome than the distance flown in 60 minutes at one-engine-inoperative cruising speed (‘non-ETOPS operations’); it also addresses the recently adopted ICAO Standards for the installation of reinforced cockpit doors;
  • improve safety in relation to runway surface condition reporting and in-flight assessment of landing performance further to SRs and the recently adopted ICAO Standards; and
  • ensure a level playing field in relation to the required landing distance for certain categories of commercially operated aeroplanes.

It also proposes to:

  • mandate the carriage of lightweight flight recorders for certain categories of light aircraft that are commercially operated and to promote the voluntary installation of such recorders on other aircraft;
  • remove the current mass threshold for ‘non-ETOPS’ operations, the type design requirement for the 120–180-minute non-ETOPS operations with turbojet aeroplanes, and increase the mass limit requiring a reinforced cockpit door for certain categories of aeroplanes;
  • require the installation of an alternate power supply of the CVRs and associated cockpit-mounted area microphone installed on certain large aeroplanes;
  • introduce standards for runway surface condition reporting, landing performance at time of arrival as well as a reduced required landing distance for CAT operations with certain categories of aeroplanes.

EASA expects that the proposed amendments will:

  • increase safety and ensure alignment with ICAO with regard to in-flight recording;
  • maintain the current level of safety for non-ETOPS operations, while allowing Europe to achieve harmonisation with other regulatory systems;
  • increase the current level of safety in relation to aeroplane performance, and ensure alignment with ICAO and better harmonisation with the FAA on the matter.

EASA expects that this Opinion is to be adopted by the Commission in the first quarter of 2021.


28/01/2019   Soft Law update to Part-MED and Part-ARA

EASA states that this Decision, ED Decision 2019/002/R addresses efficiency/proportionality as well as safety issues related to Part-MED. As rulemaking tasks RMT.0287 and RMT.0700 amend the provisions prescribed in Part-MED, EASA decided to merge the outcome of the respective consultations and publish one Decision on the update of Part-MED and applicable parts of Part ARA to prevent any inconsistencies that may emerge during the rulemaking process.

The specific objectives of RMT.0287 are to solve the consistency issues, close the loopholes in the rules, as identified through the implementation experience, as well as keep the requirements up to date with the new developments in the field of medicine in order to ensure that they are fit for purpose and can be implemented in practice.

The objective of RMT.0700 is to address the recommendations issued by the EASA-led Germanwings Task Force on the accident of the Germanwings Flight 9525 and the related safety recommendations issued by the BEA.

In summary, EASA expects that the amendments introduced will improve the level of safety by providing further clarification and guidance regarding:

  • medical examination for applicants for and holders of class 1 certificates by including drug and alcohol screening and comprehensive mental health assessment as well as improved follow-up in case of medical history of psychiatric conditions;
  • medical examination for applicants for and holders of class 2/light aircraft pilot licence (LAPL) medical certificates as well as cabin crew medical reports including operating pilot restriction limitation (ORL) for class 2 pilots and clarification for insulin-treated diabetes for cabin crew;
  • decrease of medical fitness and use of different types of medication;
  • obligations of the aero-medical centres (AeMCs) and aero-medical examiners (AMEs);
  • the training, oversight and competency assessment of the AMEs in order to increase the quality of the aero-medical examinations;
  • implementation of the medical provisions in line with the new developments in the field of medicine such as anticoagulation protocols and colour vision tests; and
  • the European aeromedical data repository (EAMR).

They also expect that the amendments will ensure harmonisation between the requirements of Part-MED and Part ATCO.MED. Finally, the amendments introduced through this Decision are expected to enhance clarity and consistency of rules in line with better regulation principles.


20/12/2018   New Regulations for EFB’s

EASA has published Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1975 relating to air operations requirements for sailplanes and Electronic Flight Bags (EFB’s).   This follows an earlier rulemaking which resulted in Opinion 10/2017 which we reported on in this column in December 2017.   The regulation was published on 14th December 2018 and came into force in early January 2019 but does not apply until 9th July 2019.  Air operators utilising EFB’s now have 6 months to ensure that they comply with these requirements to ensure continued compliance.


17/12/2018   Runway Safety

EASA has published NPA 2018-14 for comment, which it says is to mitigate the safety risks associated with runway safety, from an aerodrome’s perspective, focusing mainly on the prevention of runway incursions and on runway surface condition assessment and reporting, but also addressing issues such as ground collisions, runway confusion, foreign object debris (FOD)- related occurrences as well as runway pavements’ maintenance.

This NPA proposes changes to existing operational requirements of Regulation (EU) No 139/2014, as well as the introduction of new ones, which are based on ICAO provisions and recommendations contained in the European Action Plans for the Prevention of Runway Incursions and Excursions (EAPPRI, EAPPRE) as well as safety recommendations addressed to EASA by the Accident Investigation Boards of Norway and Sweden. It also provides for alignment with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) State Letters AN 4/1.2.26-16/19, AN 4/27- 16/28 and AN 13/2.1 – 16/54, as regards runway surface condition assessment and reporting which will be applicable worldwide by November 2020.

In particular, the proposed changes concern the framework for the operation of vehicles at an aerodrome, including the authorisation of drivers and the conformance of vehicles operating on the manoeuvring area with certain safety prerequisites to ensure runway safety. Linked to this is also the proposal for a new requirement on communications, but also a different proposal for the control of pedestrians at the aerodrome. In addition, it proposes the introduction of new requirements for runway surface condition assessment and reporting, aerodrome snow plan, aerodrome maintenance, aircraft towing and FOD control programme as well as performance standards for runway surface friction measurement devices.

Finally, certain changes to existing requirements related to surface movement guidance and control systems (SMGCS) and other operational activities are also proposed.

EASA state that the proposed changes will improve safety by reducing the number of runway-safety-related occurrences from an aerodrome perspective. In addition, it is expected that some of the changes will improve harmonisation as a result of the introduction of new common requirements which do not exist currently.

We recommend operators as well as National Competent Authorities and Aerodrome operators to familiarise themselves with this rulemaking proposal and comment via the CRT prior to the deadline of 18th March 2019


22/11/2018   Aircrew medical fitness soft law amendments

EASA has published it’s decision to provide GM on the requirements and operating procedures concerning performance-based navigation (PBN). This supporting material aims to facilitate the smooth transition to PBN, based on the use of a set of common PBN specifications and functionalities, as specified in the recently adopted Regulation.

EASA states that this PBN GM is aimed at providers of ATM/ANS, aerodrome operators and competent authorities so as to assist with the harmonised application of the new regulatory requirements, which support an increase in safety and more efficient operations. They say that it provides information and orientation on how to address relevant issues, such as the aspects related to the transition, provision of contingency measures or design and publication of routes and procedures in accordance with a comprehensive set of technical references. In this regard, the relevant ICAO references have been indicated so as to ensure alignment with the SARPs, as well as with other ICAO supporting documentation.

The GM has been developed to supplement the AMC and GM for common airspace usage requirements and operating procedures ‘AMC/GM to AUR’ adopted by Decision No 2012/002/R, which supports the application of Part-ACAS. Given that both regulations lay down airspace usage requirements and operating procedures, AMC/GM to AUR has been restructured accordingly. In addition, the existing AMC on ACAS II training has been updated to refer to the latest ICAO amendments, thereby achieving synchronisation of EU rules with ICAO provisions.

We recommend that national competent authorities, providers of ATM/ANS, aerodrome operators and aircraft operators familiarise themselves with this new soft law.


22/11/2018   Performance Based navigation - Airspace usage requirements

Revised soft law (ED Decision 2018/012/R) has been published for Parts ARO (Issue 3 Amendment 8) and CAT (Issue 2 Amendment 15).

This Decision is related to introducing support programmes, psychological assessment of flight crew, as well as systematic and testing of psychoactive substances to ensure medical fitness of air crew. It addresses the safety issues identified pertaining to air crew medical fitness by the EASA-led Task Force following the accident of Germanwings Flight 9525. Finally, it addresses the safety recommendations made in the final accident investigation report (March 2016) by the French BEA. It contains new GM to (EU) No 965/2012, as well as AMC and GM to Part-ARO and Part-CAT. The changes introduced by this Decision can be summarised as follows:


07/11/2018   Reduction of runway excursions

Last month we reported on NPA 2018-12 with the objective to address the safety issue of runway excursions that occur during landings.  This NPA proposes to require the installation of a runway overrun awareness and alerting system on new large aeroplane designs (CS-25), and on certain new large aeroplanes operated in commercial air transportation (CAT), and manufactured after a predetermined date (Part-26/CS-26).

EASA has extended the deadline for comments until 25th January 2019.

 


06/11/2018   Soft law to Part-FCL and Part-ARA

This Decision - ED 2018/011/R - addresses various non-controversial issues in the AMC & GM to Part-FCL and Part-ARA. The Decision consists of:

  • amended AMC & GM as well as additional ones to the recently published Decision 2018/001/R. This part of the Decision is a follow up. In the Explanatory Note, under 2.5 ‘The review and update over a number of steps’, it is explained that in a third step the examination procedures will be amended in the relevant AMC to ARA.FCL.300(b) ‘Examination procedures’. This Decision contains those amended examination procedures. This Decision also corrects some editorials in the LOs as amended through Decision 2018/001/R.
  • new AMC & GM associated with the amendments introduced through the new Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1065 as regards the automatic validation of Union flight crew licences and take-off and landing training.

The specific objectives of this Decision are to:

  • update the theoretical knowledge syllabi and LOs whilst also improving teaching methodologies and accommodating evolving learning needs; and
  • facilitate the updating the European Central Question Bank (ECQB), thus ensuring that it is current and relevant to evolving training needs;
  • introduce the format of the ICAO attachment in electronic or paper format and give guidance regarding remark item XIII on the licence regarding this ICAO attachment;
  • give guidance on the assessment of student competency during take-off and landing training during the advanced phase of an MPL training course.

For full details of this new soft law, we recommend those associated with Parts FCL and ARA review the documents for themselves via the EASA website.

 


25/10/2018   Evidence Based Training – NPA 2018/07 – consultation period extended

Further to our article on this subject from July this year, EASA has extended the consultation period of both Sub-NPA 2018/07(A) and Sub-NPA 2018/07(B) until the 14th November 2018.   We recommend organisations approved to or national competent authorities with oversight of Part-ORO, Part-ARO, Part-FCL and Part-ARA make use of these extra few days to review and submit their comments prior to the new deadline.


15/10/2018   Reduction of runway excursions

For the last few decades, runway excursions have been recognised as major contributors to accidents worldwide, and as significant risks to aviation safety. Recently, on-board systems have been developed that are able to significantly contribute to reducing the number of those events that occur, and in particular, those that occur longitudinally during landings (as statistically, around 80 % of the reported runway excursions occur during landings). These systems, can be installed on new designs of large aeroplanes, and also on existing already certified designs of large aeroplanes. In flight, such a system is typically able to provide a timely alert to the flight crew if the calculated stopping point is beyond the end of the runway.

After touch-down, the system is able to provide a timely alert to the flight crew if the measured deceleration is not sufficient to bring the aeroplane to a safe stop before the end of the runway. This NPA proposes certification standards for such systems, and their mandatory installation on new designs and all newly produced large aeroplanes to be operated in commercial air transport.  For more detailed analysis of the issues addressed by this proposal, please refer to Section 4.1. of the RIA, ‘Issues to be addressed’

EASA has published a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2018-12) with the objective to address the safety issue of runway excursions that occur during landings.  This NPA proposes to require the installation of a runway overrun awareness and alerting system on new large aeroplane designs (CS-25), and on certain new large aeroplanes operated in commercial air transportation (CAT), and manufactured after a predetermined date (Part-26/CS-26).

EASA states that the proposed changes are expected to increase safety by supporting the flight crew during the landing phase in identifying and managing the risk of a runway excursion. This should reduce the number of runway excursions that occur during landings.

We strongly recommend operators and designers of large aircraft to review this NPA and submit your comments through the EASA Comment response Tool prior to the deadline of 15th January 2019.


14/09/2018   Introduction of Part-DTO and revised Soft Law to Part-FCL & Part-ARA

Decision 2018/009/R issues the AMC and GM to Part-DTO to the Aircrew Regulation.

In the context of the introduction of Part-DTO, this Decision amends the AMC and GM to Part-FCL and to Part-ARA by inserting references to declared training organisations (DTOs), where necessary. Additionally, existing AMC and GM to Part-FCL and to Part-ARA have been revised in order to address proportionality and flexibility issues.

The new AMC and GM to Part-DTO as well as the DTO-related amendments to Part-FCL and to Part-ARA are expected to assist Member States and the general aviation (GA) training industry in the implementation of Part-DTO.  The additional amendments to the AMC and GM to Part-FCL and to Part-ARA are expected to improve the regulatory framework by providing for more proportionality and flexibility in the areas concerned.

As this Decision contains the initial issue of the AMC and GM to Part-DTO as well as the amendments to the AMC and GM to Part-FCL and to Part-ARA, the following four annexes are established:

  • Annex I: AMC/GM to Part-DTO (Initial issue),
  • Annex II: AMC/GM to Part-FCL (Amendment 5),
  • Annex III: AMC/GM to Part-ARA (Amendment 5),
  • Annex IV: AMC/GM to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011.

With this significant development, we encourage all those involved in these operations to review the new material to ensure compliance.


27/07/2018   Evidence Based Training – NPA 2018/07

EASA has identified the need to ensure that aviation personnel have the right competencies and training methods to cope with new challenges which is one of the issues in the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) 2018-2022 and published NPA 2018-07

The objective of this NPA is to update the flight crew training requirements to improve pilot competencies. At the same time, it provides additional efficiency in the field of flight crew training and achieves a smooth transition to competency-based training.

In a joint effort with ICAO, IATA, IFALPA and other industry partners, EASA has developed a new paradigm for competency-based recurrent assessment and training of flight crew, which is based on evidence (evidence-based training (EBT)). The EBT project is a global safety initiative whose objective is to determine the relevance of existing pilot training according to aircraft generation. The EBT methodology identifies areas for improvement and allows the re-prioritisation of training topics. EBT is intended to enhance the confidence and capability of flight crews to operate the aircraft in all flight regimes and to be able to recognise and manage unexpected situations.

This NPA is a second step in the European rulemaking actions that helps competent authorities, CAT operators and ATOs to implement EBT. The first step was completed in 2015 with the publication of ED Decision 2015/027/R that provided guidance material to allow the implementation of 'mixed EBT’ which maintains the current operator proficiency check (OPC) and licence proficiency check (LPC). The NPA proposes further changes to the Air OPS and Air Crew Regulations to allow the full implementation of EBT, replacing OPC and LPC. This will allow a single philosophy of recurrent training within the airline. Further work is foreseen in rulemaking task (RMT).0599 to allow expansion of EBT to the operator conversion course and initial type rating, while expanding the EBT concept to other types of aircraft (e.g. helicopters and business jets).

The impact assessment (IA) shows that the implementation of EBT on a voluntary basis by the operator is the preferred option in regulating recurrent training and checking of flight crew. It provides an opportunity for the air operator certificate (AOC) holders to implement EBT for recurrent training and checking of the flight crew. The IA illustrates that the proposed rules contribute to significant improvement in safety by strengthening the competencies of flight crews while providing a cost-efficient and socially acceptable framework.

NPA 2018-07 is divided in two parts.

Sub-NPA(A) includes:

  • the presentation of the issue under discussion;
  • the impact assessment; and
  • the proposed actions to support implementation.

Sub-NPA(B) includes the proposed draft rules (implementing rules, acceptable means of compliance and guidance material.

Organisations and authorities approved to or with oversight responsibilities for Part-ARO, Part-ORO, Part-FCL and Part-ARA are recommended to review all the NPA material and comment through the Comment Response Tool prior to the deadline for submissions of 31st October 2018.


25/07/2018   Air Ops Easy Access Rules - Edition 11

EASA has published Edition 11 of the Easy Access Rules on Air Operations, dated July 2018. This incorporates the provisions of Commission Regulation (EU) No 2018/1042 which deal with two matters:

  • For Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operators, introducing support programmes, psychological assessment of flight crew, as well as systematic and random testing of psychoactive substances to ensure medical fitness of flight and cabin crew members, applicable from 14 August 2020, and
  • For Commercial Air Transport (CAT) and commercial Specialised Operations (SPO), equipping newly manufactured turbine-powered aeroplanes, with a maximum certified take-off mass of 5 700 kg or less and approved to carry six to nine passengers, with a terrain awareness warning system (TAWS), which is applicable from 14 August 2018.

EASA states that the changes are made to the Cover Regulation as well as Parts DEF, ARO, CAT, NCC, NCO and SPO.  EASA also state that a Decision containing the related AMC and GM will be published in due course. CAT operators should start planning for compliance with the revised operator responsibilities so that the relevant programmes and procedures are in place by the date of applicability. CAT and commercial SPO operators should note the almost immediate wider applicability of the TAWS requirements. Competent Authorities will need to be ready to assess compliance with the revised Regulations


25/07/2018   Part-MED

The EU has published new safety rules on air operations, including new provisions to better support the mental fitness of air crew. The Regulation includes the following safety measures:

  • Support programme: all pilots working for European airlines will have access to a support programme that will assist and support pilots in recognising, coping with, and overcoming problems which might negatively affect their ability to safely exercise the privileges of their licence.
  • Alcohol testing: As an additional safety barrier, alcohol testing of pilots and cabin crew for all European and foreign airlines who fly into the territories of the European Union, has been added. Alcohol testing is already a well-established practice in some Member States and with this Regulation alcohol testing will now be extended to all EU Member States within the next two years.
  • Psychological assessment: European airlines will perform a psychological assessment of their pilots before the start of employment.

The new Part-MED regulation, amends the Air Operations regulation, and requires equipping newly manufactured turbine-powered aeroplanes with a MTOM of 5 700 kg or less and approved to carry six to nine passengers with a terrain awareness warning system.


13/07/2018   All Weather Operations (AWO) NPA

NPA 2018-06 has been issued to modernise the EU aviation regulatory framework applicable to all-weather operations (AWOs). It is intended to address in a coordinated manner all relevant disciplines: initial airworthiness, air operations, flight crew licensing and aerodromes. It proposes a performance- and risk-based approach, as much as feasible, considering also the appropriate balance between performance-based and prescriptive principles (depending on the type of air operations (CAT, NCC, NCO, and SPO).

This NPA proposes to update the AWO-relevant rules in many aviation domains such as airworthiness, air operations, aircrew and aerodromes. The main aim has been to allow for a better integration of the regulatory requirements related to the operational use of new, advanced technology — either developed already or to be developed in the future — such as, for example, enhanced flight vision system (EFVS), as well as the application of some advanced new operational procedures, which may support AWOs.

Significant focus has been invested in developing resilient rules, which are not technology-dependent. A particular attention was paid to the development of requirements enabling the use of EFVS to the maximum extent possible (e.g. use of EFVS for landing). A new concept of ‘light operational credits’ for EFVS 200 operations, not requiring the use of specific low-visibility procedures (LVPs), has also been introduced.

EASA expects that the proposed changes will maintain safety, reduce the regulatory burden, increase cost-effectiveness, improve harmonisation (e.g. with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)), and achieve as much as feasible alignment with the ICAO SARPs.

NPA 2018-06 is divided in four parts.

  • sub-NPA(A) – the procedural information pertaining to the regulatory proposal
  • sub-NPA(B) – initial airworthiness (CS-AWO);
  • sub-NPA(C) – air operations and aircrew; and
  • sub-NPA(D) – aerodromes.

 

We recommend that Air Operators, Design Approval Holders, Maintenance Organisations, Approved Training Organisations, Aerodrome Operators and ATM/ANS thoroughly review these documents to make informed comments via the EASA Comment Response Tool prior to the closing date for comments which is 15th October 2018.


18/06/2018   HEMS performance

EASA states that the objective of this NPA is to contribute to the achievement of the overall objectives of the EASA system, as defined in the Basic Regulation.

This NPA, therefore, proposes to:

  • foster efficient and proportional rules, more precisely regarding:
    • HEMS requirements for high altitudes;
    • a new HEMS concept to cover mountain operations and rescue operations (other than search and rescue (SAR) operations);
  • maintain a high aviation safety level by reviewing the requirements related to flights to/from public interest sites (PISs) located in congested areas; and
  • maintain a high aviation safety level by reviewing the requirements related to HEMS flights by day or night, regarding equipment, training, minima, and operating/hospital site illumination.

EASA expects that the proposed draft amendments are expected to increase safety, improve harmonisation and ensure alignment with ICAO while keeping the economic impact for HEMS operators to a minimum.

We recommend that organisations of HEMS and/or SAR operations review this comprehensive NPA and submit your comments through RMT.0325 on the CRT before the deadline of 18th September 2018.


12/04/2018   Global performance based Nav Ops. NPA 2018-02

Further to our article in February this year and according to Article 7.5 of the Management Board Decision No 18-2015, the consultation period relating to NPA 2018-02, provision of airworthiness requirements in support of global performance-based navigation operations, has been extended until 31st May 2018.

To place comments if you haven’t already done so, please use the EASA comment response tool.


10/03/2018   Updated Easy Access Rules for Air Operations – version 10

EASA has updated the Easy Access rules for Air Operations to v10. You can view the latest version here.


22/02/2018   Global performance based Nav Ops. NPA 2018-02

EASA has published NPA 2018-02 to address efficiency, proportionality and safety issues related to those aircraft whose airworthiness must be certified in order to perform global performance-based navigation (PBN) operations.

It contains an update of the Certification Specifications for Airborne Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CS-ACNS), which primarily incorporates the certification criteria related to the use of airworthiness and interoperability standards in support of performance-based navigation (PBN) implementation, as well as other minor amendments to the requirements published in Decision 2013/031/R.  In particular, the main intent of this NPA is to propose new sections in Subpart C ‘Navigation’ (NAV), which is currently reserved.

The new sections are specifically dedicated to support global PBN operations and provide clear requirements in Book 1, as well as AMC and GM in Book 2. These additions ensure conformity with the performance requirements and functionalities that stem from ICAO’s RNP navigation specifications, i.e. RNP 4, RNP 2, RNP 1, advanced RNP (A-RNP), RNP approach (RNP APCH), RNP authorisation required (RNP AR), and RNP 0.3.

