A new European Commission regulation that takes effect on May 26 requires commercial air transport (CAT) operators from outside the European Union to obtain a single EU-wide safety authorization to fly to, from or within the EU. CAT operators comprise all non-EU airlines and charter operators, including U.S. Part 135 operations.
As part of the registration requirement, affected operators must demonstrate to the EASA compliance with ICAO standards. The CAT third-country operator (TCO) authorization is a single process for all operators flying to the 28 European Union states, EU overseas territories and the four European Free Trade Association states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). It is a prerequisite for operating in these states and territories, though it is not required for overflights. Operators who currently hold authorization from individual EU member states must reapply for authorization, according to NBAA.
“While the goal of a single safety standard across the entire EU is a laudable goal, NBAA remains wary of the new burden this new requirement will place on small companies,” said NBAA vice president of regulatory and international affairs Doug Carr. “U.S. Part 135 operators represent the majority of the affected air carriers, and it is unknown if EASA is prepared to manage the amount of information necessary for a TCO to demonstrate compliance.”