Aug. 6, 2014

Earlier this year, the European Commission adopted a new regulation that provides commercial air transport (CAT) operators from outside the European Union (EU), also known as third-country operators (TCOs), with a method of obtaining a single EU-wide safety authorization to fly to, from or within the EU.

The registration requirement applies to CAT TCOs, who must demonstrate to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. CAT operators include all airlines and charter operators.

To assist with this transition, EASA and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) are holding a seminar on Sept. 24, in Cologne, Germany, to provide aircraft operators with additional information on the application process, and answer operators’ questions.

“The EASA regulation is already in place, and TCOs operating in Europe must submit their TCO applications by Nov. 25, 2014,” said Andrej Nemec, EBAA’s manager for safety and rulemaking. “This information seminar will help operators understand what is involved in the process, what information they have to provide to EASA and how to smoothly and quickly gain the authorization. This is important, since applicants must apply for a TCO authorization at least 30 days before the planned operation to Europe.”

The one-day seminar will provide operators with information on the impact the new TCO requirement will have on their operations, what steps they need to take to obtain a TCO authorization and how to use the TCO web interface to complete an application. Presenters include EASA and EBAA representatives, as well as industry experts.

In the time since EASA regulators unveiled their TCO policy, NBAA has worked to ensure that the commercial air transport providers in the Association’s membership are aware of the policy’s implementation, its likely implications for operators, and the requirements for compliance.

“We intend to watch the situation very closely, work with our charter Members to fully understand [the policy’s] impact, and if needed, press EASA officials to find ways to make the requirement more workable,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees at the Opening General Session for the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva this past May.

That same month, NBAA focused on the new requirement in the May/June 2014 edition of NBAA’s Business Aviation Insider magazine. Read the Business Aviation Insider article: “EASA Implements New Requirements for Third-Country Operators.”

NBAA has also published web articles, and established a TCO resources page on the Association’s website, which features, among other resources, instructions for properly completing the EASA’s TCO authorization application. Review NBAA’s EU TCO Resources.

“Some NBAA Member Companies still have questions about the applicability of the TCO authorization, and the TCO requirement’s potential impact on their operations,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of international and regulatory affairs. “We encourage all U.S.-based commercial operators to complete the application process as soon as possible. Those who conduct operations to the EU or applicable EU territories, including those in the Caribbean, should consider attending the upcoming seminar to learn first-hand how to comply.”

CAT TCOs should complete the application process prior to the end of the initial 6-month application period, which ends on Nov. 25.

“If you are planning to operate to, from or within the EU or applicable territories, don’t be caught unprepared,” said Nemec. “We encourage operators to apply well in advance to avoid disruption of their planned operations.”

For more information about EU TCO authorization, contact NBAA’s Operations Service Group at (202) 783-9250 or