The specific objective is to provide a certification basis that will allow aircraft operators to benefit from the implementation of PBN routes and procedures. The proposed amendments are also expected to facilitate global PBN objectives and to simplify the certification process for both the applicants and the Agency (EASA).

Following the publication of Regulation (EU) 2016/1199, EASA published in 2016 a number of ED Decisions that transposed all PBN operational approval requirements from the AMC-20 material into the AMC/GM to Regulation (EU) No 965/2012. As the EASA’s proposal incorporates all the PBN certification requirements into a single certification specification (CS), this NPA proposes to cancel AMC 20-4A, AMC 20-5, AMC 20-12, AMC 20-26, AMC 20-27A and AMC 20-28 for new applications. As regards RNAV 1, JAA TGL 10 Rev 1 will cease to be recognised by EASA for type certification after the publication of the updated CS-ACNS.

The deadline for submitting your comments is April 30th 2018.


09/01/2018   Development of FTL’s - Extended consultation period

EASA has extended the consultation period for NPA 2017-17, Development of FTL’s from 31st January 2018 to 28th February 2018.  If you haven’t reviewed this NPA or submitted your comments yet, these few extra weeks should allow your full review and input.


19/12/2017   NPA 2017-22 Part-MED and related AMC and GM

The objective of this NPA is to improve the level of safety, clarify already existing rule text in order to make the regulatory framework more precise and effective, fill the gaps identified through the implementation experience and remove unnecessary burden for competent authorities, aeromedical examiners (AMEs) and aeromedical centres (AeMCs).

In summary, EASA expects that the proposed amendments will improve the level of safety and clarity by:

  • introducing new requirements to strengthen the procedure of limitation, suspension and revocation of medical certificates in order to reflect the amendments in Part-MED of the Aircrew Regulation;
  • introducing new requirements to reduce the burden for flight crew licence holders as well as for competent authorities in case of an application for the change of state of licence issue;
  • introducing new requirements for cooperative oversight in cases where the activity of an AME or AeMC involves more than one Member State;
  • adding ‘class 3’ to the existing requirements and related training for AeMCs to ensure harmonisation between the Aircrew Regulation and Part-ATCO.MED;
  • adding the obligation for AeMCs to report the statistical information regarding the aeromedical assessments, including reports of the drugs and alcohol screening and risk factors identified;
  • adding the possibility for AeMCs to have contracted activities;
  • improving the requirement for competent authorities to establish a secondary review procedure in order to increase the quality of the aeromedical examinations;
  • mandating the acknowledgement of AeMC’s management system assessment performed by other national authorities or organisations involved in the assessment of medical facilities.

Moreover, the proposed amendments aim to ensure harmonisation between the requirements of Part-MED and Part-ORA to the Aircrew Regulation.

Finally, EASA expects that the proposed amendments will enhance clarity and consistency of rules in line with better regulation principles, promote a competitive environment and maintain the current level of safety through harmonisation of the Aircrew Regulation requirements.  EASA continue to say that this proposed amendment addresses efficiency/proportionality as well safety issues related to Part-ARA and Part-ORA.

The consultation period is open now for comments and closes on the 21st March 2018.  Submit your comments to EASA through the Comment Response Tool


18/12/2017   Opinion 10/2017 Electronic Flight Bags – ICAO Annex 6

The objective of this Opinion is to maintain a high level of safety about the use of electronic flight bags (EFBs) by all types of operators.

This Opinion proposes to amend the Air Operations Regulation by:

  • introducing EFB-related definitions into Annex I (Definitions);
  • introducing implementing rules (IRs) for the use of EFBs by commercial air transport (CAT) operators, including an operational approval for the use of EFB applications having a failure condition limited to minor; and
  • introducing proportionate requirements for the use of EFBs by non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft (NCC)/commercial specialised operations (SPO)/SPO with complex motor-powered aircraft (CMPA) operators.

EASA expects that the proposed amendments will maintain the current level of safety while ensuring compliance with the ICAO SARPs and limiting the regulatory burden due to the introduction of the operational approval for CAT operations.


14/12/2017   Update of Part-Definitions, Part-ORO and Part-CAT Soft Law

EASA has published ED Decision 2017/023/R amending the AMC and GM to Part-ORO and Part-CAT of the Air Operations regulation.  It also includes the revised soft law to Part-Definitions.

These changes affect the implementing rules on aircraft tracking and underwater locating devices (ULD’s), related to minimum performance objectives and guidance for an aircraft tracking system and the requirement to install a ULD on board an aeroplane performing long-range over-water flight.

AMC/GM for Part-Definitions Issue 1 Amendment 7, Part-ORO Issue 2 Amendment 12 and Part-CAT Issue 2 Amendment 13 are available by clicking the appropriate link above.

11/12/2017

EASA has published the Comment Response Document CRD 2016-16 relating to the soft law to Part-ARA, Part-ORA and Part-FCL, proposed through NPA 2016-16.

EASA received a total of 164 comments during the public consultation of the NPA. The comments referring to amendments to the implementing rules (IRs) and the related acceptable means of compliance (AMC)/guidance material (GM) are not included in this CRD and will be responded to in CRD 2016-16, Issue 2, which will be an appendix to the related opinion.

82 comments related to the proposed amendments to AMC/GM not affecting the IRs were received from various stakeholders: 27 from competent authorities (CAs), 1 from a manufacturer, 14 from associations, 8 from individuals, 30 from approved training organisations (ATOs), and 2 from a university.

The comments received were reviewed by EASA and the text of the AMC/GM concerned has been amended accordingly. Some of the comments were not accepted due to their controversial nature as this rulemaking task (RMT) addresses only non-controversial issues.

The majority of comments were received on the newly proposed multi-crew cooperation (MCC) training course. According to the comments provided, a new concept has been created and the initially proposed GM1 and GM2 have been replaced by the amended AMC1 FCL.735.A; FCL.735.H; FCL.735.  As ‘Multi-crew cooperation (MCC) training course’, as well as new AMC2, GM1, GM2, GM3 and GM4 FCL.735.A ‘Multi-crew cooperation (MCC) training course — aeroplanes’.


31/10/2017   Development of FTL's

EASA has published NPA 2017-17 relating to the Development of FTL for CAT operations of EMS and Update and harmonisation of FTL for CAT by aeroplane for air taxi operations and single-pilot operations taking into account operational experience and recent scientific evidence.

It aims to develop FTL rules for each of the following types of operation:

  • air taxi operations (ATXO) and emergency medical service operations with aeroplanes (AEMS),
  • single-pilot operations (scheduled as well as on demand), and
  • emergency medical operations with helicopters (HEMS).

It proposes amendments to Subpart FTL of Part-ORO by extending its scope to the aforementioned types of operation. Notably, references to new certification specifications have been introduced to enable the description of detailed safety objectives and prescriptive elements for each type of operation.

For ATXO, the proposed amendments are expected to improve safety, especially during night duties, increase efficiency and at the same time ensure harmonisation across the EU.

From an FTL perspective, AEMS is a subset of ATXO. Therefore, a transition between air taxi operation and emergency medical operation would be possible within the same duty period. The proposed amendments are mainly expected to improve safety during night duties.

Duties, flight time and rest periods in HEMS operations are currently regulated at national level. Overall, EASA expects that the proposed changes will improve safety where scientific principles have not been used so far and ensure harmonisation across the EU.

All proposed amendments are fully aligned with the ICAO SARPs.

The proposed amendments affect:

  • EASA, because the scope of Subpart FTL is extended to cover additional types of operations, thus leading to (1) a potential increase in the number of evaluations of individual flight time specification schemes the EASA is mandated to carry out and (2) extending the scope of the implementation support provided to Member States;
  • Competent authorities as they will have to bear the implementation effort;
  • Operators (ATXO, AEMS and HEMS) who will have to bear the implementation effort, but will reap efficiency gains and benefit from a level playing field and improved safety;
  • Aircrew members who will benefit from improved harmonisation, safety and efficiency

This is a complex rulemaking so we advise you to fully familiarise yourselves and submit your comments to EASA by the 31st January 2018.


10/10/2017   Regular Update of medical Certification

EASA needs to address a number of medical-certification issues identified on a regular basis by competent authorities (CA’s) and industry, by amending Part-MED and the related AMC/GM.

Furthermore, certification of AMEs is subject to oversight exercised by the CA’s and, therefore, the corresponding IRs Part ARA and the related AMC/GM might also need to be amended. This systematic rulemaking task (RMT) addresses various non-controversial issues: some may be directly driven by safety, while others may be primarily driven by other factors, such as ensuring that the regulatory framework promotes a competitive environment or reduces complexity.

In order to increase the efficiency of the rulemaking process, EASA decided to reduce the administrative burden of certain individual RMTs on stakeholders, by grouping the non-controversial issues into packages. This concept was reintroduced in the EASA Management Board (MB) Decision No 18-2015 (see Article 3.5. on systematic rulemaking projects) and applies to all the deliverables of this RMT.

EASA intends to review on a yearly or, whenever deemed necessary, more frequent basis whether such noncontroversial issues are eligible for this RMT, and may propose amendments to the affected rules within the scope of this ToR.


10/10/2017   Medical certification of aircrew

EASA commits through ToR for rulemaking task RMT.0424 to keep Part-MED of (EU) No 1178/2011, and the associated soft law relating to medical-certification issues current.  Furthermore, certification of aeromedical examiners (AMEs) is subject to CA oversight and, therefore, Part ARA and the related AMC/GM might also need to be amended. This systematic rulemaking task addresses various non-controversial issues: some may be directly driven by safety, while others may be primarily driven by other factors, such as ensuring that the regulatory framework promotes a competitive environment or reduces complexity.

In order to increase the efficiency of the rulemaking process, EASA decided to reduce the administrative burden of certain individual RMTs on stakeholders, by grouping the non-controversial issues into packages.

EASA intends to review on a yearly or if required a more frequent basis whether such non-controversial issues are eligible for this RMT, and may propose amendments to the affected rules within the scope of this ToR.

It is highly recommended to keep abreast of these changes to implementing rules and soft law to ensure continued compliance with the requirements.


25/09/2017   Non-ETOPS operations – NPA 2017-15

This NPA is published with the aim of harmonisation and providing a level playing field for issues related to the commercial operation of performance class A aeroplanes with a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) of 19 or less without an ETOPS approval over routes that contain a point further from an adequate aerodrome than the distance flown in 60 minutes at the one-engine-inoperative cruising speed. These operations are referred to as ‘non-ETOPS operations’.

The objective of this NPA is to harmonise the applicability of non-ETOPS operation requirements for the affected aeroplanes operated by European-based CAT operators with similar CAT operators in other parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

EASA states that the NPA proposes to increase the current non-ETOPS operation mass threshold from 45,360 kg to 60,000 kg in order to accommodate growth of this market segment and to remove the specific type design approval for non-ETOPS operations between 120 and 180 minutes. It also specifically proposes an amendment to Part-CAT, and in particular to the applicability requirements of point CAT.OP.MPA.140. It also proposes amendments to AMC 20-6 (ETOPS), and to the AMCs to CAT.OP.MPA.140.

EASA expects that the proposed amendments will maintain the current level of safety for the affected aeroplanes, while allowing for increased European harmonisation with other regulatory jurisdictions and avoiding undue costs for aeroplane manufacturers and operators.

The NPA is open for comments until the 3rd January 2018.  We recommend that you make you review the impact of this NPA on your business and using the EASA CRT, submit your comments in good time.


30/08/2017   CAT operations - Prediction of wind shear

EASA has published ED Decision 2017/019/R which has the objective of to analyse the risks linked to the effect of wind shear during a take-off from, approach to and landing at an airport, and identify the appropriate mitigations. The Agency concluded that no regulatory action is needed to mandate the installation of predictive wind shear systems (PWSs). Instead, EASA will develop a safety promotion initiative providing recommendations on wind-shear-related training in the context of evidence-based training (EBT) and the oversight thereof. In this framework, recommendations and guidance to voluntarily install PWSs will be further considered.


29/08/2017   Revision of Air Ops rules for Sailplanes

This Opinion (07/2017) looks to address a proportionality issue related to sailplane operations. EASA states that its specific objective is to establish a simpler and proportionate regulatory framework for air operations with sailplanes.

For this purpose, it proposes the extraction of the rules for air operations with sailplanes from the Air Ops Regulation (except for the authority requirements specified in Annex II (Part-ARO)) and the issue of a new regulation related to air operations with sailplanes. EASA has developed this so that the scope of this new regulation may be extended at a later stage to include other areas related to sailplanes. The final goal would then be to develop — at least to a certain extent — a single ‘sailplane rule book’.

With the new draft regulation, EASA proposes rules for air operations with sailplanes which are less complex and which are proportionate to the complexity and risks of such operations.


21/07/2017   Update on the rules on air operations and continuing airworthiness

Further to our article in November 2015 relating to NPA 2015-18 (A), (B) & (C), EASA has published the Opinion, 04/2017 progressing this rulemaking task.

The objective of this Opinion is to maintain a high level of safety in air operations by proposing amendments to the Air OPS Regulation. The proposed amendments apply to all Parts of the Regulation (Definitions, Part-ARO, Part-ORO, Part-CAT, Part-SPA, Part-NCC, Part-NCO, Part-SPO). It also includes the outcome of a rulemaking task (RMT.0352) on non-commercial operation of aircraft by a holder of an air operator certificate (AOC) proposing to remove the prior approval of the operational procedures used for non-commercial flights when these procedures differ from those employed in a commercial air transport (CAT) operation. It also introduces a regulatory framework to allow the use of aircraft registered on an AOC by other operators for other than-CAT operations, and as a result, proposes an amendment to Part-M. The proposed changes are expected to ensure alignment with ICAO. In addition, through said changes, EASA expects to ensure an efficient and proportionate set of IRs and AMC/GM on air operations and to resolve any inconsistencies identified following the adoption of the Air OPS Regulation, reflecting thus the state of the art and best practices in the fields concerned. The addition to the maintenance programme in Part-M mirrors the changes to the operational requirements brought about by RMT.0352.

EASA expects that this Opinion will be adopted by the Commission by Q2 2018, with a decision a year later.


30/05/2017   Consolidated AMC & GM to the Air Ops regulation

EASA has published a series of updates to soft law or the Air Operations regulation (EU) 965/2012,  affecting Annex 1 (Definitions), Annex II (Part-ARO), Annex III (Part-ORO), Annex IV (Part-CAT), Annex V (Part-SPA), Annex VI (Part-NCC), Annex VII (Part-NCO) and Annex VIII (Part-SPO) of the Air Ops regulation.  As there are various changes within these documents, we advise that operators review the material to ascertain and differences from their operations to make the necessary amendments.


03/04/2017   NPA published relating to In-flight recording for light aircraft

EASA has published NPA 2017-03 which is aimed to address safety and harmonisation issues related to the need for in-flight recordings for accident investigation and accident prevention purposes. 12 safety recommendations were addressed to the Agency by 7 safety investigation authorities, recommending an in-flight recording capability for light aircraft models which are outside the scope of the current flight recorder carriage requirements. In addition, new Standards (recently introduced in ICAO Annex 6) require the carriage of lightweight flight recorders for light aeroplanes and light helicopters.

The specific objectives of this rulemaking task are to:

  • enhance the identification of safety issues affecting light aircraft by means of data recorded in flight;
  • achieve harmonisation with ICAO Annex 6;
  • produce a proportionate regulation which takes into account the General Aviation Road Map; and
  • identify avenues other than requiring in-flight recording equipment.

 

This NPA proposes to mandate the carriage of lightweight flight recorders for some categories of light aeroplanes and light helicopters when they are commercially operated and manufactured 3 years after the date of application of the amending regulation. In addition, this NPA proposes to promote the voluntary installation of in-flight recording equipment for all other light aeroplanes and light helicopters and for all balloons. The proposed changes are expected to increase safety with limited economic and social impacts.

We recommend all operators of aircraft in these categories review the NPA and submit any comments using EASA’s Comment Response Tool before the deadline on the 3rd July 2017.


31/03/2017   Update of AMC/GM

EASA has published a series of amendments to the soft law for the Air Operations regulation relating to Part-ARO, Part-CAT, Part-NCC, Part-NCO, Part-ORO, Part-SPA and Part-SPO.  For those involved in Air Operations, we recommend you review these requirements to ensure you are working with the latest material.


14/03/2017   New Soft Law for multiple Operations regulations

The Agency has published three decisions relating to a raft of new soft law affecting many areas of operations regulations.  Areas such as ARO, CAT, NCC, NCO, ORO, SPA, SPO are all affected.  Those affected by these decisions can click on the links here to download the full information.

 

  • ED Decision 2017/003/R
    • AMC/GM to Part-CAT - Issue 2, Amendment 10
    • AMC/GM to Part-NCC - Amendment 9
    • AMC/GM to Part-NCO - Issue 2, Amendment 5
    • AMC/GM to Part-SPO - Amendment 8

 

  • ED Decision 2017/004/R
    • AMC/GM to Part-ARO - Issue 3, Amendment 5
    • AMC/GM to Part-ORO - Issue 2, Amendment 10
    • AMC/GM to Part-CAT - Issue 2, Amendment 11
    • AMC/GM to Part-SPA - Amendment 5

02/03/2017   CAT SET-IMC adopted

The EC has published a new regulation (EU) 2017/363 amending the Air Operations regulation which will allow the conduct of CAT operations with single-engined turbine aeroplanes in IMC or at night (CAT SET-IMC) in Europe.  EASA will publish the associated soft law before the end of March.

The new regulation, drafted by the Agency, establishes a framework for CAT SET-IMC operations applicable in 32 European states. It will enable the use of modern aeroplanes with a smaller carbon footprint. The Agency also expects that it will allow the development of new business based on the opening of new routes which can be operated safely and efficiently only by single-engined turbine aeroplanes.

For more information on this regulation and how it affects the Air Operations regulation we recommend that you download the new regulation in full.


09/02/2017   European Operators Flight Data Monitoring (EOFDM) forum

EASA has announced the European Operators Flight Data Monitoring (EOFDM) forum.  This is a voluntary partnership between European Operators and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which the Agency aims to:

  • Facilitate the implementation of Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) by Operators
  • Help operators draw the maximum safety benefits from an FDM Programme

EASA invites various organisations ranging from Operators, Flight Crew and their associations, manufacturers, educational institutions through to regulators to name a few, as well as non-EU organisations to participate in the various working groups as part of this initiative.

If you and/or your organisation are interested in taking part, then click here for further information.


24/01/2017   UK CAA Pilot Support Programme for SMS

The UK CAA has issued Information Notice IN-2017/005 to inform industry of the proposed introduction of legislation to require all operators to have a pilot support programme included in their SMS.


19/12/2016   Lead flight test engineer licence

EASA consulted its stakeholders about the need for a lead flight test engineer (LFTE) licence, through Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA) 2013-16, The related Comment-Response Document (CRD) 2013-16 contains a summary of the outcome of the public consultation, and is published as an Appendix to ED Decision 2016/028/R.

Based on the evaluation of the comments Review Group, and based on further evaluation of the arguments provided by stakeholders, EASA decided not to create a European licencing system for LFTEs.

However, a national licensing scheme may be required by national law for activities related to Annex II aircraft or other national reasons. In this case, holding such national licences could be considered as ensuring compliance with the LFTE competency requirements of Part 21 and may therefore be an alternative means of showing compliance with those requirements. It is, therefore, EASA’s intention to develop the appropriate AMC Part 21 through RMT.0031 ‘Regular update of AMC/GM to Part 21’. More details of this can be found in our Initial Airworthiness section of the Regs Update.


19/12/2016   Multi-crew pilot licence requirements

With Opinion 16/2016, EASA proposes an amendment to the multi-crew pilot licence (MPL) training. The proposal creates the possibility to reduce the minimum number of take-offs and landings from 12 to 6, provided that a procedure is in place to ensure that a catch-up process is in place to cover for any training deficiencies.

This is expected to address a harmonisation and proportionality issue related to the multi-crew pilot licence (MPL) take-off and landing requirement. The specific objective of this Opinion is to ensure that a non-controversial issue, for which there is sufficient consensus related to initial pilot training and licensing, is addressed, as well as to improve the regulatory framework, thereby promoting a competitive environment.


19/12/2016   Consolidated Soft Law

Further to the multiple changes made to soft law to various Annexes to the Air Operations regulation in October 2016, EASA has published consolidated versions of Part-ARO, Part-CAT, Part-NCC, Part-NCO, Part-ORO, Part-SPO, Part-SPA and GM to Annex 1 – Definitions for terms.

We recommend all operators familiarise themselves with the new consolidated versions of the soft law.


15/12/2016   Predictive wind shear

EASA has published an NPA (NPA2016-18) which it says addresses a safety issue related to the effects of wind shear on commercial air transport (CAT) aeroplanes. BEA, the French Bureau of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety, issued Safety Recommendation (SR) FRAN-2009-0121 for a regulation to be introduced on the installation of predictive wind shear systems (PWSs) in accordance with ICAO recommendations contained in its Annex 6 Part I ‘Operation of Aircraft — International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes’.

The objective of this NPA is to mitigate the risks linked to the effect of wind shear during a take-off from, approach to and landing at an airport.

Although large aeroplanes having a maximum certified take-off mass (MCTOM) of more than 60 tonnes manufactured today are generally equipped with PWSs, there are many aeroplanes in service which either only have reactive wind shear systems (RWSs) or no wind shear warning systems at all.

EASA reminds industry that this NPA does not contain a regulatory proposal. Based on the assessment performed by EASA, the conclusion is that no regulatory action is needed to require RWSs and/or PWSs for European-registered aircraft. The NPA provides an answer to SR FRAN-2009-012 addressed to EASA as regards equipping aeroplanes with PWSs and RWSs.

EASA expects that the proposed way forward is expected to maintain the current level of safety. Submit your responses to this NPA using the EASA Comment response tool by the 15th February 2017.


09/12/2016   Aircrew medical fitness

EASA has published Opinion 14/2016 relating to Aircrew medical fitness resulting from the investigation into the Germanwings Flight 9525 addressing the safety issues identified by the EASA-led task force.

