At its annual Air Charter Summit last week, the National Air Transportation Association gave an update on the EASA’s third country operator (TCO) regulation, which took effect last month.
To ensure no interruption of their flights to Europe during the 30-month transition period, operators must file their applications no later than November 25. Those whose applications are on file by that date will be allowed to continue to operate to the EU, even while their application is being processed, but those who apply after that deadline will have to wait until they have approval in hand before flying to Europe, according to industry consultant and former NATA staffer Jacqueline Rosser, who added that authorization is not required for Part 91 operations or for overflights.
Designed as a prerequisite for obtaining an operating permit from individual member states, the TCO process is intended to demonstrate each applicant’s ICAO compliance. In the absence of any significant safety concerns, it is expected to consist of nothing more than a desktop review for most U.S. operators.
Once approved, the blanket authorization will remain in effect indefinitely as long as the operator conducts at least one flight into the region every 24 months and keeps the information up to date.