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An aerodrome is within the scope of EASA if:
It is open to public use and serves commercial air transport operations and has a published instrument approach or departure procedure and:
(a) has a paved runway of 800 metres or above; or
(b) exclusively serves helicopters.
A list of UK licensed aerodromes that currently fall within the scope of EASA has been produced for information.
EASA has not defined Commercial Air Transport (CAT) Operations in the aerodrome regulations; however, to meet requirements for EASA OPs the following definition applies:
'A flight carrying passengers, cargo or mail for remuneration or hire where the principal purpose for their carriage is to transport them, and where a seat on the flight or the right to have cargo or mail carried is available to any member of the public, shall be deemed to be for commercial air transport. This includes flights carrying passengers for remuneration or hire, which begins and ends at the same aerodrome.'
The Basic Regulation (EC 216/2008) does allow the CAA to exempt an aerodrome from the EASA rules if that aerodrome:
a) handles no more than 10,000 passengers per year, and
b) handles no more than 850 movements related to cargo operations per year.
Aerodromes that fall into this category may choose to be exempted from the EASA regulations and continue under the current National regulations; however, they must continue to meet the general safety objectives of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008.
Licensed aerodromes in the UK currently follow the requirements specified in CAP 168 that closely match the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) published in ICAO Annex 14 - Aerodromes. It is not envisaged that new EASA aerodrome regulations will be more onerous than the SARPs currently specified in ICAO Annex 14. Therefore it is not anticipated that there will be any major cost implications for aerodromes.
"Grandfathering", a process applied in other aviation sectors, cannot be applied to aerodromes, as there is no single set of harmonised requirements against which aerodromes have been licensed/certificated. Indeed, in some Member States aerodromes have not been certificated at all. It is therefore necessary to carry out a "conversion" process on all aerodromes within scope. EASA has indicated that all aerodromes with existing licences will be eligible for an initial certificate under the EASA system (if they fall into the EASA scope). There will be a conversion process, which involves building a Certification Basis that takes into account existing exemptions and variations by the use of three options, the options being an Equivalent Level of Safety, Special Condition or the Deviation Acceptance and Action Document (DAAD).
Further information on the conversion process can be found on the EASA website - then select 'Aerodrome. Conversion and DAAD FAQs'.
Yes for the time being. However, in the longer term the decision to retain CAP 168 or replace it with a document more closely aligned with EASA regulations has not been taken yet. Any replacement document will be consistent with CAP 168.
No. Aerodromes that fall within the scope of EASA will follow regulations published by EASA once they have received their certificate following conversion. As part of this the CAA will publish a CAP to identify current UK guidance that can be used as well as Alternative Means of Compliance and National Special Conditions to support the Implementing Rules (IRs) and Certification Specifications.
Aerodromes that are subject to EASA regulations will still use the UK CAA as their main point of contact and it will remain the CAA's responsibility to oversee aerodromes in its capacity as the National Aviation Authority (NAA). EASA will conduct audits of all the NAAs in its jurisdiction to ensure standardisation.
Can the EASA regulations be influenced?
No. The process for commenting on the EASA aerodrome regulations has now been completed.
The CAA website will be updated with any new developments and will be a source of information on the EASA rulemaking process for aerodromes. As the rulemaking process progresses, any regulatory updates will be published or communicated through the normal methods (e.g. Air Navigation Order, CAP, Information Notice, letters to industry). We also publish regular CAA EASA Information Bulletins. Once the rules have been published the CAA will provide a comprehensive update for industry.
Regular updates are also being provided to the Aerodrome Operators Association as developments occur.
Aerodrome regulations in the form of Implementing Rules (IR), Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Certification Specifications (CS) came into force on the 6th March 2014. Aerodromes will be required to follow the new rules after they transition from their current licence to an EASA certificate.
The CAA has written to each aerodrome to advise it of its transition date.
The new rules are now in effect and there is a transition period to allow aerodromes to convert to the new EASA certificate and to allow the national Authorities to accomplish the conversion of all aerodromes within EASA scope within the transition period. All of the EASA aerodromes must have converted from the aerodrome licence to the aerodrome certificate by the end of the transition period which ends on 31 December 2017. Existing licences will still be valid during the transition period until the new certificate is issued. The EASA requirements and processes should be known in sufficient time to allow aerodromes and the CAA adequate time to plan for the changes before the implementation date. The CAA will work with aerodromes to ensure that all parties understand what is required to transition from the national licence to the EASA certificate, within the transition period.
Please refer to our page on EASA Aerodrome Transition for further details.
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