Following the publication earlier this year of the French BEA preliminary investigation report, the Task Force examined the findings of the BEA report and assessed the adequacy of the European air safety and security rules. As a result of this work, 6 recommendations were addressed related to the aircrew rules regulation, as well as the Air OPS rules. The Agency Opinion only proposes changes to the Air OPS implementing rules (IRs), which can be summarised as follows:

Preventive measures such as:

  1. carrying out a psychological assessment of the flight crew before commencing line flying;
  2. enabling, facilitating and ensuring access to a flight crew support programme; and
  3. performing systematic drug and alcohol (D&A) testing of flight and cabin crew upon employment.
  4. Corrective and follow-up measures such as performing flight and cabin crew D&A testing:
  5. after a serious incident;
  6. after an accident;
  7. following a reasonable suspicion; and
  8. unannounced after rehabilitation and return to work.
  9. A complementary measure: mandatory random alcohol screening of flight and cabin crew within the ramp inspection programme to ensure an additional safety barrier.

This last measure mandates random alcohol screening of flight and cabin crew members who are not already subject to a psychoactive substance testing programme under a national scheme. EASA will provide the Member States with a list of operators whose crew members will not be subject to random alcohol screening during ramp inspections to avoid double testing.

For full details on the activities and deliverables from this review, please refer to the EASA website.


10/10/2016   EASA Publishes a wide range of updated AMC/GM

EASA has published a wide range of revised AMC and GM relating to Helicopter Off-shore operations. The revised soft law is applicable to Part-SPA, Part-SPO, Part-ORO, Part-NCO, Part-NCC, Part-CAT and Part-ARO as a result of EASA decision 2016/022/R which addresses the safety risks identified for helicopter offshore operations (HOFO) taking into account new technologies, with a view to establishing a level playing field.

We strongly recommend all Helicopter operators fully appreciate these new soft laws to enable them to fully comply with the associated regulations.


12/09/2016   Airworthiness Check Flights

Information Notice IN-2016/081 supercedes IN-2014/052 and highlights changes to the eligibility of pilots to conduct check flights. The UK CAA will no longer brief pilots conducting airworthiness check flights and therefore requires that arrangements are in place to ensure that check flights are carried out safely and in accordance with industry best practice.

We recommend that all those involved in managing and performing airworthiness check flights fully understand the changes affecting them. Queries on this can be emailed direct to the UK CAA Safety and Airspace Regulation Group.


16/08/2016   Aircrew Medical Fitness

Following on from recommendations made earlier this year and referenced in our article in April, EASA has published a set of proposals through Opinion 09/2016 addressing efficiency/ proportionality as well as safety issues related to Part-MED after the accident of Germanwings Flight 9525.

We don’t intend to report further on this public interest case, so for those parties affected by Part-ATCO.MED we recommend to familiarise themselves through the normal EASA rulemaking process.


27/04/2016   Performance based navigation (PBN) AMC/GM Revisions to Operations and Aircrew regulations

Regulation (EU) 2016/539 relating to pilot training and testing has entered into force. This regulation amends the Aircrew Regulation by implementing PBN-related changes to the training, testing and checking of pilots. This Decision proposes the related AMC and GM. It also contains other aircrew-related AMC and GM that were initially related to other Agency rulemaking tasks and, therefore, other Annexes are affected.

We recommend all interested parties to review the revised AMC/GM to familiarise themselves as applicable to their roles.


20/04/2016   Aircrew Medical Fitness

The tragic accident of the Germanwings Flight 9525 reminded the international aviation community that the medical and psychological conditions of flight crews, if not detected, can lead to a catastrophic outcome. Shortly after the accident, the European Commissioner for Transport requested the dedicated Germanwings Task Force, which was led by EASA, to examine the preliminary findings of the safety investigation and make recommendations in order to prevent such a disaster from happening again whilst also ensuring that the overall system is improved in a proactive manner.

6 recommendations (see Annex II to this ToR) were made by the Germanwings Task Force in July 2015. Following the consultation of the detailed concept papers with the Agency’s advisory bodies from 20 January to 19 February 2016, the Agency believes that 4 of these recommendations, namely recommendations 2, 3, 4 and 6, require regulatory changes in the air operations and aircrew domains.

The issues for which regulatory changes are proposed by RMT.0700 are the following:

  • pilots’ psychological/psychiatric evaluation during Class 1 medical examination
  • (recommendation 2);
  • pilots’ psychological evaluation as part of the training or before entering service
  • (recommendation 2);
  • risk mitigation of aircrew misuse of psychoactive substances (recommendation 3);
  • oversight and network of AMEs (recommendation 4 and partially recommendation 2);
  • implementation of aircrew support and reporting systems (recommendation 6).

For full details on the activities and deliverables from this complex review, please refer to the EASA website.


26/02/2016   EASA has reached a decision for the Height-Velocity limitations problem

Further to our article in October 2014 where the UK CAA issued exemptions to helicopter operators, EASA has decided to approach the height-velocity (H-V) limitation problem by way of a proposed change to the Basic Regulation.

EASA, therefore, considers that pending the approval of the proposed change to the Basic Regulation, the amendments to the implementing rules (IRs), certification specifications (CSs), acceptable means of compliance (AMC) and guidance material (GM), that were presented in NPA 2014-19, are no longer required.

Based on this, EASA proposes that the appropriate Rule Making Tasks be closed until the proposed change to the Basic Regulation is examined. If the proposed changes are adopted, the rulemaking task will remain closed. However, if the proposal is rejected, either RMT.0132 and RMT.0515 will resume or a new rulemaking task will be launched.

We recommend that those Operators affected by these limitations remain fully engaged and re-engage with the Rulemaking Tasks should the proposal be rejected.


17/02/2016   EASA publishes consolidated AMC/GM to Part-CAT and Part-ORO

Further to our article dated 22/01/2016, EASA has re-issued its consolidated (unofficial) document containing AMC/GM for Part-CAT, which includes the initial issue of and all subsequent amendments to the AMC/GM.

EASA is keen to state that it is an unofficial courtesy document, intended for the easy use of stakeholders, and is meant purely as a documentation tool. EASA does not assume any liability for its contents.

Readers are reminded that the official (unconsolidated) documents can be found here.


05/02/2016   EASA issues Terms of Reference and concept paper for Evidence Based Training (EBT) rulemaking working group

Further to our articles dated 03/09/2015 and 15/12/2015 relating to EBT, EASA has now published the Terms of Reference (ToR) for RMT.0599, which includes a Concept Paper on the subject.

The objectives of the European Union (EU) in the field of civil aviation are defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008. EASA considers this RMT will contribute to the achievement of these objectives .

The specific objectives of this rulemaking task are, therefore:

(a) to maintain the high aviation safety level by:

(1) ensuring that initial and recurrent pilot training and checking is adequate to provide a pilot with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to be competent — pursuant to this objective, EASA intends to:

(i) implement EBT as a first step towards the full implementation of CBT across Subpart FC of Part-ORO;

(ii) implement an alternative training and qualification programme (ATQP) taking into account experience gained in CAT aeroplane operations and extend its implementation to CAT helicopter operations (for the latter, former RMT.0386/0387); and

(iii) evaluate new training methods, such as distance learning; and

(2) addressing safety recommendations outlined in the ToR; and

(3) examining a possible transposition to the applicable rules of the Air Operations Regulation the content of various related Safety Information Bulletins;

(b) to remain in compliance with ICAO by ensuring that the European rules are in compliance with the latest amendments outlined in Chapter 1.3 ‘ICAO amendments’ of this ToR, especially with regard to the evidence-based training taking into account the aforementioned ICAO amendments;

(c) to contribute to the production of efficient regulations by adapting the necessary training standards and rules to ensure that the level of safety can only be positively affected by:

(1) introducing performance-based regulation principles;

(2) clarifying the current applicable rules of Subpart FC - Flight Crew of Part-ORO and, when applicable, the Aircrew Regulation, due to the numerous interfaces between the two Regulations;

(3) ensuring consistency of training-related rules across the applicable parts of Part-ORO and Part-FCL;

(4) ensuring the correct balance between implementing rules (IRs) and acceptable means of compliance (AMC)/guidance material (GM) on the subject issue; and

(5) developing, only if applicable, additional AMC/GM for non-commercial and specialised operations.

The initial deliverable will be an NPA for the EBT subtask, scheduled by end of March 2017 and the members of the main and various sub-groups are detailed in the Group Composition document.

We recommend that all affected operators and aircrew training organisations continue to fully engage with this significant rulemaking task.


29/01/2016   EASA launches 2-crew cockpit survey

EASA is seeking feedback from operators, pilots and cabin crew, authorities and other interested parties, to assess the effectiveness of the “2-person-in-the-cockpit” recommendation.

This recommendation was issued by an EASA Safety Information Bulletin (SIB 2015-04) in March 2015, which recommended at least two authorised persons to be in the flight crew compartment at all times, or other equivalent measures to be applied by the operator. The recommendation was based on the information available at the time following the Germanwings accident, and pending the outcome of the technical investigation by the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA).

The EASA-lead Germanwings Task Force, in its report of July 2015, recommended to maintain the “2-persons-in-the-cockpit” recommendation, and to evaluate its benefits. This is the purpose of this EASA survey.

To take part in the online survey, click here. The closing date for submission is 11 March 2016.

We recommend that all relevant operators invest time in completing this survey, to help influence future rule making activity.


27/01/2016   EASA revises Terms of Reference for CVR/FDR rulemaking task

CS-23, CS-25, CS-27 and CS-29 contain certification specifications (CS XX.1457 and CS XX.1459) which are related to the installation of Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVRs) and Flight Data Recorders (FDRs), when their carriage is required by the Air Operations rules.

The present Terms of Reference address several issues regarding the certification specifications for cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) and flight data recorders (FDRs). Some of these issues were initially identified by the following Rulemaking Tasks (RMTs) (refer to EASA’s 4-year Rulemaking Programme):

  • 0268 (MDM.068) ‘Revision of FDR and CVR certification specifications’;
  • 0249 (MDM.051) ‘CVR recording quality’;
  • 0402 (OPS.091(a)) ‘Requirements for combination recorders (FDR/CVR)’; and
  • 0402 (OPS.091(b)) ‘Requirement for combination recorders (FDR/CVR)’.

The above-mentioned RMTs have been merged in the course of time into one single task, namely RMT.0249 (MDM.051) (refer to EASA’s 4-year Rulemaking Programme). The issues and reasoning associated with the rulemaking task, detailed in the Terms of Reference, cover the following:

  • FDR and CVR power supply
  • Specifications for data link recording
  • Means to automatically stop the recording after an accident
  • Provisions for ensuring serviceability of flight recorders
  • Quality of recordings of CVRs
  • Performance specifications for flight recorders
  • Specifications for combination recorders
  • Specifications for deployable recorders

RMT deliverables are as follows:

  • Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) proposing as necessary, changes to Part-CAT, CS-25, CS-29, AMC/GM to Part-CAT, Part-SPA Part-NCC or AMC/GM to Part-21;
  • Comment-Response Document (CRD),
  • Opinion proposing an amendment to Part-CAT of Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012
  • Decision(s) amending CS-25, CS-29, AMC/GM to Part-CAT, Part-SPA Part-NCC or AMC/GM to Part-21.

We recommend all affected owners, operators and equipment manufacturers engage fully with this rulemaking task either directly or through their applicable trade association.


27/01/2016   EASA revises soft rules on carriage of Special Categories of Passengers (SCP)

Further to our article, dated 23/02/2015, EASA has now published revised acceptable means of compliance (AMC) and guidance material (GM) to the Air Operations Regulation, through its Decision 2016/004/R, addressing a safety issue related to the safe carriage of special categories of passengers (SCPs). SCPs are persons with reduced mobility (PRMs), infants and unaccompanied children, deportees, inadmissible passengers, or prisoners in custody. Studies have shown that 90% of accidents are categorised as ‘survivable’, therefore, procedures on the safe carriage of SCPs are expected to positively influence the survivability of all passengers and crew members in case of an emergency.

The Decision introduces changes to AMC/GM in order to ensure a practicable and cost-efficient framework for the carriage of SCPs. These changes are based on passenger rights and anti-discrimination regulations such as Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 and will provide operators with more reliable tools to mitigate SCP-related risks.

Through these changes, the following effective risk mitigating measures are established:

  • Guidelines on establishing the maximum number of SCPs to be carried;
  • GM to assist operators when developing safety information procedures for some SCPs and accompanying passengers or persons sitting next to SCPs;
  • GM to assist operators when developing procedures on safe seating allocations of some SCPs and accompanying passengers or persons sitting next to SCPs; and
  • AMC regarding cabin crew training.

This Decision only applies to European commercial air transport (CAT) operators and is related to the Air Operations Regulation.

We recommend all CAT operators review and revise current policy and procedures to align with the revised AMC and/or GM.


18/01/2016   EASA extends Air Operations rule changes comment period

Further to our article, dated 27/11/2015, EASA has now announced that the comment period for its NPA 2015-18 is now extended to 29 February 2016.

Readers are reminded that the NPA is split into 3 Sub-NPAs:

  • Sub-NPA (A): Explanatory Note and proposed changes to the IRs of Annexes I–VII.
  • Sub-NPA (B): Proposed changes to the existing AMC and GM text.
  • Sub-NPA (C): Proposed changes related to passenger seating and briefing.

We remind those operators that have not reviewed and/or commented on EASA’s proposals to do so using the CRT before the end of February.


15/01/2016   EASA adopts new guidance on Child Restraint Systems

EASA, in common with most members of the travelling public and operators alike, considers the safety of the youngest aircraft occupants to be important. Babies under two years of age and small children are best protected when secured in a child restraint system appropriate for their weight and height in a dedicated seat. The use of child seats provides an equivalent level of safety to infants and children as that afforded to adult passengers wearing seatbelts.

In August, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the UN agency overseeing civil aviation, published a Manual on child restraint systems recommending the use of child safety seats in a dedicated aircraft seat. Airlines should enable parents to use child seats for their infants and children on board and should provide cabin crew, ground personnel and the travelling public with information on policies related to the use of these devices.

EASA supports ICAO’s recommendations. In order to facilitate the use of approved child seats during air travel, it will establish a task force with the EU Member States, operators and organisations dealing with child seats to find the best ways to address international harmonisation and to help European authorities to establish a system of mutual approval of child restraint devices.

EASA reports that it is currently updating its website and the information will be available under “EASA & You” in due course.

We recommend that all air operators review the published guidance and revise their own policies and procedures accordingly, where applicable.


12/01/2016   Easy Access Rules for Air Operations now online

The 3rd EASA Technical Publication is now available for free download: Easy Access Rules for Air Operations.

This document includes in a merged and easy-to-read format:

  • the Air Operations Implementing Regulation EU 965/2012 including all its amending regulations up to EU 2015/2338 (published on 16 Dec 2015);
  • and all respective Acceptable Means of Compliance/Guidance Material (AMC/GM);
  • in addition, it also includes CS-FTL.1.

Easy Access Rules for Air Operations will be updated after each substantial change.

The next Easy Access document to be published will be Continuing Airworthiness Rules.

The new Easy Access Rules format is a step towards making life easier for our stakeholders.


07/01/2016   EASA proposes "lighter" rules for balloons

EASA has published its Opinion 01/2016 addressing a proportionality issue related to balloon operations. Excusing EASA’s own pun, its specific objective is to establish a simpler, ‘lighter’ and proportionate air operations regulatory framework for balloons.

For this purpose, EASA proposes the extraction of the operational rules for balloons from the Air Operations Regulation, except for the authority requirements specified in Part-ARO, and the issue of a new regulation on operational rules for balloons. The scope of this new regulation may be extended at a later stage to include other areas related to balloons. EASA’s final goal would then be to develop — at least to a certain extent — a single ‘balloon book’.

With the new draft regulation, EASA proposes operational rules for balloons which, it hopes, should be accepted as being less complex (i.e. the rules are easier to understand and to apply), and avoid any overregulation (i.e. the rules are reduced to what is needed not to compromise safety).

In summary, the proposed changes are expected to maintain safety while reducing the regulatory burden especially to operators.

We recommend that operators of balloons in Europe thoroughly review this Opinion, so that they can prepare for its adoption by the Commission in due course.


18/12/2015   EASA proposes to extend TAWS requirements to smaller aircraft

EASA has issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2015-21), developed in the context of rulemaking task RMT.0371 and 0372 (formerly task number OPS.078 (a) and (b)), addressing a safety issue related to terrain awareness warning systems (TAWS).

There are three safety recommendations (SRs) related to the task/NPA: ITAL-2009-001, SPAN-2012-010, and FRAN-2009-009. ITAL-2009-001 states that TAWS would have reduced the probability of occurrence of the aircraft accident, and FRAN-2009-009 proposes requiring operators to develop a policy and procedures for the use of TAWS dependent on the flying rules (instrument flight rules (IFR)/visual flight rules (VFR)).

The objective of this NPA is to mitigate the risks of accidents categorised as a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) for turbine-powered aeroplanes having a maximum certified take-off mass (MCTOM) below 5 700 kg or a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) between six and nine.

Based on the regulatory impact assessment (RIA), rulemaking would be only recommended for newly manufactured aircraft performing commercial air transport operations. When building the safety case, one of the major aspects taken into account was that the absence of TAWS in the aircraft within the scope of the task was a factor in only two accidents in Europe in the last 10 years. Additionally, data showed that all new aircraft are equipped with TAWS B, and that a significant number of old aircraft have been retrofitted with either TAWS or an equivalent terrain awareness system. The specific objective of this rulemaking activity is to further reduce CFITs by equipping aircraft within the scope of this task with TAWS, which is already the case for the majority of said aircraft, regardless of the inexistence of a mandatory requirement for this in Europe.

This NPA proposes a regulatory change in accordance with the result of the RIA.

We recommend that aeroplane manufacturers and operators of affected types review the proposed rule changes to ascertain how they may impact upon current and future designs and/or operations. Comments should be made directly to EASA via the CRT by 18 March 2016.


17/12/2015   EASA issues revised AMC and GM for new FDR and CVR rules

Further to our previous articles, dated 27/07/2015, and 12/10/2015, has EASA has issued a further Decision (2015/030/R).

The objective of this latest Decision is to issue AMC and GM in order to complement implementing rules (IRs) of Regulation (EU) 2015/2338* amending the Air Operations Regulation as regards requirements for flight recorders, underwater locating devices and aircraft tracking systems.

The four issues addressed are the following:

  • Absence of operational procedures to preserve the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recording after an accident or a serious incident;
  • Absence of guidance on the inspection of the CVR recording for serviceability purposes;
  • Inadequate clarity on the applicability of the data link recording requirement; and
  • Performance and installation of the long-range underwater locating device (ULD).

Regarding issues (a), (b), and (d), a first version of draft AMC and GM were proposed in NPA 2013-26, published in December 2013. Following a public consultation, CRD 2013-26 was published in May 2014, concurrently with Opinion 01/2014. CRD 2013-26 contains a second version of the draft AMC and GM, while Opinion 01/2014 contains a second version of the draft IRs. Issue (c) is simply addressed by a GM paragraph.

The draft AMC issued through this new Decision are those which were subject to the public consultation and for which no significant change to the content was needed following the publication of CRD 2013-26.

AMC and GM related to aircraft tracking, location of an aircraft in distress, protection of CVR recordings and new FDR parameters, however, do not fall within the scope of this new Decision.

We recommend all operators and equipment manufacturers to remain abreast of this challenging and ever-evolving area of rule making activity.

Please note: * This Regulation does not appear on the EASA Regulations web page at the time of writing, but may be located on the EU website.


16/12/2015   Commission adopts revised FDR, ULD, and aircraft tracking requirements

The Commission has adopted Regulation (EU) 2015/2338 amending the Air Operations Regulation as regards requirements for flight recorders, underwater locating devices and aircraft tracking systems.

Legal Background

The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) aims at supporting the safety investigation performed by the safety investigation authority in the case an accident or an incident occurs. Relevant safeguards to protect CVR from disclosure in a situation where a safety investigation has been opened are set out in Regulation (EU) No 996/2010

With the introduction of safety management, it is recognised that CVR might be used outside the context of a safety investigation in order to maintain or improve safety. Therefore, the Air Operations Regulation should be amended in order to reinforce conditions that aim to effectively prevent the inappropriate use and disclosure of CVR recordings.

With the objective to improve the overall performance of flight recorders and to facilitate the recovery of an aircraft and its flight recorders after an accident over water, several safety improvements to the current requirement have been put forward by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Those safety improvements include the discontinuation of outdated recording technologies such as magnetic tape or magnetic wire, the extension of the minimum recording duration of the CVR as well as the extension of the transmission time of the flight recorder underwater locating device and the carriage of an underwater locating device with a very long detection range for aeroplanes performing long-range overwater flights. Therefore, the Air Operations Regulation should be amended in order to reflect those safety improvements.

It is necessary to take into consideration the disappearance of flight MH370 on 8 March 2014 and the recommendations made by the multidisciplinary meeting of the ICAO on global tracking of 12 and 13 May 2014. The position of public transport aircraft should be known at all times, even in a remote location, in order to facilitate the location of the aircraft in case of an abnormal behaviour, an emergency or an accident. Whenever possible, the aircraft tracking means should be robust to loss of normal electrical power on board and should not offer any control to disable it during the flight. Therefore, the Air Operations Regulation (EU) should be amended in order to include additional requirements related to means to track aircraft on a global basis, including over oceans and remote areas.

In accordance with the proposition of the Flight Recorder Panel (FLIRECP) of the ICAO, with respect to the carriage of CVRs with extended recording duration for large aeroplanes, provision should be made for the introduction of CVR with a recording duration of 25 hours on board aircraft, manufactured after 1 January 2021, with a maximum certificated take-off mass of over 27 000 kg.

The measures provided for in Regulation (EU) 2015/2338 address 13 safety recommendations from safety investigation authorities, with a view to increasing safety by facilitating the recovery of information for the purposes of European civil aviation safety investigations and improving flight recorder performance and handling as well as the location of aircraft after an accident over water.

The measures provided for in Regulation (EU) 2015/2338, amending Annex I (Definitions), Annex IV (Part-CAT), Annex VI (Part-NCC) and Annex VIII (Part-SPO) to the Air Operations Regulation are based on EASA Opinion 01/2014 and come into force on 05 January 2016.

We recommend all affected operators review the revised requirements together with the new/revised AMC and GM (refer to separate article) to ensure continued compliance.

Please note: This Regulation does not appear on the EASA Regulations web page at the time of writing, but may be located on the EU website.


