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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 has been implemented as Commission Regulation (EC) No 8/2008 and prescribes requirements applicable for any operator of any il aeroplane for the purpose of commercial air transport by any operator whose principal place of business and, if any, registered office is in a Member State.

EU-OPS 1 was introduced on 16 July 2008 and has now become effective in all EU Member States and in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. It supersedes national legislation in Member States and in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, although in EU Member States, implementation of regulatory oversight remains with the designated NAA. EU-OPS is complemented by EASA Part 145 provisions for aircraft maintenance

Once the new EASA Regulatory System of Implementing Regulations (IRs) under Part-OPS has been developed, EU-OPS will be repealed. The target date for this further and final transition has been set in 2012. Part-OPS will cover 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 and the approval of the 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 is to close by 30 June 2009 with the liaison between EASA and the remaining 7 non EASA states using the JAA system to be taken over by EASA until a permanent solution has been implemented. The JAA will continue 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, flight time limitations

Some JAR-OPS Section 2 material detailing requirements for a Quality System under OPS 1.035 and an Accident Prevention and Flight Safety Programme under OPS 1.037 for CAT Operators has now been transposed into law.

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.

The next stage : Part-OPS

Part-OPS will cover all ‘Air Operations’ and will have four sub parts as follows:

  • Sub Part A OPS.GEN applicable to all Operators
  • Sub Part B OPS.CAT specific to Commercial Air Transport (CAT)
  • Sub Part C OPS.COM specific to Commercial Operations other than CAT, i.e. Aerial Work
  • Sub Part D OPS.SPA covering all operations requiring a special approval and applicable to all Operators as required

Each Sub Part will be based upon the IR’s which are progressively being developed and it has been announced by EASA that it will take effect on 8 April 2012, on which date EU-OPS will be repealed.

Further Reading

The Structure of the ‘Basic Regulation’ Regulation (EC) 216/2008 http://www.easa.europa.eu/ws_prod/g/rg_regulations.php#BR

FUJA II Report to ECAC http://www.jaa.nl/fuja/Final%20FUJA%20II%20Report.pdf