On 25th August 2016 new operating rules come into effect in Europe for non-commercial operators of complex motor-powered aircraft (‘NCC’ operators). These rules, published in Annex VI to Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012, known as ‘Part-NCC’, are designed to be less onerous than the rules for commercial air transport (CAT), recognising the different responsibilities of aircraft operators who do not sell tickets to the general public.
Are the rules different to CAT?
Following the standards required for commercial air transport (CAT) won’t always keep non-commercial operators on the right side of the regulations. An example is fuel policy. Part-NCC introduces new requirements that are significantly different to the CAT requirements; in particular, ‘final reserve fuel’ for NCC aeroplane operators will be 45 minutes, as apposed to 30 minutes required for CAT operations. The criteria for selecting alternate aerodromes and the circumstances in which an alternate is required are also different to the CAT requirements.
Will anyone be checking?
The new regulations place an obligation on the European national aviation authorities to conduct inspections and audits of NCC operators. This includes unannounced inspections and ramp checks. Inspectors will be checking that operators have made a declaration to their national authority and that all the required documentation is carried on board the aircraft, including an operations manual, an approved minimum equipment list and a journey log. They may check that flight planning has been completed correctly. If non-compliances are identified during these inspections, then the operator will be required to take corrective action. For the most serious findings, such as not having an ‘Accountable Manager’, an authority is required to ‘prohibit or limit’ the operator’s activities.
What else is new?
As well as following new operating rules NCC operators will need to put in place a management system that meets the requirements of ‘Part-ORO’ (Annex III to Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012). This includes nominating some management posts, having documented procedures and processes for safety management and compliance monitoring. Although this may be a big change for some operators the requirements describe a good way to run an operation.
How can I find out more?
There’s more information on the new requirements on our website: www.mckechnie-aviation.eu/ncc. If you need consultancy or practical help to implement the new requirements then get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.