All non-commercial jet aircraft need to comply with the new regulations, as set out by EASA under Part NCC, by August 25th 2016. This means that, along with certain other classes of non-commercial aircraft, owners and operators of jet aircrafts will need to take a number of steps now so that they remain able to fly after the deadline.Nowadays, many aircraft owners are also the operators of their aircraft. When it comes to jets, however, only a proportion of them have put together a system for regularly attending to the safety of their flight operations. By asking, “Part NCC are you ready?” you are really asking whether you have a good safety regime in place for flight operations. Essentially, this is what making owner-operators comply under Part NCC sets out to achieve.
Take action immediately to keep the deadline
Any jet owner conducting non-commercial flights in Europe will need to take action as soon as possible. This may mean getting in further advice and expertise. Firstly, although EASA Part NCC applies to all jet-powered aircraft, you may still need to determine whether you are subject to Part NCC or not, perhaps down to the exact sort of aircraft you fly. If you have any doubts in this area, then you should first obtain a ruling from the relevant authority. Secondly, it is important to decide which legal entity will be deemed to be the operator under Part NCC. The new regulations allow you to transfer the operational responsibility of a jet to a third party. However, this might need to be checked, given the particular state of registry your jet already happens to have.
Whoever assumes responsibility – owner or operator – it then becomes necessary to initiate a new operational structure and to begin the compliance process for Part NCC, something which may require you to apply for specific operational approvals with a competent authority. Along with a declaration of your legal entity and flight activities, it is necessary to also submit relevant documentations to the relevant authority by the deadline of August 25th at the latest. However, if your aircraft is managed by an AOC holder, all the required systems are in place.
Non-compliance and failing to meet the deadline is no option
Jet operators who have not set up their new operational and safety structures in line with the Part NCC regulations may well face being grounded by the authorities. If the relevant supporting documents, including a much more exhaustive flight operations manual than has ever been needed before for non-commercial aircraft, are not submitted before the deadline, then grounding is also a distinct possibility. In addition, failing to comply with EASA’s new regime could mean that criminal proceedings are brought against the operator in question. In cases of flying accidents or near-miss incidents, the operator could also face civil lawsuits for damages. Overall, failing to comply by the summer deadline is not an option for any serious jet owner or operator.
What are the ongoing responsibilities under Part NCC?
To ensure compliance within its future flight operations, a jet operator will need to set up a safety management system. This will include ongoing responsibilities such defining and redefining crew training requirements as they might change and making sure that aircraft equipment requirements are fully satisfied and updated. A jet operator may sub-contract some tasks to third party organisations or individuals, but this may only be done providing that these tasks are not directly concerned with the operational control of the aircraft. Only appointed personnel who are fully trained to handle them will be able to document operational matters concerning areas of airworthiness. The test for many owner-operators will be in their ability to create a new operational system that can be maintained on an ongoing basis for years.
If in doubt, ask for expertise
It is essential for non-commercial jet operators to now surround themselves with the right sort of expertise so that their safety and operational systems are sufficiently resourced to comply with the new regulatory framework year on year. Regular inspections will be an ongoing part of the new regime, so rushing to comply – with no thought of the future – is unlikely to be positive in the long run.
Our whitepaper entitled “Part NCC – Are you ready?” gives a full account of what jet owners and operators need to do to comply by the deadline. Helpfully, it does so in a manner which will allow them to continue to comply in the longer term. Download the whitepaper now!