EU-OPS 1 is the transition into EC law of JAR-OPS 1, as specified by Regulation (EC) No 1899/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006, amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/1991 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation.
It was implemented under Commission Regulation (EC) No 8/2008 and prescribed requirements applicable for any operator of any aeroplane for the purpose of commercial air transport by any operator whose principal place of business and, if any, registered office was in a EU Member State.
EU-OPS 1 was introduced on 16 July 2008 and is detailed in Commission Regulation (EC) No 859/2008. It became effective in all EU Member States and also in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. It superseded equivalent national legislation in Member States and in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, although in EU Member States, implementation of regulatory oversight remained with the designated National Aviation Authority (NAA). EU-OPS is complemented by EASA Part 145 provisions for aircraft maintenance. Both are administered on behalf of the European Commission by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in the case of EU-OPS as only an interim regulatory solution.
The new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Regulatory System of Implementing Regulations (IRs) under Part-OPS is now fully developed and was adopted as Regulation (EC) 965/2012 of the European Commission in October 2012 - see Introduction of IR-OPS below. IR-OPS covers the air operation of all aircraft except tilt-rotor, airships and UAVs.
JAR-OPS 1 remains effective in all other JAA countries although with the entering into force of EC Regulation 216/2008 (now replaced by EU Regulation 2018/1139) and the approval of the Future of JAA (FUJA) II Report, the JAA effectively no longer has a mandate to develop regulations which affect the EU. In addition, the JAA system, including the JAA Liaison Office (LO) at EASA closed on 30 June 2009 and liaison between EASA and the remaining 7 non EASA states using the JAA system has been taken over by EASA until a permanent solution has been implemented. The JAA continued to extend the JARs to IRs for the non-EASA JAA Member States up until the end of June 2009.
The Main differences between EU-OPS 1 and JAR-OPS 1
JAR-OPS Part 1 was applicable to operators of aeroplanes over 10 tonnes MTOW or with a maximum approved passenger seating configuration of 20 or more, or with mixed fleets of aeroplanes above and below this threshold.
EU-OPS 1 at inception was based upon JAR-OPS 1 up to and including AL13 plus some differences in respect the attestation of cabin crew training, all weather operations and flight time limitations
Some JAR-OPS Section 2 material detailing requirements for a Quality System under EU-OPS 1.035 and an Accident Prevention and Flight Safety Programme under EU-OPS 1.037 for Commercial Air Transport (CAT) Operators have been transposed into law. (IR-OPS ORO.GEN.200)
The JAR-OPS system only applied to CAT whereas EASA rulemaking will, in principle, extend to all civil aircraft types and all types of civil aircraft use.
EU-OPS does not apply to:
- Aeroplanes used by customs or police services
- Parachute dropping and fire-fighting flights and associated positioning
- Flights before, during and immediately after an aerial work activity provided that the flights before and after the aerial work are connected with that activity
EASA rules are legally binding in their entirety rather than minimum standards or recommended practices. For this reason, they are being framed in what is described as a less prescriptive manner than JAR-OPS so that there is an appropriate level of flexibility. However, uniformity will be achieved by the use of AMC documentation. Some Section 1 requirements in the JARS have been ‘re-classified’ as AMC material.
Introduction of IR-OPS
Regulation (EC) 965/2012 of the European Commission lays down detailed rules for commercial air transport operations with aeroplanes and helicopters, including ramp inspections of aircraft of operators under the safety oversight of another State when landed at aerodromes located in the territory subject to the provisions of the Treaty. This new regulation, which is generally known as IR-OPS (Implementing Rules – Operations), replaces EU-OPS (Regulation (EC) 859/2008). IR-OPS came in to force on 28 October 2012.The deadline for establishing compliance with annexes I-V of the Regulation was 28 October 2014. The deadlines for establishing compliance with annexes VI to VII of commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, as later amended by commission Regulation (EU) No 800/2013 of 14 August 2013, are 25 August 2016 (non-commercial operations) and 21 April 2017 (specialised operations).
IR-OPS covers all ‘Air Operations’ and has four sub parts as follows:
- Part OPS.ARO - Authority Requirements for Air Operations - establishes requirements for the administration and management systems to be fulfilled by the Agency and Member States for the implementation and enforcement of IR-OPS.
- Part OPS.ORO - Organisation Requirements for Air Operations - establishes requirements to be followed by an air operator conducting commercial air transport operations
- Part OPS.CAT - Commercial Air Transport Operations - contains general requirements for commercial air transport operations, including Operating Procedures, Aircraft Performance, Mass and Balance, instruments and equipment requirements, etc.
- Part OPS.SPA - Specific Approvals - contains requirements for specific approvals, such as Performance-based Navigation, Minimum Navigation Performance (MNPS), Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM), Low Visibility Operations (LVO), Extended Range Twin Engine Operations (ETOPS), Transport of Dangerous Goods (DG), and certain specified helicopter operations.
- Part OPS.NCC - Non-Commercial Air Operations with Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft - establishes operational requirements for air operators conducting non-specialised non-commercial air operations with complex motor-powered aircraft, including general requirements (GEN), operational procedures (OP), aircraft performance and operating limitations (POL), instruments, data and equipment (IDE).
- Part OPS.NCO - Non-Commercial Air Operations with Other-Than-Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft - establishes operational requirements for operators conducting non-commercial air operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft (specialised and non-specialised). These include general requirements (GEN), operational procedures (OP), aircraft performance and operating limitations (POL), instruments, data and equipment (IDE); and specific requirements (SPEC) such as helicopter external sling load operations (HESLO), human external cargo operations (HEC), parachute operations (PAR), aerobatic flights (ABF).
- Part OPS.SPO - Specialised Operations - establishes operational requirements for air operators conducting specialised operations (excluding specialised non-commercial operations with other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft) including general requirements (GEN), operational procedures (OP), aircraft performance and operating limitations (POL), instruments, data and equipment (IDE), including requirements for sailplanes and balloons; and specific requirements (SPEC) such as helicopter external sling load operations (HESLO), human external cargo operations (HEC), parachute operations (PAR), aerobatic flights (ABF).
- EU OPS 1 - full text of Regulation (EC) No 859/2008 (OJ, 20.09.2008)