15/12/2015   EASA launches rulemaking task for non-ETOPS operations of low-occupancy aeroplanes

The requirements for performance class A aeroplanes with a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) of 19 or less to conduct extended-range operations with two-engined aeroplanes (ETOPS) were developed by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) in parallel to the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) in the mid-1990s.

The take-off mass threshold and the diversion threshold at which ETOPS approval is required for operators of such aeroplanes are today identified in EASA CAT.OP.MPA.140. The 45 360 kg applicability threshold was established based on an analysis of product offerings in the mid-1990s, but today several manufacturers are developing intercontinental turbojet aeroplanes for business travel, ‘business jets’, that have a maximum certified take-off mass (MCTOM) in excess of 45 360 kg. While the operation of these aeroplanes is unchanged from similar aeroplanes at or below the current MCTOM threshold, the additional mass would require these operators to obtain an ETOPS approval for the same routes, when operating in commercial air transport (CAT).

  • This threshold of 45 360 kg therefore distorts the level playing field, since it introduces an additional burden on CAT operators of twin-engined aeroplanes with an MCTOM at or above 45 360 kg and an MOPSC of 19 or less, compared to CAT operators of similar aeroplanes but with an MCTOM below 45 360 kg.
  • In addition, there is also a harmonisation issue, as there is no such a threshold defined in the FAA’s or in the Transport Canada Civil Aviation’s (TCCA’s) regulatory framework. Indeed, the FAA accommodates non-ETOPS operations below 180 min with such aircraft and for on-demand operations in 14 CFR Part-135, while no such alleviation exists for other types of CAT operations falling under Part 121. Similarly, the TCCA’s requirement for an approval to conduct ETOPS operations with two-engined aeroplanes is only applicable to aeroplanes with a maximum certified passenger capacity of 20 or more.
  • There is as well no such threshold defined in Amendment 38 to ICAO Annex 6 Part I, which renamed ETOPS with extended diversion time operations (EDTO). The ICAO provisions only require contracting states to the Chicago Convention to define a threshold time per aircraft type, above which an EDTO approval would be required and guidance to contracting states is provided for the establishment of this threshold time. It is worth noting that this threshold time may be specific to the concerned aircraft type and/or operator.

EASA has issued the Terms of Reference to Rulemaking Task RMT.0695 to address these discrepancies.

The stakeholder-led rulemaking group will review the current CAT requirements for operating business jet aeroplanes in ETOPS operations in the major aviation countries. This will include the review of the work undertaken by the JAA to establish appropriate requirements for business aviation in the context of aeroplanes currently in production or under development. The group will perform a safety analysis of the business jet operations since the ETOPS requirements were established and will review any relevant accidents and incidents. The group will also review EASA’s current rules in the context of other regulatory standards, including ICAO‘s standards, in order to ensure that Europe maintains a harmonised and proportional set of rules for business jet operations.

Publication of the NPA is scheduled by end of March 2016.

We recommend that all CAT operators of these larger “business aeroplanes” affected by the current discrepancy engage fully with the rulemaking group either directly or via trade bodies/associations.


15/12/2015   EASA issue AMC and GM for Evidence Based Training rules

Further to our article “Implementation of Evidence-Based Training within the European regulatory framework”, dated 03/09/2015, EASA has now published its Decision in the form of “AMC and GM to Part-ORO - Issue 2, Amendment 4”.

The changes EASA proposes will help National Aviation Authorities and CAT operators implement ICAO Doc 995 in the current European regulatory framework. The Guidance Material introduces EBT provisions for operator flight crew training. It addresses the implementation of a mixed EBT programme, allowing the conduct of Licence and Operator Proficiency Checks.

The text has been developed by EASA and the EBT task force in order to facilitate the safety benefits of EBT without delay and in anticipation of RMT.0599 ‘Evidence-based and competency-based training’. For that reason, EASA followed an accelerated procedure where it consulted its relevant advisory bodies, the EBT task force, the French and United Kingdom EBT groups and performed a focus consultation.

Since the draft regulatory text has been widely consulted with relevant stakeholders, no public consultation of the draft proposal was conducted.

EASA expects that the implementation experience to be gained after the publication of its Decision will likely serve to reveal most of the difficulties and inconsistencies that need to be addressed in the current regulatory framework during the subsequent rulemaking task RMT.0599 ‘Evidence-based and competency-based training’.

We recommend that NAAs, CAT operators, and Approved Training Organisations review the new and finalised AMC and GM.


09/12/2015   EASA issue AWO working group Terms of Reference

EASA has issued the Terms of Reference for Rule Making Task RMT.0379.

It explains that term all-weather operations (AWO) comprises any taxi, take-off or approach operations in conditions where visual reference is limited by weather conditions.

AWO are currently addressed by regulations in the following aviation domains:

  • Airworthiness;
  • Air operations;
  • Aircrew;
  • Aerodromes;
  • Air traffic management (ATM)/air navigation services (ANS); and
  • in the standardised European rules of the air (SERA).

EASA considers the existing rules in these domains have the following deficiencies:

  • They do not sufficiently address technological advancements and do not fully support new operational concepts, e.g. approach operations using new generations of enhanced vision systems (EVSs), synthetic vision systems (SVSs), combined vision systems (CVSs), or full potentials of head-up displays (HUDs).
  • In some areas, European rules are no longer aligned with the ICAO standards and recommended practices (SARPS), thus unintentionally becoming more limiting. For example, the recent ICAO Annex 6 amendments, which introduced lower category (CAT) II and CAT III minima, and regulated the concept of operational credits in particular for operations with vision systems, have not yet been transposed into the European air operations (Air OPS) rules. Furthermore, the new ICAO approach classification needs to be transposed into all domains.
  • Existing rules (conventional low-visibility operations (LVOs) as well as other AWO) have been drafted in a domain-centric manner. This has resulted in a situation where occasionally, rules are not fully consistent with each other across different domains. In some cases, rules are missing in one or more domains, which makes it inefficient if not impossible to use the full potentials of certified products and systems and enjoy the full safety benefits of such new products and systems.
  • Cross-domain risk assessments have not been carried out in a consistent manner to guarantee that all safety risks have been identified, properly managed and mitigated across all domains.
  • The results of harmonisation efforts with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators, such as within the All Weather Operations Harmonization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (AWOHARC), have not yet been transposed into the European regulatory material.

Therefore, EASA considers the current regulatory framework necessitates urgent actions.

We recommend that interested parties, including air operators, manufacturers, and aerodromes should review the comprehensive document and participate in this rule making activity.


08/12/2015   UK CAA revises its Helicopter Offshore operations Safety Directive

Since our last RegsUpdate on the matter the UK CAA has published and revoked its Safety Directive 2015/004, but has since published Safety Directive SD-2015/005 in its place.

The scope of the Directive has been expanded to include:

  • sea-pilot transfer;
  • the support of offshore wind turbines and other renewable energy sources; and
  • the support for marine lights.

In addition, from 1 April 2016, all occupants (including pilots and other crew members) are to wear specified breathing apparatus.

This revision allows those passengers that are medically incapacitated to be exempt from the requirement to wear breathing apparatus.

Affected operators continue to work in close cooperation with the UK CAA on this matter, so this latest change should not be a surprise to them, however all affected operators are reminded to keep abreast of all such Directives and the associated EASA rulemaking in this area, including for example Opinion 04/2015.


27/11/2015   EASA proposes a range of updates to the Air Operations Regulation and its AMC and GM

EASA has issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2015-18) in 3 sections (sub-NPAs).

EASA states that the NPA addresses a safety and regulatory coordination issue related to air operations. The main objective is to ensure an efficient and proportionate set of IRs on air operations and to resolve any inconsistencies identified following the adoption of the air operations IRs. This is necessary to ensure that the EASA regulatory system includes state of the art IRs and reflects best practices.

The following safety recommendations (SRs) were taken into consideration for the development of this NPA: GERF-2006-009, UNK-2005-148, DENM-2012,004, HUNG-2012-004, ITAL-2012-009, SPAN-2009-025, and SWED-2011-013.

The specific objective of this NPA is to maintain a high level of safety for air operations by ensuring a harmonised implementation of the Air Operations Regulation.

Sub-NPA (A): Explanatory Note and proposed changes to the IRs of Annexes I–VII.

Sub-NPA (B): Proposed changes to the existing AMC and GM text.

Sub-NPA (C): Proposed changes related to passenger seating and briefing.

Sub-NPA (A) includes proposed changes to the Air Operations Regulation itself, including the following key changes:

  • Editorial changes to Implementing Rules (IR) of all Annexes;
  • Amendment of authority requirements (Part-ARO) specifying that the oversight cycle can also be reduced;
  • Amendment of authority requirements on findings and corrective actions;
  • Removal of the prior approval for wet-leasing agreements between EU operators;
  • Limit prior approval to dry lease-out agreements with a third-country operator;
  • Exemption of certain operators from approval under Part-SPA of dangerous goods training programmes if they do not intend to transport dangerous goods; and
  • Amendment on the use of supplemental oxygen.

Sub-NPA (B) includes proposed changes to the acceptable means of compliance (AMC) and guidance material (GM) to the Air Operations, including the following key changes:

  • Editorial changes to AMC and GM to all Annexes;
  • Amendment related to the management system of the authority;
  • Proposed new AMC/GM on inspector qualifications;
  • Amendments to AMC/GM related to RAMP inspections;
  • Safety management in the AMC/GM related to organisation requirements (Part-ORO);
  • Proposed AMC/GM on leasing agreements between EU operators; and
  • Proposed change to AMC on carriage of the emergency medical kit (EMK) for certain CAT operators, providing more flexibility to operators regarding a secure location of the EMK.

Sub-NPA (C) proposes amendments to ED Decision 2014/015/R:

  • Revising AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.165 on Passenger seating;
  • Revising AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.170 on Passenger briefing;
  • Newly developed GM1 CAT.OP.MPA.170 on Passenger briefing/Exit briefing, and
  • Newly developed GM2 CAT.OP.MPA.170 on Passenger briefing/Safety briefing material.

The proposed amendments result from the request by the European Commission, from four safety recommendations directed to EASA, and involve an alignment with ICAO Annex 6 and with ICAO Doc 10002.

The specific objective is to maintain a high level of safety:

  • by requiring seats adjacent to emergency exits - providing direct access to these exits - are occupied by passengers during taxiing, take-off and landing;
  • by requiring passengers seated by exits not staffed by cabin crew members have been briefed on the use of the exit in case of an emergency in order to act promptly and efficiently;
  • to address the non-existence of certification or operational requirements related to safety briefing material, by developing guidance material for operators and national aviation authorities, thus providing a level playing field; and
  • to ensure harmonisation by aligning the current provisions of AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.170 on passenger briefing with ICAO Annex 6 and ICAO Doc 10002.

Further to the above, Sub-NPA (C) proposes an editorial amendment to the Air Operations Regulation, specifically in paragraph (b) of CAT.OP.MPA.170 on passenger briefing to correct an editorial omission.

Lastly, Sub-NPA (C) proposes an amendment to the Air Operations Regulation, Annex I - Definitions in order to add a new definition on ‘emergency exit’ to address the inconsistent use of various terms in the Regulation referring to an egress point from the aircraft. The newly proposed definition is in line with ICAO.

We strongly recommend that National Aviation Authorities and CAT operators in particular review this substantial NPA and comment to EASA using the CRT by the closing date of 27 January 2016.


11/11/2015   EASA issues its Opinion on CAT operations at night or in IMC using SET aeroplanes

EASA has now issued the CRD to NPA 2014-18 and its Opinion 06/2015 addressing the following:

  • a level playing field issue as some European Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders are currently authorised to conduct Commercial Air Transport operations using Single-Engined Turbine (SET) aeroplanes in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) (CAT SET-IMC operations) under exemptions that contain conditions differing from one country to another;
  • a regulatory-coordination issue as CAT SET-IMC operations are already allowed by most of the major regulators outside Europe (Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)), and as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) already adopted rules allowing such operations 10 ago;
  • an environmental issue as the current regulatory status does not promote the use of modern aeroplanes having a better environmental footprint; and
  • an economic and social issue as the current situation prevents the opening of low-density routes with the most appropriate aeroplanes and, therefore, reduces the possibility of movement of the population living in remote areas.

EASA’s specific objective is to allow SET aeroplanes, meeting specified power plant reliability, equipment, operating, and maintenance requirements, to conduct CAT SET-IMC operations.

EASA proposes to introduce a new Subpart L into Annex V (Part-SPA) to the Air Operations Regulation, containing specific requirements associated with a specific approval for CAT SET-IMC operations in the area of aeroplane equipment, flight planning, flight procedures and crew training. In addition, it introduces consequential amendments to the Cover Regulation, as well as in Annex II (Part-ARO), Annex III (Part-ORO), and Annex IV (Part-CAT) as CAT SET-IMC operations were previously forbidden.

EASA expects the proposed changes to maintain the safety of CAT operations by allowing, based on proportionate requirements, the operations in IMC and/or at night of SET aeroplanes better equipped and with a higher engine reliability than some currently operated twins.

Affected, and would be, operators should already be familiar with the original NPA and would have contributed to the shape of EASA’s Opinion. We recommend they now review the CRD and associated Opinion, which will form the basis of future Comitology discussions with the Commission.


23/10/2015   EASA sets up rulemaking group to study access of GA pilots to instrument flight rules (IFR) flying

In line with the strategic direction of the European General Aviation Safety Strategy, EASA committed at the 2014 EASA Safety Conference to apply an interdisciplinary approach with the aim to create a holistic view or common understanding of the complex, cross-boundary issues that hinder access of GA pilots to IFR flying. The aim is to prepare, define and synthesize the desired outcome relevant to each technical discipline into a comprehensive action plan for an increased access of GA pilots to IFR flying. Designing and finding optimal integrated solutions to these multifaceted issues requires involvement of specialists from diverse disciplines, relevant to the problem, to work together in a collaborative manner. The importance of clearly formulating and assigning different actions to the core technical discipline for the delivery of the solution is emphasised.

Because of time constraints and the need for prioritisation and assignment of the actions from the comprehensive plan to each core technical discipline, EASA has established RMT.0677 to address the actions assigned to the ‘aircrew and medical’ discipline at this first stage. Further tasks will be planned in the other technical disciplines upon delivery of the comprehensive plan. In this context, it is expected that the comprehensive action plan will contain recommendations for changes of the aircrew, airworthiness, ATM, and aerodrome, etc. requirements.

EASA’s overall aim is to increase the number of GA pilots with IFR flying qualifications in Europe.

The group’s ToRs have now been published with an NPA due by June 2016.

Affected stakeholders, namely manufacturers, aerodromes, ATM providers, pilots, instructors, examiners, ATOs, operators, and competent authorities are recommeded to engage with EASA in this task so that an appropriate and practical solution can be identified and implemented as soon as practicable.


20/10/2015   UK CAA again reminds operators of impending ACAS II requirements

Further to our article dated 15/09/2015, the UK CAA has issued a further Information Notice, IN-2015/095 reminding owners and operators of affected aircraft of the Airspace Usage Requirements mandated through Commission Regulation (EU) 1332/2011 that apply from 01 December 2015.

The requirement to have ACAS II version 7.1 applies to aeroplanes with a maximum certificated take-off mass exceeding 5,700 kg or authorised to carry more than 19 passengers. Additionally, any aircraft fitted with ACAS II voluntarily must comply with the same requirements.

Operators should also ensure that their training manual and operational procedures fully cover the use of ACAS II version 7.1. This link will take you to a EUROCONTROL site containing more information, including training material.

Owners and operators are recommended to fully understand the requirements and ensure their aircraft, relevant manuals, and pilots are appropriately configured to meet these requirements.


12/10/2015   EASA’s aims to relax certain FDR and CVR requirements

EASA has issued has issued its Decision 2015/021/R, the objective of which is to address four issues in the AMC/GM to the Air Operations Regulation which create an unnecessary burden on industry and need to be amended as soon as possible:

  • an urgent need to update the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) on flight recorder serviceability. The adoption of the Regulation based on Opinion 01/2014 is taking more time than expected while changes in the AMC/GM on flight recorder serviceability, presented in CRD 2013-26, still need to be adopted. Since the Regulation to be adopted will not change the Implementing Rule on flight recorder serviceability, the associated AMC/GM can be amended regardless of the adoption of the Regulation;
  • a regulatory-coordination issue related to the flight parameter named ‘Primary flight control surface and primary flight control pilot input’. According to ICAO Annex 6 Part I, under certain conditions, both primary flight control surface and primary flight control pilot input do not need to be recorded, but this is not reflected in the AMC;
  • a regulatory-coordination issue related to the flight parameter named ‘All flight control input forces’ to be recorded by a flight data recorder for aeroplanes manufactured as of 1 January 2016. This flight parameter must be recorded with no exception for aeroplanes manufactured as of 1 January 2016 while, according to ICAO Annex 6 Part I and Part II, recording is only required under certain conditions. This non-alignment creates an issue for certain aircraft manufacturers; and
  • it clarifies the operational performance requirements applicable to the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and to CVR-dedicated equipment (microphones, preamplifiers, etc.) installed on aeroplanes manufactured as of 1 January 2016. The CVR should comply with recent industry standards, however, older industry standards are still valid for the CVR-dedicated equipment. This needs to be clarified.

The Decision, therefore:

  • introduces the AMC/GM included in CRD 2013-26;
  • aligns the recording conditions of the flight parameters ‘Primary flight control surface and primary flight control pilot input’ and ‘All flight control input forces’ with the provisions of ICAO Annex 6 Part I and Part II; and
  • clarifies in the AMC related to CVR performance which are the standards applicable to the CVR itself and which are the standards applicable to its dedicated equipment.

We recommend design approval holders and CAT, NCC, and SPO operators of affected aircraft and equipment review the revised AMC and GM and ensure that FDR and/or CVR installations meet the revised requirements.


05/10/2015   EASA working group considers EFB rulemaking

EASA has published the Terms of Reference for its Rule Making Tasks RMT.0601 and RMT.0602.

The specific objectives of the tasks are:

  • to ensure compliance with the ICAO SARPs;
  • to provide specific requirements on the use of EFBs in the Air Operations Regulation for commercial air transport operations;
  • to provide requirements proportionate to the complexity of the operations and/or propose safety promotion actions related to the use of EFBs for non-commercial operations and specialised operations; and
  • to conduct a first review of AMC 20-25 based on the experience gained so far by competent authorities since its publication.

The expected products of this task are:

  • Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA), including a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) due end of September 2016;
  • Comment-Response Document combined with an Opinion containing draft requirements to the Air Operations Regulation, due end of June 2018; and
  • Related Agency Decisions, due end of June 2019.

The potentially affected parts of the Air Operations Regulation are Annex I (Definitions), Annex II (Part-ARO), Annex IV (Part-CAT), Annex V (Part-SPA), Annex VI (Part-NCC), Annex VII (Part-NCO), Annex VIII (Part-SPO), and the related Decisions.

Operators, owners, and EFB manufacturers are recommended to engage fully with this rule making task.


01/10/2015   EASA proposes enhanced flammability requirements for Thermal/Acoustic insulation materials

In its NPA 2015-15, EASA addresses a safety and harmonisation issue related to flame propagation and flame penetration resistance characteristics of thermal/acoustic insulation material.

EASA’s specific objective is to improve the protection of occupants of large aeroplanes operated in Commercial Air Transport (CAT) by improving certain characteristics of the insulation material installed in the fuselage: their capability to resist propagation of flame and to resist penetration of flame through the material (burn through).

The NPA proposes to amend Part-26 and CS-26 by introducing specifications on flammability standards for thermal/acoustic insulation material, which are based on CS 25.856 (a) and (b), and are applicable to already type-certified large aeroplanes used for CAT.

EASA expects the proposed changes are to increase safety of large aeroplanes operated in CAT by preventing or reducing the risk of fire propagation or penetration into the aeroplane fuselage.

The proposed changes will also improve harmonisation with the FAA on this subject.

We recommend that CAT operators of large aeroplanes review the proposals in liaison with applicable design approval holders to verify if and how currently installed materials meet the proposed standards. Comments to EASA should be made using the CRT by 08 January 2016.


25/09/2015   EASA publishes enhanced CRM training rules

In its Decision, 2015/022/R EASA addresses a safety issue related to crew resource management (CRM) training. The Safety Recommendations linked to this issue were addressed during the development of the Decision.

The objective of the Decision is to establish and maintain a high uniform level of safety in air operations by amending and expanding the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC)/Guidance Material (GM) on CRM training.

The Decision introduces new items to be incorporated in the present applicable framework for CRM training. Such items are provisions for qualification and training of inspectors of competent authorities, expanded provisions for CRM trainers, provisions for computer-based training, CRM training and management system, competency-based CRM training, resilience development, surprise and startle effect, CRM training for single-pilot and single cabin crew operations, etc. In addition, the present AMC/GM have been restructured and rephrased to improve the clarity and readability of the text.

The Decision is related to Part-ARO, Part-ORO and Part-SPA of the Air Operations Regulation. In addition, Decision 2015/023/R amends the GM to Part-CC of the Aircrew Regulation as regards CRM training.

This second Decision introduces new items to be incorporated in the present applicable framework for CRM training for cabin crew to modernise the scheme.

EASA considers these amendments establish a more practicable and more effective framework for CRM training for pilots and cabin crew. They will provide operators with more reliable tools to mitigate further CRM-related risks and hazards and, therefore, are expected to increase safety during all phases of flight.

We recommend that all operators and CRM training providers review the revised requirements and incorporate them into their existing training programmes as applicable.


15/09/2015   UK CAA reminds operators of the ACAS II requirements

In its Information Notice IN-2015/087, the UK CAA issue a timely reminder to all operators that the European Airspace Usage Requirements (Part-AUR) come into effect on 01 December 2015.

The requirement to have ACAS II version 7.1 applies to aeroplanes with a maximum certificated take-off mass exceeding 5,700 kg or authorized to carry more than 19 passengers.

AOC holders who do not expect to meet this requirement by 1 December 2015 should urgently contact their assigned CAA Flight Operations Inspector. Non-commercial operators not meeting the requirement should contact the ISPOperationsManagementTeam@caa.co.uk.

Operators should ensure that their training manual and operational procedures fully cover the use of ACAS II version 7.1. This link will take you to a EUROCONTROL site containing more information, including training material.

Operators should also read the separate Information Notice covering use of Flight Simulation Training Devices IN-2015/083.

