GAMA dissents on JAA operators registry rule

 - August 6, 2008, 5:40 AM

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has voiced its opposition to the European Joint Aviation Authorities’ (JAA) proposal to require all European corporate aviation operators to register with their country’s aviation authority.

Formally commenting on a JAA advance notice of proposed rulemaking (A-NPA), GAMA said that given the fact corporate operators have a long history of safety excellence and do not offer air transportation to the public, formal registration of flight departments is unnecessary and places an unjustified economic burden on operators.

The A-NPA, designated JAR OPS-2, would require corporations with a European operating base to register with their national aviation authorities as a noncommercial operator. The proposed regulation defines an operating base as any location where operational control of flights is exercised, including scheduling and flight planning.

“While GAMA is encouraged that the JAA is introducing standard operating rules for noncommercial European operators, we are concerned that the definition of a European operator in JAR OPS-2 is vague, and could apply to almost any corporate flight operation,” said GAMA president Ed Bolen. “The broadest interpretation of the proposed rules could force a U.S.-based company with European sales offices, flying U.S.-registered aircraft, to register its flight department with the JAA and be subject to unwarranted regulation and inspection.”

Under the JAA rulemaking process, the final rule could be published in as little as 90 days. Both GAMA and NBAA participated in the rulemaking discussions as part of the JAA/FAA harmonization process, and NBAA agrees with GAMA’s position.

“The fact that we did participate probably helped preclude more serious damage,” said Bill Stine, NBAA director of international operations. “They initially wanted to certify corporate operators. We were able to fend off the requirement for certification.”