New Rules for ‘Aerial Work’

Specialised Operations

Regulations for ‘aerial work’ came into effect across the European Union on 21 April 2017. The new term for aerial work is ‘specialised operations’; this covers a wide range of operations where aircraft are used for something other than carrying passengers. The regulation (Commission Regulation 965/2012) contains both operating rules in Annex VIII or ‘Part-SPO’ and organisational requirements in Annex III or ‘Part-ORO’.

Operating rules

Operating rules are what you would expect to this type of regulation. These rules are about how to fly the aircraft, what instruments and equipment need to be carried, how to ensure necessary performance and what documents need to be on board.

Organisational Rules

The organisational rules stipulate that the aircraft operator must have a management system in place. This management system needs to include clearly defined duties and responsibilities, documented procedures, trained personnel, safety management and compliance monitoring processes. The ‘operator’ might be a large corporation or a single person, so the management system should be proportionate, but all the elements need to be there even for the smallest operator.


A specialised operator doesn’t need approval to start operations but must inform the ‘competent authority’ about its operation; this requires a ‘declaration’. The declaration Is a statement provided to the Authority describing what aircraft will be operated doing what type of operations. The ‘Accountable Manager’ needs to confirm that there is an operations manual that reflects all the regulatory requirements and that all flight operations will be conducted in accordance with that manual. The Authority has an obligation to perform audits and inspections to verify compliance with the regulations.

What now?

If you operate an aircraft for aerial work, then you need to act now. McKechnie Aviation can help you put the various pieces in place; in particular we can assist with developing your safety management and compliance monitoring processes and producing the documentation you need including an operations manual and minimum equipment list. We can recommend a software solution that will simplify the various elements of the management system so that you can get on with operating your aircraft.