The current instructions to SAFA/SACA ramp inspectors are planned to be amended such that non-compliances with version 7.1 after 1 December 2015 will lead to Category 3 findings and possible grounding of aeroplanes.

You have all been warned!


03/09/2015   Implementation of Evidence-Based Training within the European regulatory framework

EASA has issued the Terms of Reference for its rule making task RMT.0696 to address the implementation of Evidence-Based Training (EBT) within the European regulatory framework.

The working group will, in coordination with the ‘EBT Task Force’:

  • Evaluate ICAO Doc 9995 ‘Manual of Evidence-based Training’ against the existing European regulatory framework:
    • Identify which EBT concepts can be directly implemented in the existing European regulatory framework;
    • Identify which EBT concepts would require an amendment of the existing European regulatory framework; and
    • Assess which modifications of the ICAO EBT concept would be required in order to enable a mixed implementation of EBT.
  • Develop GM to enable the implementation of EBT. GM should be developed to the Air Operations Regulation Part ORO, Subpart FC, and, if required, to the Aircrew Regulation.
    • Develop an Explanatory Note to the GM.
  • Develop a Concept Paper on Evidence-Based Training for RMT.0599 ‘Review of ORO.FC’
    • Possible interface issues with RMT.0194 ‘Extension of competency-based training to all licences and ratings and extension of TEM principles to all licences and ratings’, and RMT.0379 ‘All weather operations’ should be observed.
  • Ensure that the GM provides enough clarity to allow a standardised implementation of EBT in all Member States. This activity is to be performed mainly during the focussed consultation.

The deliverable is a Decision, scheduled for release by the end of 2015.

We recommend operators and aircrew training organisations remain vigilant to the publication of the Decision.


01/08/2015   Commission adopts Third Country Aircraft Regulation

In accordance with the Basic Regulation, the Air Operations Regulation ((EU) 965/2012), which establishes conditions for the safe operation of aircraft, needs to be amended to allow for the operation of aircraft registered in a third country by air carriers licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1008/2008.

To address this, the Commission has now adopted the Third Country Aircraft Regulation ((EU) 2015/1329) applicable to licensed air carriers operating aircraft registered outside the EU, and which becomes applicable from 01 October 2015. Specific provisions only are applicable from 25 August 2017.

Licensed air carriers involved in such leases or considering such leases in the future are recommended to review the applicable requirements and introduce or revise policy and procedures as required to meet the new requirements, if they do not do so already.


27/07/2015   EASA Committee progress enhance flight recording requirements

In its Information Notice (IN-2015/058), the UK CAA reports on the business of the most recent EASA Committee Meeting 8-9 July 2015. One item on the agenda was the amendment of the Air Operations Regulation ((EU) 965/2012) as regards requirements for flight recorders, underwater locating devices and aircraft tracking systems. The Committee discussed:

  • Review of ICAO State Letters: Update on the State letter of 15 February 2015 on normal flight tracking and review of the draft EU recommendation on ICAO State Letter of 15 May 2015 on flight recorders and location of an airplane in distress; and
  • Draft implementing rule on aircraft tracking systems.

As the text had been discussed several times previously at the EASA Committee and the European position is considered to be mature, the discussions at this meeting focussed mainly on timing and whether Europe should take a position in advance of ICAO or wait for the outcome of the ICAO consultation on the State Letters. In any case, it will take around 3 years for new rules to come into force, so the Committee took the decision on the current European proposals which were voted in unanimously, with some minor amendments. The Commission will advise ICAO of this position.

Aircraft manufacturers and operators are recommended to remain vigilant to this on-going rulemaking process in the light of the above position.

In addition the Committee discussed a number of bundled amendments to the Air Operations Regulation , stemming from the Single European Sky (SES) Committee, incorporating:

  • Lower end NCC operators
  • EASA Opinion 02/2015; EASA Opinion 03/2015; EASA Opinion 04/2015
  • Oxygen for NCO operators
  • ACAS II
  • Opt-outs for Balloons and Sailplanes

The Commission presented proposals relating to aeronautical and airspace data provision, approval for offshore helicopter operations and specific amendments related to lower end NCC operators, ACAS II, oxygen for NCO operators, and opt outs for balloons and sailplanes. The UK CAA raised some GA–related proportionality points, which were accepted. Additionally, they raised several safety issues resulting from the offshore helicopter review which were not captured in the EASA text, which will be submitted in writing for further consideration.

The operational rules for balloons were chosen as a pilot project within the GA Road Map. This includes a fast-track rulemaking deviating from the ‘classical’ Agency’s rulemaking procedure, e.g. by replacing the Notice of Proposed Amendment and the Comment Response Document by a workshop. A similar approach is proposed for sailplanes. To minimise the administrative burden to Member States (namely, not to implement the rules twice) it was proposed by the Commission to extend the opt-out periods for balloon and sailplanes. The Commission will proceed with legal scrutiny on these amendments and they will come back to the EASA Committee in October for the vote.

Owners and operators of balloons and/or sailplanes are recommended to keep in touch with the CAA and EASA either directly or indirectly via trade associations, clubs, etc. during this accelerated process.


14/07/2015   UK CAA mandates VHM for Offshore Helicopter operations

In its Safety Directive SD–2015/002, the UK CAA directs the operator of any helicopter registered in the United Kingdom to ensure that:

(a) when flying:

  1. (i) for the purpose of commercial air transport;
  2. (ii) with a maximum operational passenger seating configuration of more than nine;
  3. (iii) on an offshore operation; and
  4. (iv) operating in a hostile environment;

the helicopter is equipped with a Vibration Health Monitoring (VHM) system capable of monitoring the vibration of critical helicopter rotor and rotor drive system components; and

(b) on a flight on which a VHM system is required to be carried that system is operated in accordance with procedures approved by the CAA.

This mandate has been issued under the UK Air Navigation Order, but relates to EASA aircraft and operations, as explained:

Under the Air Operations Regulation, States may continue to impose additional national requirements for offshore operations including equipment requirements. Under the ANO, operators of UK registered helicopters with a maximum approved passenger seating configuration of more than nine and operating in a hostile environment have been required to fit a Vibration Health Monitoring (VHM) system. Such systems must also be operated in accordance with procedures approved by the CAA and are particularly relevant to offshore operations. The ANO has been amended so that those requirements no longer apply to aircraft operating under Part-CAT of the Air Operations Regulation.

In order to continue to require the fitment and operation of VHM equipment for helicopters conducting CAT offshore operations, pending the implementation of an amendment to the Air Operations Regulation expected in approximately 2018, this mandate has been issued. It directs that, pending the amendment, VHM equipment continues to be required and operated under approved procedures.

We recommend that operators remain vigilant to UK versus EU requirements for these types of operation, until such times as they come fully within the scope of the Air Operations Regulation without the need for additional national requirements.


30/06/2015   UK CAA advises UK operators of Ramp Checks of their aircraft

In its Information Notice IN–2015/049, the UK CAA has announced that its SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft) team will carry out a limited number of Safety Assessments of National Aircraft (SANA), i.e. UK operated, ramp inspections on behalf of the CAA Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG). The purpose of the IN is to make UK Aircraft Operator Certificate (AOC) Holders and Aircraft Operators aware of the process and the use to which the information and findings made during these inspections will be used.

We believe that “National” in this context means aircraft falling within the scope of the Basic Regulation and registered in the United Kingdom, rather than “non-EASA” aircraft which would be the more usual interpretation of “National” in this context.

We would recommend that all UK “EASA” AOC holders and other operators of “EASA” aircraft review the content of this IN and advise their flight crews, CAMO, and line maintenance organisations accordingly.

Note: in paragraph 2.1, “ARO.GEN.205(b)(1)” should read “ARO.GEN.305(b)(1)” for those interested in the Regulatory background to this activity.


09/06/2015   EASA revisits CAT aeroplane performance requirements

EASA has set up a rulemaking group (RMT.0296) and set its Terms of Reference to review and enhance aeroplane performance requirements for CAT operations.

A first attempt to review the operational requirements on aeroplane performance for commercial air transport (CAT) operations with the purpose of harmonisation between US and EU rules was initiated by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA)/Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). The output of that review were included in a JAA NPA, which has become the input for this EASA rulemaking task.

The main effects of the proposed changes were considered to be an improvement of clarity, technical accuracy and flexibility for operators. The three main topics addressed by the proposal were:

  • ‘damp runways’,
  • ‘groove and porous friction course runways’, and
  • miscellaneous amendments.

However, it soon became evident that the number of issues and safety concerns to be addressed in the field of aeroplane performance was larger. Further FAA reviews produced proposals along the three main directions of:

  • standards for runway condition reporting,
  • definition of operational landing performance computation, and
  • operational rules.

Most of the recommendations were endorsed by the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions (EAPPRE) which, while recognising runway excursions as a recurring cause of accidents and serious incidents and identifying the main casual factors, contained a number of recommendations to EASA. Recommendations on certification aspects related to performance have already been considered by EASA in RMT MDM.069 (Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment), which are excluded from the present rulemaking task.

Both the FAA and EASA published further information relating to some of the recommendations, but since then, EASA has received two safety recommendations (SRs) from accident investigation bodies in Europe. Eventual future safety recommendations related to aeroplane performance issues, which might be published during this rulemaking task, will be taken into consideration as appropriate.

Finally, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) commissioned a study to an independent research body (National Aerospace Laboratory NLR) and has submitted it to EASA for consideration during the present rulemaking task.

The group consists of representatives from: Aerospace Industries Association of Brazil (AIAB), FAA, CAA SWEDEN, the Aerospace & Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), IATA, CAA UK, EASA, and the EBAA. Release of the NPA is scheduled for end of June 2016.

We recommend that both aircraft manufacturers and operators, including those involved in non-commercial operations of complex motor powered aeroplanes remain in contact and engage with the rulemaking group and remain vigilant to the publication of the NPA in a year’s time.


03/06/2015   UK CAA advises NCC operators on new rules

Operators, owners and pilots of complex motor-powered aircraft, undertaking non-commercial operations, should be aware of major changes to the implementing rules which will affect them from 25 August 2016.

In its Information Notice (IN–2015/041), the UK CAA notifies interested UK parties of a website it has set up, giving details of the introduction of the next set of implementing rules; those which will affect non-commercial operations using complex motor-powered aircraft; often referred to as Part-NCC.

The UK CAA goes on to advise affected operators that this Information Notice should be read in conjunction with IN-2013/087 and IN-2013/143.

We recommend affected operators, owners, and pilots to become familiar with the detailed requirements within Part-NCC and refer to the UK CAA’s website for further information as soon as possible.


22/05/2015   EASA issues Opinion on helicopter offshore operations requirements

EASA has issued its Opinion (04/2015) addressing the safety risks identified for helicopter offshore operations (HOFO) and ensures a level playing field.

EASA’s objectives are, firstly, to mitigate the safety risks by introducing specific regulatory provisions, including an approval requirement, for all helicopter offshore operations, and, secondly, to harmonise the regulatory requirements for the EU. To achieve this, a new Subpart K of Annex V (Part-SPA) to the Air Operations Regulation, applicable to CAT, NCC and SPO, is proposed through this Opinion.

Rules, or parts thereof, embedded in Annex IV (Part-CAT), Annex VII (Part-NCC) and Annex VIII (Part–SPO), covering helicopter offshore operations, are transposed to Subpart K. In addition, new provisions are introduced in Subpart K, related to the identified safety risks and based on safety reviews and new technology.

Consequential amendments concern the Cover Regulation, Annex I (Part Definitions) and Annex II (Part-ARO).

EASA expects this Opinion to maintain the high level of safety for helicopter offshore operations established by the Member States in which most of the offshore operations take place.

Proportionality is ensured through appropriate rules for the different types of operations. While CAT, NCC and SPO operators are required to follow Subpart K, NCO operations are excluded from these requirements.

We recommend all helicopter operators involved in offshore operations review the Opinion and the final draft amendments to Regulations, and keep up to date with the comitology process thereafter. We shall endeavour to keep readers informed of such progress.

We would also remind UK operators that, until such time as comitology is complete and possibly beyond, UK CAA Safety Directive 2015/001, issued 28/01/2015 remains in place.


11/05/2015   EASA discusses FTL regulation implementation start date

In its Information Notice IN–2015/039, the UK CAA advises on proceedings at the recent EASA Committee meeting (22-23 April 2015), where there was a discussion on implementation of the Flight Time Limitations (FTL) regulation, following requests from industry to delay start date, having been raised by UK delegation.

Despite one or two countries planning to allow their airlines a few extra weeks until the summer schedule comes in, the Commission confirmed that there is no opt out allowed and everyone should be compliant by 18 February. There was considerable sympathy for the reasons to extend to the summer schedule and the Commission/EASA noted that in future they will try to take account of operational reasons for dates of entry into force, rather than arbitrary dates based purely on a certain number of months after adoption. In the meantime, however, the implementation date in the regulation is fixed as 18 February.

We would simply wish to underline the fact that this Regulation is law and shall be implemented as adopted, and that no Member State or Competent Authority has the authority to issue arbitrary extensions to Commission Regulations, except where these can be adopted in accordance with Article 14 Flexibility Provisions of the Basic Regulation.


11/05/2015   Committee discusses Germanwings accident outcomes

In its Information Notice IN–2015/039, the UK CAA advises on proceedings at the recent EASA Committee meeting (22-23 April 2015), where there was an exchange of views on the present requirements for medical fitness, recruitment and qualification of crew, and security arrangements of aeroplane cockpit in the light of the Germanwings accident.

There was a high-level discussion about the incident and the two key pieces of work:

  • cockpit security policy; and
  • medical requirements for pilots.

The UK CAA offered support on the medical issues and urged EASA and the Commission to have a considered approach.


11/05/2015   EASA discusses HEMS operations under NVIS approval

In its Information Notice IN–2015/039, the UK CAA advises on proceedings at the recent EASA Committee meeting (22-23 April 2015), where Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations at night under the terms of Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) approval and the UK Safety Directive 2014/003 in particular were discussed.

The Directive was issued to lay down minimum safe operating requirements to be met by operators conducting night HEMS operations within the UK to HEMS operating sites as the UK CAA considers the requirements provided previously by JAR-OPS 3 and now by the Air Operations Regulation SPA.HEMS.100 for such operations are inadequate.

The Commission seeks a pragmatic, flexible and performance based approach which can be applied to all Member States whereas some of the text in the UK Safety Directive is considered to be too prescriptive to be adopted by other countries. There will need to be further discussion on this subject involving other National authorities but, in the meantime, the UK CAA confirmed that its Safety Directive will remain in force until further notice.

The subject was further discussed at a special HEMS Thematic Advisory Group meeting on 28 April 2015.

We recommend that affected operators in the UK remain engaged with the UK CAA and EASA through appropriate channels until such times as this matter is resolved.


11/05/2015   EASA to revisit PBN training requirements

In its Information Notice IN–2015/039, the UK CAA advises on proceedings at the recent EASA Committee meeting (22-23 April 2015), where EASA Opinion 03/2015 (Revision of operational approval criteria for Performance Based Navigation (PBN)) was discussed at length.

Various Member States (including the UK) expressed concerns about mandating some of the training requirements for pilots who already have considerable PBN flying experience. The Commission agreed to work up a new draft for the July committee meeting and they agreed to review the text for clarification on ‘grandfathering’ where pilots have previous training and experience in PBN operations.


11/05/2015   EASA discusses Part-ORO implementation for NCC operations

In its Information Notice IN–2015/039, the UK CAA advises on proceedings at the recent EASA Committee meeting (22-23 April 2015), where the implementation of Part-ORO for NCC operations of certain aircraft types was discussed.

Given the possibility that the definition of complex motor-powered aircraft (CMPA) might change in the Basic Regulation, there is a risk that a small number of aircraft types will implement NCC only to find later that they are out of scope. The Commission agreed that NCC would not be delayed, but they agreed to treat this particular category of aircraft in a different way and consider including an exemption, so they have alleviation with no time limit.

We strongly recommend that all organisations, whether involved in the operation, continuing airworthiness management, or maintenance of complex motor powered aircraft remain vigilant to this potential change to the definition of CMPA and how this might impact upon all requirements, including those in the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation ((EU) 1321/2014).


11/05/2015   Commission discusses requirements for flight recorders, underwater locating devices and aircraft tracking systems

In its Information Notice IN–2015/039, the UK CAA advises on proceedings at the recent EASA Committee meeting (22-23 April 2015) where the review of ICAO State Letters on flight recorders, underwater locating devices and aircraft tracking systems was commented upon.

The Commission presented their views on the two ICAO State Letters:

  • ICAO State Letter of 25 February 2015 on normal tracking; and
  • Upcoming ICAO State Letter covering autonomous location of an aeroplane in distress

It urged Member States to coordinate their approach in responding to the State Letters, with a view to establishing pragmatic and performance-based standards.


04/05/2015   EASA introduces soft requirements for upset recovery training

Mitigating Loss of Control In-flight (LOCI) is one of EASA’s highest priorities and in light of recent accidents, the Executive Director of the Agency requested the focal point for the ongoing rulemaking task RMT.0581 and RMT.0582 to accelerate the processing of the task and to proceed with the publication of the final rulemaking material that was sufficiently mature at the earliest convenience.

As a result EASA has determined the need to amend the Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material to introduce provisions for operator flight crew training. The objective of upset prevention and recovery training is to help flight crew acquire the required competencies in order to prevent or recover from developing or developed upsets. Upset prevention training prepares flight crew to avoid incidents whereas upset recovery training prepares flight crew to prevent an accident once an upset condition has developed.

Its proposals are linked to the European Aviation Safety Plan, ICAO State Letters, and FAA Advisory Circulars and are addressed to CAT operations of complex motor-powered aeroplanes, with a proportionality break at a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) of 19.

In its Decision 2015/012/R, EASA has amended the:

  • Guidance Material to Part-Definitions of the Air Operations Regulation (originally published in Decision 2012/15/R); and
  • AMC and GM to Part-ORO of the Air Operations Regulation (last published as Decision 2014/017/R)

We recommend those operators of affected aeroplanes review the published material and revise their training programmes accordingly.


27/04/2015   EASA reviews rules on fuel procedures and planning

EASA has commenced its rulemaking task on fuel procedures and planning (RMT.0573) by issuing its Terms of Reference and announcing the rulemaking group’s composition.

In 2008, ICAO ‘recognised the need for updating and amending the fuel and alternate aerodrome selection provisions of Annex 6’. A revision was made and subsequent amendments were introduced to Annex 6 in 2012 and 2014. Pursuant to those amendments, EASA published a Safety Information Bulletin (SIB 2013-12) on 23 July 2013.

In addition, a safety recommendation (FRAN-2012-0261) was addressed to EASA regarding a fuel emergency related incident.

Furthermore, on 23 May 2014 EASA issued another Safety Information Bulletin (SIB 2014-16) on ‘Aeroplane Refuelling with One Engine Running’ that requires developing further Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) to address this issue.

The specific objectives of this rulemaking task are to:

  • to maintain the high aviation safety level by:
    • addressing safety recommendation FRAN-2012-026;
    • transposing to the applicable rules of the Air Operations Regulation the content of the SIB2013-12; and
    • transposing to the applicable rules of the Air Operations Regulation the content of the SIB2014-16;
  • to remain in compliance with ICAO SARPS by ensuring that the European regulatory material is in compliance with the latest amendments to Annex 6 Part I, Part II and Part III regarding fuel planning and in-flight management; and
  • to issue an efficient regulation by:
    • clarifying of the current applicable rules regarding fuel planning, fuel refuelling procedures and in-flight fuel management;
    • ensuring consistency of fuel related rules across applicable Parts of the Air Operations Regulation for motor-powered aircraft, where appropriate; and
  • ensuring the correct balance between Implementing Rule (IR) and Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC)/Guidance Material (GM) on the subject issue; and
  • ensuring when possible an adequate environmental protection.

The rulemaking group has the following deliverables:

  • Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) (2016/Q2);
  • CRD to NPA (2017/Q3);
  • Opinion with draft Implementing Rule (2017/Q3); and
  • ED Decision (2018/Q3).

and is composed of representatives from:

  • European Cockpit Association (ECA);
  • LBA;
  • EASA;
  • Association of European Airlines (AEA);
  • DGAC-F;
  • European Low Fares Airlines Association (ELFAA);
  • IATA;
  • Europe Air Sports; and
  • DGAC-S

We recommend all operators engage fully with this rulemaking task either directly or through their applicable trade association.


23/04/2015   EASA reviews European operational rules for balloons

According to EASA, a major goal of its General Aviation (GA) road map is to work towards simpler, ‘lighter’ (no pun intended) and better rules for General Aviation. The air operations regulatory framework for balloons was chosen as one project in the context of the GA road map. The specific objective of this new rulemaking task (RMT.0674) is to establish a simpler and better air operations regulatory framework for balloons.

EASA will consider the following activities during the development of the draft rules and the impact assessment:

  • review the present balloons rule structure as laid down in the Air Operations Regulation;
  • improve the clarity of the rule structure;
  • investigate those parts of the rules which can be simplified;
  • take into account the input received from the balloons community on targeted improvements;
  • review the ‘line’ between Implementing Rules (IRs) on the one hand, and Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) on the other hand;
  • consider switching from prescriptive to performance-based rulemaking, as appropriate; and
  • modify the rules taking into account the above.

EASA has elected to derogate from its Rulemaking Procedure, so no Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) and, consequently, no Comment-Response Document (CRD) will be issued. Instead, the planned deliverables of this rulemaking task are the following:

  • An Opinion containing a proposal for:
    • a new regulation on balloons containing a cover regulation and an annex with air operations Implementing Rules;
    • an amendment to the Air Operations Regulation with the appropriate modifications and deletions as regards the Implementing Rules for balloons (Part-ORO, Part-CAT, Part-NCO, and Part-SPO);
  • Decisions containing:
    • the associated AMC/GM to the new regulation;
    • the appropriate modifications and deletions as regards the AMC and GM for balloons related to the Air Operations Regulation (Part-ORO, Part-CAT, Part-NCO, and Part-SPO).

Having dispensed with the need for a formal rulemaking group, EASA will work on a less formal basis, with an expert group, which shall comprise representatives from:

  • operators;
  • competent authorities; and
  • manufacturers.

The expertise and experience of the group’s experts shall cover:

  • the operation of balloons;
  • the competent authority oversight of balloon operators; and
  • in-depth knowledge of the air operations regulatory framework for balloons.

