The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will begin implementing new regulations next year for third country operators (TCOs) that wish to fly to Europe. The new regulations will provide a single, unified code for all operators flying to the 28 European Union states, EU overseas territories and the four EFTA (European Free Trade Association) states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The unified rules will cover all holders of AOCs (air operator certificates), which includes business aviation charter companies as well as airlines.
Air Operator's Certificate
Indonesia’s civil aviation authority plans to reduce the number of airlines operating in the country from 53 to 28 following the failure of most of its carriers to satisfy a minimum fleet-size requirement by January. The requirement calls for all airlines, including charter and cargo operators, to operate no fewer than 10 airplanes each, five of which they must own.
The ruling, introduced in 2009, originally called for implementation on Jan. 12, 2012. The government extended the deadline by another year when smaller carriers appealed for more time.
The air operator certificate of India’s Kingfisher Airlines officially expired at midnight on December 31. The cash-strapped airline suspended operations on Oct. 1, 2012, and has failed to fully pay pilots, mechanics, customer-service reps and creditors for some eight months.
New data published by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) appears to confirm the widespread view among executive charter operators that few people are prosecuted for illegally flying for hire in Britain. Between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012, the CAA pursued 16 prosecutions for various breaches of UK aviation rules, only one of which was for illegally conducting a public-transport flight without holding an air operator certificate (AOC).
FlairJet, based at London Oxford Airport, has been issued an air operator’s certificate and is the first European company to get approval to fly charters in the Embraer Phenom 100. “We are delighted to become the first Phenom 100 operator in Europe to get AOC approval,” said FlairJet CEO David Fletcher.
Belize City-based Astrum Helicopters in September received its air operator certificate (AOC). The company claims it is the first AOC issued under a new regulation. Founded in 2004, Astrum also said it is the first company to offer commercial helicopter services in the Central American country. Its four- or six-passenger Bell 206s fly mainly between Belize City, local airports and private heliports.
Darby Aviation is the latest to feel the wrath of the FAA in the wake of the Challenger runway overrun accident at Teterboro Airport (see page 58). On March 23 the agency ordered “the indefinite suspension” of the Muscle Shoals, Ala. charter operator’s Part 135 certificate. The agency said in part that by “selling, assigning and/or leasing its air carrier certificate to Platinum [Jet Management] and relinquishing operational control
The FAA last month revoked the Part 135 air carrier operating certificate of American Air Network (AAN) of Chesterfield, Mo. The agency said it determined that AAN permitted flights for hire to be conducted on its air carrier certificate but allowed individuals who did not hold an air carrier certificate to have operational control of those flights.