Certification and Designation

In accordance with EU (EASA related) legislation, in particular 1035/2011, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) are required to obtain a certificate and be designated in order to provide air navigation services.

In accordance with EC Single European Sky (SES) legislation, Air Navigation Service providers (ANSPs) are required to obtain Certification and (for ATS providers) Designation in order to provide air navigation services.

ATC Training Organisations are also required to be Certified to provide initial and ongoing training.

ANSP Certification

For a Company or Organisation to be able to provide Air Navigation Services in the UK, they must hold a Certificate issued by the CAA as the UK National Supervisory Authority (NSA) for SES, as set out in:

To achieve certification, the Company or Organisation must demonstrate compliance with the applicable requirements of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1035/2011, The Common Requirements for the provision of air navigation services, (the applicable requirements depend on the type of services being provided).

If a Company or Organisation intends to provide an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service, it must also obtain certification as a Training Organisation by demonstrating compliance with:

A Certificate is in effect a market entry ticket indicating capability to provide a service. It is sufficient on its own to provide services other than air traffic services, i.e. Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) , Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) or Meterological Services.

However a Company or Organisation cannot provide air traffic services at a specified location without demonstrating the capability of practically providing such services to the satisfaction of the CAA. This requires a certificated provider to obtain, in addition, a ‘Letter of Designation’ (addressed below).

The process of Certification requires:

ANSP Designation

Where a Certificated Air Traffic Service Provider (ATSP) intends to provide services at a new location, usually an aerodrome, the ATSP must be in possession of a ‘Letter of Designation’ before such services can be supplied.

A ‘Letter of Designation’ is issued by the CAA pursuant to Article 8(1) of the Service Provision Regulation and Regulation 4 of the Single European Sky (Functions of the National Supervisory Authority) Regulations 2006.

Where the ATSP intends to provide an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service at the new location it must also obtain certification as a Training Organisation at that location, as indicated above.

The process of designation for a certificated ATSP requires:

The successful completion of a pre-designation audit occurs when the certificated ATSP can demonstrate that the requirements of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1035/2011, the national requirements detailed in CAP 670 ATC 01 and the requirements of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 2015/340, where applicable, have been fully implemented at the unit where the designation will apply.

Therefore the pre-designation audit will include a review of the ANSP's:

  • management System documentation,
  • training documentation,
  • local operating procedures
  • engineering arrangements as applicable to the unit where the Designation will apply.

Initial Training Organisations

Companies or organisations wishing to provide Air Traffic Control Officer Initial Training Courses and other approved air traffic control training courses must obtain certification as a Training Organisation by demonstrating compliance with the applicable requirements of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 2015/340 The ATCO licensing Regulation.

The certification process requires:


The process of Certification described above is applicable to all Companies or Organisations whose principle place of operation and registered office (if any) is in the UK.

The process of Designation described above is applicable to ANSPs who hold a valid Certificate issued by the NSA of a Member State.


On receipt of an application for Certification and/or Designation, the CAA will appoint a ‘Project Lead’. Applicants will be notified of the contact details for the Project Lead who will be the single point of contact for the initial stages of the process.


Further Information