EASA plans a public workshop with stakeholders and National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) where the draft Implementing Rules (Opinion) and the draft AMC/GM (Decisions) will be discussed. Since no NPA will be issued, this workshop will serve as an alternative method to consult widely with interested parties on the envisaged air operations regulatory framework for balloons.


16/04/2015   EASA reconsiders runway excursion rulemaking

EASA has published its Comment-Response Document (CRD 2013-09) containing the comments received on its Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2013-09 (published on 10 May 2013), that is a summary of the comments and of the responses provided thereto by EASA, as well as all individual comments and responses.

Due to the nature of the comments received on NPA 2013-09, EASA has decided to publish a new NPA on the reduction of runway excursions. The proposal of the new NPA will put more emphasis on safety objectives against the risk of runway excursions, while providing more flexibility in terms of design solutions. The means to achieve these objectives will be provided in a technical standard developed jointly by industry and national aviation authorities with the support of an international standardisation body.

The Terms of Reference for the RMT.0047 (25.027), RMT.0569 and RMT.0570 rulemaking task ‘Reduction of Runway Excursions’, Issue 1, will be revised accordingly and the associated timeline and process map will be updated.

We recommend all stakeholders, especially those who commented upon the original NPA, to remain vigilant to the revised Terms of Reference, timeline, and process map so that they can re-engage with this rulemaking task in due course.


31/03/2015   UK CAA issues general approvals for United Kingdom air carrier leases

Through its Official Record Series 4 (1096), the UK CAA, being the competent authority of the United Kingdom for the purposes of the Air Operations Regulation has issued a series of General Approvals in accordance with ARO.OPS.110. These approvals address:

  • dry leases of a United Kingdom registered aircraft under which the aircraft is to be operated by an air carrier holding an operating licence granted by the CAA;
  • wet leases of a United Kingdom registered aircraft by an air carrier holding an operating licence granted by the CAA from another air carrier holding an operating licence granted by the CAA; and
  • wet leases of an aircraft registered in the Community other than in the United Kingdom by an air carrier holding an operating licence granted by the CAA from a Community air carrier.

The approvals have various administrative conditions attached, including that there is a valid written lease agreement in place.

For further details, affected UK operators should refer to the source document.


31/03/2015   EASA recommends revision of operational approval criteria for Performance-Based Navigation (PBN)

EASA has issued its Opinion 03/2015 addressing an economic issue related to the administrative burden caused by Specific Approval (SPA) procedures for Performance-Based Navigation (PBN), which, according to the current text of the Air Operations Regulation, will be progressively applicable not only to Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operators, but also to Non-Commercial operators, as well as to operators conducting Specialised Operations (SPO). Area Navigation (RNAV) was developed in the 1960s in the USA to give aviators more flexibility in deciding their horizontal path (i.e. no longer obliged to overfly ground beacons). In time, new RNAV or Required Navigation Performance (RNP) applications were added and EASA is aware that requesting and obtaining a SPA for each PBN application constitutes an additional administrative task, especially for non-commercial operators, but also for competent authorities.

In its Opinion, EASA proposes to remove the need for SPA for the vast majority of existing PBN applications. Pilot training for Instrument Rating (IR) needs to be revised in parallel, so that the administrative simplification shall have no adverse effect on safety. EASA has taken into account the Fourth Edition (2013) of the ICAO Manual on performance-based navigation (Doc 9613) and the outcome of ICAO Flight Operations Panel (FLTOPSP)/1 (October 2014), to pursue the following specific objectives:

  • propose rules on pilot training, which are an essential prerequisite to remove SPA for some PBN operations;
  • eliminate the specific operational approval for most PBN operations for CAT, SPO, NCC and NCO operators;
  • take into account the latest developments (e.g. RNP 2, Advanced-RNP and RNP 0.3 in the Fourth Edition of ICAO Doc 9613 ); and
  • take the opportunity to introduce urgent changes considered necessary for matters other than PBN (e.g. dangerous goods, upper torso restraints and privileges of holders of a flight test rating).

The Opinion proposes amendments to the Aircrew Regulation (Part-FCL, Part-ARA and Part-ORA) and the Air Operations Regulation (various Parts).

EASA expects the proposed changes to maintain safety while reducing the regulatory burden, particularly for GA operators, who will see a significant reduction in administrative tasks, and with regard to oversight by competent authorities.

While developing the new regulatory approach in Europe, EASA has also initiated corresponding changes at the ICAO level to avoid any non-compliance of European operators with ICAO SARPs. The corresponding ICAO amendments should have been published through a State Letter in early April.

We support any simplification of the regulatory requirements and believe that generally less is more, in that full compliance is more likely when requirements are easily understood and readily implemented. We would be interested to hear from operators on how they feel this simplification will impact upon them and encourage the EASA Committee to maintain the momentum of this rulemaking task through to adoption.


30/03/2015   EASA proposes new rules for non-commercial flights by AOC holders

In its Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2015-05), EASA addresses safety issues related to the inadequate regulatory operational framework for non-commercial operations performed by Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders with aircraft listed in the Operations Specifications (OpSpecs).

The NPA aims to facilitate the risk analysis of non-commercial operations performed by AOC holders under the provisions of ORO.AOC.125; it proposes a minimum list of elements to be considered in the risk assessment process when the AOC holders follow different operational procedures from the ones normally used for their CAT operations. AOC holders will therefore have flexibility in establishing operational procedures commensurate with the level of risk of a certain type of non-commercial operation.

The NPA also puts forward a list of non-commercial flights in order to standardise the various names used by industry to identify, sometimes, the same (or similar) types of flights.

EASA expects the proposed changes to increase the level of safety as regards non-commercial operations performed by AOC holders and to ensure a more harmonised implementation of the applicable rules by establishing the minimum requirements and developing guidance tools for their implementation, in line with a performance-based approach.

We recommend that all AOC holders review this NPA carefully in concert with other recent related NPAs and consider their individual and collective impact upon current operations, policies and procedures. Interested stakeholders should comment upon the NPA , using the CRT, by 30 June 2015.


26/03/2015   Commission progresses adoption of CAEP/9 into Basic Regulation

At the last meeting of the EASA Committee (20-21 January 2015), EASA explained the context of the new noise standards. ICAO has adopted a new noise standard in 2013 in the CAEP/9 context that needs to be transposed in EU law in accordance with Article 6 of the Basic Regulation. To that extent the Commission agreed to take the necessary action to prepare an implementing Regulation to enable the EASA Committee to vote during its next meeting in April.


26/03/2015   EASA reviews implementation issues for certain NCC operators

Further to a request from a number of Member States on how to deal with certain borderline cases in respect of OPS rules, and the perceived regulatory burden on those cases, EASA had been tasked with the preparation of a discussion paper. EASA presented its paper at the last meeting of the EASA Committee (20-21 January 2015), which was well received overall by Member States as they could provide practical solutions in the short run.


23/02/2015   EASA publishes revised requirements for Special Categories of Passengers (SCPs)

EASA has published its Comment-Response Document (CRD 2014-01) containing the comments received to NPA 2014-01 on the safe carriage of Special Categories of Passengers (SCPs) and its responses.

SCPs are Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRMs), infants and unaccompanied children, deportees, inadmissible passengers, or prisoners in custody. Studies have shown that 90 % of accidents are categorised as ‘survivable’. Therefore, procedures on the safe carriage of SCPs are expected to positively influence the survivability in case of an emergency. This proposal addresses the recommendations made to EASA in a wide-ranging study by TÜV Rheinland on the carriage of SCPs, which was based on latest scientific research. Carriage of inadmissible passengers or prisoners in custody has been excluded from the scope of the NPA and subsequently this CRD.

The proposal establishes the following effective risk mitigating measures whenever SCPs are carried by air:

  • AMC regarding the need for a safety assistant, subject to clearly described conditions that are easy to apply and understand in practice;
  • Definition of what constitutes a safety assistant;
  • Guidelines on establishing the maximum number of SCPs to be carried;
  • GM to assist operators when developing safety information procedures for some SCPs, their safety assistants or persons sitting next to SCPs;
  • GM to assist operators when developing procedures on safe seating allocations of some SCPs and their safety assistants; and
  • Acceptable means of compliance regarding cabin crew training.

The proposed changes are intended to improve the level of safety for SCPs, all other passengers and operating crew members, while fully taking into account passenger rights and anti-discrimination regulations such as Regulation (EC) 1107/2006.

The content of this CRD containing Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) has been agreed by the review group after a thorough review of the comments received to the NPA and separate consultations with the European Disability Forum and the European Commission.

Operators and other organisations impacted by these proposals should review the revised material and place further reactions to this CRD, if/where they consider that the comments placed to the NPA have been either misunderstood or not properly addressed by EASA.

Such reactions must be submitted using the CRT by 23 April 2015.

After a further review of those reactions, EASA will publish its final Decision. Therefore, the AMC/GM published in the CRD may be subject to further changes.


30/01/2015   Commission corrects Air Operations Regulation wording

The Commission has observed that Regulation (EU) 71/2014 inserted an Article 9a into the Air Operations Regulation (EU) 965/2012 and then Regulation (EU) 83/2014 subsequently inserted a second Article 9a, which should actually have been numbered Article 9b. In the interests of clarity and legal certainty, that Article 9a as (inserted by Regulation (EU) 83/2014) is now replaced and correctly numbered.

For reasons of legal certainty, and to ensure coherence with the terms used in the Basic Regulation the Commission has decided that it is necessary, in certain languages, to correct certain terms used in the Air Operations Regulation.

The above changes are made through Articles 1 and 2 and Annexes I and II to Regulation (EU) 2015/140.

Owners, pilots , and operators are all recommnedde to review the corrections and ensure they do not impact upon their own means of compliance, etc.


30/01/2015   Commission adopts Sterile Flight Crew Compartment requirements

In order to address the risks linked to potential errors resulting from the disturbance or distraction of flight crew during certain phases of flight, the Commission (under advice from EASA through Opinion 05/2013) has decided that operators should be required to ensure that crew members are not required to perform any activities during critical phases of flight other than those required for the safe operation of the aircraft.

The Commission therefore adopted Regulation (EU) 2015/140 which came into force on 20 February 2015, and amends Definitions, Part-ORO, Part-CAT, Part-NCC, and Part-SPO. Operators are required to establish procedures and instructions for a sterile flight crew compartment in addition to procedures for taxiing of aircraft, in order to ensure safe operation and to enhance runway safety.

In addition, the Commission observes that whilst the Air Operations Regulation imposes a limit on the number of persons who may be carried on board during specialised operations, that limit is not justified by safety reasons. This Regulation therefore adapts Article 5(7) to mor eappropriate language.

In support of these new and revised requirements, EASA has published new and revised AMC and GM through the following Decisions:

Definitions ED 2015/002/R

Part-ORO ED 2015/005/R

Part-CAT ED 2015/007/R

Part-NCC ED 2015/003/R

Part-NCO ED 2015/004/R

Part-SPO ED 2015/006/R

EASA has also elected to provide “unofficial” consolidated versions of the AMC and GM to the Air Operations Requirements, so users may “unofficially” access those more useable documents.

CAT operators should also be aware of the revised crew security training programme requirements introduced by this new AMC and GM, in addition to the sterile flight crew compartment requirements.

Owners and operators involved in non-commercial operations with other than Complex Motor Powered Aircraft (NCO operations) should note that whilst the Regulation has not been amended in respect of those operations, EASA has issued new and revised AMC and GM which need to be addressed.

Owners, pilots, and operators are recommended to review both the Regulatory and AMC/GM changes to ensure procedures and practices are revised accordingly and advised to all applicable personnel.


28/01/2015   UK CAA revises its Offshore Helicopter Operations Safety Directive

The UK CAA has superseded its Offshore Helicopter Operations Safety Directive SD-2014/002, through the issue of Safety Directive SD–2015/001.

This Safety Directive (SD) promulgates the Operational Directive (see Annex 1) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on 14 October 2014 and is applicable to operators conducting offshore Public Transport (PT) or Commercial Air Transport (CAT) helicopter operations in support of offshore oil, gas and mineral exploration, production, storage and transport.

Following concerns raised by recent helicopter accidents in the seas around the UK, the CAA conducted a Safety Review of Offshore Public Transport Helicopter Operations in association with the Norwegian CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The report of the review was published in CAP 1145 and a progress report on actions and recommendations arising is at CAP 1243.

The original Safety Directive, SD-2014/002, incorporated several changes and additional requirements including Actions A9 and A10 of CAP 1145, and the schedule for making the SD applicable to operations which are for the purposes of sea-pilot transfer or the support for the offshore renewable energy industry.

This new SD supersedes SD-2014/002, in order to include several minor editorial changes and specifically to update the guidance quoted in Annex 3. The Operational Directive itself has not been changed from the version published in SD-2014/002.

UK offshore helicopter operators and their in-house CAMOs are recommended to review the revised material in the interest of public safety and increased compliance.


17/12/2014   Enhanced requirements for flight recorders, underwater locating devices and flight following systems

At the last EASA Committee meeting (8-9 October 2014) there was a review and discussion based on EASA Opinion 01/2014 on Flight Data Recording and the on-going ICAO/IATA work regarding global tracking.

Official records explain that the Commission presented its draft to amend Regulation (EU) 965/2012 as regards flight recorders, underwater locating devices and aircraft tracking systems and drew the Committee’s attention to the on-going international activities at ICAO and IATA. The comments from the Member States were supportive of the proposal. They agreed to remain aligned with ICAO’s SARPs and best practices. Member States were asked to provide any further written comments before the end of October and it was agreed that the draft will be presented for vote at the January 2015 meeting of the Committee.

We recommend design organisations, operators, and continuing airworthiness management organisations remain vigilant to the proposed new requirements and relevant timescales.


17/12/2014   Applicability of Article 83bis of the Chicago Convention discussed by the Commission and EASA

The UK CAA reports that the Commission had conducted a review of the legal aspects of Article 83bis in respect of intra-EU aircraft leases. It concluded that the use of Article 83bis agreements were not necessary or appropriate as the EU already operates in a multilateral way internally. The Commission has produced a discussion paper on this subject and plans to have a separate discussion with ICAO regarding the EU system, especially in relation to, what are referred to colloquially as, "Annex 6 Transfers", to Third Countries.

We recommend that operators that may rely upon such transfers, for example IT-related operators remain in close contact with EASA and the Commission in relation to the future handling of such arrangements.


15/12/2014   UK implements SERA requirements

Commission Regulation (EU) 923/2012 (Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA)) entered into EU law on 4 December 2012. In October 2012 and pursuant to Article 11(2) of SERA, the United Kingdom notified the Commission of its intention not to apply the provisions of this Regulation until 4 December 2014. The Regulation therefore came into effect in the UK on 4 December 2014, following the expiry of the UK’s national derogation.

SERA implements, in EU law, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 2 (Rules of the Air) and parts of Annex 11 (Air Traffic Management) of the Chicago Convention. SERA will largely supersede the UK Rules of the Air Regulations 2007 (ROTA 2007) on that date.

In its Safety Notice SN–2014/010, the UK CAA advises the aviation community of the UK’s implementation arrangements and how these have been devised to minimise the changes SERA could otherwise bring about.

We recommend all organisations and individuals flying aircraft in UK airspace to review the Safety Notice for further information.


12/11/2014   UK CAA advises RPAS operators of requirement for safety cases

In its Information Notice IN–2014/184, the UK CAA informs operators of civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the UK, wishing to operate in congested areas, of the requirement to submit a safety case for assessment by the UK CAA. The rapid increase in operators wishing to conduct operations in support of commercial work, particularly for Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) and Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft (SUSA), has led to the requirement for a higher threshold of safety to safeguard the public; operators who meet this higher threshold will benefit from less restrictive limitations and an annual based permission (as opposed to a case by case non-standard permission).

Assessment of submitted CAOSCs will consider all elements of the operations (including airworthiness). Whilst this Information Notice is mainly aimed at SUA and SUSA, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in other categories, under UK CAA competence, may be allowed to use the safety case approach when applying for permissions or exemptions; however, prior agreement from the CAA must be obtained in such cases.

The Information Notice, which goes on to define terminology in use, the requirements themselves and further information, should be read in conjunction with IN-2014/081 Small Unmanned Aircraft Operations within London and Other Towns and Cities, issued 24 April 2014.

Operators of affected aircraft are recommended to review the information and apply to the CAA as indicated.


04/11/2014   EASA proposes new rules for relief pilots

EASA has issued its NPA 2014-25 to address safety issues and regulatory gaps related to augmented crew operations, more specifically to the so-called cruise relief pilot (CRP) and cruise relief co-pilot (CRCP). EASA combined two rulemaking proposals into a single rulemaking task. One proposal relates to a safety recommendation by the French accident investigation board (BEA) related to CRP, and the other proposal is based on a request by the EASA committee to conduct a safety risk assessment of the restricted type rating related to CRCP.

The specific objectives of the task were to ensure:

  • that a CRCP and a CRP are adequately trained and qualified to safely operate an aeroplane during the cruise segment of a flight;
  • appropriate operating procedures are established for the transfer of authority from the captain to the CRP; and
  • that any developed or amended regulations related to a CRCP or CRP establish a level playing field.

The rulemaking group was composed of different stakeholders, namely long-haul operators, authorities and a pilot union. The Agency and the rulemaking group decided that proposals for changes, additions or even new regulations should be mitigating measures based on identified risks.

This NPA proposes:

  • means of compliance and guidance for the relief of flight crew members, including enhanced emphasis on the handover procedures and command delegation, task sharing, seating positions during different phases of flight and minimum altitudes for transferring duties to another crew member;
  • requirements for essential crew resource management (CRM) training topics and guidance material to enhance the CRP’s leadership and decision making skills, and a requirement to undergo training exercises related to issues identified by the operator’s safety risk management as part of their management system;
  • more restrictive requirements for recency, ATPL crediting provisions and the CRCP flying experience in relation to zero flight time training (ZFTT);
  • provisions for unrestricting a restricted type rating have been developed. Moreover, requirements have been developed for the applicant of a restricted type rating to be fully trained and checked during the initial type rating, including all takeoffs and landing exercises in the full-flight simulator (FFS), but excluding the conduct of practical take-off and landing exercises during flight training on the aeroplane, or in the case of ZFTT, in an FFS;
  • requirements during subsequent revalidation or renewal of a restricted type rating to include an assessment of landing abilities but to exclude the take-off exercises have been developed; and
  • a requirement was developed for the holder of a restricted type rating to be trained and checked on their landing skills during recurrent operator’s proficiency checks and recurrent training.

EASA expects the proposed changes to increase safety and fill in regulatory gaps.

We recommend that all affected operators and training organisations review the proposals made within this NPA and comment via the CRT by 04 February 2015.


27/10/2014   UK issues exemptions to certain torso restraint requirements

In its Information Notice IN-2014/177, the UK CAA advises that a number of aeroplane types have been identified as being unable to be brought into compliance with particular requirements relating to passenger and crew upper torso restraints and harnesses of CAT.IDE.A.205 - Seats, seat safety belts, restraint systems and child restraint devices, contained within the Air Operations Regulation, when it is implemented on 28 October 2014.

The purpose of the Information Notice is to inform operators of the aircraft types affected about the actions that EASA and the Competent Authorities, including the UK CAA, have taken by way of granting exemptions to permit the continued operation of these types for the purpose of Commercial Air Transport with effect from 28 October 2014.

UK CAT operators of aeroplanes below 5700 kg MCTOM and/or MOPSC of 9 seats that cannot comply with CAT.IDE.A.205 should review the IN and in particular the UK Exemption published in Official Record Series 4 (ORS 4) No. 150, to ensure they remain in compliance and provide an equivalent level of safety.


27/10/2014   UK CAA Alternative Means of Compliance CRM Training

In its Information Notice IN-2014/178, the UK CAA advises industry that it has developed an Alternative Means of Compliance (AltMOC) to EASA regulations associated with Crew Resource Management (CRM) training for flight, cabin and technical crew. The AltMOC closely reflects the EASA NPA 2014-17 CRM Training and is introduced to allow operators the opportunity to adopt the benefits and align with proposed future changes to CRM Training.

UK operators are entitled to use either the UK CAA AltMOC or the present EASA Alternative Means of Compliance/Guidance Material for CRM Training but cannot use selected parts of each.

The UK CAA AltMOC EASA 2014 - 00031 is available for download from its website.


24/10/2014   EASA issues new guidance on Minimum Cabin Crew for Twin Aisle Aeroplanes

In its Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) 2014-29, EASA explains that an aspect of the Air Operations Regulation has led to some difficulty in understanding the minimum number of cabin crew required, particularly in the case of twin aisle aeroplanes. The aim of the SIB is to clarify the situation.

In summary, EASA does not find it acceptable that, on a twin aisle aeroplane, a pair of emergency exits is supervised and operated by one cabin crew member only.

Running to eight pages the Bulletin is informative if not somewhat wordy and provides a number of examples to help illustarte the intent of the requirements and how they should be interpreted.

We recommend, in EASA’s own words:

Operators of twin aisle aeroplanes, in coordination with the competent authority, should review and update as necessary in accordance with this SIB the minimum required cabin crew number(s) currently specified in their Operations Manual.


20/10/2014   UK CAA issues exemption to helicopter operators

With the adoption of the Air Operations Regulation a previous UK alleviation, under JAR OPS 3, for flight by helicopters certificated in Category A to allow momentary flight through the height velocity (H V) envelope, as shown in the relevant Flight Manual, has been removed.

This prevents normalised operations conducted with exposure approval, such as landings and take-offs to offshore oil and gas installations, from continuing after 28 October 2014. The Basic Regulation at Annex IV, paragraph 4(a) requires that aircraft are operated in accordance with their airworthiness documentation and flight manual. Hence the UK CAA has issued an exemption (E3867) in the form of ORS4 No. 1042, dated 20 October 2014 which comes into effect on 28 October.

EASA has issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment (2014-19) to address this issue, but until this has been effected an exemption has been established to allow operations to continue and will be mirrored in other Member States.

Operators making use of this exemption should ensure it is referenced in relevant parts of their operation manuals.


14/10/2014   UK CAA issues Operational Directive to offshore helicopter operators

In Annex 1 to its Safety Directive SD-2014/002 , the UK CAA has issued an Operational Directive mandating action that is required to restore an acceptable level of safety, in accordance with Article 15 of the Air Navigation Order 2009.

