Compliance Countdown: August 2014

 - August 5, 2014, 5:25 AM

Within Six Months

Nov. 25, 2014

Charter Ops Included in European Rules

All non-European Union-registered commercial operators, including U.S. Part 135 charters, have until November 25 to apply for a third-country operator (TCO) authorization, a new EU air safety requirement to fly to, from or within the EU. The TCO authorization requirement also applies to EU overseas territories such as Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, St. Maarten, and Turks and Caicos. Each operator must complete an online application form on the EASA website, and then upload copies of its air operator certificate, operations specifications, certificate of incorporation or similar documentation, along with the airworthiness certificates of aircraft that will be flown into EU airspace. The EASA will confirm the operator’s eligibility for the TCO authorization, and then provide log-in credentials to a dedicated TCO website, which will be the primary method of communication between the operator and the EASA during the approval process.

Jan. 8, 2015 and Dec. 7, 2017

European Deadline for ADS-B out Avionics

To operate under IFR in European airspace after Jan. 8, 2015, ADS-B avionics will be required for new aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds or with a max cruise speed of more than 250 ktas. The rule will mandate retrofit on older aircraft by Dec. 7, 2017. The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1207/2011, which was approved and published in the Official Journal of the European Union in November 2011, includes a mandate for ADS-B out. It establishes mandatory carriage and operation of ADS-B 1090 MHz.

Feb. 5, 2015

North Atlantic Datalink Equipment Mandated

Last December the FAA published a notam detailing plans for the rollout of Phase 2 of the North Atlantic datalink mandate. The notam was published in the Dec. 12, 2013 edition of Notices to Airmen, Domestic/International, Part 3, Section 2 (International Oceanic Airspace Notices). Implementation is scheduled to begin with Phase 2A on Feb. 5, 2015, at which time flights within the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) between FL350 and FL390 must be equipped with Fans 1/A controller-pilot datalink communications and ADS-C systems. The program expands to these altitudes in the entire ICAO NAT region on Dec. 7, 2017 with Phase 2B, and to all flights in this region above FL290 on Jan. 30, 2020 with Phase 2C. During these stages, any aircraft not equipped with Fans 1/A (or equivalent) systems may request to climb or descend through NAT DataLink Mandate (DLM) airspace.


Within 12 Months

Apr. 1, 2015

UK Business Aircraft Passengers Subject to Tax Increase

Business aircraft passengers flying out of UK airports are facing rate increases of the air passenger duty (APD) tax of between 50 and 58 percent. Beginning April 1, 2015, the new rate of £426 ($690) will apply to aircraft weighing more than 20 metric tons (44,091 pounds) and with fewer than 19 seats on flights of more than 2,000 miles. For flights shorter than 2,000 miles, the rate will be £78 ($126). However, under wider changes that have seen the number of APD rate bands reduced to just two, charges for flights longer than 6,000 miles will be lower. The British Business and General Aviation Association has requested consultation with UK tax officials in a bid to secure further amendments to the changes before they take effect next year.

Beyond 12 Months

Aug. 6, 2016

Effective Date Extended for New N.Y. VFR Helicopter Routes

The FAA has extended the expiration date of the final rule requiring civil helicopter pilots to use the New York North Shore Helicopter Route when flying VFR along the north shore of Long Island. The current rule was scheduled to expire on August 6 but the agency extended it for two more years to preserve the current operating environment while it determines whether use of the route should be mandatory permanently. The route was established for voluntary compliance to address residential noise complaints and political prodding from elected officials to make it mandatory. The FAA did so in August 2012. From its inception, the route has been controversial because it is over water, imposes the same east and westbound floor of 2,500 feet for traffic using it and is proximate to existing flight-training areas occupying altitudes between 2,000 and 4,000 feet.

Jan. 1, 2017:

European Union Tcas Version 7.1 Rule

The FAA has published an Information for Operators regarding an EU mandate that certain operators use the latest version 7.1 of the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (Tcas II) software. Although the ICAO does not require that version 7.1 software be installed for international flights in new and existing aircraft until Jan. 1, 2014, and Jan. 1, 2017, respectively, the EU mandated that all aircraft with an mtow of more than 12,500 pounds or with an authorized capacity to carry 19 passengers have the upgrade installed by April 1 this year. However, aircraft with Tcas II version 7.0 that were certified before April 1 this year have a deadline of Dec. 1, 2015, to comply. The FAA recommends that operators of aircraft with Tcas II installed and that plan on operating in EU airspace need to ensure that version 7.1 software is installed to comply with the EU implementing rule.

Jan. 1, 2020

U.S. Installation Deadline for ADS-B out Avionics

A final FAA rule to require installation of ADS-B out equipment by 2020 for aircraft flying in Class A, B and C airspace gives the green light for manufacturers to begin building the onboard equipment that will allow air traffic controllers to know where aircraft are with greater precision and reliability than current ATC radar. While NBAA has reiterated its “collaborative relationship” with the FAA, and says that it can help make implementation of NextGen work for the aviation industry, “some challenges exist with regard to its implementation.” For example, the association is concerned that general aviation operators might be subjected to “unanticipated financial costs” in attempting to comply with the specific equipage mandated, as well as “technological difficulties” and the anticipated time crunch in meeting the installation deadline.