Understanding the implications of EASA Part NCC regulations is an important issue for all non-commercial aircraft operators and owners. There is plenty of information available which will help you to gain a better understanding of the steps that you might need to take to meet the changes coming into force across Europe.However, a question that is not so often answered is “What Are Risks of Not Complying with EASA Part NCC?” Here, we will focus on the consequences that owner-operators may face if they fail to comply with the new standards expected by regulators from late August 2016 onward.
Many steps to be taken – but little time left
The final day that compliance to EASA Part NCC can be met is August 25, 2016. After this date, the new regulations are in full force. Therefore, most owner-operators of non-commercial aircraft need to take steps today in order to make sure that they meet with the new regulations by the deadline. The new legislation is designed to diminish the gap between how highly regulated the commercial aviation sector is compared to the, up-until-now, more lightly regulated private aviation industry. The idea is to improve both flying operations and to enhance safety.
Initially, those owner-operators who have taken no steps to ensure they comply must determine whether or not their normal flying operations fall within the new regulatory regime or not. Those operators who are already functioning as a so-called complex commercial operation will certainly need to comply. Those who are not may still be forced to comply and this may mean that seeking expert advice from professionals becomes necessary.
Those who choose to go it alone, in terms of meeting the regulatory compliance demands, need to assess whether they should continue to be in charge of their own flight operations. This is because many of the steps needed are time consuming and some are technically demanding. Furthermore, by proceeding on your own to meet Part NCC, a number of responsibilities are assumed, along with consequential liabilities for failing to carry them out fully.
Consequences of not complying can be extremely serious
The consequences of not being Part NCC compliant by the August deadline can be extremely serious. Even for operators who are working towards compliance at that date, being grounded is likely. Aviators who choose to take to the skies without having complied will be deemed to have operated criminally. This means that you could end up facing a prosecution, if you choose to ignore even part of the new regulatory structure. Not being compliant by the deadline is nothing less than a violation of government legislation in Europe. As a result, any owner-operator of non-commercial aircraft who does not want to face picking up a criminal record needs to make sure that they comply fully.
Not only legal but also financial risks
Anyone who is caught flouting Part NCC risks criminal prosecution! This means that they could have heavy fines imposed on them or even receive goal sentences, depending on the seriousness of the case. Failing to comply is unlikely to simply result in a ‘slapped wrist’ from the authorities who wish to send the message that non-commercial aviation must now be much more akin to commercial operators, when it comes to operational and safety issues.
However, it is not just the law of the land you happen to operate in that is at play. Both air insurance companies and financing institutions, such as leasing companies, will require their customers to comply with the new regulations, too. They are perfectly entitled to cancel any agreements and contracts that they have put in place with non-commercial aviation operators who are not Part NCC compliant. Indeed, insurance underwriters may well refuse to pay out in the event that you need to make a claim for something and that you are subsequently found to be non-compliant.
It’s now time to take action!
For many non-commercial operators, failing to act can lead to serious consequences ranging from grounded aircraft to custodial sentences. Therefore, making sure that you are compliant is essential with immediate effect, given the time it will take to meet all of the new regulations.
By making use of our helpful document “Part NCC – Are you ready?”, a white paper that gives detailed advice for non-commercial operators, you are much better placed to meet all of the demands of EASA before these new regulations come into force.