Applicable to helicopter offshore operations, i.e. a helicopter operation that has a substantial proportion of any flight conducted over open sea areas to or from an offshore location for the purpose of:

  • the support of offshore oil, gas and mineral exploration, production, storage and transport;
  • sea-pilot transfer; or
  • the support of offshore wind turbines and other renewable energy sources.

This Safety Directive supersedes SD-2014/001 and requires the operator to meet several criteria in relation to such operations, including:

  • significant wave height;
  • Emergency Floatation Devices;
  • Occupant breathing apparatus; and
  • Seating/authorised exits.

The Directive includes exceptions, transitional arrangements and definitions, and came into effect on the 14 October 2014.

The UK CAA has consulted widely with affected operators, all of whom should be aware of and comply with this latest Directive.


24/09/2014   EASA revises its guidance on Portable Electronic Device (PED) usage

EASA has published its Comment Response Document (CRD) containing the comments received on NPA 2014-14 (published on 26 June 2014) and its responses. In general, the commentators agreed to the proposal provided in the NPA. However, the comments received led to EASA making several changes of the proposed Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) to amend Part-CAT, -NCC, -NCO and -SPO. Based on the comments and responses EASA has published the following Decisions:

  • 2014/029/R – Part-CAT AMC/GM Issue 2 Amendment 1;
  • 2014/030/R – Part-NCC AMC/GM Amendment 1;
  • 2014/031/R – Part-NCO AMC/GM Issue 2 Amendment 1; and
  • 2014/032/R – Part-SPO AMC/GM Amendment 1.

The specific objective is to enable the expanded use of PEDs during various phases of flight by reviewing and updating the operational provisions related to the PED policy. The above Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) are amended by adhering to the following approach:

  • The operator has to ensure that PEDs have no negative impact on the safe operation of the aircraft, i.e. the operator has to demonstrate that PEDs do not interfere with on-board electronic systems and equipment.
  • Consequently, the use of PEDs may be granted under the responsibility of the operator, i.e. the operator decides which PED may be used during which phases of the flight.

EASA expects these proposed changes to establish a more reasonable and more passenger friendly framework for the use of PEDs. It believes these changes will give operators reliable tools to mitigate PED-related risks and hazards, and, therefore, are expected to maintain a high uniform level of safety during all phases of flight.

As a consequence of issuing these decisions, EASA has now withdrawn SIB 2013-21, originally issued 09/12/2013.

Owners and operators are strongly recommended to review these Decisions (as applicable to their types of operation) and revise their operating policies and procedures as required.


15/09/2014   EASA terminates Helicopter Vibration Health Monitoring RMT

Further to its Rule Making Tasks (RMT) 350 and 351, the specific objective of which was to validate the need for a regulatory requirement for a vibration health monitoring (VHM) system to be installed on complex helicopters used in commercial air transport (CAT) operations, other than in offshore operations (which are subject to previous and separate RMTs (409/410)), EASA reports it has analysed accidents that occurred with complex helicopters (that were not involved in offshore operations).

The analysis, covering a 12 year period, indicated a dominance of operational accident causes. EASA concludes that the associated very low number of technical accidents does not substantiate a regulatory requirement for installation of vibration health monitoring system in these helicopters, as a safety improvement is not foreseen or expected. Neither does EASA see any need to adopt Acceptable Means of Compliance or Guidance Material in this respect.

In its Decision 2014/028/R, EASA observes that any operator may decide, based on its risk assessment, type of operation and helicopter used, to fit a VHM system voluntarily. It goes on to explain that it has widely consulted interested parties on the matters which are the subject of this Decision and has provided thereafter a written response to the comments received.

In the light of this decision, we strongly recommend that helicopter operators assess the risks involved in their operations (other than offshore operations) and ascertain what safety benefits the installation and use of VHM could bring.


14/08/2014   EASA publishes comments on helicopter offshore operations

In its CRD, EASA reports that NPA 2013-10 ‘Helicopter offshore operations’ was published on 6 June 2013 and received 368 comments from 26 commentators. A complete list of comments and responses thereto, as well as a summary thereof are included in the CRD.

Revised draft Regulations, AMC and GM based on the comments are also included.

EASA publishes comments on helicopter offshore operationsEASA delayed publication of the CRD to allow the UK CAA’s offshore review to finish, which resulted in the publication of CAP 1145 ‘Civil Aviation Authority – Safety review of offshore public transport helicopter operations in support of the exploitation of oil and gas’. It was considered that recommendations from this offshore review might influence the EASA proposal for offshore operations. The CRD, therefore, contains a section explaining if and how these recommendations are included in this proposal.

EASA invites stakeholders to verify if their comments were appropriately addressed, and to comment as requested in the CRD.

The Agency will review eventual reactions and take them into account when drafting its final Opinion.


23/07/2014   UK CAA reports on EASA rulemaking progress

In its Information Notice, IN–2014/124, the UK CAA reports from the EASA Committee Meeting (8-9 July 2014) on a number of rulemaking subjects, including:

ICAO/IATA work regarding global tracking

The draft Commission Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012 as regards requirements for flight recorders, underwater locating devices and flight following systems (based on EASA Opinion 01/2014 on Flight Data Recording) was reviewed and discussed.

There was a wide-ranging discussion about the political aspects of reacting quickly to recent events, whilst ensuring that Europe is not out of step with ICAO as they are also doing a lot of work on this subject. There was reinforcement of the need to keep the European requirements for confidentiality and appropriate use of CVR recordings. It is imperative that we maintain the security and privacy of CVR recordings. Further discussions are likely to take place at the next Committee meeting in October, by which time there should be more information about the work being carried out by ICAO.

In-flight security – Cockpit door surveillance

Based upon information by EASA on AMC , there was a discussion about using CCTV or other methods for cockpit door surveillance. EASA plans to review the current guidance material.


17/07/2014   EASA proposes rules for CAT SET-IMC

In its Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2014-18, EASA addresses several issues in the environmental, economic, and regulatory coordination domains related to commercial air transport (CAT) operations using single-engined turbine (SET) aeroplane at night/in IMC (CAT SET-IMC).

This NPA is linked to amendment 29 to ICAO Annex 6, applicable since 2005, which provided SARPs for CAT SET-IMC operations and which has not yet been transposed into the EU regulatory framework.

EASA’s specific objective is to allow CAT SET-IMC operations in Europe through cost-efficient rules which mitigate the risks linked to an engine failure, to a level comparable with similar operations with twin-engined aeroplanes. The NPA proposes new provisions specifically drafted for CAT SET-IMC, which amend Part-ARO, Part-CAT, and Part-SPA.

EASA expects the proposed changes are to maintain safety, improve harmonisation, and ensure ICAO compliance.

The main issues that are covered by the NPA are the following:

  • A level playing field issue - since some Member States currently allow some of their operators to operate CAT SET-IMC flights under an exemption to EU-OPS. These exemptions are based on different sets of conditions (ICAO Annex 6 or JAA NPA OPS 29 Rev 2) which prevents a level playing field amongst operators allowed to operate CAT SET-IMC. It should be noted as well that EU operators are, in addition, facing competition from TCO operators allowed by their authorities to operate CAT SET-IMC.
  • An ICAO alignment issue since ICAO SARPs allowing CAT SET-IMC have been applicable since 2005.
  • An harmonisation issue since some other major foreign aviation authorities (FAA, TCCA, CASA) have allowed CAT SET-IMC operations for a significant time.
  • An environmental issue since the current regulatory status does not promote the use of modern aeroplanes with a better environment footprint, especially regarding emissions of lead and CO.
  • An economic issue since the current situation prevents the opening of new low density routes which could be operated safely and efficiently only by some single-engined turbine aeroplanes, due to performance or operating cost considerations.
  • A social issue since the current situation prevents the opening of new routes to remote areas and, therefore, reduces the possibility of movement of the population living in remote areas

EASA considered a number of options and elected to draft rules for CAT SET-IMC operations based on JAA NPA OPS 29 Revision 2 taking into consideration some recommendations from QINETIQ (in its report: “QINETIQ/EMEA/IX/CR0800029/2 ‘Risk assessment for European Public Transport Operations using Single Engine Turbine Aircraft at Night and in IMC’”) and some counter proposals from the rulemaking group.

The proposed amendment are, therefore, mostly a transposition of the JAA NPA OPS 29 Revision 2 provisions together with some additional mitigations to address some issues highlighted by the QinetiQ’s study.

Air Operators currently performing CAT SET-IMC operations (under Member State exemptions) and those intending to perform such operations in the future are strongly recommended to review the proposals in detail and comment using the CRT by 17 October 2014.


14/07/2014   UK CAA cautions UK industry on use of its own Air Operations-related publications

In its Information Notice IN-2014/113, the UK CAA advises Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders and other aircraft operators of the future status of information contained within certain Civil Aviation Publications (CAPs) in relation to the introduction of the European Air Operations Regulation. It explains that some CAPs include guidance material that supports compliance with existing National and European Regulations, and reminds industry that the responsibility for complying with the current applicable legal requirements lies with the operator.

It goes on to explain that those legal requirements are changing as new EU Regulations come into force over the next few years, and it will not be possible for the UK CAA to keep related CAPs continuously updated throughout this period. It concludes that it is inevitable that parts of certain CAPs may become superseded. The CAPs affected are:

CAP 483 Training in the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air

CAP 676 Guidelines on the Design, Presentation and Use of Emergency and Abnormal Checklists

CAP 708 Guidance on the Design, Presentation and Use of Electronic Checklists

CAP 720 Flight Crew Training: Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) and Line-Oriented Flight Training (LOFT)

CAP 757 Occupational Health and Safety on-board Aircraft Guidance on Good Practice

CAP 783 Cabin Crew - Initial Safety Training: Instructions and Procedures for the Approval of Training Organisations

CAP 789 Requirements and Guidance Material for Operators

For each of those CAPs, a disclaimer statement will be added on the CAA website that will be visible when the publications are accessed. AOC holders and other aircraft operators need to take this into consideration and use the documents with discretion.

We recommend that any user of such material considers very carefully how it relates to the underlying rule material and bears in mind that, whilst such information published by competent authorities is often extremely useful in understanding local administrative requirements, there is no obligation upon the competent authority to act as a consultancy to industry on regulatory matters.


14/07/2014   UK CAA advises UK Air Operators on code-share requirements

In its Information Notice IN–2014/112, the UK CAA explains that Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012, the Air Operations Regulation, includes provisions for the regulation of code-share agreements between EU Member State operators and Third-Country Operators (TCOs). ‘Code-share’ means an arrangement under which an operator places its designator code on a flight operated by another operator, and sells and issues tickets for that flight.

The purpose of the Information Notice is to guide and inform UK air operators about how compliance with ORO.AOC.115 and ARO.OPS.105 (and related Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMCs) and Guidance Material (GM)) is to be achieved. The guidance applies to any UK air operator either:

  • having entered into a code-share agreement prior to 28 October 2014; or
  • renewing, or entering into new, code-share agreements following that date, with TCOs.

The ‘applicable International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards’ as mentioned in ORO.AOC.115 and ARO.OPS.105 means: The Convention itself, plus Annexes 1, 6, 8 and 19; and Annex 18 if relevant. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is to be regarded as the default standard, and the scope of any in-house or other third party audits should check compliance with at least the same ICAO Standards.

The UK CAA goes on to explain what information needs to be submitted by affected Air Operators and in what format it should be submitted for acceptance.

We recommend that UK Air Operators involved in or considering code-share agreements with Third Country Operators review not only this Information Notice, but also the underlying rule material in the Regulation and AMC/GM, to ensure compliance in time for the 28 October 2014 deadline.


26/06/2014   EASA proposes a new framework for CRM Training

In its Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2014-17) EASA addresses a safety issue related to crew resource management (CRM) training. The safety recommendations linked to this issue were addressed during the development of this proposal.

The objective of this proposal is to establish and maintain a high uniform level of safety in air operations by reviewing, amending and expanding the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and the Guidance Material (GM) on CRM training.

EASA proposes to incorporate new items in the present applicable framework on CRM training. Such items are provisions for CRM trainers and examiners, competency-based CRM training, surprise and startle effect, single flight crew CRM training, overview of operators by the competent authority, etc. In addition, this NPA proposes to restructure and rephrase the present AMC and GM to improve the clarity and readability of the text.

EASA considers the proposed changes:

  • establish a more practicable and more effective framework for CRM training;
  • give operators more reliable tools to mitigate further CRM-related risks; and
  • are expected to increase safety during all phases of flight.

Upon initial review we are supportive of the proposed changes, but recommend that all stakeholders, including pilots, operators, ATOs, etc. give careful consideration to the proposals and comment via theCRT by 26 September 2014.


24/06/2014   EASA proposes “more passenger-friendly” approach to Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs)

In its Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2014-14), EASA addresses a regulatory issue related to portable electronic devices (PEDs), whilst explaining that there is no safety recommendation linked to this rulemaking task. The specific objective of this proposal is to enable the expanded use of PEDs during various phases of flight by reviewing and updating the operational provisions related to the PED policy.

EASA proposes to amend the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) by adhering to the following approach:

  • The operator has to ensure that PEDs have no negative impact on the safe operation of the aircraft, i.e. the operator has to demonstrate that PEDs do not interfere with on-board electronic systems and equipment.
  • In accordance with the above, the use of PEDs may be granted under the responsibility of the operator, i.e. the operator decides which PED may be used during which phases of the flight.

EASA expects the changes to establish a more reasonable and more passenger friendly framework for the use of PEDs. These changes will give operators reliable tools to mitigate PED-related risks and hazards, and, therefore, are expected to maintain a high uniform level of safety during all phases of flight.

We recommend all CAT and NCC operators review the proposed changes to assess their appropriateness to their operations and customers. Comments need to be submitted via the CRT by 05 August 2014.


12/06/2014   UK CAA reminds industry about EASA Safety Information Bulletins (SIB)

In its Information Notice IN–2014/100, the UK CAA reminds operators (AOC holders) and General Aviation pilots of the EASA SIB mechanism and its objectives. It goes on to explain that all operators must review all applicable SIBs and that the UK CAA will audit procedures and results of the reviews as part of its oversight of UK AOC holders.

The SIB system was introduced, initially (as Safety Information Notices (SINs)), to address a significant legal shortcoming within the Basic Regulations and its implementing rules. This shortcoming means that legally, EASA can only address Airworthiness Directives (ADs) to DOA and/or POA holders to correct and prevent the unsafe condition. Hence, potential and actual unsafe conditions resulting from, for example, maintenance system errors cannot be addressed through an AD as they would be, say, in the USA, where the FAA is not so constrained.

We stress this throughout our continuing airworthiness training and consultancy projects, strongly advising operators, CAMOs, and Maintenance Organisations alike that they should consider all SIBs as “would-be” ADs and treat them accordingly. For that reason, we feel the UK CAA should be addressing this IN to CAMOs and Maintenance Organisations, in addition to operators and pilots.


21/05/2014   UK CAA mandates additional safety requirements for offshore helicopter operations

safety requirements for offshore helicopter operationsFollowing concerns raised by recent helicopter accidents in the seas around the UK, the UK CAA conducted a Safety Review of Offshore Public Transport Helicopter Operations in association with the Norwegian CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The report of the review was published in the UK CAA publication CAP 1145.

In order to implement the actions described within that report, the UK CAA published Safety Directive (SD) 2014/001 which promulgates the Operational Directive issued by the UK CAA on 20 May 2014 and is applicable to operators conducting offshore public transport (PT) or commercial air transport (CAT) helicopter operations in support of offshore oil, gas and mineral exploration, production, storage and transport.

The UK CAA has been working with Oil and Gas UK and the helicopter operators to facilitate the introduction and approval of appropriate Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS) for use by passengers. The aim will be to establish the integration of appropriate systems with other elements of survival equipment, such as life jackets and immersion suits, and to ensure that any necessary training is formulated and implemented.

It also plans to work with helicopter operators to authorise all doors, windows or other openings, in their specific helicopter passenger compartments, identified as suitable for the purpose of underwater escape and that are equipped so as to be operable in an emergency.

In addition, the UK CAA is working to clarify the ditching certification basis for all offshore helicopter types, in conjunction with EASA, the helicopter manufacturers and the operators.

As a result of the identified risk to life, the UK CAA has therefore mandated a number of restrictions to offshore helicopter operations that become effective in coming months.

All UK operators involved in affected operations must review and comply with the Details of Annex 1 and 2 of the Directive.


19/05/2014   UK CAA advises industry on implementation of further Air Operations Regulations in UK

The UK CAA has issued its Information Notice (IN-2014/087) that should be read in conjunction with itsIN-2013/087 and IN-2013/143, which describe the rulemaking process which has led to the introduction of European implementing rules affecting various categories of aircraft operations. The purpose of IN-2014/087 is to provide a further update on the progress of rule development, whereby the remaining elements of the rulemaking process, those covering commercial air transport (CAT) with balloons, with sailplanes and ‘A to A’ operations, as well as Specialised Operations, are now complete.

‘Specialised Operation’ means any operation other than commercial air transport where the aircraft is used for specialised activities such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation and patrol, aerial advertisement. This encompasses much of what has been considered as Aerial Work both private and commercial.

An amending Regulation (EU) No. 379/2014 has been published and will apply from 1 July 2014. The Regulation also provides that Member States may derogate (opt out) from applying the new rules until 21 April 2017. The United Kingdom intends to use the full extent of the opt-out and the UK CAA will put in place measures for the introduction of those new requirements brought about by the amendment. A transition programme will be developed and further Information Notices will be published to assist the implementation of the new rules by 21 April 2017.

Meanwhile, operators and owner/pilots of aircraft affected by the amendment should familiarise themselves with the contents of the future implementing rules which may be found on the EASA website. It should be noted that Commission Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012 (Air Operations) has been amended by three previous amendments and all should be read in conjunction as there is not a consolidated version available as yet.

Those conducting CAT with balloons, with sailplanes and ‘A to A’ operations should read the regulations as well as their Annexes II, III and IV.

Those conducting Specialised Operations should read the regulations as well as their Annexes II, III, VII and VIII and, in addition, such operators without an AOC (and hence not “known” to the UK CAA) should consider registering their details now with the CAA (if they have not done so already) so that further information can be shared with them directly during transition to the implementing rules.


06/05/2014   EASA proposes amended requirements for flight recorders and ULDs

flight recordersFollowing the AF447 accident, more recently the loss of MH370, and further to NPA 2013-06 proposing amended requirements for flight recorders and underwater locating devices (ULDs), EASA has now issued the corresponding Comment Response Document (CRD) and its Opinion (01/2014)concurrently.

The Opinion addresses safety issues related to the reliability and preservation of flight recorders and to locating the aircraft after an accident over water.

It proposes to address these safety issues by:

  • mandating that obsolete recording technologies are not used anymore on aircraft operated for commercial air transport (CAT) after 1 January 2019;
  • mandating a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) recording duration of 20 hours for large aeroplanes (Maximum Certified Take Off Mass (MCTOM) of over 27000 kg) first issued with an individual CofA on or after 1 January 2020, and 2 hours for other aeroplanes required to carry a CVR;
  • mandating a 90-day transmitting time for the ULDs fitted on flight recorders after 1 January 2018 for aeroplanes operated in CAT, and after 1 January 2020 in other cases; and
  • mandating that large aeroplanes (MCTOM of over 27 000 kg) operated for CAT on long range overwater flights are fitted with a long range detection ULD after 1 January 2019.

The proposed changes are expected to increase safety by facilitating the recovery of information by the safety investigation authorities. They will address 13 safety recommendations from safety investigation authorities, improve ICAO compliance, and bring benefits for flight recorder serviceability and preservation, and for the retrieval of an aircraft after an accident over water.

Proposed amendments impact requirements in Part-CAT, Part-NCC, and Part-SPO.

The CRD also contains proposed AMC and GM that will be published, upon adoption of the Opinion’s content by the Commission.

CAT operators and operators of large aeroplanes (MCTOM >27000 kg) are recommended to review the proposals if they have not done so already and comment to the Commission before or during the comitology process.


28/04/2014   UK CAA publishes template risk models in support of SMS implementation

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a series of template risk models, highlighting a number of specific safety scenarios, which airline and airport operators, air navigation service providers, maintenance organisations, ground service providers and regulators can use as part of their own safety management systems (SMS). The models will allow organisations to assess their current risk controls and evaluate their exposure to each particular scenario.

The 24 risk models, which cover scenarios such as aircraft loading errors leading to loss of control, and runway incursions resulting in collision on the ground, are known as ‘bowtie’ models. Available on their website at www.caa.co.uk/bowtie, they can be used as templates for organisations to customise to suit their own operations. Completed models can then be fed into official safety management systems.

The UK CAA says it has worked extensively with the aviation industry to develop the risk models which consider human, technical and environmental factors within the scenarios. Feedback from operators using the models will be actively encouraged and shared across the industry, further enhancing knowledge and understanding of aviation safety risks.


24/04/2014   Commission adopts Regulation for Specialised Operations (Part-SPO)

The European Commission has adopted Regulation 379/2014 introducing Part-SPO, as the final Annex (VIII) to the Air Operations Regulation, as well as making corresponding changes to the cover regulation and existing Annexes as required.

Rules for specialised operations with aeroplanes, helicopters, balloons, and sailplanes have been adopted taking into account the particular aspects of such operations and the risk involved. For reasons of proportionality the Commission considers it would not be appropriate to subject all commercial operators to certification, in particular commercial specialised operators. Although of commercial nature, these operators would be subject to a declaration of capability instead of a certificate. Nevertheless, conditions for certain high risk commercial specialised operations, which endanger third parties on the ground, are specified in the interest of safety and therefore the Commission considers those operations should be submitted to authorisation.

The Air Operations Regulation already establishes implementing rules for commercial air transport operations with aeroplanes and helicopters. Rules for commercial air transport operations with balloons and sailplanes should also be provided in order to comply with the basic principles and applicability of the Basic Regulation. In addition, the specific requirements of certain commercial operations with aeroplanes and helicopters, starting and ending at the same aerodrome or operating site, need to be appropriately addressed according to their scale and scope and the risk involved.

The Air Operations Regulation now also includes rules for non-commercial operations according to the complexity of aircraft. The Commission considers it is also necessary to amend that Regulation further in order to reflect the current state of the art and to ensure proportionate measures for certain strictly defined activities with other-than-complex aircraft and the organisations involved.

