For nearly two years, non-commercial operators of business aircraft have had to be more diligent about proving that they meet regulatory standards when flying in Europe. To help operators deal with the nuances of complying with EASA's so-called Part-NCC (non-commercial complex), which applies to operators either based in Europe or operating there but not flying under an air operator certificate (AOC), AviationManuals and AeroEx have entered a partnership that ensures compliance with the regulations.
Part-NCC rules cover aircraft that weight more than 5.7 metric tons (12,500 pounds) and are certified for two pilots, or those powered by turbojet engine(s) or with more than one turboprop engine. Applicability of the rules don’t seem to make sense when it comes to a single-engine jet such as the Cirrus Vision, to which the rules apply. But more complicated turboprop singles such as the Pilatus PC-12 and Daher TBM series don’t fall under the rules, while a twin-engine King Air must be in compliance.
Both companies are highlighting their Part-NCC assistance at their EBACE exhibits—AviationManuals (Booth J35e) specializes in operating manual and safety management system development, and AeroEx (Booth X115) is a European business aviation consultancy.
The partnership is designed to help operators create the necessary manuals and safety management system (SMS), set up online and mobile SMS, risk-assessment tools, and an internal audit program; and to incorporate the procedures in their operation and facilitate ongoing compliance monitoring.
“The idea is to use the experience from both companies, and together we have that joint product to assist those operators,” said AeroEx managing director Joel Hencks.
AviationManuals CEO Mark Baier and Hencks were discussing Part-NCC and realized that “this is not unique to Europe,” Baier said. Operators in the Middle East with divisions in Europe could fall under Part-NCC, he explained. “We realized we were speaking to similar audiences. Playing to both of our strengths could quickly support operations in both [regions].”
Beyond the Manual
Hencks explained that Part-NCC is more than just copying and pasting someone else’s manual. “It’s not about a manual, you need structure, an SMS, SOPs, training requirements, and a compliance-monitoring system. It’s far more than just a manual. It’s a full management system to ensure continuous compliance with regulatory requirements.”
AeroEx and AviationManuals have designed their service for all sizes of operators, from the Cirrus Vision owner to a multi-aircraft flight department. “It’s quite challenging for small [operators] to demonstrate in case of any incident or accident to say they did everything they had to do. We have a basis of tools ready, and we can help implement them, adapted to the type, size, and complexity of the operator.”
“We started from the bottom up,” added Baier, “and built the system to be flexible to ramp up.” As operations grow more complex, additional modules and services can be added, and once a year an internal audit is done to ensure consistent compliance. For the smaller operator, this process involves a simplified checklist.
As much of a headache as Part-NCC might be, one benefit is that it helps operators ensure compliance for a SAFA or SACA inspection. Part-NCC includes an oversight element by aviation authorities, and they will check that the operator is complying with the procedures in its manuals.
Many authorities don’t examine non-commercial operators, Baier pointed out. “Even with IS-BAO, the ongoing compliance part is not as front and center. It’s moving more toward [a system where] monitoring these operators is closer to a commercial concept. You’re required at any time to be prepared for an audit and you have to be maintaining standards.”
AeroEx has been helping larger operators comply with Part-NCC since it was implemented in 2016. “When we discussed this last year with Mark, we thought it’s great that larger operators have that. But what about the thousands of others that are out there who maybe don’t have the information and don’t know the tools and services [that are available]? We came up with a product to help them be in compliance.”
“We’re trying to make sure this is affordable and simple, versus what’s on the market that caters to big budgets,” said Baier.