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Air operations, including Flight Time Limitations (FTL)

On 5 October 2012 the European Commission adopted the Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

It covers Commercial Air Transport Operations (CAT) and repeals Annex III to (EU-OPS) except Flight Time Limitation (FTL).
Other regulations are under preparation for the following parts:

  • Part-NCC: non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft (CMPA)
  • Part-NCO: non-commercial operations with other-than-CMPA
  • Part-SPO: specialised operations, e.g. aerial work

The regulation is summarized as follows:

 

  • Part-ARO: Authority requirements - OPS
  • Part-ORO: Organisation requirements - OPS
  • Part-CAT: Commercial air transport operations
  • Part-SPA: Operations requiring specific approvals

For the time being it does not include:

  • Operations with airships, tilt-rotor aircraft, tethered balloons and remotely piloted aircraft
  • Operations by design or production organisations related to the introduction or modification of aircraft types
  • A-to-A operations with performance class B aeroplanes and non-complex helicopters

Flight Time Limitations


Regulation (EC) No 1899/2006 (EU-OPS) established the first mandatory EU flight duty limitations and rest requirements (FTL) for aircrew under subpart Q of it's Annex III. The aim was to ensure that flight and cabin members perform safety functions on board of aircraft at a proper level of alertness. In summary, EU-OPS includes obligations on Member States, airlines and aircrew to ensure safe duty rosters. It also contains flight duty limits per day, week, month and year, in addition to minimum rest per day and month depending on previous duties.

The Basic Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 includes a mandate to transfer current provisions for flight time limitation laid down under EU-OPS to the legislative framework of the Basic Regulation. This has not yet been done but work is in progress.

On 1 October 2012, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published a proposal (Opinion) to the Commission concerning the review of current EU rules concerning Flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements for aircrew (FTL). The Commission requested EASA in 2009 to review those rules in view of its modernization (mainly to clarify, complement and check the compatibility with scientific principles) in view of their transfer to the legislative framework of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008. A new Commission Regulation is in the process of being prepared by the Commission, for possible adoption before the end of 2013.

 

Legislation

Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council 

Regulation (EC) No 1899/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation