Air Operator Certificate
The European Regulation (EU) n. 965/2012 “AIR OPS” requires that, before commencing commercial air transport (CAT) operations with aircraft or helicopters, the airline requests and obtains an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and, in general, an operating license for air transport, the latter issued on the basis of the European Regulation (EC) no. 1008/2008 of 24 September 2008.
The AOC certifies that the airline has the professional capacity and business organization necessary to ensure the operation of its aircraft in safe conditions.
The AOC is issued by ENAC, on the basis of the favorable outcome of its assessments, to national aircraft operators who demonstrate compliance with the requirements established by all the applicable regulations and in particular by Regulation (EU) 965/2012 “AIR OPS” .
To consult the latest update of the aforementioned AIR OPS regulation and the acceptable methods of compliance and guidance material, it is suggested to refer to the EASA website, the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The AOC must be requested from the Management or Operations Office competent for the area (with respect to the expected main base of operations) using the forms on this site, including the compliance check lists, and attaching the additional documentation required. by the ORO.AOC.100 (b) requirement of the AIR OPS Regulation. Before submitting the application for the COA release, it is advisable to ask the Management or Operations Office for an appointment to have all the necessary clarifications.
Once the AOC has been obtained, any changes must always be requested from the relevant Management or Operations Office.
Following the issue of the AOC, the Authority carries out surveillance activities on operators through interventions, audits and ground and in-flight inspections, carried out both on a scheduled and occasional basis, even without prior notice.
The Certificate can be limited, suspended or revoked by ENAC if, during the surveillance activity, it is found that the operator is not able to ensure compliance with the requirements provided for by the applicable regulations.
For a CAT operator, the areas that are typically subject to ENAC surveillance are those relating to:
- staff training
- crew registrations
- aircraft equipment
- release of flights
- transport of dangerous goods
- management system of the organization
- continued airworthiness of aircraft