EASA has in turn published revised AMC and GM as appropriate to support the new and revised regulatory requirements.

We will provide further information and comment in due course.

 


26/03/2014   EASA extends comment period on NPA-2014-01 "Carriage of Special Categories of Passengers (SCPs)"

EASA has extended the comment period for NPA 2014-01 from the original 08 April 2014 to 08 May 2014, giving operators and other interested parties more time to consider and comment upon the proposed rulemaking.

Originally published in January 2014, the NPA addresses safe carriage of Special Categories of Passengers (SCPs), which, according to the Air Operations Regulation, are Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRMs), infants and unaccompanied children, deportees, inadmissible passengers, or prisoners in custody. It addresses the recommendations made to the Agency in a wide-ranging study by TÜV Rheinland on carriage of SCPs, which was based on the latest scientific research and published in 2009. EASA’s proposals establish the following effective risk mitigating measures whenever SCPs are carried:

  • Procedures and guidance material for operators to brief and provide information to specific subcategories of SCPs, their safety assistants or persons sitting next to SCPs;
  • Cabin crew training elements on operator procedures, seating allocation, and passenger briefing elements whenever SCPs are carried;
  • Guidelines on establishing the maximum number of SCPs to be carried;
  • Guidelines on seating allocation of certain subcategories of SCPs;
  • Acceptable means of compliance regarding a safety assistant, subject to clearly described conditions that are easy to apply and understand in practice; and
  • Definition of what constitutes a safety assistant.

EASA intends the proposed changes to improve the level of safety for SCPs, all other passengers and operating crew members, while fully taking into account passenger rights and anti-discrimination regulations.

Operators and other parties who have yet to review and comment upon this rulemaking are recommended to make use of this extension.


25/03/2014   UK CAA advises operators on code-share agreements

In its Information Notice IN–2014/058, the UK CAA reminds UK operators of the code-share rules in the Air Operations Regulation and its AMC. It also goes on to explain how UK operators may get their code-share agreements with Third Country Operators (TCOs) approved.

UK operators with, or considering, such agreements with TCOs are recommended to review the requirements and the information contained in this IN.


10/03/2014   UK CAA advises on check flight pilot competence requirements

In its Information Notice IN-2014/052, the UK CAA advises UK requirements for the competence of pilots who conduct check flights.

According to the CAA, "The responsibility for deciding when a check flight should be performed as part of the continuing airworthiness management of all aircraft belongs with the aircraft owner, maintainer or continuing airworthiness management organisation." We would suggest that EASA should publish rule material clarifying where this responsibility definitively lies, e.g. with the CAMO (where such an organisation is managing the continuing airworthiness) or the owner (in other cases, e.g. non-CAT non-large (CMPA) aircraft). The decision to fly the aircraft cannot lie with the maintenance organisation, although where maintenance data requires a check flight, this must be advised to the CAMO for arrangements to be made with the owner/operator.

The CAA goes on to say that it has decided to stop providing briefings to pilots for conducting airworthiness check flights. Consequently, when it has been decided that a check flight is needed; arrangements should be in place to ensure that the check flight is carried out safely and in accordance with industry best practice. The Information Notice describes these alternative measures and the CAA Check Flight handbook (CAP 1038) will be amended in the near future to reflect the changes detailed.

As we have said before, the CAA Check Flight Handbook (CAP 1038) provides a wealth of information, the value of which can only be enhanced by these latest additions.

Operators and CAMOs should review the content of the Information Notice in addition to the Handbook and ensure procedures reflect these latest requirements.


20/02/2014   UK CAA advises on EU rulemaking progress

In its Information Notice IN-2014/041, the UK CAA reports on a wide range of rulemaking activity at the EASA Committee meeting in January:

  • EASA Opinion 9/2013 on the transfer of JAA cabin safety tasks, amending Part-ORO and Part-CAT of Regulation (EU) 965/2012

    There was strong opposition to this Opinion from several Member States with the main concern being that it is too prescriptive. EASA will consider this further.

 

  • EASA Opinion 5/2013 introducing sterile flight deck procedures amending Regulation (EU) 965/2012

    There was general support for the draft and no detailed discussion on this.

  • EASA Opinion 7/2013 on flight testing, amending Regulation (EU) 748/2012

    There was a general discussion and the Commission will prepare a draft regulation for a vote at the next Committee meeting in May.

  • EASA Opinion 8/2013 on additional airworthiness requirements for operations as well as amending Regulation (EU) No 965/2012

    The new proposed Part 26 initially covers the scope of JAR 26 and will be extended to other retroactive requirements in the future. The complexities come from Part 26 being applicable to flight operations and Type Certificate Holders, which means there is no easy fit into the existing regulatory framework. It is possible this will come back to the May Committee for a vote.

We will advise further progress in these areas in due course.


09/02/2014   EASA issues its airworthiness and operational considerations for Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs)

EASA has published its General AMC 20-25 detailing airworthiness and operational considerations for Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs).

The introduction of AMC 20-25, replacing and modernising JAA TGL 36 (published in 2004) is expected to increase safety, operational flexibility, and economic efficiency of Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operators by following the latest developments of the state of the art concerning EFB.

The radical changes in respect to TGL 36 are:

  • supported by the reactions to CRD 2012-02;
  • endorsed during the ‘focused consultation’, held in the form of a Workshop in April 2013; and
  • harmonised with parallel ICAO and FAA developments.
  • It is considered an acceptable means of complying with the requirements contained in CAT.GEN.MPA.180 concerning carriage of electronic documents and manuals, Commission Regulation (EC) 2042/2003 and Commission Regulation (EU) 748/2012.

    The AMC is intended to be used by:

    • Commercial Air Transport operators of aeroplanes or helicopters;
    • applicants or holders of an aircraft Type Certificate (TC) or Supplemental TC; and
    • applicants or holders of ETSO authorisations covering software applications hosted in EFBs.

    It does not contain additional or double set requirements to those already contained in the operational requirements for the basic information, documentation and data sources that would need to be carried on board. The operator remains responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the information used and that it is derived from verifiable sources.

    The evaluation of an EFB may have both airworthiness and operational aspects depending on the category/type of EFB/application used and, therefore, where necessary, to make a complete evaluation of an EFB system, there is a need for close coordination between the two processes.

    A separate Decision is planned to introduce ETSO-C165a into CS-ETSO.

    CAT operators and EFB/software application design organisations are recommended to review this document in relation to current and under consideration EFB-related projects.


    01/02/2014   EASA publishes AMC and GM for Part-NCO

    EASA has published its Decision 2013/022/R with Annex I containing the AMC and GM developed from NPA 2009-02 and reactions to the subsequent CRD.

    An Explanatory Note outlines the changes made to the CRD texts.

    Owners and operators of other-than-complex motor-powered aeroplanes and helicopters as well as balloons and sailplanes involved in non-commercial operations are recommended to review this material to help ensure compliance with the requirements of Part-NCO by August 2016.


    31/01/2014   Commission adopts new Regulation on Flight and Duty Time Limitations

    Further to our “Flight and Duty Time Limitations get the green light” article, dated 09/10/2013, the Commission has now adopted Regulation (EU) 83/2014 introduces requirements for Flight and Duty Time Limitations for certain types of operation.

    The Air Operations Regulation ((EU) 965/2012) lays down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations which replaced “EU-OPS”, excluding Subpart Q (concerning flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements).

    The Basic Regulation requires implementing rules related to flight and duty times and rest requirements initially including all substantive provisions of Subpart Q, taking into account the latest scientific and technical evidence. Regulation (EU) 83/2014 constitutes those implementing rules, therefore Subpart Q is deleted. However, it continues to apply until the transitional periods foreseen in this Regulation have expired and for the types of operations for which no implementing measures have been established.

    The provisions of this Regulation do not preclude and should not prejudice more protective national social legislation and collective labour agreements concerning working conditions and health and safety at work.

    Member States may derogate or deviate from this Regulation or the related certification specifications respectively, by applying provisions of a level of safety which is at least equivalent to the provisions of this Regulation, in order to better address particular national considerations or operational practices. Such derogations or deviations should be notified and treated in accordance with the Flexibility Provisions of the Basic Regulation, which ensure transparent and non-discriminatory decisions based on objective criteria.

    The Air Operations Regulations ((EU) 965/2012) has therefore been amended to include flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements, based upon EASA Opinion 04/2012, affecting the following types of operation:

    • CAT operations with aeroplanes shall be subject to Subpart FTL;
    • Air taxi, emergency medical service, and single pilot CAT operations by aeroplanes shall be subject to Subpart Q of EU-OPS and to related national exemptions based on safety risk assessments carried out by the competent authorities; and
    • CAT operations with helicopters shall comply with national requirements.

    The new requirements come into effect in February 2016, but Member States may extend this to February 2017.

    EASA has also published:

    • ED Decision 2014/003/R providing Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) to Part-ORO (Subpart FTL); and
    • ED Decision 2014/002/R providing Certification Specifications and Guidance Material for Commercial Air Transport by Aeroplane - Scheduled and Charter Operations (CS-FTL.1)

    In the UK, the CAA has decided to allow operators to transition to the new regulations ahead of the applicability date, but not before February 2015. UK operators will be required to demonstrate completion of all transition tasks before being permitted to use the prescriptive limitations within the regulations. The UK CAA will be producing a transition pack of documents which were sent to operators at the end of February. Two Industry Seminars are being held, the second of which is on 11 February 2014, to announce the detail of the changes.

    UK operators should refer to Information Notice IN-2014/36 for further details.

    Note: ‘air taxi operation’ means, for the purpose of flight time and duty time limitations, a non-scheduled on-demand Commercial Air Transport operation with an aeroplane with a Maximum Operational Passenger Seating Configuration (MOPSC) of 19 or less.


    28/01/2014   Commission adopts new Regulation on Operational Suitability Data (OSD)

    The European Commission has recently adopted Regulation (EU) 71/2014, introducing Operational Suitability Data (OSD) requirements in relation to MELs, Flight Crew, and Cabin Crew training.

    The Basic Regulation was extended to include the elements of operational suitability evaluation into the implementing rules for type-certification, and subsequent to that EASA found that it was necessary to amend Implementing Rules on Initial Airworthiness in order to allow it to approve operational suitability data as part of the type-certification process.

    The OSD should include mandatory elements for Master Minimum Equipment List (‘MMEL’), flight crew training and cabin crew training which will be the basis for operators developing Minimum Equipment List (‘MEL’) and crew training courses.

    The requirements related to the establishment of MEL, flight crew training and cabin crew training refer to the operational suitability data, however where the operational suitability data is not available the Regulation includes a general provision, as well as transitional measures. These aim to give the aeronautical industry and Member State administrations enough time to adapt to the new regulatory framework and to recognise under certain conditions the validity of certificates issued before the entry into force and application of this Regulation.

    The Air Operations Regulation ((EU) 965/2012) has therefore been amended by adoption of this Regulation, which is based upon EASA Opinion 07-2011.

    Operators have until December 2017 to align their own MELs and crew training with the amended requirements in Part-ORO and Part-SPA.

    EASA has also published its AMC and GM to Part-ORO – Amendment 3 in the Annex to its Decision2014/009/R


    14/01/2014   EASA to host workshop on the implementation of the Air Ops Regulation

    EASA is planning to provide an interactive and open forum for the exchange of information on the implementation of the Air Operations Regulation (EU) No 965/2012. The event, organised jointly by the OPS sections of EASA Rulemaking and Standardisation Directorates, should also offer the opportunity to provide feedback to the Agency.

    Primarily dedicated to representatives from the European aviation industry, in particular European operators of commercial air transport, and from national aviation authorities, the discussions will focus on commercial air transport operations with aeroplanes and helicopters.

    There will be practical implementation examples and presentations from industry and national authorities and will highlight the future challenges lying ahead of us in the following areas:

    Authority requirements

    • Oversight of operators
    • Evaluation of an operator’s management system

    Management System (Part ARO/Part ORO)

    • SMS integration for operators holding several certificates
    • Update on the Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SMICG) work & SMS evaluation tools

    Operations Manuals (OM) in the context of issuance of new AOCs and continuous oversight

    • Management of changes (requiring/ not requiring a prior approval)

    Leasing (Dry/wet-leasing) & code sharing

    CAT operators and Competent Authorities are recommended to attend these workshops and participate in shaping future rules and understanding current rules.

    Further details may be found here.


    19/12/2013   Single-engine turboprop aeroplane night/IMC operations

    In its Information Notice IN–2013/197, the UK CAA advises that the rulemaking group for RMT.0232 and .0233, ‘Commercial air transportation aeroplane operations at night or in IMC using single-engine turboprop aeroplanes’, has held their final planned meeting ahead of publishing proposals in the new year. It is expected that an NPA and associated RIA will be issued by EASA at the end of February or early March 2014.

    Operators involved or potentially involved in such operations are recommended to monitor the release of this NPA, review its content and comment appropriately using the CRT at that time. We will endeavour to advise when the NPA is published through this site.

     


    19/12/2013   EASA to regulate on ground handling?

    In its Information Notice IN–2013/197, the UK CAA also advises that the EASA Management Board (EMB) welcomed the 4th iteration of the European Aviation Safety Plan (EASp) endorsing various important safety actions.

    The UK noted that legal backing was needed to enable more effective measures on ground handling and the Commission assured the EMB that this would be considered as part of a review of possible future amendments for the EASA Basic Regulation.

    The degree of Regulation and other controls on ground handling activities is often raised as a discussion topic and opinions are generally mixed. On one hand there is a sound argument that says that all safety-related operational activities are adequately controlled through the existing Air Operations Regulation and any remaining safety risk must be managed through the Operator’s OR.GEN.200 Management System and complementary Compliance Monitoring function. However an alternative school of thought points to airports where ground handling is provided on a monopolistic basis and therefore operators have little room to manoeuvre and influence the behaviours of contracted organisations, where there assessment deems this as necessary to manage the resulting risk within acceptable levels.

    Watch this space for further developments


    30/11/2013   UK CAA launches FTL regulations transition

    In its Information Notice (IN–2013/193), the UK CAA notifies UK EU-OPS Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders engaged in two-pilot fixed-wing scheduled and charter operations of seminars being held by the UK CAA regarding the transition to the new EU Air Operations Flight Time Limitations (FTL) regulations. Although the regulations are not yet directly applicable to air taxi operators, they are also welcome to attend. These briefing seminars are designed to inform operators of the transition process and the necessary steps required to adopt the new regulations.

    The seminars are to be held at Aviation House, Gatwick on 24 January and 11 February 2014. The scope of the seminars is aimed at post holders responsible for FTL schemes and Safety Management Systems (SMS), as well as senior rostering staff.

    The agenda will include the key changes in legislation, the process of implementation and the operator’s responsibilities under the new regulations. The aim is to assist operators in their understanding of the changes and what is required in order to transition to the new regulations. They will also provide a timeline to further the appreciation of how and when operators will need to start their planning process.

    We recommend all UK operators attend one of the seminars to help them in designing their transitional plans. The earliest the UK CAA will accept an operator’s transition plan to move to the new regulations is October 2014. Following successful progress through the transitional requirements the earliest date that the UK CAA will permit an operator to be able to apply the new scheme limitations is January 2015.

    Readers should refer to the Information Notice for further information.


    29/11/2013   UK CAA published guidance on Check Flights

    The UK CAA has re-issued its Check Flight Handbook (CAP 1038).

    This Handbook is produced by the UK CAA as a reference work for those pilots and FTEs carrying out Check Flights on UK registered aircraft using CAA Check Flight Schedules (CFS); as such, it is intended for use by those pilots who have previously received adequate familiarisation of check-flight techniques and safety precautions and fully understand the significance and intent of the tests as well as the techniques used to minimise the risk associated with some tests. The UK CAA goes on to remind pilots (and operators) that for occasions when a Check Flight is required, pilots must have been briefed by a member of the “Airworthiness Team”.

    The purpose of this Handbook is to advise owners and operators and organisations involved in the management of the airworthiness of UK-registered aircraft of the current UK policy for flight-checking both EASA and non-EASA aircraft. However we believe and recommend that its contents could (and should) be easily observed in other States in the absence of any such guidance from those States’ Competent Authorities.


    26/11/2013   Use of Portable Electronic Devices (PED) during Commercial Air Transport Aircraft Operation

    EASA has recently issued its Decision (2013/028/R) addressing technological developments related to Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs).

    The specific objective is to allow the use of non-transmitting PEDs during all phases of flight. Consequently, this Decision proposes a change to AMC1 CAT.GEN.MPA.140, which are expected to provide more flexibility to operators.

    Operators should also review and address the related Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) 2013-21 published on 09 December 2013. It provides short term guidance to operators when intending to expand the use of non-transmitting PEDs. Subsequent EASA rulemaking in the area of aircraft operations (OPS) and initial airworthiness will address the issue further, including for transmitting PEDs (T-PEDS). Nevertheless, this document also includes some initial recommendations for T-PEDs.


    19/11/2013   EASA proposes new rules on VHM for CAT helicopters

    Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2013-22, EASA proposes the installation of a vibration health monitoring (VHM) system in commercial air transport (CAT) helicopters that have a maximum certified take-off mass of more than 3,175 kg or a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) of more than 9. A VHM system allows detecting mechanical failures before they could lead to a serious incident or accident. ICAO currently recommends that this type of helicopter (large helicopters) should be equipped with a VHM system.

    A related NPA, 2013-10 ‘Helicopter offshore operations’, already considered this recommendation, proposing to mandate the installation of a VHM system in CAT helicopters operating in a hostile environment, but not for those operating in a non-hostile environment. Subsequently, the specific objective of this NPA is to validate the need for a regulatory requirement for VHM equipment to be installed in new, and retrofitted to existing CAT helicopters that are not involved in offshore operations, but have a maximum certified take-off mass of more than 3 175 kg or a MOPSC of more than 9.

    EASA considers it has assessed all aspects related to operations by the relevant helicopters with specific attention to the safety level and the cost impact associated with instalment or retro-fitment of a VHM system. The assessment indicates that the major issues in helicopter operations are related to piloting. This information will be further considered during the RMTs addressing pilot licensing and operator pilot training. The Agency has therefore concluded that a regulatory requirement for VHM system is not required, as a significant safety improvement for the relevant helicopters would not be introduced and the associated costs cannot be justified. Consequently, it proposes that the ICAO recommendation is not transposed into EU legislation for other than helicopter offshore operations in hostile environment.

    EASA does however encourage the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) to promote voluntary installation of VHM equipment in relevant helicopters and to develop guidance for operators how best to use the data to improve operations.


    01/11/2013   EASA Committee progresses Regulations

    In its Information Notice, IN–2013/173, the UK CAA advises of progress by the EASA Committee towards a number of Regulations relating to Air Operations.

    • Air Operations – Part SPO (Specialised Operations) and Part CAT (sailplanes, balloons and A-A) are due to be sent for scrutiny by Council and European Parliament soon; adoption is expected in April 2014.
    • Operational Suitability Data (OSD) sent for scrutiny and adoption is expected January 2014 with entry into force late January or early February.
    • Third Country Operators (Part-ART and Part-TCO) to be sent for scrutiny shortly and adoption is again expected January or February 2014.
    • Flight Time Limitations (Part-FTL) adoption is expected late December or early January, as previously reported.
    • Sterile flight deck procedures amending the Air Operations Regulation. The Agency gave a detailed presentation after which there was a brief exchange of views in which Member States welcomed the new concept.

    Operators and other approved organisations should monitor progress of these new Regulations closely to ensure currency and compliance are maintained.


    01/11/2013   EASA progresses rulemaking in area of Flight Time Limitations

    In its Information Notice, IN–2013/173, the UK CAA advises of progress in two areas of FTL rulemaking:

    • FTL for Air Taxi and Single Pilot Operations (RMT.0429). The group continue to finalise the options for the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). The majority of the options will remain in line with the EASA Opinion (04/2012) for Scheduled and Charter Operations, but there were some specifically proposed Certification Specifications, notably on the areas of Split Duty, non-airport standby and rest provisions which have been supported with additional mitigations. The Flight Duty period requirements for single pilot operations have yet to be finalised, but the NPA is due to be published in the first Quarter of 2014.
    • FTL for Emergency Medical Services (RMT.0346). All the options were finalised for the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) in September. These include daily limitations for helicopters and aeroplanes which are operating emergency services. The only areas that will be covered in the RIA will be those that differ from the work of the OPS.055 two pilot fixed wing FTL. The NPA was due to be published in December, but the publication of the NPA will now be by the end of the first quarter of 2014 to align with the above.

    EASA will coordinate the Opinion and Decision material with the output of the two groups and the joint proposals are expected in January 2015.

    We recommend that organisations involved in such operations, e.g. Air Taxi and HEMS, identify and proactively engage with relevant members of the Rule Making Task group(s), so that they can influence the proposals as far as possible.


    09/10/2013   Flight and Duty Time Limitations get the green light

    In a press release, EASA has welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of the European Commission proposal to harmonise flight and duty time limitations (FTL) for cabin crew and pilots across the European Union.

    The Commission’s proposal is based on EASA Opinion 04/2012 and EASA’s view is that this will bring a series of clear safety improvements in crew protection against fatigue. In particular:

    • Night flight duty will be reduced to 11h from the current 11h45;
    • More flights will be considered night flights and subject to shorter duty periods;
    • Total flight time in 12 consecutive months will be limited to 1000 hours instead of 1300 hours;
    • The weekly rest will be increased by 12 hours twice a month;
    • The combination of standby at the airport with flight duty will be capped at 16 hours, whereas it is currently 20 hours, or 26 hours, or even without limit at all in some Member States.

    The amending Regulation is yet to be published, so not all (if any) differences to the published Opinion are in the public domain. The European Cockpit Association (ECA), of which the UK’s BALPA is a member, has continued to express its concerns about the proposal and in response to the EASA press release announced that “with this approval the EP (European Parliament – Ed) took a step away from a ‘precautionary’ approach, ignored scientific expert advice and put passenger safety at risk.”

    We would take the view that while the new harmonised requirements represent, for the first time, a common standard across Member States, any changes to existing national standards and safe practice must be carefully considered as part of operators’ management systems for delivering safety performance, before implementation.

    The main objective of the management systems is to identify and address risks pertinent to specific organisations and operations, where these are not adequately addressed by compliance with the generic baseline represented by Regulation. We recommend that pilot associations work closely with opera