EASA sets 2012 deadline for implementation of ops rules

 - May 27, 2010, 7:28 AM

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is tackling the process to implement new rules for operations in Europe in April 2012. Business aviation is involved in the rulemaking, notably through review groups. EASA-OPS will replace current EU-OPS, JAR-OPS and national rules.

The EASA is preparing a comment response document for October. The agency received some 14,000 comments between January and July last year. According to Mikel Godijn, NetJets Europe’s deputy director for flight operations, many comments were about the need for the agency to align the text more with EU-OPS. Other commenters suggested that the notice of proposed amendment was not mature.
Many commenters also criticized the document for its emphasis on alternative means of compliance rather than implementing rules. “This is not good news for bizav but we can still find room for flexibility,” said EASA rulemaking directorate air operations officer Willy Sigl at an education session held at last month’s Ebace.

The business aviation industry, through EBAA, is participating in review groups. The first meetings were held in April and May, and the next one is scheduled for July 20. Four review groups are working with the EASA on the comment response document.
Sigl pointed out that one of the key objectives of the rulemaking is to align rules with ICAO standards and recommended practices “as far as possible.” For business aviation, this means IS-BAO (international standard for business aviation operations), said Don Spruston, the director general of the International Business Aviation Council (Ibac). He expressed satisfaction that the new ops regulation is going in “the right direction” for global harmonization. Taken into account, too, are existing rules such as JAR-OPS 3 (for helicopters) or JAR-OPS 0/2, other rules for general aviation that were prepared but never implemented when the EASA took over JAA authorities.

EASA-OPS rules will be applicable to operators with a principal place of business or residence in an EASA member country regardless of aircraft registration. The EASA has 31 member states–the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.